Almost everything I know about American football* comes from Madden computer games. My understanding of the technicalities is close to zero. But what my novice eyes find most impressive about some of the players is their incredible balance. How is it humanly possible for a wide receiver to take off at full speed with a cornerback** hanging all over them, then stop, dive out of bounds to catch a hard ball thrown at 40mph, and still manage to keep both feet within the lines? How can one player run with the ball, spin off a hit from another (who’s 240lbs of muscle and unbelievably fast), get right back up to full speed and sprint through a tiny gap between defenders?

My reference point for athletics is NBA basketball. Those guys are incredible athletes, playing a game of force with balletic grace. But when it comes to controlling their equilibrium, I don’t think they’ve got anything on NFL players

* Yes, it’s ‘American football’, not ‘football’. Take that, Americans
**Check me, I knew ‘cornerback’ was the right term (though I Wikipedied it to be sure). And, yes, I know the rules say cornerbacks shouldn’t be making so much contact with opposing players. But I’ve seen it, and they do


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