The Sciences

Explaining the Arrow of Football

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollSep 28, 2009 12:44 PM

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Not sure which blogs the editors of the Onion have been reading, but I have to approve of their proposed model for explaining the low entropy at the beginning of a football game by recourse to an infinite series of downs before "first down."

NEW YORK — Citing the extremely low level of entropy present before a normal set of football downs, scientists from the NFL's quantum mechanics and cosmology laboratories spoke Monday of a theoretical proto-down before the first. "Ultimately, we believe there are an infinite number of proto-downs played before the first visible snap," lead NFL scientist Dr. Oliver Claussen said during a press conference, adding that the very last yocto-down is a by-product of leftover fourth downs from this universe, as well as those from a theoretical universe running along an arrow of time concurrent to our own.

Probably some enthusiastic football coach is going to try to cash in by writing a book about the idea, while others fulminate on the sidelines about how such irresponsible speculation is destroying the game. (Thanks to Ahmet Toker and Tom Fishman.)

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