Matt Osten

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sloan sports analytics conference

Revenge of the Jocks: They Can Still Beat Us Up So Be Careful
Moderator: Will Leitch

Money, success, the respect of your peers — none of these will help when a professional athlete wants to fight you in the arena parking lot. This panel will discuss coping strategies such as avoiding eye contact and conducting interviews in pairs.

Panelists: Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph

#YES or #NO: The Ascendancy of the Twitter Poll as Cultural Barometer
Moderator: Darren Rovell

When Twitter launched in 2006, its creators could never have known the amazing ways the technology would be used: Organizing Occupy Wall Street protests, galvanizing the spirit of the Arab Spring, and most importantly, polling mass audiences of indiscriminate users on various sports topics.

The king of the online poll, Darren Rovell, shares the rules behind the secrets in front of the insights he gained from questions such as: “POLL: What song should the Northwestern band play at tonight’s halftime #AntsMarching #MovesLikeJagger #Soulman.”

Panelists: Darren Rovell, Richard Deitsch

To Retweet or to Favorite: Answering THE Social Media Question of Our Generation
Moderator: Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg

A million favorites is cool. But you know what’s cooler? A billion retweets. OR IS IT?

Panelists: Mark Cuban, Jack Dorsey, Joe Mande, Chelsea Peretti

Boner Down: Advances in Uniform Aerodynamics
Moderator: Tas Melas

As uniform technology trends toward tighter compression pants and shorts, male athletes are at high risk of awkward man-part mishaps. Can advances in fabric science lift and conceal these pesky pop-ups or are athletes destined to forever tuck under?

Panelists: Henrik Rummel

Numbers Analytics: How High Can a Human Count?
Moderator: The Count

What is the highest number? Some say 24, some say infinity, some say infinity +1. Will we ever know? Is there a compelling reason to find out? Where are my keys?

Panelists: Nate Silver, Malcolm Gladwell, Joshua Foer, Daniel Pink

Pi vs. Pie: A Special Luncheon Event (extra charge)

For every decimal place of Pi that autistic savant Daniel Tammet recites, competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi will consume a slice of Sara Lee Oven Fresh Cherry Pie®.

Participants: Daniel Tammet, Takeru Kobayashi, Maggie James, Don Povia

Others panels briefly considered:

Manalytics: Why are so many of us men? And why are we so awesome? High five!

Vanalytics: Would this be the best way to transport people to and from the conference?

Tanalytics: “Beyond the base tan.” Presented by Natural Sun salon.

In 1992, the Dream Team helped set two important precedents: 1. America would be represented by its best professional, not amateur, players, and 2. Future United States men’s basketball squads would be given a moniker that rhymed with “team.” 1996 saw “The Dream Team III” win gold, 2008 brought us the “Redeem Team” and some have already dubbed this year’s web-savvy squad the “Meme Team.”

Keeping with that tradition, what follows is a list of some United States Olympic teams we’ll likely see in the coming years:

  • The Hakeem Team: A group of players who have spent the summer (between one and three hours, including lunch) working with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Members will include Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and, somehow, JaVale McGee.
  • The Scalene Team: A team that runs only the triangle offense. Tensions rise when Kobe insists Phil Jackson taught the triangle as more of an isosceles.
  • The “I Have a Dream” Team: Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, and Jason Kidd head a super team of biracial players. The back of the bus remains empty.
  • The Steam Team: In the future, Greg Stiemsma will be cloned 11 times and a team formed with his doppelgangers. This team will fail to qualify for the Olympics, but will be invoked frequently as a cautionary tale on the limits of genetic science.
  • The Upstream Team: After all other players refuse to join, a desperate U.S. sends a two-man team of John Salmons and Derek Fisher to compete in the Olympics. They fail to medal in basketball but win gold in beach volleyball.
  • The C.R.E.A.M. Team: Max players only, with a starting five of Roy Hibbert, Gilbert Arenas, Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson and Rashard Lewis.
  • The Green Team: Michael Beasley, Delonte West, and Tracy McGrady’s eyes lead this group of marijuana enthusiasts. Training camp starts April 20. Mark Blount to coach.

Feel free to add your best rhyming names in the comments.

If you think a bunch of fancy swordsmen destroying your car is bad, imagine being a fan of the Grizzlies.

For the rest of State Farm’s State of Fandom campaign, check out their Facebook page.