Physicist Credits Bengals Win to Earth’s Rotation

By: Mitch Hughes

On Sunday, October 11, the Cincinnati Bengals took on the Seattle Seahawks. The match-up was fairly even as the Seahawks led by only 3 at half. Things took a turn for the worst for Cincinnati in the third quarter, as Seattle went on to score two unanswered touchdowns leaving the score 24-7 at the beginning of the fourth. Unbelievably, the Bengals managed to score 17 in the fourth quarter to tie the game and take things into overtime, where the game was decided by a Cincinnati field goal that bounced off the post to score.

If the comeback and overtime win weren’t remarkable enough, world-renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to explain that the game-winning field goal happened thanks to the rotation of the earth about the axis while the ball was in the air. According to Tyson, the Coriolis Effect in the Northern Hemisphere forces airborne objects to move approximately a half-inch to the right for every 50 yards south the object travels. Tyson clarified that the stadium is not oriented exactly north-south and the field goal was 42 yards, so the deflection was about one-third of an inch, which in this case was just enough to cause the football to bounce between the posts.


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