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Archive of posts filed under the Sports category.

Some people are so easy to contact and some people aren’t.

I was reading Cowboys Full, James McManus’s entertaining history of poker (but way too much on the so-called World Series of Poker), and I skimmed the index to look up some of my favorite poker writers. Frank Wallace and David Spanier were both there but only got brief mentions in the text, I was disappointed […]

No, I don’t think the Super Bowl is lowering birth weights

In a news article entitled, “Inequality might start before we’re even born,” Carolyn Johnson reports: Another study, forthcoming in the Journal of Human Resources, analyzed birth outcomes in counties where the home team goes to the Super Bowl. . . . The researchers found that women in their first trimester whose home team played in […]

Astroturf “patient advocacy” group pushes to keep drug prices high

Susan Perry tells the story: Patients Rising, [reporter Trudy Lieberman] reports, was founded by Jonathan Wilcox, a corporate communications and public relations consultant and adjunct professor at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and his wife, Terry, a producer of oncology videos. . . . Both Wilcox and his wife had worked with Vital Options International, […]

Don’t trust Rasmussen polls!

Political scientist Alan Abramowitz brings us some news about the notorious pollster: In the past 12 months, according to Real Clear Politics, there have been 72 national polls matching Clinton with Trump—16 polls conducted by Fox News or Rasmussen and 56 polls conducted by other polling organizations. Here are the results: Trump has led or […]

I refuse to blog about this one

Shravan points me to this article, Twitter Language Use Reflects Psychological Differences between Democrats and Republicans, which begins with the following self-parody of an abstract: Previous research has shown that political leanings correlate with various psychological factors. While surveys and experiments provide a rich source of information for political psychology, data from social networks can […]

Stan wins again!

See here.


Jason Rosenfeld writes: We’re holding the first ever NBA Basketball Analytics Hackathon on Saturday, September 24 at Terminal 23 in midtown Manhattan. I can’t guarantee that Bugs will be there, but ya never know!

George Orwell on the Olympics

From 1945: If you wanted to add to the vast fund of ill-will existing in the world at this moment, you could hardly do it better than by a series of football matches between Jews and Arabs, Germans and Czechs, Indians and British, Russians and Poles, and Italians and Jugoslavs, each match to be watched […]

Shameless little bullies claim that published triathlon times don’t replicate

Paul Alper sends along this inspiring story of Julie Miller, a heroic triathlete who just wants to triathle in peace, but she keeps getting hassled by the replication police. Those shameless little bullies won’t let her just do her thing, instead they harp on technicalities like missing timing clips and crap like that. Who cares […]

Should this paper in Psychological Science be retracted? The data do not conclusively demonstrate the claim, nor do they provide strong evidence in favor. The data are, however, consistent with the claim (as well as being consistent with no effect)

Retractions or corrections of published papers are rare. We routinely encounter articles with fatal flaws, but it is so rare that such articles are retracted that it’s news when it happens. Retractions sometimes happen at the request of the author (as in the link above, or in my own two retracted/corrected articles) and other times […]

Euro 2016 update

Big news out of Europe, everyone’s talking about soccer. Leo Egidi updated his model and now has predictions for the Round of 16: Here’s Leo’s report, and here’s his zipfile with data and Stan code. The report contains some ugly histograms showing the predictive distributions of goals to be scored in each game. The R […]

Stan makes Euro predictions! (now with data and code so you can fit your own, better model)

Leonardo Egidi writes: Inspired by your world cup model I fitted in Stan a model for the Euro Cup which start today, with two Poisson distributions for the goals scored at every match by the two teams (perfect prediction for the first match!). Data and code are here. Here’s the model, and here are the […]

A research project for you! Using precursor data to evaluate the Leicester odds.

OK, here’s a research project for someone who’s interested in sports statistics. It’s from this comment by Paul in a recent thread: What I would like to see (has anyone done it?) is an analysis of the performance of EPL teams that had similar pre-season odds to Leicester over the last 15-20 years or so. […]

NBA is hiring; no height requirement

Jason Rosenfeld writes: I’m looking to hire a basketball analyst to join my basketball analytics team here at the NBA League Office in NYC. Looking for someone who is graduating now or graduated recently (probably better suited for an undergrad, though grad students are welcome to reach out as well). Looking for a background in […]

Freak Punts on Leicester Bet

I went over to the Freakonomics website and found this story about Leicester City’s unexpected championship. Here’s Stephen Dubner: At the start of this season, British betting houses put Leicester’s chances of winning the league at 5,000-to-1, which seemed, if anything, perhaps too generous. My [Dubner’s] son Solomon again: SOLOMON DUBNER: What would you say […]

Splitsville for Thiel and Kasparov?

The tech zillionaire and the chess champion were always a bit of an odd couple, and I’ve felt for awhile that it was just as well that they never finished that book they were talking about. But given that each of them has taken a second career in political activism, I can’t imagine that they’re […]

Nick and Nate and Mark on Leicester and Trump

Just following up on our post the other day on retrospective evaluations of probabilistic predictions: For more on Leicester City, see Nick Goff on Why did bookmakers lose on Leicester? and What price SHOULD Leicester have been? (forwarded to me by commenter Iggy). For more on Trump, see Nate Silver on How I Acted Like […]

Beautiful Graphs for Baseball Strike-Count Performance

This post is by Bob. I have no idea what Andrew will make of these graphs; I’ve been hoping to gather enough comments from him to code up a ggplot theme. Shravan, you can move along, there’s nothing here but baseball. Jim Albert created some great graphs for strike-count performance in a series of two […]

Leicester City and Donald Trump: How to think about predictions and longshot victories?

Leicester City was a 5000-to-1 shot to win the championship—and they did it. Donald Trump wasn’t supposed to win the Republican nomination—last summer Nate gave him a 2% chance—and it looks like he will win. For that matter, Nate only gave Bernie Sanders a 7% chance, and he came pretty close. Soccer There’s been a […]

MAPKIA 2: Josh and Drew shred the CCP/APPC “Political Polarization Literacy” test!

Just like the original Jaws 2, this story features neither Richard Dreyfus nor Steven Spielberg. It all started when Dan Kahan sent me the following puzzle: Match the resonses of large nationally representative sample to supporting these policy items. I let this languish in my inbox for awhile until Kahan taunted me by letting me […]