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Every Fraction and Decimal Matters at the NFL Combine

Every year at the end of February, the best college football players from the previous season head to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. The week-long event is used to determine many aspects of each player’s future — which team will draft him, which round he’ll be selected, and how much money he’ll make.

The Combine requires players to participate in various workouts to demonstrate their athletic ability. These workouts include the 40-yard dash, agility drills, and various jumping tests.

At the 2015 NFL Combine, Phillip Dorsett won $1 Million dollars from Adidas for running the 40 yard dash in 4.33 seconds!

Since so many amazing athletes participate in the Combine — and they’re all competing for the same prize, a spot on an NFL team — every tenth of a second and every fraction of an inch matters greatly.

Past outstanding performers at the Combine include many of the NFL’s current stars. Current New York Jets running back Chris Johnson ran a blazing 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds in 2008. Johnson’s time is still the fastest recorded in the history of the Combine. Standout safety Eric Berry, of the Kansas City Chiefs, leaped 43.0 inches in the vertical jump at the 2010 Combine, the highest mark ever for a safety. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was recently named the 2015-16 NFL MVP, was a top performer in both the 40-yard dash and the 3-cone drill at the 2011 Combine.

While not every player who performed well at the Combine went on to NFL stardom, many improved their draft stock by showing off their athleticism in Indianapolis. At this year’s Combine, stopwatches and measuring sticks will go a long way toward determining which players gain or cost themselves millions of dollars.

Using Topological Data Analysis to Assess NBA Teams

The goal of this lesson is for students to use analytics, topological data analysis specifically, to assess a team’s likelihood of advancing to the 2014 NBA Finals. The lesson should also prompt students to think critically about analytics and determine both its strengths and weaknesses in making sports decisions.

Technical Foul! Should video games penalize you for cursing in the privacy of your own home?

Have your students share in a discussion and respond to what players of the new XBox One and the PS4 quickly discovered, that if you dont watch your language, these new state of the art gaming consoles will watch it for you.

Both new consoles contain advanced sensory technology that recognize verbal communications and physical actions and incorporates your behavior into the gameplay. The latest discovery that caused quite a stir amongst the gaming community is the feature that penalizes players for using foul language over multiplayer communications and spoken into the headset microphone. Developers of the 2K franchise released a statement, This was a feature we incorporated to NBA 2K13 that we felt brought both realism to the game, and a more civilized online environment for our players…The result was so positive we have continued it in NBA 2K14.

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Matchup of Legends: LeBron James vs. Larry Bird

 

Many longtime NBA fans are amazed that LeBron James is already playing in his 13th season. At first glance, that number might not seem particularly important, but consider this — Larry Bird played only 13 total seasons in his career.

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Bird, who is frequently referred to as the best small forward in history, was forced into retirement by back problems after the 1991-92 season. James, meanwhile, remains one of the best players in the NBA even though he has already played in considerably more regular season games than Bird.

As a player, James shares many qualities with Bird. Both men were terrific all-around players who filled up stat sheets in almost all statistical categories. Like Bird, James has tremendous court vision and passing skills. While Bird might have been a better long-range shooter than James, LeBron has made up for that difference with his incredible efficiency in finishing plays close to the basket.

Because he came along two decades after Bird, James has benefited from better nutrition, weight training, and travel accommodations. He also had the benefit of entering the NBA straight out of high school, whereas Bird played a full college career first. However, LeBron’s supporters also argue that he is a better athlete than Bird ever was, meaning that he was built for longevity in a way that Bird wasn’t.

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The site Land of Basketball shows that Bird and James are almost neck-and-neck in career accomplishments, with Bird holding the edge in championships and rebounds per game and LeBron carrying an advantage in MVP Awards and points per game.

Both James and Bird are among the 10 best NBA players ever, but only LeBron has a chance to add to his legacy. Even before James finishes out his career, LeBron vs. Larry is already one of the best debates in NBA history.

The Physics of the Dunk

Students learn about the physics and mathematics behind dunking a basketball using ESPN Sport Science‘s feature on Blake Griffin.

lebron vs bird 2 thumbnail

Matchup of Legends: LeBron James vs. Larry Bird

 

Many longtime NBA fans are amazed that LeBron James is already playing in his 13th season. At first glance, that number might not seem particularly important, but consider this — Larry Bird played only 13 total seasons in his career.

lebron vs bird 2

Bird, who is frequently referred to as the best small forward in history, was forced into retirement by back problems after the 1991-92 season. James, meanwhile, remains one of the best players in the NBA even though he has already played in considerably more regular season games than Bird.

As a player, James shares many qualities with Bird. Both men were terrific all-around players who filled up stat sheets in almost all statistical categories. Like Bird, James has tremendous court vision and passing skills. While Bird might have been a better long-range shooter than James, LeBron has made up for that difference with his incredible efficiency in finishing plays close to the basket.

Because he came along two decades after Bird, James has benefited from better nutrition, weight training, and travel accommodations. He also had the benefit of entering the NBA straight out of high school, whereas Bird played a full college career first. However, LeBron’s supporters also argue that he is a better athlete than Bird ever was, meaning that he was built for longevity in a way that Bird wasn’t.

lebron training

james tire

The site Land of Basketball shows that Bird and James are almost neck-and-neck in career accomplishments, with Bird holding the edge in championships and rebounds per game and LeBron carrying an advantage in MVP Awards and points per game.

Both James and Bird are among the 10 best NBA players ever, but only LeBron has a chance to add to his legacy. Even before James finishes out his career, LeBron vs. Larry is already one of the best debates in NBA history.

What a Drag! Vernon Davis Exhibits His Force on Sports Science

The goal of this lesson is to introduce the scientific terms force, acceleration, mass, jerk, and friction using a Sports Science video, which features NFL superstar tight end Vernon Davis.

This lesson works toward fulfilling the following 9th and 10th Grade reading standards for literacy in science and technical subjects, which are outlined in the Common Core State Standards: Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.