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September 14, 2011

Stathead is Closing Down

Stathead is Closing Down

With apologies to our dedicted users, we’ve decided to stop publishing the Stathead blog. The blog just never generated the needed readership to be profitable, so we’ve decided to end the project and put our efforts into other projects.

Thank you to the readers who supported us. Thank you for the publishers for putting so much great content out there. And especially, thank you for Neil Paine, our intrepid users affairs maestro, who waded through hundreds of articles each week distilling them down to their essence.

If anyone cares to pick up the torch and run with this idea (or if you just want to get the articles for yourself), I’ve attached an OPML file from the list of RSS feeds we were using for this blog. Feel free to grab it and add it to your favorite RSS reader.

Stathead RSS Subscriptions in OPML format

September 8, 2011

Beyond ‘Moneyball’ – The rapidly evolving world of sports analytics, Part I: Writing for Analytics Magazine, Ben Alamar and Vijay Mehrotra reflect on the current state of sports analytics, and consider what the industry’s future may hold.

August 25, 2011

The women’s track and field record book needs to be expunged: Slate’s Edward McClelland writes about the profound impact of performance-enhancing drugs on women’s track & field records.

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Picasso Theory: A couple of reactions, from Tangotiger and Phil Birnbaum, to Malcolm Gladwell’s piece about the “psychic benefits” of owning a sports team.

August 23, 2011

Daryl Morey is Right. Daryl Morey is also Wrong: Bill Petti and Tom Tango offer a couple of reactions to Daryl Morey’s HBR post about the debate between better data and better analytics.

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NESSIS Registration: Baseball Musings’ David Pinto points out that NESSIS (the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports) has opened registration for the 2011 conference.

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August 22, 2011

Success Comes From Better Data, Not Better Analysis: At the Harvard Business Review, Rockets GM Daryl Morey writes about how better data — not smarter analytics — is the way to gain an edge in competitive fields.

August 17, 2011

Can Novak Djokovic Craft the Best Men’s Tennis Season Ever?: At the WSJ, Carl Bialik looks at the probability that Djokovic (53-1) can beat John McEnroe’s record 82-3 mark from 1984.

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August 15, 2011

The Latest From SportsDelve.com: A couple of posts from Sportsdelve’s Andrew McKillop this weekend: first, he compiled complete records for FBS teams vs. Division II/III/NAIA schools; then, he tallied up winning and losing seasons for NHL franchises.

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August 8, 2011

The Theory That Would Not Die: Bayes’ Theorem in the NY Times! John Allen Paulos’ review of Sharon Bertsch McGrayne’s The Theory That Would Not Die.

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August 4, 2011

Are We Actually Getting Better at Chess?: Sometimes you will hear complaints that top chess players’ Elo Ratings have been artificially inflated over time, but a new study suggests that the quality of top players’ moves are actually better now than they were 40 years ago.

Plenty of Good Seats Still Available: At Slate, Neil deMause writes about the collapse of the sports ticket bubble, and its implications for fans.

Winning and Losing Seasons: SportsDelve’s Andrew McKillop tallied up the number of winning and losing seasons for each franchise in the NBA, NFL, and MLB.

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July 21, 2011

Poisson Processes in Sports: 3-D Baseball looks at the various distributions you can use to model scoring events in different sports, highlighting the Poisson distribution’s effective applications in hockey and soccer.

July 20, 2011

New Issue of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports: Be sure to check out JQAS’ 3rd issue of 2011, which came out yesterday.

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July 15, 2011

The Sports Book Hall of Fame: Grantland’s staff makes its first choices for the Sports Book HoF.

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July 14, 2011

Is Rory McIlroy the next Tiger Woods?: At Slate, Michael Agger looks at what the advanced golf stats say about the young star.

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July 13, 2011

Historical Billboard Charts Spreadsheet: If you’re a sports spreadsheet nerd like me, this will turn you into a music spreadsheet nerd as well. It’s a file (updated earlier this year) containing data on every year’s top 100 Billboard pop hits, including peak position, duration, beats-per-minute, songwriters, and week-by-week chart position for 37,000 songs.

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July 12, 2011

Usain Bolt and the limits of human speed: Grantland’s Chuck Klosterman asked scientists and track experts how low they thought the 100-meter world record could possibly go.

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July 8, 2011

Can Top-10 Finishes in Golf Majors Give Us an Idea on Whether or Not Tiger Can Catch Jack?: Jason Lisk of The Big Lead attempts to project how many Major wins Tiger has left based on players with similarly-shaped career trajectories.

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July 5, 2011

Which Actors Tarnished Their Oscars the Most in 2011?: A little Hollywood Sabermetrics from Grantland’s Lane Brown, who calculated the degree to which various actors lowered their average post-Oscar Rotten Tomatoes score in 2011 alone.

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Initial Poll Results: At Analytic Football, Ben Alamar charted some of the early returns on his poll about the future of sports analytics.

June 30, 2011

Winning First Titles Back to Back: Andrew McKillop of SportsDelve.com has a neat list of teams (college or pro) who won their first 2 championships ever in consecutive seasons.

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June 29, 2011

Sabermetrics — Hatred of numbers comes to business and politics: Slate’s Josh Levin posts a list of non-sports “quotes” that express the same anti-stats sentiment as we’ve seen from the likes of Jonah Lehrer, Joe Morgan, and Murray Chass. How ridiculous would it sound if people in other fields viewed analytics the same way the saber-bashers in sports do?

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Non-Sports Expert Journalist wades into Sports Analysis, with predictable results: Another take on Lehrer’s article, this time from Gabe Desjardins of Arctic Ice Hockey.

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Analytic Football’s Lehrer Response & Survey on Future of Sports Analytics: A great response to the Lehrer piece from Ben Alamar of Analytic Football. Alamar also has a survey about the future of analytics in sports.

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June 28, 2011

The Stat Community Responds to Jonah Lehrer: Grantland’s Jonah Lehrer wrote an anti-sabermetrics article yesterday, and it was a big topic of discussion at BBTF, The Book Blog, Fangraphs, and Baseball Prospectus. Update: And Beyond the Boxscore.

June 27, 2011

Which sports do Democrats and Republicans like most?: A graphic from the National Journal showing the sports that skew toward each political party’s supporters, as well as the voter turnout of fans of each sport.

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June 22, 2011

Predicting Rory: At The Sports Economist, Brian Goff tries to cut through the hyperbolic noise (positive now, negative in April) surrounding Rory McIlroy’s potential as a golfer.

June 21, 2011

Chuck Klosterman on Rock VORP: Also from Grantland, a tongue-in-cheek attempt by Klosterman to quantify a rock star’s Value Over Replacement Musician.

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Five percent significance is often too weak: Thoughts on significance testing from Sabermetric Research’s Phil Birnbaum.

Sports Analytics — Should Fans Care?: At Analytic Football, Ben Alamar writes about whether analytics can enhance fan enjoyment in sports.

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June 20, 2011

Relative Dominance – Rory McIlroy’s run at Congressional: Grantland’s Bill Barnwell puts McIlroy’s 8-stroke victory in its proper historical perspective by ranking the top 20 Majors performances since 1960.

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Rory’s great, but he’s no Tiger: A quick note on the U.S. Open — if you re-frame par for each round to be the average course-wide score that day, Rory McIlroy was 22.5 strokes better than par (9.1/7.1/3.9/2.4). However, in 2000 Tiger Woods was 29.2 strokes better (10.0/6.9/6.1/6.2)! As great as Rory was this weekend, it was not close to Tiger’s dominance in 2000.

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More NCAA/NAIA National Championship Data: Andrew McKillop of SportsDelve looks at the most National Championships by state, and he has graciously released his database to the public.

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General: Chartball: Check out this site that offers interactive charts and stat-based posters.

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June 17, 2011

National Championships by Sport: From SportsDelve.com’s Andrew McKillop, a list of teams that have won the most NCAA/NAIA National Championships in each sport.

Boston’s Spoiled 7-Year-Olds: At the WSJ Daily Fix, Carl Bialik looks at just how historically remarkable Boston’s decade has been.

Ultimate Team Rankings – All Sports: Here’s the 2011 edition of ESPN’s annual Ultimate Standings, a fan-friendliness ranking of all teams in North America’s big 4 sports.

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June 16, 2011

U.S. Open golf: do the new stats help predict the winner?: Slate’s Michael Agger wrote a great “Moneygolf” series last year about new sabermetric golf stats, and now he uses them to preview the 2011 U.S. Open.

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Most National Championships by School: Andrew McKillop of SportsDelve gathered data on which schools have won the most NCAA/NAIA National Championships.

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June 14, 2011

How many majors will Rory McIlroy win?: Ken Pomeroy continues his golf research by looking at players who were successful at a young age (like McIlroy) and noting how many majors they went on to win.

June 13, 2011

The best seasons by age on the PGA Tour: Some golf analysis from Ken Pomeroy.

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How can we separate referee bias from other sources of home-field advantage?: That’s the question Phil Birnbaum asks at Sabermetric Research.

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June 9, 2011

Think like a statistician – without the math: Some tips from Flowingdata.

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June 7, 2011

College Nuggets from SportsDelve: A couple of cool lists from Andrew McKillop and SportsDelve: NCAA coaches who won a National Championship as a head coach & an assistant coach, and a list of vacated national championships.

June 6, 2011

Hollywood Career-o-Matic: This is non-sports, but definitely data-driven… Christopher Beam and Jeremy Singer-Vine of Slate Magazine used Rotten Tomatoes data to create a Hollywood Career-o-Matic tool that can map the career of any major actor or director from the last 26 years.

Interpreting regression interaction terms: A primer from Phil Birnbaum at Sabermetric Research.

June 3, 2011

When a Professional League Leaves a City Behind: With the Thrashers leaving Atlanta, SportsDelve’s Andrew McKillop found every instance of of a Big Four league team relocating.

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June 2, 2011

How Much v. How Well — Michael Jordan as “6th Man”?: A quality-vs-quantity debate at The Sports Economist.

June 1, 2011

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Updates: An update on the 2012 conference’s date & venue, plus 2012 conference news.

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May 31, 2011

How underdogs can win: A New Yorker article from Malcolm Gladwell on the full-court press and other unconventional underdog strategies.

May 27, 2011

Which Sport Is Best To Take A Date? A Sorta-Scientific Study: Yes, statheads go on dates. And then we scientifically study the outcomes. (Well, the Postgame’s Martin Rogers did, at least.)

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xkcd: Sports: Funny, but sadly true.

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May 25, 2011

Playoff Games/Series’ Appearances by City: Andrew McKillop of SportsDelve finds the cities whose teams have had the most playoff matchups.

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May 24, 2011

Amateur Hour: Pre-Professional Success as a Predictor of Professional Success in Football, Basketball and Baseball: Brian Furey of the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective researched how draft position predicts pro success in 3 sports.

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May 12, 2011

Playoff Matchups by City in Professional Sports: Andrew McKillop of SportsDelve researched how many times pro sports teams from various cities played each other in the playoffs.

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May 11, 2011

Great Sports Nicknames Are Disappearing: John Branch of the NY Times writes about the death of great nicknames.

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May 9, 2011

Which League Gives Last Place Teams the Most Hope for Improvement?: Part I and Part II of a series on the topic from There’s a Stat For That.

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Clutch hitting and getting killed by a puck: Meditations on clutch hitting skill, risk, and statistical significance, courtesy of Sabermetric Research’s Phil Birnbaum.

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May 3, 2011

JQAS Volume 7 Issue 2: Check out Volume 7, Issue 2 of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports.

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April 25, 2011

Which universities spend the most on sports?

Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen lists the biggest athletic spenders, according to Charles Clotfelter’s new book. Link

April 21, 2011

The best-paid athletes from 182 countries

For an upcoming story in The Mag, ESPN researched each country’s highest-paid athlete. Link

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