Super Bowl (Some Number)

If you didn’t know, the Super Bowl is Sunday. I admit, I forgot it was this Sunday. But you probably know that’s because I’m more of a baseball guy, specifically a Red Sox guy. Prior to forgetting I had been looking for a nice infographic on either the 49ers or the Ravens, the two teams involved. I forgot because I didn’t find any. Until this morning.

It’s not very large, nor very detailed, but it’s about football. And it’s about the 49ers. So it meets my requirements.

Frank Gore
Frank Gore

Photograph by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

Full disclaimer, despite being a Red Sox fan from Philly, I’m an Eagles fan. So I could care less who wins this match on Sunday.

The Red Sox Were Truly Awful in 2012

The Boston Red Sox hired John Farrell this weekend to be their manager just one season after hiring Bobby Valentine for the role. There is a lot to be said about just who is to blame about the Red Sox’ awful season. But it was pretty awful. How awful? The Boston Globe shows us in this interactive piece.

It’s a series of small multiples of line charts. However, one of the big problems with the infographic is that the labels are entirely absent. As best I can tell the line is the number of games over .500, i.e. an even split between wins and losses. But, it could be more clearly called out if not in the legend or on the axes than in the title.

But over all it does put this past season into a sober perspective.

How Bad is Bad? Awful, it Turns Out.
How Bad is Bad? Awful, it Turns Out.

Credit for the piece goes to Daigo Fujiwara.

The Armstrong Doping Scandal

All major sports eventually have a big scandal seemingly about drugs. Here’s looking at you, baseball and Manny Ramirez (see the Mitchell Report). But this time it’s cycling’s turn. Here’s looking at you, Lance Armstrong. The New York Times published a timeline of exactly how the USADA alleges Armstrong ran a team-wide doping programme. It should be noted that while Armstrong denies the allegations, he is not contesting them.

The timeline
The timeline

Credit for the piece goes to Joe Ward and Alan McLean.

How About Those [Insert Team Here]?

It’s Friday. And it might almost be time for sports conversations. Thanks to xkcd I know that as an American, in the month of September, I should be discussing football (with the pointy-ended ball). But don’t worry, I’ll leave my support for the Red Sox at the front door.

Sports Cheat Sheet
Sports Cheat Sheet

Red Sox–Dodgers Trade

There was a lot of news this past weekend. So we’ll start with the important stuff first. An infographic about the big baseball trade between my Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The advantage of a story breaking over the weekend is time to get something together for Monday.

The Red Sox–Dodgers Trade
The Red Sox–Dodgers Trade

Olympic Forecast Comparison

During my research for the Olympic medal projections, I came across a few sites that presented a few other projections because, quite frankly, 65 seemed rather high given that the UK won only 47 the year before. The chart below just compares how the other forecasts turned out in the end.

Forecasts Compared
Forecasts Compared

Emily Williams from the Tusk School of Business, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Dan Johnson of Colorado College, and Meghan Busse from Northwestern University.

How the UK Got to the 65 Medals We Correctly Predicted

So the Olympics are over. But before they began, I and some co-workers made a prediction about how the United Kingdom and their Team GB would perform. We predicted 65 medals. How did the United Kingdom fare? They won 65 medals. This is a follow-up infographic about what made the United Kingdom a winner at the 2012 Summer Games. It’s a bit larger than the first version, but this one also includes new data and revisits some of the earlier themes.

Another important (and correct) prediction was that China would slip and not reach 100 medals. This should happen after experiencing the host nation bump. While we did not create a number for China, they scored only 87 medals. Another correct prediction.

We Nailed the Prediction of 65 Team GB Medals
We Nailed the Prediction of 65 Team GB Medals

All in all a very successful series. (Created for my employer Euromonitor International, as the usual disclaimer goes.)

Olympic Medal Ranking

As I wrote about last weekend, one can look at the Olympics rankings in a number of different ways. Even without weighting medal counts, one has to decide whether to rank countries by gold medals (as the IOC does) or by total medals (my personal preference). The New York Times looks at both in an interesting ranking chart.

How France Ranks
How France Ranks

The piece also lets you account for population.

Accounting for population…
Accounting for population…

Credit for the piece goes to Matthew Bloch, Shan Carter, and Amanda Cox.

Weekend Work

Here’s a rare weekend post to showcase some Olympic-related work.

The following graphic looks at how the ranking changes for the Top-10 countries if medals are weighted. To me it is ridiculous that Kazakhstan is ranked higher than Russia because Kazakhstan has won 4 gold medals compared to Russia’s 3 when Kazakhstan has a total of 4 medals whereas Russia has 24. (All counts current as of this post.) So while I have been ranking countries according to their total medal count, what happens if I weight the gold and silver medals against the bronze?

It turns out that the leaders don’t change, but the rest of the Top-10 ranking gets shuffled a bit. For example, Japan has performed well at an overall level with 21 medals thus far. But only two of those have been gold medals and so its rank in the system below fell three positions.

Change in Rank for a Weighted Score
Change in Rank for a Weighted Score

Does a High Average BMI Impact a Country’s Chance at the Olympics?

It turns out not so much. A comparison of the 2008 data for average BMI (coarsely how fat a person is) for countries across their economic productivity (GDP per capita) and total medals won shows that a country’s health culture does not greatly impact said country’s Olympic chances.

Does BMI Impact Olympic Performance?
Does BMI Impact Olympic Performance?

This is another from my work series on infographics for the Olympics.