Friday, April 08, 2005

I wish we had inches

The phrase is likely trademarked. But it is used in one of the finest TV ads I know - a woman's voice says "They say football is a game of inches - I wish we had inches", and the screen shows a curling rock sliding between two others with what is clearly far less than inches to spare. It makes the point of the sport very clearly.

It is deeply implausible that anyone, with such large rocks, and on such a dubious surface as ice, however well maintained, could deliberately deliver a shot 100 feet on a pre-defined line (which is not just not straight - the whole point of the game, and the name of the game, hang on tihs path being a curve) to follow a path so closely. I have curled twice and could not guarantee the line of my shot within yards (ooppss, meters). But it is clear these top players do have this control when they are 'reading the ice' correctly. It is very impressive.

The sport has other profound complexities. Ice conditions change over the course of a game. We probably need a physicist co-blogger to explain what is going on. And teams adapt and perform reasonably consistently. Physicists please step forward and apply!


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