Category Archives: Sports

Pari-mutuel sports betting

State anti-gambling laws pose an existential threat to the business models of sports betting companies like FanDuel and DraftKings. (See, for example, pages 26-33 of this treatise by law professor Marc Edelman.) But what if you were to bet on … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Probability, Sports | 2 Comments

The football coach who never punts …

Hat tip: Tyler Cowen, via Marginal Revolution. Addendum (18 Oct 2016): R.J. Lipton and K.W. Regan, who blog at Godel’s Lost Letter and P=NP, discuss the following theorem: Theorem 1 (Fundamental Theorem of Football?) The optimal strategy is initially always to go … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Probability, Questions Rarely Asked, Sports | 4 Comments

We miss Vin

Dear friends… — Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 2, 2016 Vin, don’t go … Did the suits at the front office of the Dodgers force you to retire? If so, shame on them. Whatever the case may be, the great Vin … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, History, Sports | Leave a comment

We owe Tom Brady an apology …

When news of #DeflateGate broke after the AFC Championship Game in January 2015, we were among the first bloggers to condemn quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for breaking NFL rules. After all, the Patriots have cheated before, … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Culture, Current Affairs, Games, Law, Sports | Leave a comment

Major League Hypocrisy

Earlier this year, Major League Baseball cancelled a two-game series to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico between the Marlins of Miami and the Pirates of Pittsburgh because some super-spoiled baseball players from the Miami Marlins were concerned about … Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs, Racism, Sports | 1 Comment

Seriously, why is beach volleyball an Olympic sport?

While we brace ourselves for NBC’s excessive coverage of the venerable sport of beach volleyball at the 2016 Olympics, we want to second the snobbish sentiments of Paul Lewis, who wrote the following wisecracks during the 2008 Olympics: “The cynic … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Sports | 4 Comments

“Choking and Excelling at the Free Throw Line”

That is the title of this excellent empirical study by Darrell Worthy, Arthur Markman, and Todd Maddox. In case you’re wondering, their data set was comprehensive: it consisted of all free throws attempted during the last minute of all regular-season … Continue reading

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A beautiful free kick (in Spanish)

Posted in Games, Probability, Sports | Leave a comment

Anatomy of a shot block

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Should we repeal the Infield Fly Rule?

Believe it or not, the infield fly rule in baseball has generated extensive scholarly commentary over the years, beginning with William S. Stevens’ 1975 paper “The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule.” The most recent contributions to this … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Rules, Sports | Leave a comment