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Sports. They get our blood pumping and our hearts racing. Fans scream and cheer as their favorite athletes run, throw, pedal, dive, or swing their way to victory. But what makes an athlete successful? Why do some players excel when others fall behind? InWhy a Curveball Curves, the experts atPopular Mechanics, along with top athletes, coaches, and sports journalists, explore the science behind sports. Fluid dynamics, biomechanics, and technology determine everything from speed in cycling to protection in football to performance measurement in all sports. This book is designed for both the player and the fan, helping athletes become better-prepared and giving enthusiasts a more complete understanding and appreciation of the subtle nuances of competition. The explanations are clear, entertaining, and written by people who really love their game. The issues discussed range from Tiger's swing to Lance's legs, from gene doping to the physics of why a seemingly straight kick curves drastically just before its targetin other words, how to bend it like Beckhamplus so much more. Among the specialists who weigh in are: Matt Bahr, who kicked the winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV; Bob Bowman, who coached swimmer Michael Phelps to a record-setting eight medals in the 2004 Olympics; Lou Piniella, manager of the Chicago Cubs; Peter Brancazio, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Brooklyn College and author ofSports Science; and Jim Kaat, a major league pitcher for 25 years.