I tell you what — this is some rabbit hole David Hale fell into.
This is why disproving momentum is so difficult. Ask 100 people to define it and you’ll likely get 100 different answers, but absolutely everyone who has spent any time around sports innately understands the sensation. Show people all the data you want — and there is a lot of it (here, here and here, for example) — and it won’t compare with that tingling sensation in their gut, that adrenaline rush as a team marches down the field for a winning TD, that absolute certainty that destiny is on their side. To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, you know momentum when you feel it.
“There’s an electricity to the thing,” Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach said. “And guys are so tuned in on the sideline, it’s like everybody can finish everybody else’s sentences.”
In the end, he’s no closer to an answer than when he started, but it’s a fun read along the way.