## I’m a Sports Fan! December 13, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in life, physics life.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I seem to know more sports and entertainment trivia than anything else. And how many times the height of a flea a flea can jump. This is according to the software-Christmas-diner-pub-quiz. A lot of fun… but…

Geography? Our team (Team Of Six) got none. Astronomy? 1 (of 5). General Knowledge? None. Sports? 5 of 5! Entertainment? 4 of 5.

We came in third place. I was a bit embarrassed.

Flea: 120 times its height. That is how high it can jump.

1. Carl Brannen - December 14, 2006

Keeping track of a sports team is as addictive as tobacco and more embarassing than crystal meth. My story is sadder than most because I was untouched by the horror until I started running pin ball machines in bars around Seattle.

It turns out that in running a business like that you spend a lot of time talking to bar owners. And a knowledge of the local sports team is useful social lubricant. It seemed so harmless at the time.

Then I found that I could do useful things like use mental calculus approximations to compute inning by inning modifications to ERAs. And statistical estimates for teams reaching playoffs.

The only problem is that sports is considerably more complicated than elementary particle physics. For example, what kind of a Feynman did it take to figure this out:

“Can clinch AFC North title with win and Bengals loss or tie; or tie and Bengals loss in Week 15. Can clinch playoff berth with 1) win or tie; 2) Bengals loss or tie and Ravens clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over the Jets; 3) Broncos loss or tie and Ravens clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over Jets; 4) Jets loss or tie and Bengals loss or tie; 5) Jets loss or tie and Broncos loss or tie; 6) Patriots loss, Bengals loss or tie and Jaguars loss; 7) Pats loss, Broncos loss or tie and Jags loss.”

2. No Liquids « Life as a Physicist - December 14, 2006

[…] I just realized that the 1/4 bottle of wine each member of our team (”Team of Six”) won last night — I can’t take back with me: I have no checked luggage. And it is definately more than 3 oz. I’m going to have to drink it. Bummer. […]

3. gordonwatts - December 14, 2006

Carl. Yes. There must be clinics for this problem!

4. Dave Bacon - December 14, 2006

I often play trivia at Norm’s in Fremont and have discovered that my best category is “grab bag.” Random useless knowledge. Doh. Norm’s is fun as they often like to have crazy categories like “Patrick Swayze.”