Davis' Law: Oakland Raiders to Improve By Studying Physics?

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIJune 10, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders can't hang on to a pass as Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the Baltimore Ravens defends during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It may surprise you to learn that the Oakland Raiders may need a lesson in football physics. There are examples of lessons that may enhance the players understanding of the object that spins, rotates, and glides through a substance called air.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a football, you are thinking.

Looking high and low for solutions to improve the performance of the Oakland Raiders is a serious matter for some of us fans and researchers.

Here are a few lessons. Thanks to Dr. Tim Gay, a physicist, there is a lot to be learned about the physics of a moving object called a prolate spheroid which many folks handle and cherish yet do not fully understand the dynamics of it.

Many of the Oakland Raiders are studying videos to improve their game. Do you wonder if they really see and understand everything embedded in the dynamics of their beloved sport?

Do you understand the dynamics of a fumble? Is there a method to minimize the occurrence of a fumble? Yes, according to Dr. Gay. He even says that the shape of the football makes it less likely for a player to fumble the ball. Readers need to check out his book on Football Physics .

Now that we are becoming aware of the physics of the football, it may even make sense to calculate the MACH number for the football as determined by quarterbacks, like Daryle Lamonica, who was called "The Mad Bomber." Of course, the number would be less than one, and it would be subsonic. Right?

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Also, Al Davis would probably enjoy knowing the MACH numbers for his quarterbacks since we all know he loves "speed."

Lamonica's torque and speed apparently was just right for the wide receivers who were able to catch the ball and make those touchdowns back in the day.

A lists of concepts that apply to the football are pasted below. It just goes to show you that NFL football is more than meets the eye. Some powerful stuff undergirds the dynamics of the game.

Go Raiders! Study the dynamics of the game!



Lesson: Inertia


2.6 MB

Special Guests: Dave Volk, Jammal Lord, and a physics class



Lesson: Vectors


2.7 MB

Special Guest: Eric Crouch



Lesson: Newton's Third Law


2.7 MB

Special Guests: Toniu Fonoti and Cory Ross



Lesson: Impulse


2.8 MB

Featuring the melon/helmet experiment



Lesson: Atoms and Photons


2.3 MB

Special Guests: DeAntae Grixby, Kellie Bowman, and Bert



Lesson: Quickness, Speed, Power and Strength



Special Location: Husker Power weight training center



Lesson: Quickness and Ankle Injuries



Special Guest: Eric Crouch



1999 Season


2000 Season

1) Momentum

1) Kinematics

2) Punting

2) Advanced Momentum

3) Symmetry

3) Speed of Sound

4) Distribution of Force

4) Newton's 2nd Law

5) Energy Consumption

5) Turf Physics

6) Tackling

6) Air Resistance






e at HuskerVision: Tonya McMillion and Kay Dowd who produced these segments, and Jeff Schmahl who had the original idea and who is responsible for two-thirds of the bad jokes.