In the latest installment of “The State Of Our Open Threads”, someone had asked for some historical perspective on some of the data, and I decided that it would be a good idea to go back through the data on two of the more common words among those tracked – “fuck” and “shit” – which are, incidentally, two of our more indicative words, and see exactly what the history of each could tell us about the last three years of the board on football Saturdays.
The main analysis is for the regular season only, although I do have bowl data. Being that the period was from 2013 to now, I kept the bowl data separate since, well, we didn’t go to one in 2014. That aside, it was interesting to go back through the old data and see what might be gleaned from it that hasn’t already, not to mention see if there were any more interesting metrics that we had not devised yet.
Before we get into some new metrics, the raw data for each word should be examined.
The raw, unadjusted fucks are charted below, beginning from the start of 2013 to now. For purposes of this stab at the analysis, the bowl game data is excluded.
You can see the bulge in 2015, which has a lot more to do with the enthusiasm at the beginning of the Harbaugh era of Michigan football than anything else. As there are fucks of frustration, so there are fucks of elation, and quite a bit of what is going on there can be explained that way. If we scan the last two years of Hoke’s time here, a few games immediately stand out specifically for how angry we got – 2013 Penn State, 2013 Iowa (80% of those fucks were 2nd half fucks), and 2014 Rutgers. Over there, the “fucks” point to what MGoBlog may have deemed watershed moments in the waning days of the previous coaching regime.
Now, the unfettered shit.
You get a similar story for Harbaugh’s time to date actually, although “shit” tends to be the one we reserve more for plays or calls that do not go our way, and there was enough of that even in the wins in 2015 to explain that. It had an interesting run in 2013 and 2014 too – it was in relatively heavy use in the 2013 Iowa game and then it hit unheard of levels for the 2014 Utah game, a game punctuated by a rain that said without words what a lot of us were feeling.
After a few discussions with people, I began to realize that we need another level of this analysis – the fucks must be tempo adjusted to get a better handle on just how we felt, so there are two ways we can look at this. One is the Fucks Adjusted For Real Time (i.e., approximate airtime in minutes, accounting for those at home), or the FART rate and the other is Fucks Adjusted For Total Plays, which we will call the FAP Rate. They will look similar to the previous “Fuck” graph but perhaps they tell us a few things.
Here’s FART Rate:
So, we do see a few things here – the highest FART rate belongs to 2015 Indiana game, followed closely by the 2015 Michigan State game, both of which contained some hairy moments – I’ll put it politely.
Perhaps FAP Rate says something different:
Similar to FART, but telling you how many fucks on average were tossed into the open thread per offensive and defensive snap, and like FART, showing you a little bit how game length and game speed can affect our fucks.
Let’s do the same thing for “shit” using the same data. That will give us “Shits Adjusted For Real Time”, which we will call the SHART rate, and “Shits Adjusted For Total Plays”, or SHAT because that sounds better to me.
So, here’s the SHART rate for this period:
One thing is clear at this point until 2014 Utah, “shit” was not quite the shit on the blog. Clearly, it has seen a majority of its use since that game.
SHAT Rate should probably look similar:
It does. The 2015 Minnesota and Penn State games have the highest SHAT, which I find interesting because at least during the Minnesota game, I am sure I used that word quite a bit.
There’s another transformation that we can do here at this point. Let’s look at the FART / SHART combined ratio and see if we can get a good handle on how we were using these words relative to one another in recent years. We can call this the SQUIRT Number for the threads.
Here’s what that looks like:
The highest SQUIRT numbers clearly belong to 2013 Penn State and 2014 Rutgers. The average SQUIRT over this period is about 2.81, so basically for every three fucks, there is a shit. In the two games just mentioned though, there was a tendency to run with fuck rather than get mired in shit and I don’t blame anyone either.
Anyway, this is just a warning that you may see some more analytics on occasion.
MOD EDIT - Moving to diaries. Good idea. - LSA
Well, let it never be said about this place that we don't handle adversity creatively because that's something that I would expect from MGoBlog.
The first quarter was brutal, the second quarter had me concerned - anyone else like me who was there may even share that feeling, and yes, those feelings produced certain words. What you'll find surprising perhaps, however, is that despite all that, a decent second half changes your day, your mood, your everything entirely, so it didn't produce quite as many of those words as you might expect.
Indeed, in 1,957 total posts, we found only 175 instances of "fuck", although this is up significant from 148 instances in the UCF game. What we did see is a lot more "shit" in this contest, however - 102 instances of "shit", although those of you who laid into Speight might argue for a higher number, and that is up from only 68 instances in the UCF game. "Suck" saw an uptick too - 25 instances in the UCF game to 42 instances yesterday, and yeah, nearly all of them in the first half and nearly all of them about the defense.
On the upside, because there were a few of these, there was a lot of Peppers. Indeed, we more or less got to see Peppers doing all the things, which made me kind of sad that I never bothered to track the levels of Heisman in open threads, just for kicks, because I heard people saying it around me yesterday. Indeed, from a mere 14 mentions in the UCF, we talked about Peppers 132 times in the Colorado game, as we should have.
Overall for the thread, we ended up with 776 tracked instances for the analysis, not including other words which now get tracked such as "legit" - that saw only 15 uses in the thread and most of them were in regards to the Colorado offense when run be Liufau. Across 1,957 posts, that means an overall efficiency of 2.52, consistent with a stressful win or - in worst case scenarios - a loss. Those two things tend to register the same on here.
So, we're getting enough data to show a few interesting trends. Here is what the Original Six look like right now:
Considering that "fuck" and "shit" are the board staples and most indicative of the state of things more often than not, you can see that those two words do show the ramp-up from the relatively breezy Hawaii game to getting a bit of a scare yesterday. If tradition holds, we get a bit of a reset and then the slow (sometimes lightning quick) increase in usage heading into the Ohio State. How quickly did the "fuck" escalate though? See the "Fuck-Fire" char below:
I initially tied "fuck" to "fire" because we were mired in the Hoke-Borges dynamic, but what we see here is that the two are still relating to one another. Yesterday, there were some calls to fire Don Brown again - possibly a few eanest ones from those with the irrational expectation that we should just blank everybody and anything less is unacceptable.
There's also this, anothe two words that used to closely relate on MGoBlog:
The "Shit-Damn" relationship is somewhat wobbly this time around. Indeed, you can see where we kind of passed up "damn" and went right to "shit", particularly yesterday. Like in many life situation, when one word no longer covers it, we find another one - that's the fucking beauty of language.
So, there's where we're at - some of us are still working off yesterday's stress. The cussing may have subsided, but here we are on record.
So you are aware, the OT Season officially comes to an end at midnight on the 27th of August, or one week before the first game as per tradition. There will be some cleanup of a preliminary nature starting before then, but it will be mainly background items and removing recent threads with, for example, numerous downvotes – basically subtle strategies to attempt to maximize the amount of football content before the actual deadline comes.
What does that mean for you? Veterans will know the answer, but for newer folks or infrequent visitors, here is your yearly reminder.
To start the ramp-down, however, at midnight on Friday, you may no longer post threads about your favorite shows, movies, books, music and so forth. Friday can be a transitional day for OT, giving people an opportunity to get their final OT threads in.
One further point, when we say “end of OT season”, it is more a “significant narrowing of scope” – in other words, not every single OT thread will be removed outright. What you must do, if you plan on posting such a thread, is provide a pretty damn good explanation of why it should stay (or the reason may be self-evident) – and yes, frivolous ones will be removed as always. As usual, there are usually narrow exceptions made for major breaking news of regional or national importance and a few other things and that’s what we mean here. Those are just a few examples of “allowable OT”. I realize some people would prefer a hard stop, but this is a community and we’ll consider things that might be of note to the community, even during the “non-OT” months. Such threads should be an EXCEPTION, and the onus is on the blogger to justify it.
A few things of note (non-comprehensive, of course – we reserve the right to throw other stuff out there too):
1) The Snowflake Rule will apply after games, but we will weigh threads individually and those which provide, for example, detailed analysis of a single series or play or video analysis will probably stay. Those threads which are mere hot takes that could easily fit into a snowflake thread will likely go. I understand why the Snowflake threads are not popular in many segments of the MGoPopulation, but there has to be a way to mitigate hot takes and make sure they don’t bury more worthwhile content. The whole point is to make sure the better user-generated content remains – we have some excellent football minds on the board and I really don’t want their contributions to be buried by your two paragraphs which amount to “that was awesome” or “that sucked” or what-have-you.
2) Having seen #1, please take care in general to consider carefully what you want to say if you’re going to create a thread. Search the first three pages of threads or so for similar threads – that’s typically what I use as a measuring stick for “redundant”. Most weekends in the season, three pages covers about 2 days of threads, or after a loss, about 30 minutes of threads. As for breaking news, make sure that you check the publish dates on articles – you can almost be assured that anything over an hour old has made it to the board barring a huge oversight (and sometimes, something does get overlooked). Normal rules on sourcing apply as well, so for example, be judicious with Bleacher Report, no Chatsports, and don’t post a whole Freep article out of spite – post a quote, link it, and give people the opportunity to avoid reading it.
3) DO NOT attack players or fellow MGoBloggers personally. Ad hominems are essentially your ticket to Bolivia or worse depending on the severity of the statement. I know people get emotional after games, but do try to run your initial reaction by your frontal cortex first for proper review. Criticizing play and strategy is fine, but basically bringing someone’s mom into it, if you will, is your way of telling the mods you no longer wish to be here. As you may have seen in the Mod Sticky as well, there will be a doubling down on efforts to promote a more welcoming environment around here too, so PLEASE check your choice of words and photos against those rules set forth in the sticky before posting.
4) Report potential infractions or questionable posts in the Mod Sticky with a link to the comment or thread. We will review them as soon as possible and dole out point deductions and so forth accordingly. If it is raining in La Paz, we will provide appropriate gear assuming we did not spend the money on beer first. If there is a delay in getting to an issue, remember that the mods have lives too, but if it is something that really should go, say, right now, tweet me at @LorneEC3 and I’ll address it right then or make a note to do it ASAP. Yes, I can’t stand the threads with “IBD” or “Moms please delete” in 40 different forms and posts either, so let’s try to mitigate that, eh?
5) Sunday (also Thursday and Monday) NFL threads will be allowed as usual. Pro sports events which are significant are fine as well (World Series, NBA or NHL coverage, etc…) – just not every bit of news like we get during the draft and free agency periods sometimes. I know people gripe about the amount of Lions coverage during the NFL season, but try to remember that a sizeable number of the active users on this site also live in Michigan. Do feel free to throw in some coverage of your own teams, if you so choose, but be selective due to OT restrictions.
6) Threads covering other college games should typically be OK, but do try to keep the tradition of “Saturday Noon Games Thread”, for example, on the weekends (and on Thursdays and Fridays when sometimes there is a significant slate too). The tradition of MACtion is absolutely OK even though ESPN has apparently all but killed it. If something noteworthy is happening in a particular game, a separate thread should be fine but detail the reason for breaking out of the open thread coverage.
I will let JustinGoBlue add whatever he feels is appropriate in the comments, but I thought I would get this out there in a prominent location to everyone now.
I've sat here pondering this particular OT season for sometime now and struggling to come up with an occasional feature that isn't too hard for me to find time to do, and then seeing the last couple days of threads in particular, it struck me that I could put a few of my talents to work in a series of self-conscious blog parodies written to the melodies of various tunes.
Indeed, I challenge others to do this as well as it is cathartic and would undoubtedly help some of us relieve the tedium until, say, the middle of August when we will be well into camp and unable to wait for the season any longer.
My first submission to the series is below:
(sung to Stevie Wonder’s “Part-Time Lover”)
You post some shit about recruits
Some bad hot takes, insults to boot
You think there’s nothing wrong, bad MGoBlogger
The downvotes start, you wonder why
That’s when the snark begins to fly
And now you’ve killed a thread, bad MGoBlogger
You are struggling to defend your dumb notion
It’s half-cocked, riddled with emotion
When the words don’t come you turn it all around
Throw out a “fuck”, then run the ship aground
The call goes out to find the mods
The blog won’t tolerate the clods
Yes, that refers to you, bad MGoBlogger
And all those points you thought you had
Go down the john, it makes you mad
You brought it on yourself, bad MGoBlogger
You are struggling to defend your dumb notion
It’s half-cocked, riddled with emotion
When the words don’t come you turn it all around
Throw out a “fuck”, then run the ship aground
You cannot see the problem with that post
But it’s so wrong, so much worse than most
You think that you’re being singled out
You likely are, of that there’s no doubt
I will not ask, I’ll just tell ya
Your next stop is Bolivia
This site is not for you, bad MGoBlogger
You’ll go create one more account
Try it again, but you discount
That people won’t spot you, bad MGoBlogger
Ghost of some bad MGoBlogger
Voltron too, bad MGoBlogger
For those unfamiliar with the original song:
LOOKING BACK ON MY “EPISODE”
This is not a sports-related diary per se, but I am posting this because it was a sports blog that helped me get through what might be termed my first official “health scare” back in December, and it occurred to me that I never properly thanked everyone for the kindness and support that was shown during what was a rather rough and eye-opening week in my life.
If you’re interested in the details, feel free to continue reading. The basic lesson that I will throw out there is this – if it isn’t going away, you probably need to see someone about it (i.e., a medical professional) as soon as humanly possible.
I developed a rather nasty cold sometime in the last half of October last year, and like most colds, it persisted for a week or so and then went on its way. Well, not completely on its way – the cough persisted, but I am in my late 30s and still on the cusp of athlete shape most everywhere on me, so I didn’t even consider that to be a problem…yet.
In early November, I went to the urgent care in Canton for the first time – they gave me a cough suppressant, wrote it off as bronchitis and told me that I should probably see improvement in 10-14 days. This was after an hour or so of waiting and exams, so I walked out of there with a prescription and, for a time, the cough got better, but of course that wasn’t the problem now.
A few days before Thanksgiving, the cough came back in force, this time with pink eye and a runny nose, the former being something I had not had since fourth grade even with a house full of kids that had conjunctivitis recently. That was rather strange, but I soldiered through this. By now, however, I was sleeping with my upper torso elevated because it was the only way I was getting relief. Still, I had hopes that this was just a cough.
In the early part of December, I started to notice some swelling in my feet, swelling that I could not associate with the chronic inflammation of tendons that I experience down there anyway. We’re six weeks into this by now and this might have been the first time I was truly flummoxed. Edema – class 2 edema – will do that at my age, because it shouldn’t even be a thing at my age. My primary care physician prescribes a diuretic and a BP med, which again help for a while.
As December wore on, however, I start actually listening to what people are saying about me – mainly about my loss of weight (15 pounds from about Halloween at that juncture) and my ashen appearance, which I think I might have been in denial about. Yes, the cough persisted, and was getting steadily worse. The weekend before Christmas is when this all came crashing down on me.
I was at a family party on the 19th of December, where I made it memorable by hacking up enough fluid to build a lung and then hacking up everything that I had eaten in the driveway. That came before the night of exactly zero sleep, where my coughing actually led to a noise complaint at the Dundee Quality Inn. At 10:30 AM on Sunday, December 20th, my wife – who was tired of me trying to bargain with myself that this was something I could conquer alone – basically threw me into the car and carted me to St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor.
It was in that emergency room that I first began to realize that, no, it wasn’t a cough. More to the point, it might have been a cough, but it was now something very different. I got the feeling I might be in for an adventure when I was carted right to the acute rooms after a brief look at my vitals. On to the monitors I went, and if the tachycardia and ultra-high blood pressure weren’t jarring enough, the chest x-ray, the left side of which was opaque, was downright frightening.
“This is not normal.”, said the ER physician.
A very frightened me said, “Yes, I get that.”
My right lung was about ¾ full of….something. I also had a heart which was now a smidge larger than it should have been. Both bad, of course.
More tests. CT scans and what seemed like 100 blood panels. Nothing else terribly amiss other than the heart and lung. In the haze of talk and machines, I may have missed a detail here and there, but at about 3:00 PM, they came in with the equipment to basically drain me. So that is what I signed off on, eh? I can’ remember. Whatever.
For those that have not had the pleasure of having a tube inserted into a lung, it is relatively minor and painless thanks to the very powerful local that they give you. Being just loopy enough to be aware of your surroundings is an interesting experience too. A little pressure and a poke and you are now hooked to a plastic box with a liter or so of capacity.
My right lung began draining almost immediately – a brown, sometimes reddish fluid. A good thing in the sense that it gave them the impression that my immune system had won, but at a rather significant cost. Anyway, one liter…then two….then three. It took about five minutes to get three liters of this shit out of me. They stopped it intentionally, in fact, with a valve down at the top of the container. More than enough to test.
It was pretty evident I was going to be spending some time in the hospital at this point, of course. About an hour after that rather horrific look inside me, I was in a room watching TV and waiting for doctors to tell me what my next few days would be like.
From my days when I was heavy into neuropsychology, I gained some – a tiny bit – of medical knowledge out of necessity. So when they began to throw “cardiomyopathy” and “pleural effusion” around, I got the message rather clearly and began to feel a combination of relief and anger – anger at myself. Just a cough indeed, Lorne. A few more days and this was an ICU-worthy offense, if you will. They were very clear about that part.
My life in the short term changed right then and there – the hospital diet was a low-sodium diet, the thoracic and cardio specialists came in shifts to talk treatment and future. Among some of the more interesting things that were done to me in the name of eliminating causes were a catheterization, which yielded nothing but compliments about the clear nature of my arteries, a procedure where I got shot up with something to accelerate the drainage of fluid from my lung and got turned like a rotisserie chicken in the process and an echo of my legs, which yielded the startling finding that my veins are of a healthy size.
Furosimide took care of the edema at this point, which all but vanished inside a few days. One thing about that – peeing became a temporary hobby. A good sign, but extremely inconvenient. The potassium pills were as close to literal horse pill as you can get too. Take them with food? They are food unto themselves. By the third day in the hospital, I was free of equipment and able to walk without having to give a nurse 15 minutes warning. I walked around that ward – Floor 2 East – and saw people much worse off than I. The feeling was one of humility and thankfulness, or rather, I was humbled by the notion that some of these cases could have been me, but thankful that the one thing that might have saved me from more serious problems is being 38 and fit.
I was finally able to go home at about 10:30 AM on Christmas Day. For the first time in my entire life, I had spent Christmas Eve alone. Worse, I spent it in a hospital room surrounded by people who, in one or two cases, might not even leave that hospital alive, or so I gathered from the chatter I could hear. The most I could do was turn on the single strand of lights that my mother-in-law put up and watch “A Christmas Story” on the grainy reception of Room 231.
I went back to work two followup appointments later – on January 20th. I spent a month basically tooling around my house in a rather depressed state, but somehow a wiser one. I still suffer from the effects of all this, at least a little bit – my wife lords over my physical activity like a hawk to this day and I am on some of the medications right now. I have another followup in June and one more echocardiogram. My ejection fraction is still a bit south of normal, so no booze and the diet remains for the time being. I have experienced what for a younger person is a radical life shift, even if it is ultimately temporary. I felt everything – fear, self-hatred, relief and so on – sometimes in the span of hours.
That brings me to what I wanted to say here – one thing that did get me through this was MGoBlog. I may not have been terribly active on it for about a week or so there, but I was reading and laughing and shaking my fist in anger at various threads right along with everyone else. The thread about my hospitalization – which was unprompted – was a very touching display of support, one I printed out and still have on the wall of my home office. In a time when I was despairing a bit, this place helped me out.
It is a bit belated, but I did want to thank everyone for that. I like you, even if your thread makes me want to put my head through the fucking wall.
FREQUENCY OF SEEDS AND PERFORMANCE
It occurred to me that it might be interesting to do a high-level survey of the seeding of both the Final Four as well as the tournament champions and then look at ways we can check expectations (i.e., that the higher seeds should go to the better teams overall) versus results (i.e., the actual seed of the champion).
As some of you may be aware, seeding as only been a thing since 1978, so this was a constraining factor in the data collection, but there is definitely enough there to see some interesting phenomena in the data. A couple things that I did not know, just as examples:
- As much as we talk about 5-12 matchups in the tournament, a #12 has never made it to the Four. An #11 seed has made it, however (three times).
- Only once since the tournament was seeded did all the #1 teams survive to the Final Four (2008)
- Only three times since the tournament was seeded did no #1 teams make it to the Final Four (1980, 2006 & 2011)
There are other interesting tidbits you can glean from it, of course, but something that is just as interesting, or so I believe, is some of the other trends buried in the data.
First, here’s the seed count for all 152 teams which have graced seeded Final Fours in the NCAA tournament:
It should look exactly like you might expect, which is the point here. Indeed, by the time you get out to the 4-seed, you are at 82.24% of all teams that have played in a Final Four game, which in 152 games leaves only 27 instances where a team has been lower than the 4-seed (in the case of some years, multiple seeds were lower than that, of course)
Days later, as we know, three of these teams are gone – two in the Final Four and one in the NCAA Championship Game. Here’s the seeding frequency of those that won it all:
As you can see, truly quizzical endings to the NCAA Tournament have been a sparse exception statistically, with only four of them ending with a champion that was seeded as lower than a #4, and of course, one of them is that Villanova team (at #8) that made what some have argued is the quintessential Cinderella run some 30 years ago.
What about any sort of performance metric though? I wasn’t sure how to approach it – we’re just talking about the seeding, after all, so we have to make an assumption that one of the four #1 seeds is the best of the best, or at least that they are deemed such by how they are seeded and what they actually do in the tournament. The expectation then might be that all four of them should make it to the Final Four, but that only happened once to date for as we also know, there are far too many variables in a basketball game, human and technical – the countless upsets in tournament history are a testament to that.
Something that I thought was interesting was to look at the average seeding of the Final Four teams through the years and then build a frequency chart with those averages:
There you see the sole time all participants at this stage of the tournament were #1 seeds, but look at how many times the average has been less than 2.00 – only 10 times. Here’s part of the reason:
In 30 of the tournaments since seeding began, the Final Four has seen only one or two of the #1 seeds make it, although as you saw earlier, a #1 seed has won on 21 occasions.
Another assumption we have to consider is seeding as an indicator of projected performance, which is one that we all make typically when doing brackets, but team performance is taken into consideration as well when the committee does lays out the 64 and 4 as well. Taking a shot in the dark regarding how we can use this to look at the performance of the committee as well as the winners versus their seeding, I subtracted the champion’s seed from the average of the corresponding year and got this frequency chart:
The overall results are interesting – we find that in 26 of the 38 tournaments which have employed seeding, the champion’s seed has fallen above the average seed of the Final Four, which I would argue is “overperforming” in that, well, a higher seed beat the average quite simply. This includes all 21 occurrences of a #1 winning the tournament, but also some outliers – 5 instances where a non-#1 seed won and still outperformed the average seed of the Final Four – 1979, 1980 and 1997, where a #2 won, and 2006 and 2011, where a #3 won.
Here’s another chart where you can see how rare the Cinderella story is as well – that -5 belongs to 1985’s Villanova team, with an average seed in the Final Four of #3 and Villanova winning it all at #8. It happened again in the 1980s, however – the value -3.5 is 1988’s result, where the average seed was 2.50 and the tournament was won by a #6. Of course, there’s 1983 as well and that improbable run by North Carolina State at a value of -3.00. These are the examples of the unlikely becoming possible, where a team was probably seeded below their actual potential – misjudged, if you will. Other interesting note – only twice has the average seed of the Final Four matched the seed of the champion – in 2004 (#2 won) and in 2008 (#1 won).
You will note, however, that 22 of these 38 results fall between 0 and 2, meaning that in nearly 60% of the tournaments – at least this is how I read it – the Final Four results versus the champion seed fall fairly close or almost right on the default expectation. In other words, slightly more than half the time, they appear to get it right in the end despite all the chaos that seems to happen in earlier rounds in some years.
A moment of Zen, courtesy of the movie "Crazy People":