Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A little blizzard

The Ppress asked the two best Viking RBs ever, Robert Smith and Chuck Foreman, about Adrian Peterson. Says Smith: "I anticipate that my reign as all-time leading rusher is going to be over very early into the next decade" (via Kansas Viking).

In the Strib, Mark Craig talks about the personal struggles Adrian Peterson has been through.

Everybody is already talking about this NY Times story on racial bias in NBA foul calls.

The Starting Five has an interview with Scoop Jackson.


  1. That study on racial bias is crappy science. They did not study individual referees. Their "data" is taken from box scores that show referee teams of 3 and then analyzes the calls made.

    There is so much fraught with this to make the study utterly meaningless. Take for instance number of african-american players as compared to caucasian, positions played by said players, etc.

    Not to get critical of our educaiton system, but this study with its crappy science seems a waste of our educational dollars.

  2. Anonymous12:04 PM

    I haven't been able to find a draft copy of the paper online, but judging from the NY Times article and my own knowledge of how economists study things, I feel pretty confident that blue viking devil's criticism is misplaced.

    Straight from the article:

    "To investigate whether such bias has existed in sports, Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price examined data from publicly available box scores. They accounted for factors like the players’ positions, playing time and All-Star status; each group’s time on the court (black players played 83 percent of minutes, while 68 percent of officials were white); calls at home games and on the road; and other relevant data."

    They used regression analysis, which is a technique whose entire raison d'etre is to see the effect of one factor (race) through the haze created by lots of other factors (positions, player skill levels, etc.) There very well may be some issues with the study. But BVD's sweeping criticism is definitely unwarranted.

    Further, while it's true that they don't have data on which refs called which fouls, what they found is that the racial composition of the officiating crew does have a significant effect on the calls made.

    In other words, all else equal, a crew with one black and two white officials will have a tendency to call more fouls against blacks than a crew with two blacks and one white.

    Assuming they have sufficiently controlled for other factors, the only way this could happen is if either

    (a) whites are slightly more likely to call fouls against blacks than against whites (and vice versa)


    (b) whites have a slight tendency to call more fouls against whites when their officiating partners are black than when their officiating partners are white.

    The latter would be an even more surprising result than the former!

  3. I will grant Doug a good criticism of my "sweeping" argument.

    However, I still think the study is crazy and not indicative necessarily of a reality. There has to be a study of individual refs and their calls. If your going to make a claim about this then get game film of every game in 5 years and analyze them from the get go.