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Archive for the 'Non-Basketball' Category

Reminder: Super Bowl Squares App Now Available!

4th February 2011

Another friendly reminder that our Super Bowl Squares mobile app is available for $0.99 at the iTunes store and the Android Marketplace.

If you're playing Super Bowl squares this weekend, this app will tell you which squares have the best chance of winning (based on game data from 1994-2010). For more information about features, as well as links to posts about Super Bowl squares theory, click here.

Posted in Announcements, Just For Fun, Non-Basketball | Comments Off

S-R News: Super Bowl Squares App Now Available!

2nd February 2011

Just in time for the big game, our Super Bowl Squares mobile app is now available at the iTunes store and the Android Marketplace.

If you're at a Super Bowl party this weekend and there's a game of squares set up, this app will tell you which squares have the best chance of winning based on game data from 1994-2010. Also, if you're new to the game, there's a page devoted to basic rules that will help you navigate your first SB squares experience. The app costs $0.99, but will pay for itself many times over if you win the pool.

For more information about its features, as well as links to posts about Super Bowl squares theory, click here.

Posted in Announcements, Just For Fun, Non-Basketball | Comments Off

Layups: Adjusted Plus/Minus Comes to Hockey

3rd November 2010

A somewhat non-basketball-related dispatch from Tango and The Book Blog: Brian MacDonald has written a paper applying Dan Rosenbaum et al's adjusted plus/minus theory to hockey players.

To which I say... Finally! I've been waiting for someone to use that methodology on the sport that popularized the plus/minus stat in the first place. Even though the standard errors are huge (especially for goalies, whose impacts are difficult to disentangle from teammates because they rarely leave the ice), it's still encouraging to see the effort be made.

For now, I'm still partial to the great Tom Awad's Goals Versus Threhold (GVT) as my go-to NHL metric (download the all-time spreadsheet here), but MacDonald's work could have implications for hockey statheads for years down the road. Nice work!

Posted in Layups, Non-Basketball, Statgeekery | Comments Off

Will the 2011 Heat Emulate the 2007 Patriots?

24th September 2010

Sorry to go on a 2011 Miami Heat bender here, but BBR Blog reader Nick had an intriguing comment in response to yesterday's post about a possible weakness of the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade tandem:

"Trying to compare the Heat to anything that has ever come before is an exercise in futility. You have the best player in the league, who happens to LOVE to pass teamed up with the second-or-third best player, who also is pretty fond of passing to the open man. They may both have had similar styles, but they ended up in those styles due to their teams' set-ups. How LeBron will act now that he can people to pass to who are good in their own right cannot be predicted with the information we have.

There's never been anything like it before. Every Heat game is going to be worth watching, especially against the crappy teams, because you don't know what sort of thing they'll bring out when they're way ahead. It wouldn't surprise me if they have regular season games where Miller shoots 20 3s and scores 30+ points, just because they think it'd be fun to do. This Heat team goes way beyond special into the realm of surreal."

That reminded me of a Chase Stuart post at PFR in October 2007:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, Non-Basketball, Offseason, Season Preview | 22 Comments »

Layups: Former Track Stars Turned Pro in Other Sports

22nd September 2010

Although it's barely pertinent from a basketball perspective (Willie Sojourner, Fred Sheffield, and Walt Davis -- who apparently was a world-record-holding Olympic high jumper before his rather mediocre NBA career -- are the only hoops names on the list), Heimo Elonen has compiled a neat list of pro football, basketball, and baseball players who were track and field stars before pursuing a career in a different sport (as you might expect, lots of NFL players turn up here). All in all, it's an interesting piece of research if you're a sports fan.

Posted in Layups, Non-Basketball | 1 Comment »

Layups: Check Out Slate’s Sports Podcast, “Hang Up And Listen”

1st September 2010

Today I wanted to throw a quick shoutout to Josh Levin, Stefan Fatsis, Mike Pesca, and the rest of the crew over at Slate magazine for their weekly sports podcast "Hang Up And Listen." In a nutshell, it's actually intelligent sports talk (I know, what a concept) about the week's most prominent subjects, along with a trivia segment from Pesca that usually stumps this Sports-Reference employee, and a few words on topics that may have slipped under the radar.

Why am I linking to it now? Well, I found it a week ago and became a devotee because it entertained me during a very tedious data entry project (I've listened to a year's worth of archives in about 12 days). I realize it's currently out of season for basketball, but if you're a sports fan and you like podcasts, put this on your playlist right below the legendary PFR podcast (which, incidentally, I made a cameo on last week and will have another trivia-based appearance coming soon).

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups, Non-Basketball | 5 Comments »

Layups: Aaron Gleeman’s SABR 40 Recap

10th August 2010

Warning, non-basketball-related post...

One of the reasons I've done barely any blogging since last Thursday is that I attended the 40th annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention in Atlanta over the weekend (since I already live about 15-20 minutes away from the proceedings, it wouldn't have made sense not to go). I had a good time and met a lot of fine people whose names I've known for years and never thought I'd get a chance to meet (I almost went over and talked to Bill James. For real.), so I'd like to take the chance to thank everybody for that opportunity. Aaron Gleeman was one of those people, so I also wanted to link to his recap of the conference, in case anyone else wants to know what we were up to.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled basketball programming. Well, maybe Thursday, at least -- Sports-Reference is going to make a big announcement any day now, so stay tuned.

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups, Non-Basketball | 13 Comments »

OT: Meb Does It!

2nd November 2009

Yesterday's New York City Marathon was of particular interest to me, primarily because I'm an avid runner myself, but also because it was the strongest field of American runners in years (not to mention that the race doubled as the 2009 US National Championship). Well, in case you missed it, Meb Keflezighi became the first American man since 1982 to win the New York City Marathon. Way to go Meb!

Posted in Non-Basketball | 6 Comments »

Layups: Name the NBA Live and NCAA Basketball Cover Athletes

1st September 2009

Sporcle! And yes, I know, there are some non-basketballers on there, too. But feel free to focus just on NBA Live and NCAA Basketball if you're a stickler.

(By the way, was anyone else disappointed that they didn't trace NBA Live's lineage back through the original Lakers vs. Celtics game? Because around these parts, we consider it all to be part of one series...)

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups, Non-Basketball | Comments Off

Layups: Simmons Visits the National Sports Collectors Convention

9th August 2009

This isn't specifically basketball-related, though he did encounter his share of hoops memorabilia: Bill Russell's signed Converse All-Stars, a replica of Larry Bird's Wooden Award, this awesome collection of throwbacks, a copy of Dr. J. vs. Larry Bird in: One on One, old-school card sets like this and this, a 1969 Minnesota Pipers Schedule featuring Connie "The Hawk" Hawkins, a Robert Parish RC Cola can, and... a game-worn Keith Closs Clippers jersey. (Which one of these doesn't belong?) It was all part of ESPN's Bill Simmons' trip to the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, where he encountered what would be (for me) a bankruptcy-inducing amount of awesome items from years gone by. He wrote about the experience here, but the best part is this monstrous photo gallery chronicling all the cool stuff he saw during his visit. Is it just me, or is there something about old sports memorabilia that can turn even the most level-headed consumer into a crazed spendaholic?

Posted in History, Just For Fun, Layups, No Math Required, Non-Basketball | 2 Comments »