Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Winter Classic

Happy New Year!

The NHL's Winter Classic is today.  It is very difficult for sports leagues to add something into their regular season that gives them great media exposure.  The NHL has done that in this case.  The success of this game can be attributed to two factors.

1) An appealing gimmick that will bring in fans that otherwise would not be interested.  This factor is pretty obvious.

2) An opening on the calender to take advantage of the gimmick.  The NHL benefited in this case from the BCS.  25 years ago having this game on New Year's Day would not have worked because the bowls would have sucked up all of the oxygen.  But with the extension of bowl season a week into January, the 1st has room for a big hockey game.  If the NHL could not put the game on New Year's, I am not sure there would have been another optimal time given the competition of the NFL playoffs and that an outdoor hockey game would not work in October.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The NFL Trying to Take Every Last Surplus from the Super Bowl

I think this story pretty much is the last nail in the coffin of the idea that hosting a Super Bowl is a big benefit to the local community (H/T).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

And for the Lions-Packers game, I am rooting for a tie.  At this point in the season that seems like the best outcome for the Bears.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Selection Bias and Football Parents

From MMQB:

"It surprises me that parents—and 23 of those we interviewed who spoke this way, nearly a quarter—cede the decision to play or not play high school football to their sons. That has changed in the time since I was a (quite marginal) high-school athlete in Enfield, Conn. If my father and mother thought the sport I was playing was excessively dangerous, they’d have interceded and recommended and/or demanded I not play. But many of the parents we interviewed in 49 states said it was up to their son where he would play. I understand wanting to empower your children, but I’m not sure empowering 15- and 16-year-olds who make decisions based very often on emotion is a smart call"

Except this is from interviews with parents of sons who are playing high-school football.  The parents who tell their kids they can't play football are not going to be in the sample.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One-Point Safety

Overall a pretty dull bowl-season has just concluded.  The highlight for me was Oregon's one-point safety in the Fiesta Bowl.    I will remember that one for years, which is actually more than I can say for some past seasons.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Inter-Divisional NFL Games, Part II

Friday I looked at the commonness of the Patriots and Colts playing each other.  That match-up has happened 10 out of the 11 years of the current scheduling arrangement.  There is one other match-up that has happened 9 out of 11 years:

Panthers Cardinals Divisions Play?
2002 4* 4* No
2003 4 4 No
2004 1 4 Yes
2005 3 3 No
2006 1 3 No
2007 2 4 Yes
2008 2 2 No
2009 1 1 No
2010 3 1 Yes
2011 4 4 No
2012 3 2 No

Yes.  The Cardinals and Panthers have played that often only missing each other in 2006 and this year.  While the Patriots-Colts match-up has been the result of consistent excellence of both teams, this match-up is primarily random.  They have finished in the same spot in all four possible spots.  They have only finished in the same spot in the standings six times, but none of them when they would have been playing anyway.   They will also automatically be playing next year, as the South and West are matched up next year.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Inter-Divisional NFL Games, Part I

Peter King talks today about how the Patriots and Colts have played the past 10 seasons.  To do this they had to have finished in the same spot in the standings the previous year except in years where the divisions were matched up.  What is amazing is that it is not primarily luck that has accounted for this result, as the Colts and Patriots have finished in the same position all but last year.  Here is the how they finished in their division the year before:

Year Patriots  Colts Divisions Play?
2002 1 Not 1 No
2003 2 2 Yes
2004 1 1 No
2005 1 1 No
2006 1 1 Yes
2007 1 1 No
2008 1 1 No
2009 2 2 Yes
2010 1 1 No
2011 1 1 No
2012 1 4 Yes

The finish in the division refers to the year before.  2002 uses the three division set-up of 2001, so the results are not as obvious.  The two teams have been so closely tied together.  Usually this is because they are both good.

There is a second match-up of inter-divisional foes who have played almost as much.  They have played 9 out of the 11 years of the current arrangement.  However, they are not matched up because of consistently being good or bad.  I will discuss that combination in a post on Monday.