A few weeks ago, I was very intrigued by a notification I got on my phone about Adam Silver wanting to change the structure of the NBA Play-offs to include the top 16 teams overall, not top 8 in each division. He said (I stole this from sbnation.com):
“Ultimately we want to see your best teams in the playoffs,” Silver said. “And there is an unbalance and a certain unfairness. There is a proposal where the division winners would all automatically go into the playoffs and then you’d seed the next 10 best teams. I think that’s the kind of proposal we need to look at. There are travel issues of course, but in this day in age every team of course has their own plane, travels charter. I don’t think the discussion should end there. And as I’ve said, my first year I was studying a lot of these issues and year two is time to take action. It’s something I’m going to look at closely with the competition committee. I do think it’s an area where we need to make a change.”
I thought it was a cool idea… For about a millisecond. Then I remembered, I am a sports economist and I can, pretty quickly, figure out how I feel by running the number (yes, you read that correctly – numbers dictate my feelings). Continue Reading
This is an unpopular topic so I almost don’t want to broach it… but I will (and I’m prepared for the backlash so bring it on).
This month, we watched the Super Bowl (at least, you all did – I was stuck at my old job training my replacement so I had to settle for updating the NFL website whenever she was writing notes or in the bathroom). And after the game a NUMBER of people, both that I know personally and who are total strangers, commented on the half-time show and how US sporting experiences compare to Australian sporting experiences. While many of the comments contained expletives, I will use the nicest one here. They called it “humbling.”
As I have said before, Australian sports can never be and should never be American sports. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for innovation. Continue Reading
Hi. It’s me. I’m back.
So I know I’m a couple weeks late on this one… but after Australia Day on 26th January (Happy Australia Day, by the way) I had a few thoughts. The first one was, “I can’t believe I have to work tonight and can’t partake in the festivities” (I was teaching 2 dance classes in the evening) and the second was, “There has GOT to be a better way to deal with rained out games.”
And I think I have one. Continue Reading
Hi, blog. I have missed you.
People ask me every so often if I still blog and why I haven’t written recently and the answer is simple: life. It’s not that I don’t love updating, because I do, and it’s not that I run out of ideas, because I don’t, but inspiration is not endless and sometimes, when I have to choose between going to the beach on the first weekend of summer or sitting down and researching a blog post for an hour, I’ll choose the former.
And I’m sorry about that.
With the new year approaching (you all know how much I love the new year) I’m inspired again. I’m not saying I’m going to be posting twice a week like I used to… but you’ll be hearing from me more often. I promise.
But not until after I ring in 2015 in style.
Happy New Year, readers. I really have missed you.
Here’s another thing that’s America’s fault: the use of statistics in sport.
It’s no secret that I love numbers. Perhaps a little too much. It’s not so much the numbers as the insights we gain from them. (For more on my obsession with numbers – see this post) I find them to be fascinating.
And AFL? Well, that’s a statistician’s dream. There are so many things that can be measured by numbers that it’s unreal.
But how much is too much?
If I haven’t made this clear before: I love stats. Like really.
Like maybe a bit too much (although, I don’t really thinks that possible).
Quick story: when I was at uni and I did an independent study on the economics of AFL, I would literally get lost in the numbers. I would keep playing with them, trying different combinations, adding variables… No joke? Sometimes I could be on the computer running regressions for an entire baseball game and not even notice when the game had ended because I was so into my work.
People think this is weird (I think those people are weird).
So I just wanted to write something quickly to explain myself (not that I need to, but you know… all about relationships and letting people in – or so I’m told) and tell you why I love numbers.
Ah, variable pricing. The never-ending possibilities. Let’s talk about it.
Variable pricing is when prices change based on a region, location, date or other aspects. This is also known as ‘real-time pricing.’