Neil deGrasse Tyson issues ruling on Russell Wilson's controversial lateral

The Seahawks upset the Eagles on Sunday night for a variety of reasons, from Carson Wentz's goal-line fumble to Russell Wilson's MVP-caliber performance. Included in Wilson's performance was a game-changing lateral when he flipped the ball to Mike Davis to turn a modest-sized run into a huge gain during a seven-point game. Immediately, Eagles fans claimed that Wilson's lateral actually went forward, which would've been an illegal pass. 

On Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called on astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain why the lateral was legal. 

"He hasn't called me back yet. I'm waiting for a call," Carroll said, per The News Tribune.

On Tuesday, his call was answered when Tyson issued his ruling on Twitter.

If you -- like me -- are still confused, don't worry. So are the Seahawks:

Luckily,  Encyclopedia Britannica has us covered:

Galilean transformations, also called Newtonian transformations, set of equations in classical physics that relate the space and time coordinates of two systems moving at a constant velocity relative to each other. Adequate to describe phenomena at speeds much smaller than the speed of light, Galilean transformations formally express the ideas that space and time are absolute; that length, time, and mass are independent of the relative motion of the observer; and that the speed of light depends upon the relative motion of the observer. 

Actually, never mind. I'm still confused. All that matters is that the Eagles didn't challenge the play, the lateral went down as a legal play, and the Seahawks wound up extending their lead with a touchdown.

The jokes, of course, wrote themselves after Tyson issued his ruling.

Don't believe Tyson? You be the judge. Here's the play in real time:

wilsonlateral.gif
NFL Game Pass

And here's the play from the best possible angle:

rwlateral2.gif
NFL Game Pass

Carroll already provided his perspective. 

"It looked like the guy was running really fast, pitched the ball backwards like he is supposed to," Carroll said, "and as the speed of the ball that was traveling with the ball carrier at the time, it was passed along the football. And it all just happened, so…

"I just want to see what Dr. Neil has to say about that. To try to help you guys out. ... It clearly looked like he pitched the ball backwards. But everybody kept moving."

Anyway, now that Tyson has weighed in, it's time for him to conquer an even bigger question.

Good luck.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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