Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category

sportsmediaI don’t really think about it all that much, but I’ve spent most of my life being obsessed with sports. I come to this realization from time to time when I reflect back on my childhood, my adolescence, my teenage years, my early twenties, and then yesterday or the day before, and sports are always there. When I was a kid, I remember waiting with controlled anxiety for the newspaper to be delivered. Upon it’s arrival, I’d dismiss the rest of the paper, isolate the Sports section, and unfold it on the living room floor, where I’d lean over it on bended knee, a supplicant to the gods who determined the previous night’s results.

These days, I’m a little more well-rounded, but I still read about sports more than any other topic. There’s no longer a single religious observance, though. I’m aware of the night’s happenings as they occur thanks to websites, Twitter and mobile applications. I read articles, check scores, watch coverage of games, and even communicate with other fans all over the world via social media to learn new perspectives and gain insight. What I don’t do is wait with anything approaching anticipation for the game summaries that I used to worship.

I already have the information.

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West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier LeagueA week or so ago, I wrote an article for Counter Attack that attempted to look at whether we might try to definitively answer a burning question about North London Premier League soccer club Tottenham Hotspur: are they as good a team without their Welsh winger and European star Gareth Bale?

Rather than taking the conventional route of tallying up goals scored or assists completed, I tried to use some rudimentary advanced statistics to look if Spurs (as they’re known) are the same overall team without him.

One of these statistics is Total Shots Ratio (TSR), a simple metric (shots for divided by shots for plus shots against). Apparently, of all the available team stats in soccer, TSR cleaves fairly closely to expected table position. In other words, it’s a pretty good indicator of whether a team is in charge of their competitive destiny.

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