Archive for the ‘Sports & Athletics’ Category

Shocker: NFL to revamp scoring system …

November 16, 2016

Total net yards gained to determine game winners – not TDs, FGs and PATs.

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You may have missed this last week in the emotional aftermath of the election, but amid a sharp drop in TV ratings …

The NFL rules committee voted to fundamentally change the game’s scoring rules …. the ones that determine the winners and losers of games.

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In a nutshell, the team that gains the most yardage during a game will be declared the winner.

All yards gained will be counted – passing, rushing, kick & interception returns.

Penalty yardage will be deducted from a team’s total.

Team’s will get 10 bonus yards for each “classic” point scored … 60 yards for a TD, 30 yards for a FG, etc.

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Here’s how Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the rules change …

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Life: E + R = O

November 25, 2015

OK, I.m a control freak.

There, I said it.

Along the way, somebody passed along a memorable observations:

“You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can always control the the way you respond to it.”

Fast forward.

I’m an Ohio State football fan. Last weekend, I was watching the Buckeyes play Michigan State..

The announcers said that Urban Meyer – OSU’s head coach —   preaches the E+R=O principle to his players … even has them wear wristbands.

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Say, what?

I ran and googled E+R=O

Answer: Event + Response = Outcome

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Hmmmm … sounds familiar.

And, there’s more …

(more…)

Base Rates: How often do Derby & Preakness winners nail the Triple Crown?

November 5, 2015

Two coinciding events …

In my Strategic Business Analytics course, we’re dealing with “base rates” — the likelihood of something occurring given prior results in relatively similar situations.

And,  a couple of weeks ago, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah won the Breeder’s Cup.

So, I thought it would be a good time to flashback to last May, when American Pharoah was heading into the Belmont as the odds-on favorite to win the Triple Crown … a case study in base rates.

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Originally posted May, 2014

On Saturday, American Pharoah will try to win the Belmont — capping off his Derby & Preakness wins to capture the oft-elusive Triple Crown.

Based on Triple Crown history, what are his chances?

The simple – but very deceiving answer is 35%.

31 horses have won both the Kentucky Derby & the Preakness …

11 of them have won the Belmont and the Triple Crown.

35% … about 1 out of 3.

That’s not bad, right?

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Let’s slice the numbers a little finer …

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I’m a ‘Hot Shot’ … err, make that WAS a Hot Shot.

July 14, 2015

Time for a little shameless retro self-promotion.

Here’s the back-story …

The year was 1988.

We were living in Connecticut, so I took my then young sons to the Princeton-Yale basketball game … hoping to hook them on Ivy League colleges.

Walking in, some students were signing up volunteers for the half-time shooting contest.

Urged on by my family, I threw my name into the ring.

They called my name … I beat 2 other contestants … and was invited to the “Finals” to compete for 2 round-trip tickets on American Airlines.

Lay-ups were worth 1 point, free throws were worth 3, and shots from the 3-point line were worth 7.

I figured that 18 points would win it.

My strategy: rapid-fire 8 free throws … and make 6 of them.

I practiced and knew I could do it.

Under game day pressure, i missed 4 of 7 free throws, and had no choice but to head for the 3-point line.

Bottom line: SWOOSH !  7 points … for a total of 16.

Just enough to win the crown and a trip to Las Vegas.

Best of all: my sons were in the stands to see it all.

Since you probably weren’t there, click the pic or link below to see the most exciting 45 seconds in sports history.

click to view video

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Best part of all: my sons were in the stands to see it all.

Worst part: It’s been downhill since …

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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Innovations: Lulumon’s “Stuff Your Bra II" sports bra … say, what?

July 13, 2015

In a CNBC round-up of analyst stock picks, one dude was high on Lulumon because of its product “innovations” like the “Stuff Your Bra”.

That caught my eye, of course.

At first, I thought this post was going to be about false advertising … not by Lulumon, by its customers.

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Turns out that Lulumon’s “innovation” isn’t about faux-enhancement… it’s about practicality.

(more…)

Hacked: Cards expose Moneyball’s strategic vulnerabilities …

June 18, 2015

Moneyball – the Oakland As use of data  and metrics to ID undervalued players —  was one of the  major catalysts for the current rage around big data and data analytics.

The Houston Astro’s  were one of the teams to adopt the Moneyball philosophy in a big way.

This week, the NY Times broke the story that the St. Louis Cardinals had hacked into Astro’s proprietary database.

Big news.

In fact, this hack seemed to get more media time than  the Chinese jacking the personal info of all government employees.

Hmmm.

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Baseball competition aside, here’s why I think there’s a big teaching point in the story

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Unsettled Science: AP wins … pulling away.

June 8, 2015

There’s a trite sports adage:

“When these teams get together, you can throw out the record book.”

Same holds for American Pharoah … the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 44 years.

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The betting odds were in AP’s favor … part wishful excitement, part herd mentality, part “uniqueness bias” that stipulated that this horse is really different from past Triple Crown contenders.

Let’s look back at the pre-race punditry …

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American Pharoah: Odds-on favorite, but scientific long-shot …

June 5, 2015

In prior posts we reported how history is against American Pharoah  — How often do Derby & Preakness winners nail the Triple Crown? — and how bettors like long-shots — Biases: The favorite-long shot bias … ».

Today we’ll wrap up Triple Crown Week, excerpting an interesting piece in Wired titled “Science says that American Pharoah won’t win the triple crown”

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Here’s the essence of the scientific argument …

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How often do Derby & Preakness winners nail the Triple Crown?

June 4, 2015

On Saturday, American Pharoah will try to win the Belmont — capping off his Derby & Preakness wins to capture the oft-elusive Triple Crown.

Based on Triple Crown history, what are his chances?

The simple – but very deceiving answer is 35%.

31 horses have won both the Kentucky Derby & the Preakness …

11 of them have won the Belmont and the Triple Crown.

35% … about 1 out of 3.

That’s not bad, right?

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Let’s slice the numbers a little finer …

(more…)

NFL schemes to take some ‘foot’ out of football … say what?

May 14, 2015

Back in the very old days, the Cleveland Browns had a placekicker named Lou “The Toe” Groza.

He didn’t kick soccer-style.  He  was an overweight “toe kicker” who played tackle when he wasn’t kicking.

Despite all of that, he earned another nickname: “Mr. Automatic” by rarely missing an extra point.

You see, kicking an extra point wasn’t a gimme in those days.

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These days, every NFL kicker is Mr. Automatic.

In 2014, NFL kickers converted 99.3% of all extra point attempts.

NFL owners are looking to change that … to put some excitement back into the extra point.

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Question: Why the NFL rule that allows teams to BYOB?

May 13, 2015

Of course, in this case, BYOB means Bring Your Own Balls

Yesterday, I posed the question: Why didn’t the NFL take the deflategate opportunity to ditch its wacky rule that allows each team to bring & use it’s own balls.

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My argument, simply stated: The rule is nuts.

MLB pitchers don’t bring their own balls.

NBA shooters don’t call for their favorite balls when they step to the line.

The NFL rule is what nuns call an occasion to sin.

Put mere mortals in those situations, and guess what they’re gonna do.

You got it: SIN.

So, eliminate the temptation, right?

I got curious and searched for some background on the BYOB rule …

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Brady: “Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out”

May 12, 2015

In the words of Yahoo Sports:

 

The NFL took deflate-gate very seriously, hammering the New England Patriots with unheard of punishment in the matter of deflated footballs.

The league announced Monday that quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games, the team was fined $1 million and will lose its 2016 first-round draft pick and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

That’s a huge punishment considering there was no evidence Brady was directly involved and the Patriots’ ownership and coach Bill Belichick weren’t involved.

Say, what?

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Here’s why I think the punishment fits the crime (or, is maybe a tad on the light side) …

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Great moments in Presidential sports …

April 10, 2015

This was a big week: Easter, NCAA Finals, and baseball’s opening day ….

Let’s play off those events and flashback for some yucks.

First, W and O throwing out opening day pitches.

One of them throws a strike, one of them doesn’t.

Guess …

click to view
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OK, I know what you’re thinking: “He’s just picking on Obama.  Everybody knows that hoops is his game”.

Hmmm.

Remember the Easter eggs festivities at the Whitehouse in 2013?

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College basketball is hurting … oh,really?

March 25, 2015

Driving into school yesterday, I was listening to a sportstalk show that was chatting about the tough times these days in college basketball.

Have to admit, that I hadn’t noticed.

 

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But, apparently there is a lot of trash-talk going on.

According to RealClear Sports:

“The doomsayers cite a plodding pace, lower scoring (67.1 points per team per game this season, compared with 77.7 in 1972), and seven consecutive years of decreased Division I attendance.”

Here are the fixes that the pundits propose … and my ideas.

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The will to win …

March 23, 2015

Watching March Madness games this weekend, an old quote scrolled across the screen and caught my eye.

It was attributed to legendary – albeit controversial old-school basketball coach Bobby Knight …

 

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Kinda sums things up pretty well these days, doesn’t it?

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

What do electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line have in common ?

March 1, 2015

I thought about this one last nite watching the Hoyas give Kansas a run for their money.

I often say that electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line make my list as the top 3 inventions ever …

You know all about the first two. 

3-point line

Here’s the story behind the third: basketball’s 3-pointer …

(more…)

Moving the goalposts … literally.

January 26, 2015

Did you watch the Pro Bowl yesterday?

Probably not … but if you did, you probably scratched your head and asked: “What’s up with the goalposts?”

Answer: The NFL is testing narrower goalposts (think, Arena football) and hilking extra points from the 15 yard line.

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Why the change?

Bottom line : kickers have gotten too good and taken too much of the uncertainty out of field goals (and extra points).

Here are some interesting stats …

(more…)

Vindication for the CFP selection committee (and Rev. Bayes)

January 13, 2015

Hooray.  Bucks 42, Ducks 20

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee took a lot of heat when they seeded OSU in the tourney.

Well, last nite’s game vindicated the committee.

Also vindicated was Rev. Thomas Bayes.

You know, the guy who developed Bayes’ Theorem.

Here’s what I mean …

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In my Strategic Business Analytics course we cover Bayesian Inference … applications of Bayes’ Theorem … how to statistically adjust your so-called “prior beliefs” when you get new evidence.

Even I admit that sometimes the subject can get a bit dry …

So let’s bring it to life…

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What’s that band on Cardale’s wrist?

January 12, 2015

An easy question for loyal readers … (who had to know that today’s post was coming).

First, for casual sports fans … who the heck is Cardale Jones/

Answer: the 3rd string quarterback who is leading injury-plagued Ohio State into tonite’s college championship game.

osy cardele jones

Now, about the wristband.

Last Friday, even the WSJ has finally noticed that …

“Jones, like every other Ohio State player, went through extensive emotional training over the past two years, studying a formula that he wears on a wristband on his throwing arm. ”

It’s simple formula for life.

For an explanation, let’s flashback to a HomaFiles post from September 27, 2013 … more than a year ago!

The post was titled: Life: E + R = O

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OK, I.m a control freak.

There, I said it.

Along the way, somebody passed along a memorable observations:

“You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can always control the the way you respond to it.”

Fast forward.

A couple of night’s ago, I was watching a replay of an Ohio State football game..

The announcers said that Urban Meyer – OSU’s head coach —   preaches the E+R=O principle to his players … even has them wear wristbands.

image

Say, what?

I ran and googled E+R=O

Answer: Event + Response = Outcome

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Hmmmm … sounds familiar.

And, there’s more …

(more…)

Controversy in the NFL play-offs … What would Zeus say?

January 6, 2015

No, we’re not talking about the defensive pass interference penalty flag that was picked up without explanation in the Cowboys-Lions game.

Everybody is all over that one.  So, we’ll pass.

What caught my eye was a piece in SBNation headlined: “Lions fans should be a bit mad at the referees for what happened as they tried to seal a win. They should be just as mad at their coach, though.”

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The situation:

Late in the game, the Lions had a fourth-and-1 on the Dallas 46.

At first, they lined up to go for it. But they didn’t.

Instead, the Lion’s punter shanked a 10-yarder …

Retrospectively, a bad call, for sure.

But, coach Caldwell was just going with coaches’ conventional wisdom.

Leading to a broader question: how often is NFL coaches’ conventional wisdom right (or wrong)?

I’ve got something on that …

(more…)

There’s already one big winner in the College Football Playoffs …

December 16, 2014

AdAge ran an article asking “Is the College Football Playoff the Next Super Bowl?”

Answer: Maybe … and maybe not.

The article had a couple of interesting tidbit’s about the CFP’s economics.

ESPN bought exclusive broadcast rights for 12 years of the semi-final games and national championship game as part of a 12-year media rights deal announced in 2012 that reportedly cost $7.3 billion.

Now, that’s big business!

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Buried deep in the article was an incidental piece of info that caught my eye … a sure-fire winner.

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What do electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line have in common ?

December 12, 2014

I thought about this one last nite watching the Hoyas give Kansas a run for their money.

I often say that electricity, the EZ pass, and the 3-point line make my list as the top 3 inventions ever …

You know all about the first two. 

3-point line

Here’s the story behind the third: basketball’s 3-pointer …

(more…)

Numbers game: College Football Playoff replaces controversy with, uh, controversy.

December 8, 2014

The College Football Playoff was supposed to end the collegiate National Championship controversy, right?

For openers, let me disclose that I’m an Ohio State fan … raised in Ohio … big brother played for the legendary Woody Hayes … many relatives only wear scarlet & gray.

And, I’m a big Urban Meyer fan … loyal readers see my E + R = O post every couple of months since it’s one of my favs.

So, I was delighted to see the Buckeyes womp Wisconsin (59-0) behind a 3rd string quarterback in his first collegiate start … strip the nation’s leading running back of his Heisman trophy hopes … and, give the CFP selection committee a heavy dose of heartburn.

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For years, college sports fans loved to hate the Bowl Championship Series … the system for designating a so-called “National Champion”.

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Sportswriter say: Advanced analytics can save the Redskins … oh, really

December 3, 2014

We’re working through predictive analytics in class these days.

So, my eyes are open for articles on the subject.

Predictive analytics.

You know, the stuff that Moneyball got rolling in baseball … and Target popularized by identifying pregnant women before the women knew they were expecting.

Let’s set the stage.

The Washington Redskins have been having (another) rough season.

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Veteran sportswriter Tony Kornheiser says advanced analytics could save the Redskins…

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Proposed Changes For The 2022 World Cup …

October 23, 2014

Man, was I excited when I spotted that headline.

Finally,  FIFA was going to do something to  juice the scoring and amp up excitement of the games.

 

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Fasten your seatbelts, here’s what’s coming …

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Life: E + R = O

October 15, 2014

OK, I.m a control freak.

There, I said it.

Along the way, somebody passed along a memorable observations:

“You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can always control the the way you respond to it.”

Fast forward.

A couple of night’s ago, I was watching a replay of an Ohio State football game..

The announcers said that Urban Meyer – OSU’s head coach —   preaches the E+R=O principle to his players … even has them wear wristbands.

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Say, what?

I ran and googled E+R=O

Answer: Event + Response = Outcome

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Hmmmm … sounds familiar.

And, there’s more …

(more…)

Cubs lose … blame Obama.

August 25, 2014

Since Obama is still blaming Bush for everything, it’s good to see the tide turning and see him get tagged for some losses.

Here’s the scoop according to several sources:

The Cubs were leading the SF Giants 2-0  last week when the game had to stopped due to heavy rain.

The ground crew struggled to get the tarp across the field.

 

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After a 4-hour rain delay, the field was declared unplayable.

Since the teams had played more than 5 complete innings, the Cubs were declared the winners.

Here’s where things get interesting.

(more…)

Bad day at he office? … Blame Joe Banks.

February 18, 2014

I wasn’t that into the Olympics until the U.S. Men’s speed skaters started blaming their poor performance on new space-age uniforms supplied by Under Armour.

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Here’s my take on the situation:

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When’s the Super Bowl? … you may be surprised.

January 27, 2014

Couple of weird things going on with this year’s Super Bowl.

 

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First, the question of when it’s being played.

The odds-on answer is that Denver and Seattle are scheduled to kick off the Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J., at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Notice the words “are scheduled” … that could change

(more…)

A setback for E + R = O

January 8, 2014

A couple of week’s ago, I posted  Life: E + R = O

I’ve often told students: “You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can always control the the way you respond to it.”

I didn’t always walk the talk, so I needed a booster shot.

And, I got one from Urban Meyer – Ohio States’s head football coach –   who preaches the E + R = O principle to his players … even has them wear wristbands.

Say, what?

Answer: Event + Response = Outcome

Well, E + R = O was put to a test when Ohio State lost to Clemson in the Orange Bowl

The E was the loss.

The R was …

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Ouch.

Not a big deal, but doesn’t exactly advance the cause.

Now, there’s a bigger test for Coach Meyer and the  E + R = O philosophy …

(more…)

Life: E + R = O

December 12, 2013

OK, I.m a control freak.

There, I said it.

Along the way, somebody passed along a memorable observations:

“You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can always control the the way you respond to it.”

Fast forward.

A couple of night’s ago, I was watching a replay of an Ohio State football game..

The announcers said that Urban Meyer – OSU’s head coach —   preaches the E+R=O principle to his players … even has them wear wristbands.

image

Say, what?

I ran and googled E+R=O

Answer: Event + Response = Outcome

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Hmmmm … sounds familiar.

And, there’s more …

(more…)

Redskins: Here’s how to end the flap over your name …

October 18, 2013

Let’s think out-of-the-box and resolve the flap over the Washington Redskins name.

It seems that in every odd number year, there’s a controversy … and pressure is get the Redskins to change their name.

Apparently some folks think the name is offensive to native Americans.

No kidding.

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Well, I have a creative idea for resolving this bruhaha …

(more…)

Life: E + R = O

September 27, 2013

OK, I.m a control freak.

There, I said it.

Along the way, somebody passed along a memorable observations:

“You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can always control the the way you respond to it.”

Fast forward.

A couple of night’s ago, I was watching a replay of the Ohio State Cal game from the prior weekend.

The announcers said that Urban Meyer – OSU’s head coach —   preaches the E+R=O principle to his players … even has them wear wristbands.

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Say, what?

I ran and googled E+R=O

Answer: Event + Response = Outcome

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Hmmmm … sounds familiar.

And, there’s more …

(more…)

It’s not weird if it works…

September 23, 2013

You’ve seen some of Bud Light’s commercials showing the strange superstitious stuff that people do to “help” their sports teams.

You know, like sit in the same chair to watch games on TV … or eat the same food before every game … or turn their caps around for a rally.

The tagline for the commercials is “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work”.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this ad.

click to view
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Well, the Homa family has its own ritual when rooting for our favorites … the Monsters of the Midway … the Chicago Bears.

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Why games (and people) need rules …

August 6, 2013

I used to be a big baseball fan, but my interest has waned.

So, I don’t really care whether A-Rod gets suspended or banned or whatever.

That said, a WSJ op-ed by Fay Vincent – a former MLB commissioner – caught my eye.

 

 

Vincent recounted that …

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Fitness: How many marathons did YOU run last year?

July 23, 2013

If the answer is less than 366, then Annette Fredskov of Næstved, Denmark might think you’re a slacker.

According to the Copenhagen Post, 41-year-old  Fredskov just completed a full year in which she ran a full marathon every single day.

That’s except for the 365th day … when she ran 2 marathons back-to-back …  to up her total to 366.

She averaged about 11 minutes per mile for the 9,589 miles.

 

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Here’s the really interesting part of her story …

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Nums: When is $87.6 million greater than $118 million?

July 9, 2013

Short answer: After-taxes … if you’re talking no income Red state (think Texas) and a high tax Blue state (think California).

Just ask former Laker Dwight Howard as he packs to head to the Houston Rockets.

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 Here’s the skinny and some nums

(more…)

Flashback: Remember the last “Basketball Goodwill Tour”?

May 29, 2013

I got an email yesterday announcing …

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Nice idea, but reminded me of 2011 when we posted:

Georgetown’s “goodwill” basketball game vs. China ends in brawl … no kidding

Flashing back …

According to SI:

A wild brawl broke out between Georgetown and a Chinese men’s basketball team Thursday night, putting an immediate end to a supposed goodwill game that coincided with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the country.

The benches cleared and fights erupted all over the court with about 9½ minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Georgetown is in China on a 10-day trip which has been cited by the U.S. State Department as an example of sports diplomacy that strengthens ties between the two countries.

Full article & video

Question (after viewing the video): With a population of 1.3 Billion (with a “B”), don’t you think the Chinese should be able to fill a high school gym for a game against the Hoyas?

>> Latest Posts

Tourney economics: Hoyas make one star a multi-millionaire …

April 2, 2013

No, I’m not talking about Otto “Where’s Otto?” Porter, Jr.

I’m talking about Andy Enfield, the  former head coach at Florida Gulf Coast … aka, “Dunk U.”

The guy who became a national sports sensation when his Eagles embarrassed the Hoyas in the first round of this year’s tournament.

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Today, Enfield will be formally introduced as USC’s new head basketball coach.

Here’s the scoop …

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Perfect bracket: What are the odds?

March 27, 2013

8.15 million amateur bracketologists entered ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge.

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How many of the 8.15 million are perfect up to this point in the tourney?

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One-and done: It’s simple statistics … the outlier effect.

March 27, 2013

Oh, really?

Tom Boswell – Washington Post sportswriter wrote an obligatory “what’s up?” column yesterday.

Most of it was pretty soft, in effect, insinuating that very lower seeds have a tourney advantage because they have nothing to lose … so, they can play at full throttle.

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And, Boswell says that “exceptional coach JT3” may need to tweak his system a bit, but not too much.

Not exactly what I’d call hard hitting.

But, Boswell did raise a couple of interesting points:

John Thompson III, may have to reevaluate, tweak and adapt the teachings of his Princeton coach and mentor Pete Carril so that Georgetown teams in the future can play up to their ability in the NCAA tournament.

A methodical pace, offensive efficiency and, especially, limiting the number of possessions in a game — all smart Ivy League tricks that Carril conceived to help his team beat more talented foes — may not carry over to the sudden-death March format that’s decimated the Hoyas five times in six years.

At Princeton, Carril conceived a brilliant system that gave him the maximum chance to beat better teams outside the Ivy League and also to defeat teams of roughly equal ability within the league

Carril’s system … has functioned exceptionally well for Thompson at Georgetown in the regular season against Big East teams of roughly equal ability, when the Hoyas’ efficiency, discipline and defense have been decisive.

But there may be a weakness in the Carril method, as adapted by Thompson.

The fewer possessions in a basketball game, the more vulnerable the better team becomes to weaker teams because they have shortened the game.

By reducing the data sample, you introduce more outlier results.

I buy this part of Bowell’s argument: the NCAAs aren’t the Ivy League and a slow-motion offense is problematic against reasonably talented, and lightning fast teams .

As I posted earlier this week, it’s why the Moneyball Oakland As won in the regular season but usually got bounced early from the play-offs.

It’s simple statistics.

But, the problem is more than a few “outliers” …

= = = = =
Like father like son … not

Another point that Boswell raised caught my eye:

Ironically, John Thompson Jr. had just the opposite philosophy to his son’s — end-to-end pressure defense …  plus constantly pushing for a faster tempo.

The best Hoyas teams of that era thrived in a chaos that they had created.

John Thompson Jr. believed in the fast break, the spontaneous explosion of talent.

Hmmm.

Sounds like the FCGU coach.

And, sounds much more compelling than the outliers’ argument.

= = = = =

Will Georgetown fire JT3 ?

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Timing is everything: An email from Gtown’s AD

March 26, 2013

On Monday, there was an email blast from Lee Reed, Georgetown’s Athletic Director.

I thought it might be a mea culpa for the basketball team’s one-and-done in the NCAA tourney.

Nope.

Maybe another pep talk re: how awesome the CYO League (oops, I meant Big East) is going to be.

Wrongamundo.

Nope.

Lee had his fund-raising hat on and was trying to stir up buying  interest for Gtown sports memorabilia.

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Sports memorabilia … you know like #33 or #55 jerseys … Final Four t-shirts from 2007.

Lee, you mighta sat on this one for a couple of days.

You know, let the dust settle.

Or, haven’t you heard the news?

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma             >> Latest Posts

One-and-done: What’s up with the Hoyas?

March 25, 2013

I have a couple theories of the case re:  the Hoyas string of one-and-done trips to the NCAAs.

And, they’re not the usual “too cocky” or “where was Otto?” kinda stuff.

First, the back story.

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All the world knows that the Hoyas were upset by Florida Gulf Coast University.

Poll: Raise your hand if you heard of FGCU before last Sunday’s selection show.

Yahoo Sports cut to the chase Saturday morning:

March Madness: when the Georgetown Hoyas suddenly turn into the Washington Generals.

In five straight trips to the Big Dance, the Hoyas have been busted out by a double-digit seed.

So only one conclusion can be drawn: after going to the Final Four in 2007, Georgetown has simply been an atrocious NCAA team.

JTIII has been JTI and done.

You’ve got to beat somebody eventually, Georgetown. Seriously

Ouch.

Here’s what I think is going on …

(more…)

Forbes: “Prof. Ken Homa says …”

March 20, 2013

Interesting piece on Forbes.com

Punch line: There’s added pressure for the Hoyas in the Tourney this year.

They have to avoid the unfortunate early losses of past years and go deep into Tournament in order to protect the image of the New Big East (aka. Catholic 7)

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Of course, my favorite parts of the article:

(more…)

Taxes: Ravens’ Flacco moving to Puerto Rico?

March 12, 2013

Oops.  Got the stories crossed.

It’s John Paulson moving to PR.

Flaaco just signed a contract making him the highest paid NFL player ever.

Well, kinda  … more on that below.

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It’s being reported that hedge fund legend John Paulson is considering leaving New York to go to Puerto Rico, where a tax loophole would let him reduce taxes on the $9.5 billion he has in his own hedge fund.

Bloomberg reports that several wealthy Americans have already taken advantage of the year-old Puerto Rican law that lets new residents pay no local or U.S. federal taxes on capital gains.

Note: The marginal tax rate for affluent New Yorkers can exceed 50 percent.

Back to the Flacco story … (more…)

Barack Obama, Derek Bell … and “Operation Shutdown”

March 7, 2013

Last Saturday, my son forwarded a friend’s Tweet to me:

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Hmmm.

Started me thinking … Sequester announced on Friday … slow down on Saturday … coincidence?

Then, Obama announces that he’s shutting down White House tours because of the Sequester – the Presidential version of taking his bat & ball and going home.

Wait a second: I’ve seen this play before … bat & ball, Operation Shutdown.

Of course.

It’s the Derek Bell story.

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The year was 2002.

(more…)

Super-sized: World Cup to offer double-wide seats to double-wide fans … say, what?

March 5, 2013

According to several sources

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is set to be the first to offer special seats for obese fans.

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It will be the “first time tickets for obese people are offered at a FIFA event.”

FIFA said that to qualify for a ticket, people are required to submit a medical certificate that proves they have a body mass index of 30 or more.

Here’s the kicker …

(more…)

Dopes: A-Rod on juice; Ray Lewis on deer spray … say, what?

January 30, 2013

OK, let’s start with the garden variety doping allegation.

Several news sources reported that Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees was “ensnared in a doping investigation once again when an alternative weekly newspaper reported baseball’s highest-paid star was among a half-dozen players listed in records of a Florida clinic the paper said sold performance-enhancing drugs.”

Technical question: What the heck is an “alternative weekly newspaper”?  What is it an alternative to?

The Miami New Times said the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables near Rodriguez’s offseason home.

Another technical question: What the heck is an “anti-aging” clinic?  Glad to see it closed.

The New York Yankees third baseman issued a statement denying the allegations.

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Now let’s move to the jaw-dropper: Raven’s LB Ray Lewis Accused of Using Performance Enhancing Deer Spray.

(more…)

What’s the fundamental difference between baseball and basketball?

November 25, 2012

Gerald Hall, the director of a youth baseball program in Washington, says:

“Baseball is a game taught by fathers, while basketball and football are more often taught by peers in pickup games.

If you did a survey, I believe you’d find that the one thing average and above-average baseball players have in common is a father.

Baseball is, at heart, a father-and-son sport.

And if you’re a kid that has nobody to throw to, nobody to talk to, nobody to discipline you in the way that baseball demands, you’re not likely to play the game.”  Source

Play ball!

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

New from Puma: biodegradable kicks … put your $$$ where your mouth is.

October 17, 2012

Punch line: In the last few years, many companies have worked a sustainability message into their corporate mission and values statement.  For many, that’s as far as the initiative goes, but Puma is living up to the promise, and launching a new line of biodegradable shoes and apparel.

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Excerpted from psfk.com’s, “Puma Launches Biodegradable Shoes & Apparel”

Puma has announced that it will launch a line of shoes, apparel, and accessories that are biodegradable or recyclable. Available in 2013, consumers will be able to return the products to stores for processing through the brand’s ‘Bring Me Back Program’ when they’re finished with them.

puma-biodegradable

The Puma InCycle collection shows the brand’s commitment to the environment, as it tries to help consumers reduce waste and mitigate their personal environmental footprints.

It includes:

  • Lifestyle sneaker Basket (biodegradable)
  • Puma Track Jacket (recyclable)
  • Shirts (biodegradable)
  • Backpack (recyclable)

PUMA InCycle will use biodegradable polymers, recycled polyester, and organic cotton in order to eliminate pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other hazardous chemicals.

Puma’s CEO, Franz Koch, said, “The PUMA InCycle collection is the first step to help reduce the amounts of garbage that consumer products cause at the end of their lives. We feel that we are responsible for the environmental impact our products cause and this innovative concept in sustainability is a first step towards our long-term vision.”

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