Soccer Science: Skipping A Beat

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Dynamo's recent 3-1 loss to the lowly Philadelphia Union has many fans thinking the worst. Dynamo Theory, with the help of science, aims to inject some hope into the end-of-season push towards the playoffs.

First, some terminology.

  • "Here goes nothing" - a common phrase prefacing an attempt at something with no real expectation for success.
  • "That was...something" - a common sarcastic phrase following an event, when the speaker isn't exactly sure what to say about the event itself.

After Sunday nights alcohol-mandating loss to the Philadelphia Union, I reflected on what type of statement that game made. DT readers responded with a host of adjectives (and some nouns), Zach responded with some very Soccer Science-y math skills, and Elephande showed superhuman self-control in redacting expletives from his Post-Match Recap.

But how would I respond to the loss? Adopting the two phrases from above, I've decided my idea of the game is this:

  • "That was...nothing".

Yes, I'm upset. Yes, I think those were three terribly wasted points. But looking back at the match, I just feel like our team wasn't present, so analysis of the match should reflect that notion.

That was not the Dynamo.

They were there one minute, then poof, they were gone. Like Keyzer Soze, except the poofing was an entirely negative event. The question, then, is if we can expect our team to respond. Will the embarrassment of this loss inspire us to victory? Will we look back at this moment as a momentary hiccup in our quest for the postseason? Or will Philly serve as the beginning to our eventual end? As always, let's look to science for some advice:

The Science

Athletes like Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps are so successful because they are both physically, and genetically, superior to their competition. Specifically, their hearts are. Mr. Armstrong, for example, has a Cardiac Output 4 times that of the average human being. That means his muscles will receive 4 times the amount of fresh oxygenated blood that your muscles do, which is why he can bike up and down the Andes and I can barely get up my driveway.

But in some well-trained athletes, this consistently powerful heartbeat trips over its own feet. The heart, so eager to beat again, gets the order of contraction mixed up. This is called Premature Atrial Contraction.

The interesting thing about PAC, however, is that the heart gets it right the next time. So athletes with this disorder will literally feel their heart skip a beat, then suddenly spring back to life with an overpowered beat the next time. Life goes on. No harm, no foul. In fact, doctors don't even need to treat the disorder. The skipped beat is just a little hiccup in what is otherwise a completely uneventful day.

So, was our ill-fated trip to Philly just a hiccup? If so, our well-trained heartbeat of a squad should kick back into gear against New England this weekend with 3 points at home.

And if not, we have no business being anywhere near the playoffs.

News To Stay Your Depression

  • The Texans are really, really good
  • The Astros are laughably bad
  • HIMYM is back, if that's your sort of thing
  • Snoop Dogg converted to Rastafari, changed his name to Snoop Lion, and is now featured in all of the FIFA13 promo videos. Because all of that makes sense.

We'll Know We've Made it When...

A Dynamo player stars in a Houston rap video. Both the Rockets (T-Mac in Paul Wall's "Break 'Em Off") and Texans (most of their stars in Slim Thug's "Houston") have had appearances in Houston-centric rap videos. I think its time that the most consistently successful team in Houston be honored with this accolade. Who would make the video? I have no clue. Maybe Snoop Lion (even though he's West Coast) would be interested.

Apropos R&B Video of the Week


Wake Up Everybody - John Legend

Quite honestly, this team should finish the season with 12 points. Its just that simply. And if the loss to Philly was indeed a hiccup, as my pseudo-science suggests, then New England should be in for a world of hurt this weekend.

We just need to wake up.

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