The length of a throw in is a physicist’s dream.
They see aerodynamics like a child views ice cream
They love muscle arrangements and projection velocity
They make equations to express a player’s ferocity
but kinetics, kinetics it’s all in the throw
in the instinctive angle when the ball is let go
at the appropriate moment for optimum power
to set up a goal and, later, rejoice in the shower
You may well see footballers as overpaid mules
but you rest on your laurels if you take them for fools,
though it’s more by trial than equation that they achieve great results.
If they were calculating there’d be no press-driven cults
no world cup frenzy, no Rooney fixation
– they’d all march like robots in 4-4-2 formation.
Their contribution to science is greatly under-reported.
By measuring footballers’ egos, so vast and distorted
physicists have learned how the universe started.
In a previous existence, it seems a footballer darted
down through the galaxies to where a great throw
dropped a ball like a meteorite right at his toe
and this proto-Rooney kicked it into a black hole,
so the echo in the universe is a long shout of Goal!
Also, Desmond Morris wrote The Human Zoo
after studying footballers and the strange things they do.
Again the throw in is key to the way that they work
as they prowl and they feint and they dodge and they lurk
down at the goal mouth (in a way Freud would have adored;
look how they chest beat after they’ve scored).
All humans build up to a series of set pieces
The throw in is perfect for explaining this thesis
as it’s all about eye contact, gesture and cunning
whilst delaying things enough to stay in the running.
Just don’t bother studying them when they’re off the pitch
there’s nothing to learn from the lazily rich.