StarTalk®’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gary O'Reilly, and Chuck Nice recording the 2019 Big Game Special in Neil’s office at the Hayden Planetarium.
StarTalk®’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gary O'Reilly, and Chuck Nice recording the 2019 Big Game Special in Neil’s office at the Hayden Planetarium.

SEASON PREMIERE: 2019 Big Game Special, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gary O'Reilly, and Chuck Nice. Credit: StarTalk®.
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About This Episode

We kick off Season 4 with one of the biggest sporting events in the world – The Super Bowl. An event so embedded in our culture that the day after it happens you’ll be talking about football whether you like it or not. So, why not add some science to the conversation? On this episode of Playing with Science, hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly look the science of the Super Bowl on and off the field. We’re joined by sports physicist John Eric Goff, sports economist Victor Matheson, former New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl XLII ring holder Brandon London, and our very own resident astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

We investigate Tom Brady’s ability to thread the needle with each of his passes. Find out how long a quarterback has in the pocket before he risks being crushed by his opponent. Eric gives us some insight on the amount of average force being thrown around in a regular game. You’ll hear about the Coriolis effect and if it has any impact on the ball. Neil tells us some similarities between the spiral of a football and the build and shape of the Apollo capsule. 

Discover who the real winners are off the field during the Super Bowl. You’ll learn the importance of the phrase “at no cost to the NFL” when cities negotiate to host a Super Bowl. How much money does the NFL make during the Super Bowl? Is it worth it for a city to host? You’ll find out the answer to these questions and more. You’ll also learn why the data proves that it’s a bad day to be an avocado. Victor explains what statistic he wishes he could measure during an event like this. Go inside the New York Giants locker room as Brandon shares what it was like to be a player leading up to the Super Bowl. Discover more about the importance of professionalism, accountability, and routine in Super Bowl preparations. Eric makes a clever prediction based on the scientific association with Super Bowl LIII. All that, plus, Chuck tries to take credit for the Giants Super Bowl XLII victory.

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