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Links 1 through 10 of 288 by Chad Orzel tagged sports

There is a massive, ever-expanding class of Americans who cannot remember a connection to pro football that did not involve the drafting and owning of skill players who work on their personal behalf. And the result, I fear, has been the mild dehumanization of humans we were already prone to perceive as machines.

Now, I realize dehumanization is a melodramatic word to use when discussing millionaires. I would guess that most people reading this column would love to be "dehumanized" in any context that pays them $9 million a year. But this isn't about feeling sympathy for pro athletes. That's not my point. What I'm proposing has more to do with how a few grains of personal investment prompt normal people to think about strangers in inaccurate, twisted, robotic ways. It's about how something fun quietly makes us selfish, and it's about the downside of turning real people into algebraic chess pieces.

The person who is making me think about this is Chris Johnson.

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Nike makes some cool stuff. In particular, the Nike+ gear is quite interesting. These are different sensors that you can use to measure your performance in sports like running, training, or basketball.

Clearly, there is some physics to explore here – and thanks to the good folks at Nike, I have a pair to play with. In this case, I have the Nike Hyperdunk hightops with the Nike+ basketball sensors.

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Montgomery's failure led the Giants to take another running back in the first round of the 2000 draft, their sixth first- or second-round pick at running back in 10 years. That back was Ron Dayne, and despite his collegiate success as Wisconsin, he hit the hole in the same sense that you hit the hay; it seemed warm and inviting to Dayne, and once he got there, he wanted to spend eight hours in it without moving. He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and failed to run for more than 770 yards in a season with the Giants.

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The Giants shouldn't take their eyes off the ultimate goal: looking like garbage for half the season, then embarrassing the Patriots.

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I never met Steve Sabol, but I wish I could have worked for him. His father, Ed, founded NFL Films, but Steve defined what it became: the finest cinematic reflection of a sport in absolute totality, consciously designed to amplify an intellectual viewing experience through emotional means. If that sounds unnecessarily complicated and verbose — fine. It’s still the truth. With the possible exception of Pete Rozelle, no other men influenced the way casual audiences think about football as deeply as Ed and Steve Sabol. And while it was the father who built the foundation, it was the son who erected the superstructure.?log=out

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An argument that we need physics students to be more like football players.

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The shooting patterns for the players on the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder reveal where they are most dangerous on the court. Below, compare each player’s strengths using court maps and analysis by Kirk Goldsberry, a geography professor at Michigan State.

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So. Glasses. Who invented them? Russell Westbrook? LeBron James? OR CARDINAL HUGH DE PROVENCE, SUBJECT OF THE FIRST PICTORIAL EVIDENCE OF A GUY WEARING GLASSES! THE FLOOR IS YOURS, HUGH!

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We all understand that this is how the Attention Economy works — if something is shocking and popular, the popularity is fueled by the shock. Those two qualities dovetail. It's always possible that too much controversy can destroy something over time (which is what's happening to Mel Gibson's directing career), and it's just as possible that certain controversies can normalize while success continues onward (which is what happened with Madonna in the '90s). But when these two things are happening simultaneously — when social outrage and commercial power are both occurring in the present tense — they are inevitably linked.

Except, it seems, with football.

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