By Shelby Lyman
Which demands more thinking or planning: football or chess?
The answer doesn’t seem obvious after discussing the matter with a young football coach who spends many hours watching and analyzing video.
Even Sunday morning – when defensive coordinator Casey Goff is in his office at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., studying the previous day’s play – offers no respite from a grueling schedule. He rarely gets home before 8 on a weeknight.
Team sports require substantial strategizing before each game. On the other hand, grandmasters of chess can afford to wing it.
Former world champion Boris Spassky used to speak of the importance of a clear mind. He often chose a leisurely session of tennis over chess analysis.
Chess phenom Magnus Carlsen, ranked second in the world, confesses that pre-game preparation isn’t his forte. He admits to being “lazy.”
Casey wryly notes that many of his academic associates don’t appreciate the intellectual demands of physical sports.
Of course, football isn’t the only sport with such requirements.
After a loss in March, basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire told reporters: “The most important factor is really learning the game, studying.”