Getting Cosmic About Nugent's Kick

Is "The Force" with the unbeaten Bengals in their weekly NFL version of star wars? Something was with them Sunday on Mike Nugent's game-winning overtime field goal off the upright, and it may have been more than Lady Luck. Deep thoughts inside...

Space heads know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is because he's on television quite a bit talking about the solar system and all things outer-space.

But, for the uninitiated, Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City.

He knows his stuff.

Chances are, few football fans had heard of him until last week when something he said, well, wrote, turned into well-circulated items on social media.

Tyson suggested the earth's rotation had something to do with Mike Nugent's game-winning overtime field goal bouncing off the left upright and going through to beat Seattle.

After the game on Sunday, Tyson tweeted: "Today's @Bengals winning OT field goal was likely enabled by a 1/3-in deflection to the right, caused by Earth’s Rotation."

Then he tweeted: "In the N. Hemisphere, Earth’s Coriolis force deflects airborne north-south projectiles to the right. About 1/2-in per 50 yds."

His next tweet said: "The @Bengals stadium isn’t oriented exactly North-South. And the field goal was 42-yds. Yielding a 1/3-in deflection, not 1/2."

Got all that?

Naturally, someone asked quarterback Andy Dalton if he believes that "The Force" is with the Bengals.

Dalton, not known to be spacey, said, with a laugh: “I think the earth rotates all the time, doesn't it? So, I guess every kick is caused by something. Mike made it, and that's all that matters."

Does Dalton take the earth's rotation into account when he throws the deep ball in the NFL's version of star wars?

“Yeah, I've got to adjust for that,” he said with another laugh.

Deep-space kick logic? Deep-ball science? It's getting pretty deep in here.


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