Shutdown Corner - NFL

Famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once told Howard Cosell that as technology advanced, it would make more sense for robots to play football than for people to do it. San Francisco 49ers kicker Joe Nedney(notes) disagrees, and he's got the gold medal to prove it. On Monday, Nedney competed in a kicking contest at what's left of the old Kezar Stadium against a 340-pound robot named "Ziggy".

This was to promote the upcoming RoboGames in San Mateo (yes, how very Silicon Valley geeky!), and Ziggy, representing "Team Asimov", acquitted himself well. The 14-inch tall android booted a 45-yard field goal, putting the pressure on Nedney. However, there's a reason that humans are still best for the NFL - Nedney came through with a 50-yarder, saving his job and perhaps civilization itself.

"Even with robotics, there's still human error involved," Nedney told the media at the event. "But it definitely legitimizes my position, I feel really good right now," As well you should, Joe - but I'd watch my back if I were you. Ziggy's got a pretty mean look on his "face", and I wouldn't be surprised if those techies came up with a Robo-Kicker that booted the ball far beyond the capacity of any human. Perhaps it's just a matter of time...

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