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• LESTER HOLT, reporting: It's one of the most exciting chases in the NFL--

• a receiver or running back making a bee-line for the end zone,

• with the defender in hot pursuit.

• HARDY NICKERSON (Former NFL Linebacker): You identify the

• ball carrier. From there you want to close the distance between yourself

• and the ball carrier as quickly as possible.

• Dr. JOHN ZIEGERT (Clemson University): They have to choose

• what direction and speed to run so that they get to the same

• place at the same time as the runner and can make the tackle.

• HOLT: In football, the path the defender must take to intercept

• the ball carrier is called the "angle of pursuit."

• According to John Ziegert, an automotive engineer at Clemson

• University, this path is also a perfect illustration of a

• fundamental equation in geometry called the Pythagorean Theorem,

• discovered by the Greek mathematician Pythagoras

• more than 1,700 years ago.

• ZIEGERT: Pythagorean Theorem is a basic theorem in plane

• geometry or Euclidean geometry that relates the lengths of the

• sides of any triangle where one of the angles is 90 degrees,

• called a right triangle.

• HOLT: On a right triangle, the two adjacent sides,

• A and B, are called the legs.

• The longer side opposite the right angle, C, is called the hypotenuse.

• The Pythagorean Theorem simply states A-squared plus B-squared

• equals C-squared.

• ZIEGERT: The square of the hypotenuse, the length of the hypotenuse,

• is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides.

• HOLT: Relating this to football, let's say the ball carrier is

• heading for the end zone 40 yards away.

• The defender stands 30 yards away and needs to intercept him.

• If these two distances are the legs of a right triangle,

• then the distance the defender needs to run is the hypotenuse.

• Using the Pythagorean Theorem, 30 yards times 30 yards added to

• 40 yards times 40 yards will give the length of the hypotenuse squared.

• To get the actual length, take the square root.

• ZIEGERT: Forty squared plus 30 squared is equal to 2500, which is 50 squared.

• So the distance of the hypotenuse is 50 yards.

• NICKERSON: You got to be precise in what you are doing and you

• have to take the right angles especially in coverage.

• HOLT: NFL players must react instinctively to cover this

• distance--and also gauge how fast they need to run to match

• their opponent's speed.

• ZIEGERT: The defender now, if he chooses that angle of pursuit,

• he says, "Okay, I've got to cover this distance in the same

• amount of time it takes the runner to cover this distance.”

• NICKERSON: If you are chasing a fast guy like a Marshall Faulk

• or you know some of those guys that can really burn.

• You know if you take the wrong angle, you're done.

• HOLT: The defender's angle of pursuit can be the difference

• between a touchdown and a game-saving tackle.

• It's also a perfect illustration of the properties of a right

• triangle, and the ABC's of the Pythagorean Theorem.

LESTER HOLT, reporting: It's one of the most exciting chases in the NFL--

畢達哥拉斯定理 - NFL足球的科學原理 (The Pythagorean Theorem - Science of NFL Football)

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HK Li 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日