Are you ready for some football?! Super Bowl fever is gripping the nation and the Science Center is no exception! Did you know that professional football players don’t just have talent and luck on their side? There’s also a science behind the perfect pass!

ESPN Sports Science partnered with NFL QB Drew Brees to find the scientific secrets behind his extremely accurate throws. Using a football outfitted with sensors and devices to measure everything from release angle to velocity, Brees tossed 10 perfect passes at a target only 4.5 inches in diameter.

The data showed that Brees’ throws showed uncanny consistency. It appears that being an NFL star comes down to mastering a formula for the perfect toss.

Each of Brees’ throws was released at an identical velocity of 52 mph and launch angle of six degrees above the horizontal. The spin of each throw was 600 rpm. Each throw even had the exact same “wobble!” Wobble is the small circle the nose of the ball traces in the air as it spins slightly off axis. Each of Brees’ throws had exactly three small wobbles per five spins of the ball.

How many perfect throws can you spot this Sunday as you watch the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers?


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Orlando Science Center • 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
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