frank beamer #1
Streaming at work via ESPN HERE
Dustin Johnson with a 1 stroke lead so far. All of the Heavy Hitters have teed off.
SB Nation has a fascinating article about a new technology for tracking athletes' mental capabilities. The article in question is specifically about split-second decision-making in baseball, but obviously this would have bearing on all sports. The researchers (a company called deCervo) basically use video games to determine how quickly athletes can make decisions in response to visual stimuli. The article has a link to a short Youtube video that explains the technology pretty succinctly.
We have long discussed athletes' split-second decision-making in terms of "vision" (a batter's ability to "see" a pitch, "court-vision" in basketball, or a running back's ability to "see" an emerging hole in the line). However, vision is a murky and subjective term that causes pointless heated debate amongst fans and coaches (see Trent Richardson's NFL career), so I applaud the effort to make "vision" more analytically rigorous.
At the same time, I wonder if analytics can go too far in quantifying the capabilities of athletes? Could we one day see standardized tests for prospective student-athletes that are comparable to the SAT subject tests?
For the second consecutive year, a study commissioned by USA Swimming tabbed Ann Arbor, Mich., as the country’s best swimming city.Ann Arbor has the largest percentage of top USA Swimming athletes per population and the second-highest number of pool facilities per population of any city in the country. More than 60 Olympians came through the University of Michigan’s swim program, including 2012 Olympic champion Tyler Clary and fellow gold medalist Tom Dolan.
1. Real Madrid - Value: $3.26 billion
2. Dallas Cowboys - Value: $3.2 billion
2. New York Yankees - Value: $3.2 billion
4. Barcelona - Value: $3.16 billion
5. Manchester United - Value: $3.1 billion
6. Los Angeles Lakers - Value: $2.6 billion
6. New England Patriots - Value: $2.6 billion
8. New York Knicks - Value: $2.5 billion
9. Los Angeles Dodgers - Value: $2.4 billion
9. Washington Redskins - Value: $2.4 billion
11. Bayern Munich - Value: $2.35 billion
None of the Detroit teams made the list. Biggest surprise for me was the Houston Texans ranked 16th with a value of $1.85 billion. That's higher than teams like the Steelers, Bears and 49ers.
TO TRANSLATE FOR NON-SCIENTIFICALLY INCLINED SPORTS FANS: There was this player. He was for a while thought to be among the ELITE, one of the very very best. But then some folks were like, ehhh, he doesn't look like all the other Elites, he doesn't play in nearly the same league, his game is different. But the scales decidedly tipped when we found this other guy in his same league, who we thought was just as good or a bit better, and so we don't want to open the floodgates to everyone being elite, so we'll reclassifiy [read: demote] this guy as "dwarf elite.". Take a star away, right, you were just a four-star all along.
That's Pluto, right. Just a dwarf planet. Not one of the big boys. Not a planet. Orbit is way out of the planetary plane, shape of orbit is unnatural (dips inside Neptune's orbit), and then we discovered Eres in the Kuiper Belt which appeared to be bigger than Pluto, and we are sure there are lots more of them in the KB, so either we have dozens of planets or we just say Pluto and Eres aren't planets. We make up a new definition of dwarf planet, and it turns out not only are Pluto and Eres dwarf planets, but the largest asteroid Ceres (not a KBO) also meets that definition. And now we have only 8 planets and we're all set.
BUT: Then we saw the guy in a game up close, and we should all be like, dude, he's elite.
Did seeing that photo of Pluto from a couple days ago change anyone's mind? It did mine. It's a planet. I'm not sure how to define it, but I know one when I see one, and Pluto looks like a planet. Compare how it looks to Ceres (one of the other three dwarf planets). Ceres looks like a big asteroid, a huge rock, which it is. Pluto looks like a planet. Period.
Who's with me?
[And yes, I know the title is in error, it's in the Kuiper Belt, not the Oort cloud, but I was typing OOT and just couldn't resist.]