Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...
...and welcome to the It's a Numbers Game! Football Blog Tour!
I know, I know...I don't generally do sports related posts, but this was a pretty cool title coming out with National Geographic KIDS, so I wanted to pass on the news! To celebrate the release of the newest addition to the It's a Numbers Game series AND the start of football season, this week blogs across the internet will be featuring special excerpts from It's a Numbers Game! Football by Eric Zweig with a foreword by NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes. Join the tour each day this week as we explore the stats, digits, and dimensions of the game. And be sure to have a pencil and paper ready to try your hand at some fun gridiron calculations! Ready, set, GO TEAM GO!
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The Need for Speed
STRENGTH AND SPEED
Strength and speed are very important in football. The fastest players are usually wide receivers, cornerbacks, and running backs. A good blocker on the offensive line needs strength more than speed, but they also need science. It turns out that running backs require a lot of science, too. Grab your lab coat, and let’s go all STEM on this game.
THE STUDY OF MOTION
When talking about motion in football, we look at three key points: position, speed, and acceleration. Position can be as simple as where a running back lines up on the field. They line up in the backfield, usually a few steps away from the quarterback and even farther away from the defensive line. A running back will usually have a few steps to accelerate, or speed up, before a defensive player can get to him. The runner hopes to achieve a high speed as quickly as he can. Some running backs don’t have a lot of speed, but they can accelerate quickly. This gives them a burst of speed to pull away from the defense until someone faster catches up and tackles them. Other runners are slow to accelerate, but once they do, they can reach a high speed. Sometimes a running back will start out slowly on purpose. The runner might move carefully, to the right or left, waiting for an opening in the offensive line. When he sees it, he has to accelerate quickly. He plants a foot down hard onto the field. The force he applies stops his sideways motion and allows him to accelerate forward. If he can accelerate quickly, he will start to gain speed. Even though the running back may be faster than the defensive players, if the defenders can accelerate more quickly, they’ll tackle him before he can speed away.
In the late 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton helped revolutionize science with his three laws of motion to describe the physical world. Newton probably didn’t have football in mind, but there’s an awful lot of physics involved in making a good block. Blocking is as simple as one player trying to stop another player from advancing. To do that, one body has to exert a certain amount of force on another body. Newton’s third law of motion says that when two bodies collide, each body exerts a force on the other that is equal but in the opposite direction. In order for one lineman to be able to push another out of the way, it helps to have a lower center of mass. That just means keeping your body low and driving up into your opponent’s body. This will throw off your opponent’s center of mass and allow you to use more torque (rotational force) to push him in the direction you need him to go.
Do you know how to calculate a quarterback’s completion percentage? What was the score of the highest scoring Super Bowl game? Become a football fanatic and learn all about the numbers and math behind this popular sport.
With every throw, tackle, and kick, numbers are being calculated on the football field. Get ready to learn all the ways digits and math factor into the game, from the countless statistics used to measure an individual player’s performance to the numbers used in defensive formations. Read about the greatest players from football history and get fascinating facts, like the price of a Super Bowl commercial. Discover which NFL team defenses have allowed the fewest points and check out cool graphics that show the angles in different pass patterns. Also features a er
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About the Author
Right: Young Eric as quarterback!
Originally from Toronto, ERIC ZWEIG grew up as a fan of the CFL’s Argonauts, the NHL’s Maple Leafs, and the MLB’s Blue Jays. When he broke his wrist as a young boy, Eric got Argonauts quarterback and future NFL star Joe Theismann to sign his cast. Eric has been writing professionally about sports and sports history since 1985. He worked for a small Toronto-based publisher affiliated with the NHL for more than 20 years, and has written more than 40 books for adults and for children since 1992. Eric currently lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
- Five (5) winners will receive the 4-book It's a Numbers Game! series, including Football, Soccer, Basketball, and Baseball
- US/Canada only
- Ends 9/25 at 11:59pm ET
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule:
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