January 29, 2019 8:50 pm

Season Premiere – Playing with Science Returns with Our 2019 Big Game Special

We’re BACK. And we’re talking about what everyone’s going to be talking about whether you like football or not: Super Bowl LIII. On our Season 4 Premiere of Playing with Science, hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice sit down with a slew of guests to investigate the science of the Big Game. You know the teams. You know the hype. But do you know the science?

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.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gary O’Reilly, and Chuck Nice. Photo Credit: StarTalk®.

First up, we sit down with our favorite sports physicist, John Eric Goff (no relation to LA’s QB). Find out which quarterback – Tom Brady or Jared Goff – the Good Professor is putting his money on. We discuss Brady’s ability to thread the needle with every pass and the timing required to release a pass before getting crushed by the opponent.

You’ll hear about the Coriolis effect and how it can impact the football in the slightest of ways. Eric picks a winner based off some clever science association with the numerical representation of this year’s Super Bowl. Then, you’ll learn if the stadium can have any impact on the game.

Next, to find out more about the impact of the game on the stadium, we welcome sports economist Victor Matheson. Victor tells us who the financial winners really are at the Super Bowl and why it’s not necessarily the host city. Discover why the phrase “at no cost to the NFL” is vital when host cities are bidding to host the next Super Bowl. You’ll hear how the financial breakdown of stadiums changed due to the 2008 recession. Also, Victor describes what data he wishes he could measure during one of the biggest events of the year.

It wouldn’t be a Big Game special without our resident astrophysicist. Neil deGrasse Tyson stops by to chat with Chuck and Gary about putting new cameras on the field to showcase the immense athleticism and precision of NFL players. Neil explains the similarities between a spiraling football and the Apollo capsule. Lastly, we check in with Brandon London, who won his Super Bowl ring as a member of the Giants’ practice squad in Super Bowl XLII, on what the two-week build-up to the Super Bowl is like from inside the locker room. All that, plus, Chuck tries to take credit for the Giants 2007/08 Super Bowl win.

Please join us tomorrow night for our Season 4 Premiere, 2019 Big Game Special, with Neil deGrasse Tyson, right here on our website, as well as on our Playing with Science channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen