Sports

Category archives for Sports

Over in Scientopia, SciCurious has a nice post about suffering from Impostor Syndrome, the feeling that everyone else is smarter than you are, and you will soon be exposed as a total fraud. Which is nonsense, of course, but something that almost every scientist suffers at some point. The post ends on a more upbeat…

On Basketball

While in the past, I’ve written a bunch about basketball here, I’ve been unusually silent on the subject this year, confining my commentary to the occasional Links Dump item from Grantland and other sites. This isn’t because the past season was not noteworthy– indeed, it was a rather eventful year for Syracuse basketball, with the…

Wacky Football Mishap Poll

So, my Giants edged out Kate’s Patriots again in the Chateau Steelypips Bowl, in a game that was certainly not without its drama. I’m not going to gloat about it, because a couple of different bounces here or there easily could’ve changed the outcome. Also, I didn’t see the third quarter at all, really, because…

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…