Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Freakin' Weekend (1970)

What are we watching tonight 1970?

This is, of course, one of the seminal Brady Bunches.

And there's a football game on tonight, too!

And the rest of the weekend?

Truthfully, though, I don't even know why I'm looking this far ahead. Hoptown 1970 me is apparently going to be in Pennsylvania starting tomorrow (Aug. 29) 1970.

I can't believe I'm going to miss Jack Staulcup at the VFW again.

Maybe I'll take a good book to read in the hotel room.


And this week's Sports Illustrated.

Peter Carry's got a story in the new Sports Illustrated that suggests the rest of the American League should just give up--Baltimore is going to win the pennant this year, and the Orioles are so stocked that surely no other team could win, say, the 1972, '73 and '74 A.L. championships.

Also, it's a little dispiriting to learn that, just two years out from Munich 1972, the U.S. men's basketball team is losing to Soviets.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Olympic Efficiency Scores for 2016

Now that the Olympics are over, we can calculate the Olympic Efficiency Scores ("OES") for each of the top 10 countries in the medal count.  You will recall that what we do is we take data for each country's percentage of global GDP, which you can find here.  Then we figure out how many medals they would have won if their share of the medals had matched their share of GDP.  For example, there were 974 medals awarded at the Olympics.  In 2014, the last year for which data are available, the United States accounted for 22.43 percent of world GDP.  If their share of medals had matched their share of world GDP, the Americans would have won 218 medals.  In fact, they won 121, which gives them an OES of 0.555 -- much higher than the 0.424 we had in 2012.  Looking only at gold medals, we had an OES of 0.667 -- the highest we've had in a fully contested Olympics since the beginning of my data set, which goes back to 1969 (not counting 1984, of course).

With that background in mind, here are the OES scores for the top 10 countries in the medal count.  While our score has improved, only Japan had a lower OES than we did:

1.  United States:  121 total medals (46G/37S/38B) -- OES of 0.555
2.  China:  70 (26/18/26) -- OES of 0.631
3.  Great Britain:  67 (27/23/17) -- OES of 1.971
4.  Russia:  56 (19/18/19) -- OES of 2.545
5.  Germany:  42 (17/10/15) -- OES of 0.875
6.  France:  42 (10/18/14) -- OES of 1.135
7.  Japan:  41 (12/8/21) -- OES of 0.539
8.  Australia:  29 (8/11/10) -- OES of 1.706
9.  Italy:  28 (8/12/8) -- OES of 1.037
10.  Canada:  22 (4/3/15) -- OES of 0.917

So Germany, France, Italy, and Canada were pretty much on track.  The USA, China, and Japan under-performed.  And Great Britain, Russia, and Australia were the over-achievers.

I Owe Sports Illustrated an Apology

Before the Olympics, Sports Illustrated predicted that the United States would win 45 golds and 118 total medals.  I mocked this prediction as too optimistic.  In fact, the United States won 46 golds and 121 total medals -- almost exactly what SI expected.

Sports Illustrated also said that China would win 45 golds and 85 total medals.  I mocked this prediction on the grounds that China would not lose that much ground from its 2012 performance.  In fact, China finished with 26 golds and 70 total medals -- even worse than SI had predicted.

So SI was basically right, and I was entirely wrong.  In fact, the United States beat China by 51 total medals -- the biggest gap between first and second place at a non-boycotted Olympics since 1932.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

XXXI Olympic Summer Games, Rio 2016 (Day 15)