New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is getting mocked for a clip where he takes some time to name all his children (the clip isn’t as bad as the description makes it sound– he’s slow, but he doesn’t struggle all that badly). Cromartie claims that HBO manipulated the footage to make him look bad.
Of course, there’s an easy way to avoid this kind of mess: simply give all the kids the same name, thereby reducing it to a previously solved problem.
In discussion on a mailing list where this came up, someone wondered about how many children Wilt Chamberlain would’ve fathered, given his claim to have had sex with 20,000 women. This is, of course, something that can be approached as a Fermi Problem:
Wilt’s claim was to have slept with 20,000 women over his career. Figure a 30% chance of the woman in question ovulating at the right time to allow conception (we’ll assume that they weren’t all so anxious to have sex with Chamberlain that they would do so while actively menstruating), and you’re down to a maximum of 6,000 possible children. Then you need to account for the probability of conception even when the conditions are right, which we’ll make a wild guess of 25% at, and that means about 1,500 expected children.
Of course, a notorious womanizer like Chamberlain might well have been smart enough to use protection, even in the free-wheeling 1960’s when he was in his heyday. If you use an estimated 90% effectiveness for the contraceptives, that would mean that you would expect Wilt to have fathered somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 children. Brigham Young, eat your heart out.
Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any record of Chamberlain having that number of kids, so one of those numbers must be off. Given that Chamberlain’s claim would’ve required him to sleep with something like ten different women a week from puberty through the time when he made that assertion, though people with knowledge of the relevant biology should feel free to correct my other figures in the comments.
(Yes, I’m procrastinating.)