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Posts Tagged "football"

Anthropology in Practice

A match meant to be? Social media and sports

Photo by The Malones. Click on image for license and information.

In 2010 one of the questions sports organizations were wrestling with was whether they should allow their players to tweet. That question is far from defined, but it’s becoming clear that social media has an important role to play within the sport community. Recently, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick responded to critics on twitter [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Parades—Public Festivals, Public Spectacles

"Ticker tape" fills the sky. Photo by KDCosta, 2009.

Ed. Note: So the New York Giants won the super bowl, and there will be a parade not too far from my office today. I’m have no intention of leaving the office—parade or no parade, I’m not a Giants fan and my football wounds are still a bit raw, and the crowds are a little [...]

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Food Matters

Merging heavy and healthy: The football player diet

UGA football players cook up some vegetables at last summer’s grill-off. Photo courtesy of UGA Sports Nutrition Department, UGA Athletic Association.

Defensive linemen crouched on the football field is a familiar sight this time of year, their hulking bodies forming a barrier between the rival team’s quarterback and a touchdown.  Serving as a human blockade means linemen often weigh in near 300 pounds, with a daily caloric intake that can reach 6000 calories. I tracked down [...]

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Guest Blog

A Word in Defense of the Witnesses—and the Word Is “Ambiguity”

You and I – and every single other decent person on the planet who has heard about the Penn State abuse allegations – are having the same revenge fantasy. Or, I don’t know, call it a Guardian Angel fantasy. We would have run into the shower and wrapped the kid in a towel; we would [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Super Bowl Psychology: 4 Ways You—and Your Friends—Will React to the Big Game

Enjoy the Superbowl - Broncos vs. Seahawks

Though you may not know it, when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday—especially if you actually watch the game and not just the commercials— you’ll likely be engaging in a lot of what psychological scientists call counterfactual thinking: thoughts about “what might have been,” “at least,” and “if only.” Research on counterfactual thought explains [...]

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Not bad science

Psychic Animals and Football-Playing Bees

Picture1

Working in the field of animal behaviour means that around World Cup season it’s hard to avoid being sent links to so-called ‘psychic’ animals that predict the outcome of matches, such as Paul the octopus, Leon the porcupine and Anton the tamarin. However, while these animals may have made predictions useful to people placing bets [...]

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Observations

Mobile Emergency Room Will Treat Super Bowl Fans On-Site

super bowl

The 80,000 or so football fans converging on MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII are paying anywhere between $500 and $2,500 per ticket—or much, much more on the resale market—for the privilege of being there. One slip and fall on the ice—a real possibility given some forecasts are calling for light rain—could land ticketholders in [...]

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Observations

The Super Bowl’s Super Security Boat

super bowl

The Super Bowl poses mammoth security challenges in any given year. This year’s championship game—the first since last April’s Boston Marathon bombing—raises the stakes by bringing the game, which the Department of Homeland Security designates a “Level One” national security event, to New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Not only will kickoff take place just miles from [...]

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Observations

Why Don’t Helmets Prevent Concussions?

Helmets protect your head—but they can’t fully protect your brain. This helps to explain why football players continue to incur brain trauma that may lead to debilitating brain disease. Recently, a team of researchers presented more evidence of the devastating progression of a brain disease caused by repeated brain trauma. On December 2, researchers from [...]

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Observations

Statistician Creates Alternate Model for College Football Rankings

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) college football rankings are in turmoil. For two weeks in a row, the top-ranked team has been upset by an underdog from central Texas. (Full disclosure: As a Baylor alum who is the daughter and granddaughter of Aggies, I might be just a little smug.) The BCS rankings are a [...]

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Observations

Is Football to Blame for Players’ Suicides?

Nedra McClyde and Ron Canada in Headstrong at the Ensemble Studio Theatre

High-profile suicides of professional football players have mounted in the past several years—Terry Long (2005), Andre Waters (2006), Dave Duerson (2011) and Ray Easterling (2012) all killed themselves following retirement and bouts with diagnoses likely related to the thousands of hits they fearlessly underwent as players. The conditions vary but have overlapping qualities: post-concussion syndrome, [...]

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Observations

Speculation Arises about the Role of Concussions in Another NFL Player’s Suicide

Junior Seau, New England Patriots

NFL legend Junior Seau died today after reportedly shooting himself in the chest, according to various news reports. What prompted the apparent suicide is still unknown. But Seau’s taking of his own life will inevitably raise questions about a possible role of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disorder that results from repeated concussions and that [...]

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Observations

Retired NFL players more likely than others to misuse prescription painkillers

Man holding white pills in his hand

The zenith of the professional football season arrives February 6, better known this year as Super Bowl Sunday. All the speed, power, finesse and glitz of the game as it is played at the highest level will be on display under the bright lights of Cowboys Stadium. But there is also a dark side to [...]

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Observations

Physics of free kicks: The hidden advantage of long-distance soccer shots

Physics of soccer kicks

When Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos struck a powerful free-kick from about 30 meters out in a 1997 international match against France, he could not have known that scientists would still be discussing his feat more than a dozen years later. Indeed, he could not even have known that the ball would improbably find the back [...]

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Rosetta Stones

When Seahawks Fans Cause Seismic Events

Malcom Smith hoists his MVP trophy. Congratulations, Malcolm! Screenshot from same video as above.

After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, I got curious: did all those fervent fans I’ve been seeing painting the town blue and green for the last several weeks cause another BeastQuake? From a brief browse of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, it would appear sadly, no. There weren’t enough fans packed tightly enough in [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Take Care of Your Brain—and Your Friendships

Courtesy of Alexms22 via Wikimedia Commons

Fighting back emotion, Tony Dorsett, the former Dallas Cowboys’ running back, told ESPN last fall: “It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me…it’s painful.” Dorsett said he suffers from memory problems, depression and difficulty controlling his emotions. He said he has even thought about suicide. The likely cause of Dorsett’s distress [...]

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