Sports Announcers & Hot Hand

It seems fairly common for sports announcers to contradict themselves. One minute, “Team X cannot catch a break,” and the next, “Everything is going their way.” During the first case, they were up by a sizable amount but a few chances in a row went bust. They were never at risk, but eventually, the other team just got exhausted trying to catch up and the game ended in a rout.

Basically, these are people who are believers in the Hot Hand Fallacy. Worse, they perpetuate it by extolling it to anyone who listens. It seems all over sports.

Successful teams or individuals often are described as always are even though they do sometimes lose. And those who are normally winners suffering a loss seems shocking even though over the course of a season it is more normal for even the best teams to lose from time to time. Teams are always trying to get better, so the mix of who is most competitive changes year to year. So, the advertisement thing to prevent financial gambling seems to apply to sports:

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

It applies over a season, between periods, and between plays.

American Chinese

Chicago Cubs Logo
Chicago Cubs Logo
Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Bears logo
Chicago Bears logo

From a logo design perspective, the United States should adopt Chinese. For logos that are the first letter of the entity, the designer has to do something special to distinguish it from all the others using the same letter. This came to me watching a rapper in a video wearing a baseball cap with a “C” on it. At first, I thought Chicago Cubs, but then I recalled their logo is a very simple “C” and did not have the wishbone at the left. Running through baseball cities in my head, I realized it was a Cincinnati Reds logo as it was a red cap with a white letter. After some Googling, I see I might have been thrown off by another Chicago team, the Bears. Their logo is the same C I saw but in red rather than on red.

Atlanta Braves Logo
Atlanta Braves Logo
University of Alabama Athletic Logo
University of Alabama Athletic Logo

I have the same trouble with the Atlanta Braves and University of Alabama. As local people are often fans of either, I more frequently see them. And fail to correctly identify them. (Though probably I should have gone with Green Bay and UGA.)

Logo confusion is bad enough for a designer. Logo confusion for other sports teams seems like a budding trademark war. The whole point of a logo is to be distinctive and recognizable. There is only so much one can do with a letter. The English alphabet only has 26 letters. Too much modification takes away the form of the letter until it no longer represents an acronym of the name.

A solution to too few letters could be for the United States to adopt Chinese. With over 6,000 characters, there are plenty more from which to choose. I cannot see that really happening any time soon, especially for this reason.

The look on some people’s faces for suggesting it could be entertaining.

Spoilers

Ewww? Sports: I bought my first DVR specifically to record the 2006 World Cup games while at work. I was in my first few months and did not feel like I could afford to take off work to catch all the games I desired. For the 2010, I tuned out of Facebook because I knew lots of people posting live about games. Comments by friends on social media during a game is usually better than the announcers. Unless someone I know is actively posting about a game, I tend not to post anything of my own trying to respect others who might be time shifting the game.

Books and Movies: If asked, I tend to spoil books and movies. I tend to be better about holding myself back for movies newly in theaters or on DVD/Bluray. But if something has been out for a long time, then someone has had plenty of time to consume that story. Maybe they eventually will, but I tend not to save up things. Probably because the longer I wait the less likely I ever will. The exceptions for me tend to be the movie version of books where I watch after reading. The difficulty for me is explaining why someone would or would not want to see something with them feeling like it has not been spoiled.

George R. R. Martin killing off the sympathetic characters is a good example. Some people hate it. Some people love it. It feels unfair not to warn people that it happens in each book. Why someone might like the TV series better without saying anything that happens? Ugh.

Scripted Television: Pretty much both issues of sports and movies apply. I am not very sympathetic regarding shows that have been around for a long time. But I try not to spoil things that are live.

So, I guess people should avoid talking about things they want to see or read around me.

Booing at Beckham

Sports are entertainment. Some watch it for the feats. Some like discussing tactics. Some just want to see scores. Some love the bloopers (aka mistakes).

The second you feel a sports player seen on television wronged you by a decision on or off the field (or court), it is time to turn off said TV. Even at the stadium when you feel the need to yell something at a player, stop. Just stop.

  1. When you get angry you are the one who lost.
  2. Deciding which team to play had nothing to do with pleasing or angering the audience. Getting angry over being irrelevant is not good for health.

Entertainment is about enjoyment. When it makes you angry, try another form of entertainment.

TED Talk: Clay Shirky: How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history

The tumult in Iran is huge news of late. As a Baha’i, news of the persecution of Baha’s in Iran has stepped up because of the Internet. Stories crossed the ocean through email. News agencies almost never picked up these stories. As fast as the Iran government could shut down CNN and NYT and BBC reporters, the same government cannot seem to quell dozens who don’t have press credentials or passports to revoke from sharing the message. So the idea of several thousand sharing a similar message evading the same government doesn’t seem all the surprising to me.

[The Iran unrest] is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. This is it. The big one.

Calling this unrest a revolution seems premature. Still, all this information making it overseas is interesting to watch.

Not Black Enough

Because of racial profiling, I get false positive screened for extra security screening in airports. So, I need to look more African American. Some suggestions so far:

  • Grow out my hair and wear it in an afro / dreadlocks / cornrows.
  • Clothing improvements: baggy jeans, Jordans, tall teeshirt or sports jersey, one stud earing, chain, gold watch, diamond cut grill.

Any other suggestions?

When my ticket is purchased by my employer, I don’t have any problems. So, I only need to worry about this for personal trips. 🙂

A Well Dressed, Smokin’, and Woodsy Team

The Valdosta State Blazers have another shot at the Football Division II National Championship. This is an impressive feat for new coach David Dean who replaced Chris Hatcher. Chris defected to Georgia Southern to coach I-AA. I hope they win. I’ll be watching the game at home.

Game is at noon on ESPN2. Or drive fast to Florence, AL.
🙂

Public Performance and Universities

Since restaurants get sued for not paying royalties for public performances of copyrighted music, it seems likely playing a song at an athletic event is a public performance. I wonder how much the UGA Athletics or just UGA pays ASCAP for the ability to do this? Certainly, its not academic use.
🙂

Youuuuuuu – Red & Black Sports

In a craze that has swept much of the nation, the “Soulja Boy” dance has caught on in a big way with Georgia football. During home games against Ole Miss and Auburn when the Bulldogs were down, the song has cranked through the speakers and pumped up the players on the sideline, to the delight of the fans.

In an unrelated note: if the RIAA gets its way through a US House bill, then universities will have to pay millions for monthly subscription fees whether or not individual students are or are not downloading music. Plus, they have to prove they are stopping students from downloading illegally. The repercussions of not doing these being the loss of federal financial aid.

tag: , , , ASCAP,