Science of NFL Football #10: Torque and Center of Mass

For the first time in its 45 year history, the SuperBowl will be without professional cheerleaders. Have no fear! The Science Cheerleader is here!

Meet Erin, who’s going to jazz up your SuperBowl Sunday morning with some science!

Hey fans, I’m Erin and I’m psyched to introduce you to the 10th–and final–Science of NFL Football segment, produced by NBC Sports in partnership with the NFL, the National Science Foundation and the Science Cheerleader!

Why me? I’m a Science Cheerleader, one of more than 50 NFL cheerleaders pursuing careers in science and engineering. (Just wait until SciCheer introduces you to the NBA’s science-minded cheerleaders!)

As a St. Louis Rams cheerleader, I earned degrees in biology and psychology. I’m now working towards my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Masters in Human Sexuality while I help SciCheer bust down stereotypes and inspire more young women to pursue careers in science. We occasionally show up in unexpected places so don’t be surprised to find the “Superheroes of science”* at a venue near you! (*That’s what Science magazine called us; see what CNN, NPR, ESPN and others have to say.) You can learn more about my research and how I balance two seemingly different lives here.

And now, here’s some science for your SuperBowl Sunday!

In this segment, “Torque and Center of Mass,” NBC News’ Lester Holt, the narrator of the series, asks, “who wins the battle of the gridiron goliaths?” Holt adds, “according to the laws of physics, it’s the player who stays the lowest and masters the concept of torque – which is the tendency of a force to make an object rotate around an axis.”
Watch as the infamous Phantom cam is used to help scientists and NFL players break down plays and explain the science behind some pivotal movements.

If you’re an educator, be sure to visit NBC Learn to download free supplemental educators’ guides. Goooo science! And Goooo National Science Foundation for making this possible. Check out the entire Science of NFL Football series.