Mike Dariano

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Are football players bigger, faster, and stronger?

I try to listen to as little discussion of sports by professionals because the hyperbole is numbing. It's much like talk radio and politics where the anouncers, studio host, and pregame shows try to out radio-clip each other. They need to be the ones that decide a player has 'arrived'. A guy 'makes it to the show' or that he's a 'veteran player' which is the respectful way to say slow and intelligent when compared to the average viewer he's still probably faster than and less.

One trend this year in the NFL is that guys are now 'bigger, faster and stronger' and I wanted to see if this was true. I choose to see if the kinetic energy of NFL linebackers had changed in the past five years (all ESPN.com has data for). I took their NFL combine 40 yard dash time and weight to find their kinetic energy.

This isn't de facto evidence but does suggest players aren't getting bigger, faster, AND stronger.

Google doc file.

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