If you've watched any football this season, you've likely seen the DirecTV ad campaign that features super-sized "Superfans" living among the mere mortals unlucky enough to be living without the company's Sunday Ticket package.
The commercials are amusing, but I have to admit they quickly faded into background noise while I'm checking my fantasy team scores or Twitter between play.
The ads, however, caused Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, to wonder just how much those superfans would weigh in real life. In an oddly-entertaining article for Wired Science, Allain combined some guesstimating (he pegs the average superfan at 8-feet tall), some scaling and some complicated formulas that made me glad I chose a lifetime of writing to find that the superfan would weigh around 470 pounds.
To put that in perspective, the heaviest listed player in the NFL this season is St. Louis Rams OT Terrell Brown, who stands 6-foot-10 and weighs 377 pounds.
With a scale factor of 1.33, the mass of the superfan would be 2.35 times the mass of a human. Using my guesses from before, the superfan would be 213 kg (470 pounds). That’s not quite as high as I thought it would be. However, it is bit more massive than (Robert) Wadlow who was also 11 inches taller than the superfan.
The late Robert Wadlow that Allain references was generally regarded as the tallest recorded person in world history at 8-foot-11. He was said to weigh 439 pounds.
Of course, all this talk about weight is well and good, but serious football fans are likely to have even more questions. Such as, how much can the superfan bench? How fast can the superfan run the 40? Would his salary be cap-friendly to my favorite team?
Let's see if we can get these guys to the combine next year.