The Physics of Football

Bryan HealeyCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2008

Just yesterday, a stretch of time when Sundays mysteriously disappear began. It's baffling to many (mostly women), and it's a miracle of physics that is known to some as football season.

From February until September each year, my weekend is composed of two whole days: Saturday and Sunday. Because of this, anything I do can be scheduled for up to two days, and sometimes even longer (who needs Mondays?). A weekend trip away? No problem!

From September to January, however, the physics of football shrink the weekend to only one day. A miracle, to say the least.

Baseball season is quite different than football. With baseball, there is a game nearly every night so you rarely feel any sense of loss at missing a few of them, except Yankees/Sox games, which are the equivalent to a minimum of ten regular season games.

Football is nothing like this. The season is short, and games are played mostly on Sundays. If you miss a game, it's the emotional equivalent of missing thirty baseball games, two tennis matches and five minutes of curling.

It near physically hurts when it has to happen, such as when you have a wedding or a funeral, or both depending on how you juggle the game and your wedding.

My team is the New England Patriots, who will face off with the Chiefs this Sunday. The visitors are surely hoping that the sting of the game-we-dare-not-speak-of doesn't cause the Pats to become so violently motivated with rage that they come out of the locker room with rocket launchers.

There is the very real danger that the fans could do this, anyway. Nonetheless, I am confident that the Chiefs will show up even in spite of this very real risk. It is their job, after all. Plus they have helmets.

And when the game begins, I will be on my couch, ready to feel just as manly as I possibly could while doing absolutely nothing but watching TV and eating greasy food.

In fact, I will actually be disturbingly prepared for the game, thanks to the approximately 3,700 hours of pregame reports and analysis. I fully expect there to be an hour-long expose entirely dedicated to Tom Brady's facial hair and what it could mean to the success of the Pats ("A gruffy Brady is a successful Brady").

For some unknown reason (I suspect wolves to be involved somehow), we are all compelled to watch this pregame analysis as though it may contain the secret formula to achieve cold fusion. Instead, what actually happens is that retired quarterbacks and receivers who are getting paid more money than the president relay highly important facts, such as "the highest scoring team will likely win today." 

The only potential interest is the coach interviews, but the interviewers always ask the dumbest questions, such as: "How do you feel about that win?" It shocks me how few coaches answer with, "Itchy."

The cruel part is, even though we all know it's pointless to watch all this analysis, we will still watch it. I admit openly that I'll be watching. I see no reason to try and delude myself into believing that I might not. I know the effort would be futile: I'm a football fan, and I just can't help myself.

In fact, I think NFL Countdown is on right now! And when that's over, SportsCenter is having a special report on Week One hair pieces of coaches using Rogaine. And then, of course, a special documentary on athlete's foot: "The silent killer."