Sports

Category archives for Sports

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…

This year’s NCAA tournament is being spread over four tv networks, so that every game is shown in its entirety. Previously, you got whatever game was deemed to hold the most interest for your region of the country, plus occasional looks in at games elsewhere, that usually managed to miss the most exciting bits. For…

Know When to Do Nothing

There was a lot of great basketball yesterday, but I want to talk quickly about one small thing at the end of the Kentucky-Princeton game, that I think is kind of the basketball equivalent of the oft-debated punt on fourth-and-short in the opponents’ end in football. That is, it’s the wrong play, but also the…

The 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship officially started Tuesday, with the first of the “First Four” games, formerly known as the “play-in” game. It gets going in earnest today, though, which means that once this posts, I’ll be shutting the Internet down and working like crazy for a few hours, so I can justify moving…

It’s NCAA tournament time, which is time for everybody to break out the moralizing stories about the pernicious aspects of college athletics that they’ve been sitting on since the football season ended. The Associated Press (via the New York Times) clocks in with a particularly discreditable entry, a story on a study of racial disparities…