Sports

Category archives for Sports

Proving that you can find physics in everything, Sean Carroll points to a strange anomaly in the Super Bowl coin toss: the NFC has won 14 coin tosses in a row. The odds of this happening seem to be vanishingly small, making this a 3.8-sigma effect, almost enough to claim the detection of a new…

Incredibly Serious Sunday Poll

Like many Americans, I’m going to be hugely preoccupied today. Thus, a poll for your blog-like entertainment needs: The Super Bowl is today. Who’s going to win? If you choose the last option, please arrange to have contacted me in the past to tell me who to have laid a significant bet on so I…

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players…

I’m not much of a baseball fan, but we’re edging our way toward football season, so I flipped to ESPN radio a couple of days ago, in time to hear Mike and Mike discussing Jim Thome’s 600th home run. They were questioning how much meaning we should attach to home run records any more, given…

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don’t want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of “hot” shooting– a…

Gary Williams

Maryland head basketball coach Gary Williams announced his retirement suddenly yesterday. He was a player at Maryland back in the 60′s, and has been the coach there for 22 years, now. As I didn’t start rooting for the Terps until I went there for graduate school in 1993, he’s the only coach I’ve really seen…

Does the Regular Season Matter?

This past weekend, I ended up hearing sports-radio pinheads holding forth proudly about their ignorance of college basketball. The justification for this is that “the regular season doesn’t matter,” since the NCAA tournament is single-elimination, and lesser-known teams keep ending up making big runs in the tournament. Since there’s apparently no way in their world…

Trebuchets for Everybody!

Occasional commenter Evan Murphy emailed to bring my attention to Siege Toys, a new venture that aims to make desktop snap-together wooden trebuchets. Why? Because medieval siege warfare engines are awesome. They’re looking for funding via Kickstarter, so if you’ve ever wanted your very own trebuchet, go place a pre-order. And lest you think this…

The Trouble With Three

I’m old enough to remember when the three-point shot was a new addition to college basketball, and it was not without controversy. It’s been part of the game for better than twenty years now, and you’ll still hear people talking about how it’s revolutionized the game, generally in a positive way. The case for this…

Advertising Reveals Our Culture

I’ve been watching a lot of basketball lately, and between the channel-flipping and occasional single-game windows, it has not been possible to use the DVR to avoid seeing commercials. Which means I’ve seen a lot of the current paradigm of advertising in America, which seems to consist of two main modes: Smug and “dickish”: The…