Monday, October 15, 2007

The unlimited carrying capacity of peasants

I was looking at these Pictures of the Day on the BBC and number 7 in the sequence reminded me that nobody has ever empirically established a limit to the carrying capacity of the Standard Peasant. In England in the Middle Ages, for example, when a team of oxen got bogged down plowing a field, three peasants would lift them clear, but the lifting limit of the English has dropped significantly since they stopped digging the canal system by hand.

Lately though I've been wondering, how much money could some of these peasants make if they knew about the world of professional sports? It would make Sunday Night Football a lot more interesting:

John Madden: "And there's Xin Yang in the backfield, the 73 year old, eighty pound NFL rookie, making his first start at fullback for the Oakland Raiders. He looks like a good sneeze would knock him down."

Al Michaels: "He takes the ball and hits the defenders at a slow shuffle. Still moving forward, carrying two linebackers on his back and dragging the nose tackle around his ankles. Finally stopped at the 15 yard line... No, he's up and moving again, with four defenders balanced across his shoulders. Touchdown!"

John Madden: "That's his third rushing touchdown today, a franchise rookie record. He also has the longest kickoff return in NFL history, 47 yards in seven minutes and 12 seconds."

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