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Aaron Rodgers consulted an astronaut on the physics of a Hail Mary

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has become the master of the Hail Mary, taking what is usually thought of as a once-in-a-lifetime play and doing it three times for long touchdowns in the last 14 months. He owes that success in part to a meeting on a celebrity edition of Jeopardy.

Rodgers won on Jeopardy in 2015, beating retired astronaut Mark Kelly as well as Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank. Rodgers and Kelly became friends after that, and Rodgers has consulted Kelly on the physics of football, picking Kelly’s brain about the trajectory of thrown footballs and how a pass can be affected by factors such as wind and temperature.

Kelly told Sports Illustrated that they’ve talked about Hail Mary passes and throwing a football at the correct angle so that the ball will land in the end zone after staying in the air long enough for the Packers’ receivers to position themselves under it.

“Timing is everything and fortunately it is so cold in Green Bay there isn’t significant re-entry heating,” Kelly said. “I’m kidding, of course.”

A little astronaut humor for you.

Of course, knowledge of physics is less important than the ability to throw the ball high and far. But Rodgers has always had that ability. In the last two seasons, he’s been able to refine his Hail Mary passes after giving some more thought to how they travel through the air. He thanks his friendship with Kelly for that.

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40 Responses to “Aaron Rodgers consulted an astronaut on the physics of a Hail Mary”
  1. yooperman says: Jan 14, 2017 1:14 PM

    Rodgers has a chance to something tomorrow that Favre could not do.
    Win a playoff game in Dallas.

  2. cheeseisfattening says: Jan 14, 2017 1:15 PM

    Wait, Rodgers has a friend?

  3. coachkilla6 says: Jan 14, 2017 1:16 PM

    Smartest QB. For the smartest fans.

  4. smokingmirrors says: Jan 14, 2017 1:24 PM

    Too bad we won’t get to see a matchup between him and The GOAT.

  5. metalman5150 says: Jan 14, 2017 1:30 PM

    Love it

  6. tjdvikes says: Jan 14, 2017 1:31 PM

    And to think, that way back when, all the 49ers had to do was pick the “home town boy” from right across the bay at Cal instead of Alex Smith. EPIC fail.
    Now Smith has been a serviceable QB, but he’s not in Aaron Rodgers’ league. Just think what Harbaugh would have been able to do with Rodgers instead of that disrespectful turd Fidel Krapernick…

  7. imodan says: Jan 14, 2017 1:36 PM

    Did the consultant tell him to sneak overinflated footballs past the officials? I mean he told the world he did that.

  8. itssonny says: Jan 14, 2017 1:39 PM

    Physics. Science. Temperature. All these things affect footballs? No it can’t be. I won’t believe it until Exponenent and Wells say More Probable Than Not.

  9. ajgreenhof says: Jan 14, 2017 1:41 PM

    People want to go on and on about arm strength but it’s all in the timing and trajectory.

  10. weepingjebus says: Jan 14, 2017 1:43 PM

    I’ll be more impressed when he can win right out of the gate and doesn’t need to rely on Hail Marys in the first place.

  11. breadmeatcheese says: Jan 14, 2017 1:52 PM

    discount double check: never forget.

  12. 'boys4life says: Jan 14, 2017 1:58 PM

    Golly gee, who’da thunk, if you throw a ball way up and a long way it’ll come down? Go Cowboys

  13. 4sacroc says: Jan 14, 2017 1:58 PM

    Re-entry is always nice…

  14. poiuyt7 says: Jan 14, 2017 2:07 PM

    smokingmirrors says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:24 PM

    Too bad we won’t get to see a matchup between him and The GOAT.
    ___________________

    I agree. I would have loved to watch a game between Aaron Rodgers and Johnny Unitas!

  15. joko12blog says: Jan 14, 2017 2:13 PM

    Rodgers is a tool

  16. allight59 says: Jan 14, 2017 2:24 PM

    Well, we now know no one in his family is an astronaut….

  17. nfl1818 says: Jan 14, 2017 2:36 PM

    so a QB showed more initiative than the NFL to determine how science impacts a bad and ball flight?

  18. lionsandvikingsandbearsohmy says: Jan 14, 2017 2:40 PM

    Meanwhile, the Vikings failed to consult scientists on how to keep the exterior walls of their glass sandcrawler stadium from falling off, or how to keep it from killing every bird in the state.

  19. shaggytoodle says: Jan 14, 2017 2:45 PM

    weepingjebus says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:43 PM
    I’ll be more impressed when he can win right out of the gate and doesn’t need to rely on Hail Marys in the first place.
    __________________________

    He won ONE game with a hail Mary, tied one, then lost in OT, and last week hit one going into half time, then the one he hit vs. NYG, it just seems that’s all people have talked about the last week along with Jordy, which is fine, because

    “Rodgers isn’t a great QB and needs to rely on hail marys and lucking into situations as evidence of his play since the run the table comment

    Since when is leading the offense to nearly 40 points and winning by over 3 TDs not an considered winning outright? Especially with the secondary they have.

  20. deuce2222 says: Jan 14, 2017 2:48 PM

    Enough already. It a play based completely on luck and desperation. If it was even remotely scientific, teams would be doing it every play.

  21. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 14, 2017 2:51 PM

    Not to be outdone, Viking fans are quick to point out their vast knowledge of rear entry.

  22. Rolo Tomassi says: Jan 14, 2017 3:03 PM

    And the Packers paid off the referees to not call holding and offensive pass interference

  23. Rolo Tomassi says: Jan 14, 2017 3:05 PM

    Aron Rogers is a tool

  24. eddielionhead says: Jan 14, 2017 3:17 PM

    lets hope that the cowboys put a hail mary on the stinkey cheese heads.

  25. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Jan 14, 2017 3:21 PM

    Two space cadets…but only one is an astronaut.

  26. dispozblcopy says: Jan 14, 2017 3:48 PM

    Good thing he didn’t consult with Troy Vincent or Ted Wells, he would’ve thrown the ball into Lake Michigan.

  27. mypercyhurts2 says: Jan 14, 2017 4:11 PM

    ajgreenhof says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:41 PM

    People want to go on and on about arm strength but it’s all in the timing and trajectory.
    _________________

    So every QB in the NFL could have made that throw at Detroit last season? Really? That was the greatest power-throw in the history of the NFL and only one QB could have thrown it that high, that far. Sports science is still trying to figure out how a human could do it.

  28. truthbetold109 says: Jan 14, 2017 4:58 PM

    smokingmirrors says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:24 PM
    Too bad we won’t get to see a matchup between him and The GOAT.
    ______________

    True. How could he play against himself?

  29. stellarperformance says: Jan 14, 2017 5:09 PM

    allight59 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 2:24 PM
    Well, we now know no one in his family is an astronaut….
    ////////////////////////////////////

    As opposed to yours? You just made me laugh beer out my nose.

  30. The Almighty Cabbage says: Jan 14, 2017 5:26 PM

    allight59 says:
    Jan 14, 2017 2:24 PM

    Well, we now know no one in his family is an astronaut….
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Come back and talk to us when he beats a 4 year old bloody ith a stick.

    Otherwise, go sit down… like your Vikings.

    Like fish in a barrel.

    Fish!

    In a barrel!

  31. mark1021 says: Jan 14, 2017 7:15 PM

    cheeseisfattening says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:15 PM

    Wait, Rodgers has a friend?
    —————
    That would mean he’s at least one ahead of you.

  32. wafflestomp says: Jan 14, 2017 7:39 PM

    cheeseisfattening says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:15 PM
    Wait, Rodgers has a friend?
    ———————————-

    Wait, cheeseisfattening/ariana can post a response without having to shoehorn a pointless and lame fat joke?

  33. beerbratscheese says: Jan 14, 2017 8:39 PM

    Rolo Tomassi says:
    Jan 14, 2017 3:03 PM
    And the Packers paid off the referees to not call holding and offensive pass interference
    ————————–

    Can you please let me know when you decide to have a family. I want to buy stock in Reynolds Wrap before you decide to make all those aluminum foil hats for them.

  34. haliganhooligan says: Jan 14, 2017 8:41 PM

    smokingmirrors says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:24 PM
    “Too bad we won’t get to see a matchup between him and The GOAT.”

    The league isnt the same wothout peyton manning. I would have liked to see him go up against arron rodgers too.

  35. aaronitout12 says: Jan 14, 2017 9:22 PM

    weepingjebus says:
    Jan 14, 2017 1:43 PM
    I’ll be more impressed when he can win right out of the gate and doesn’t need to rely on Hail Marys in the first place.

    ======================================

    Let’s see….when Rodgers connected on his last hail mary the Packers were leading 7-6, 14-6 after hail mary. Ending score was 38-13. Looks to me like he won no problem. But what the hell do I know?

  36. cheeseisfattening says: Jan 14, 2017 10:05 PM

    Dance Packer fans dance! Ha ha!

  37. lanski5 says: Jan 14, 2017 11:03 PM

    Cool story.

    Ginger coaches suck.

  38. nfliswwf says: Jan 15, 2017 10:34 AM

    Aaron is outstanding throwing the hail marry pass. I would never guess that so much science was involved. It is also helpful to have great receivers that know in a hail Mary situation you can push off for separation.

  39. Rolo Tomassi says: Jan 15, 2017 2:27 PM

    beerbratscheese says:
    Jan 14, 2017 8:39 PM
    Rolo Tomassi says:
    Jan 14, 2017 3:03 PM
    And the Packers paid off the referees to not call holding and offensive pass interference
    ————————–

    Can you please let me know when you decide to have a family. I want to buy stock in Reynolds Wrap before you decide to make all those aluminum foil hats for them.

    I bet you bought lots of Packers fake stock too
    Ah haha

  40. filthymcnasty3 says: Jan 15, 2017 3:50 PM

    You Viking peasants are always good for a laugh.

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