Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 4 (Driving...KC to Nashville)

So to spice things up on our drive from Kansas City to Nashville we decided to play the game Survivor. Unfortunately Seth didn’t make the cut, and I think Jackie’s plotting against me. Just kidding. We’re all still one big happy family. Nothing excited happened on our drive, so I figured I’d fabricate an interesting scenario. We did encounter some pretty heavy rain throughout Missouri. But by the time we hit St. Louis and started heading south, the rain had subsided and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there on out.
We’re staying in Brentwood, Tennessee, a suburb south of Nashville, and plan on doing testing in the morning at the Tennessee Titans practice facility. Hopefully the weather holds up because they’re reporting severe weather over night. This might also disrupt the testing surface. So testing on the turf might be a bust. If everything goes well it should be an interesting day of testing since, unlike most testing sites, the players will be there working out and practicing. Hopefully the players will be curious about what we’re doing and come over and check it out. It’d be nice to get some signatures on the Turf Buster. We’ll keep everyone posted.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 3 (Review of Day 2)

Remember that whole “Great state of Kansas” business I spoke about in the last posting… yeah… not so great. I think I’ve had a more interesting time watching paint dry (no offense to Kansans). I figure since I didn’t do a sufficient job of covering yesterday’s activities, I’ll spare you the thrilling stories of endless prairies and corn fields that filled day 3.

So like I said before, we went to Invesco Field @ Mile High in Denver, CO and performed turf testing. But before I continue I’ll backup just a little and explain what exactly we’re doing at these various NFL stadiums, and why they would possibly let us have free rein of their precious fields. COBR (Center of Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research [at Boise State University]) received a grant from the NFL to study turf-shoe interaction. The NFL is interested in this area in order to better understand the incidents of injuries that occur at the ankle/foot of their athletes. Basically, we have a device (reference pictures to see the device) that simulates a series of dynamic movements a foot might perform during a football game. We then have a number of sensors that collect pertinent information during those movements. This information will then help us, and thus the NFL, better understand how and what is potentially causing injuries.

We got to the stadium at 9 am and spoke with Ross [the turf manager] for a bit, and after setting everything up, we started testing at about 10:30. We collected until about 4:30 pm, and everything went off without any hitches. Like any good scientist, we volunteered as subjects and tested the turf with our own shoes by playing some catch. Both Seth and I caught the two easiest touchdown passes anyone has caught at Mile High (just a little different then when you have 50,000 screaming fans and guys with the sole purpose of ripping your head off). Check out some of the shots from the day.

We’re spending the night in Blue Springs, MO (just east of Kansas City, MO). Tomorrow begins day 2 of all-day-driving. Destination: Nashville, TN. Goal for the Titans’ field: catch a touchdown pass from Vince Young (Tennessee Titans’ QB), oh yeah, and doing some turf testing.


The State of a Great Road Trip!

I'm going to start off by saying, I know I'm a couple days behind already but from this point on we'll try to update the blog everyday throughout the rest of the 14 day road trip around the country. I'll start off with giving a quick summary of where we've been and the events thus far.

Day 1

We left Boise, ID at about 7 am and drove all day. A very long day of driving especially when your going 45 mph up high in Wyoming (we're putting this van and trailer to work!). I must say the highlight of the drive was in Lincoln, Wyoming. In this GREAT town there is a huge Abraham Lincoln head on a post... yup... that was the highlight of the first day.

Eventually we made it Denver, CO (15 hrs later). Exhausted and ready to head to Invesco Field @ Mile High (for those who don't know, it's where the Denver Broncos play) to start some testing bright and early in the morning.

Day 2

We woke up early and headed out to the stadium. We got there and they actually let us in. Not only did they let us in, but they lead us to the field and let test on it all day. It was a pretty cool experience to be working on a field I watch football games on on TV. A special thanks goes to Ross Kurcab. He is the Turf Manager at the Invesco Field @ Mile High and was very helpful and extremely nice. Thanks Ross.

Day 3

We're all done here in Denver, and testing much go on! We're off to Nashville, TN to conduct testing on the Tennessee Titans' practice field. I'll try and write more this evening. Right now we're trying to hit the road. We have an exciting drive through the great state of Kansas!

*Sorry for the short post. I'm just trying to get something done in hurry. I'll try and write more in the future. I'll also attach pictures/videos when possible.