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 I bet Simmons was sitting across from Kilborn and, seeing his eyes darting to and fro, sweat pooling on his brow, and his skin getting redder minute by minute, decided to join the journey to see where the trainwreck took then. The responsible thing to do would have to call a medic, but sometimes it's fun to capture a breakdown for posterity.  It's must listen, although I wouldn't actually recommend listening to it.

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The latest SI Media Podcast
 

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SI's Richard Deitsch and Sports Business Journal's John Ourand discuss the future of Chris Berman at ESPN, Sean McDonough’s emotional response to landing Monday Night Football, who will end up with the Big Ten television rights, the prospect of an ACC Channel or PGA Cable network, the potential ratings for this year's Stanley Cup , what kind of stand-alone TV contract Alabama or OSU football get on open market, whether ESPN has a perception problem regarding viewers believing they are too liberal, praise for Fox Sports for letting its executives talk with no hand holding from PR, the issues SporsCenter is experiencing and whether the 6:00 p.m. version should be changed, and the NFL changes at ESPN, and much more.

 

 

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Kind of confused about Wilbon's article today on The Undefeated.

 

https://theundefeated.com/features/mission-impossible-african-americans-analytics/

 

He basically suggested that analytics and statistics don't interest black people in sports, fan or player alike.  The preferred measurement aspect for African-Americans is "feel," and emotion.  

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"The thing is, that could also open the door to the issue of emotion vs. intellect. That is a thin and sensitive line to navigate, especially given the outrage people of color feel when others suggest we’re more emotional than rational about sports. But it’s an inescapable subtopic if dealing with 360 degrees of this. Without question, the emotional appeal of sports resonates with black people, whether we’re talking about the first end-zone dancers, the first high-five, the guttural releases after dunks and quarterback sacks and even putts made, that simply weren’t a noticeable part of sports before the emergence of the black athlete and legions of black fans who followed. It would take a greater and more in-depth discussion than this to figure out the reasons we, black people, are most attracted to sports other than the winning and losing, and where the emotional connection is on that spectrum."

 

 

The ultimate goal of this was apparently to frame the potential contract offers to Dwight Howard, I guess.

 

As a white guy I can't obviously speak for black people in any regard, but I would imagine some find this article in a way demeaning.  It's a weird thing to process without another black perspective in rebuttal via individuals or en masse.

 

Regardless I feel like "The Undefeated" has been a good harbor for reading material since its debut. 

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57 minutes ago, CS85 said:

Kind of confused about Wilbon's article today on The Undefeated.

 

https://theundefeated.com/features/mission-impossible-african-americans-analytics/

 

He basically suggested that analytics and statistics don't interest black people in sports, fan or player alike.  The preferred measurement aspect for African-Americans is "feel," and emotion.  

 

The ultimate goal of this was apparently to frame the potential contract offers to Dwight Howard, I guess.

 

As a white guy I can't obviously speak for black people in any regard, but I would imagine some find this article in a way demeaning.  It's a weird thing to process without another black perspective in rebuttal via individuals or en masse.

 

Regardless I feel like "The Undefeated" has been a good harbor for reading material since its debut. 

Wilbon was on today with LeBatard, who disagreed with him in the 2nd Hour, and while it was a Latino and Wilbon, it got a little heated.

It starts at about the 22:00 mark.

 

 

Bomani Jones also talked about the article this afternoon during his radio show* and not only thought the theme was somewhat generational, but it was also still somewhat cultural since STEM isn't generally where students of color (outside of Asians) are given early opportunities in school. Bomani also went on to warn that such a story may hinder sports hiring in the future as those in a position to hire will just say, "Well, they don't believe in analytics,"

 

*-His show should be up in full within the hour. 

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Analytics don't interest most white people, either. It's a niche that's wildly over-represented in blogs, often most vociferously by erstwhile humanities students who were allergic to math their whole lives but want something to lord over the normies. Even in hockey, which has the narrowest diehard-to-casual ratio of the four leagues, most fans couldn't tell you crap about Corsi or PDO and wouldn't want to anyway because it doesn't matter as much as grit and effort and knowing how to do all the little things. (The worst part is they're half-right.) 

 

I also think analytics haven't served basketball terribly well, owing to the fluidity and intensely personal nature of the game. The Warriors are allegedly an analytics-based team, but there's not a lot of advanced math to the idea that if you have a once-in-a-generation guy who can drain threes from all over the floor, you should let him. Then there's Daryl Morey, who has been flailing around for years with precious little to show for it.

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4 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Analytics don't interest most white people, either. It's a niche that's wildly over-represented in blogs, often most vociferously by erstwhile humanities students who were allergic to math their whole lives but want something to lord over the normies. Even in hockey, which has the narrowest diehard-to-casual ratio of the four leagues, most fans couldn't tell you crap about Corsi or PDO and wouldn't want to anyway because it doesn't matter as much as grit and effort and knowing how to do all the little things. (The worst part is they're half-right.) 

 

I also think analytics haven't served basketball terribly well, owing to the fluidity and intensely personal nature of the game. The Warriors are allegedly an analytics-based team, but there's not a lot of advanced math to the idea that if you have a once-in-a-generation guy who can drain threes from all over the floor, you should let him. Then there's Daryl Morey, who has been flailing around for years with precious little to show for it.

 

On the latest NBA TruHoop podcast, they said a Thunder series win over the Warriors would stop the basketball analytics discussion dead in its tracks, and signal a glorious return to hero ball. Although, in a way, hero ball is what the Warriors do, except their guy shoots threes instead of layups and bad mid-range jumpers. In fact, the Raptors just won two games in large part because DeRozan's terrible shots are falling.  

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One of the problems I always had with Fire Joe Morgan was framing everything as this Zoroastrian holy war of Stats Versus Guts when the obvious conclusion was that you need both. It's like arguing food versus drink. Of course, that makes it hard to call Bill Plaschke an idiot.

 

I don't think the analytics movement will ever end in the NBA, but I don't think it's ever going to be much more than what it is. As noted statistician and differential calculus professor Rasheed Wallace once said, ball don't lie.

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I think the hero ball aspect of basketball makes it unique among the other major American sports. The NFL would argue that the QB is a similar module of transcending the numbers game, but it isn't even a remotely close comparison.  It's much more romantic and, for basketball, inherently better to see guys like Curry and James, Jordan and Malone, Bird and Johnson duke it out as the avatars of their unheralded and likely great teams/coaches.  

 

Basketball doesn't hide their stars behind helmets or facemasks.  There's always a personal story to be told through their faces, their welcome showmanship, and the plainly visible impact of victory and defeat.  

 

 

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12 hours ago, CS85 said:

I think the hero ball aspect of basketball makes it unique among the other major American sports. The NFL would argue that the QB is a similar module of transcending the numbers game, but it isn't even a remotely close comparison.  It's much more romantic and, for basketball, inherently better to see guys like Curry and James, Jordan and Malone, Bird and Johnson duke it out as the avatars of their unheralded and likely great teams/coaches.  

 

Basketball doesn't hide their stars behind helmets or facemasks.  There's always a personal story to be told through their faces, their welcome showmanship, and the plainly visible impact of victory and defeat.  

 

 

Very good way of putting it. I think the NBA is a glorified pick up league. The stars overrule the franchise, in a sense. But their faces are always out there, like you said.

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13 hours ago, the admiral said:

Analytics don't interest most white people, either. It's a niche that's wildly over-represented in blogs, often most vociferously by erstwhile humanities students who were allergic to math their whole lives but want something to lord over the normies. Even in hockey, which has the narrowest diehard-to-casual ratio of the four leagues, most fans couldn't tell you crap about Corsi or PDO and wouldn't want to anyway because it doesn't matter as much as grit and effort and knowing how to do all the little things. (The worst part is they're half-right.) 

 

I also think analytics haven't served basketball terribly well, owing to the fluidity and intensely personal nature of the game. The Warriors are allegedly an analytics-based team, but there's not a lot of advanced math to the idea that if you have a once-in-a-generation guy who can drain threes from all over the floor, you should let him. Then there's Daryl Morey, who has been flailing around for years with precious little to show for it.

 

I agree wholeheartedly.  I understand and pay attention to some stats beyond the traditional biggies in baseball, like WHIP.  The rest eventually make my eyes glaze over and compel me to turn the page.  When you start talking about OPS+, FIP, Defensive WAR and UZR, you've generally jumped the shark.

 

Maybe this is because I'm 48 years old and none of that stuff existed when I was growing up.  However, I can't be the only one who gets bored with the stathead articles.

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Barnwell has the rare gift of being able to rely on analytics without talking over everyone's head.  I may not always get the numbers (or even care to), but I can still follow his points.

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7 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

Barnwell has the rare gift of being able to rely on analytics without talking over everyone's head.  I may not always get the numbers (or even care to), but I can still follow his points.

 

That's a nice description of his work. He's still on ESPN and often a features writer, but his works different not being on Grantland. 

 

I bet he ends up at The Ringer (which is quiet all of a sudden?) before too long. The Barnwell/Mays NFL podcast might be the best.

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I don't read enough football writing to speak authoritatively on Barnwell, but dude wrote an ode to Phil Emery that turned out to be so wildly, eye-poppingly misguided, it makes 2016 Nate Silver look accurate, and I've approached him with the caution of a beaten dog ever since.

 

 

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2. A hyper-focus on process.
If you listen to Emery in press conferences or talk to him, you’ll hear the word “process” come up so many times that you’ll lose count. That’s a good thing. You can phrase it however you want — “process” often means the same thing as “the plan” in this context — but it’s essential for an NFL general manager to have a clear idea of his long-term process and stick with it regardless of short-term outcomes. That thought came up again and again when I looked at Ted Thompson’s history earlier this week.


To Emery, focusing on the process not only provides a better chance of building a winner, it performs the perhaps more-meaningful role of preventing you from overreacting to fleeting streaks of success or failure. “Some of those bumps along the way are like hitting a tree; losses are very tough, particularly ones that have more impact than others [at the end of the season]. They’re tough to work through, but you have to believe in the process and the talents of the people you work with. If you let outcome drive you, you’ll be all over the place and never develop the process to get to the final goal.” And to Emery, the final goal isn’t simply winning a Super Bowl, which itself usually requires some incredible luck along the way. It’s “to be a consistent winner, to consistently be in the championship mix, and win championships.”

 

Since this article, Emery's Bears went 13-19, he never made the playoffs, and he and Marc Trestman got fired. Process!

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In fairness, the only one who really knows what he's doing in football is Bill Belichek. Everyone else is just trying to fail in the right way.

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Another early interesting article from The Undefeated from J.A. Adande talking about "cleaning up" quotes from athletes (or any subject) to fix grammar or align it with the regular English. "We gonna be championship!": A new approach to "fixing" quotes. It stemmed from a small controversy at the Houston Chronicle where a writer quoted Carlos Gomez verbatim, complete with broken second-language English: "For the last year and this year, I not really do much for this team. The fans be angry. They be disappointed.”

 

People criticized the writer thinking it embarrassed and ridiculed Gomez, and the editor of the Chronicle had to issue an apology. Adande supported the idea of always quoting verbatim even if it's second-language English, broken grammar, slang, or "street" talk.

 

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated addressed it in a column and got insight from several other writers in a couple different sports/publictations. (Quotes discussion starts about halfway down.)

 

This is extremely interesting to me, as a sports writer. At this point I've only had to deal with some college and mostly high school athletes, but I usually do a little grammar for them if it doesn't clearly make sense. I'll also take out filler words, because 1) it doesn't add or subtract anything and 2) I'm on a word count, damn it haha. I also don't want to make them sound stupid, even if they are a bit. But I think you also want to preserve the flavor of how someone speaks, especially if it is unique.

 

So what do you think? As consumers or readers, do you want verbatim quotes? Or do you not mind cleaning them up a little to make them read properly?

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I don't have a problem with taking out ums, uhs, y;knows, but outside of that, reporters should be as true-to-life as possible. 

 

I can't believe that in all that Micheal Ray Richardson talk, they didn't post the full quotation:

 

"The ship be sinking."
"How low?"
"The sky's the limit."

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Verbatim.  I think it's the safest way to go.  Is it embarrassing?  I don't personally think so.  It's an international game with a huge influx of players who either don't speak English or have it as a second language.  

 

If people find it makes players sound silly, that's the problem of the readers.  

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In my stories, I usually clean up the quotes and I actively make an effort to not change what the person was trying to say. 

 

Mostly it's just taking out the filler words and fixing some grammar. (e.g. has to have and writing the word they meant to say if they flub it)

 

The biggest change I'll ever make is when a person has a long quote with lots of "ands". I'll replace an "and" with a period and a new sentence if it's a changing thought and still makes sense.

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