Thursday, November 17, 2005

So maybe I could be a grad student

After work I came back to the apartment, a man with a mission. Opened up my laptop, loaded excel and spent the next 3 hours entering numbers, creating variables and basically trying to find something interesting. Now, the only problem was that the subject was not work, nor was it politics, nor any other subject legitimately considered academic.

I was analyzing the results from the UPA Championships. Some interesting thoughts, do teams with a larger roster do better in close games? Do they play more close games? Are teams that play and win close games more likley to be ranked highly in the spirit rankings? What factors most directly correlate (I still can't really run regressions) with high spirit rankings? What region has the largest roster size? How does playing a game where the final score is less than 15 (ie, meaning a lot of turnovers, or, more likely a lot of foul calls) correlate to spirit rankings. And then finally if success in terms of games won and success in terms of spirit are considered who are the BEST (of both worlds) TEAMS in frisbee, this year.

The good news is that for 3 hours I sat in rapt attention staring at my little 15 inch screen. The bad news is that I don't know the answers. At least not completely.

I can say (with not so much confidence) that teams with larger rosters play and win more close games. Though it's a pretty low correlation (.385). Teams that win more games (overall) are ranked lower in the spirit rankings. (-.348). Teams that win more games where the final score never reaches 15 are less likely to have high spirit rankings (-.206). But since I can't really do regression analysis I can't figure out how relevant each of these factors is in determining success or spirit. And because it's a game, you can't really factor in that Sockeye has Alex Nord who does things like this. So for instance, my correlations don't include what we'll call the NORD factor. (No Other Reasonable Determinant).

All the same it reminded me that if interested I can sit and focus and play with numbers. Just think what I could do if I had more numbers or was dealing with politics. It's exciting to say the least.

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