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.


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