Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Incorrect-est Stat Of All Time

If you've ever listened to the FAN when they're talking about football, you've surely heard one of the hosts say:

"The Giants have won two Super Bowls in four years."

In fact, I've never heard anyone on there say it any other way. Mike Francessa says loud and proud every time.

Let's do a little counting:

1. February 2008: Giants win
2. February 2009: some other team wins
3. February 2010: some other team wins
4. February 2011: some other team wins
5. February 2012: Giants win

Does anyone else see five years there? Trust me, this wouldn't be worth a blog post if I heard one person say the "2 in 4" line one time. But it's just the way the stat is said on that station, as if an entire year of history was erased from their calendar.

Now let's dig a little deeper here: You may say, "Well, come on, you know what they mean, the span of February 2008 to February 2012 is four years long. Within a 4-year time span, they won the game in question twice." But think of it this way. The Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992 and 1993. Have you ever heard anyone say, "the Jays won the World Series twice in one year!"? Or do we say the Red Sox won twice in three years? Or that the Yankees won "four times in four years" referring to 1996-2000? That would imply they won four in a row, which they clearly didn't. In sports, when you say "year," you mean "season." And by the way, even if there's anyone who could possibly defend this obvious mistake by saying that the two wins technically occurred within four 365-day periods, they'd still be wrong, as the 2008 win was on February 3rd, and the 2012 win was on February 5th. I'm thinking that these stooges all just subtract 2008 from 2012, come up with 4, and think they're talking about a 4-year span. But they should really think about doing some simple counting on their fingers and say it right.

P.S. Do some Google searching and you'll see it's not just the FAN. It's about four times more common to say it wrong than it is to say it right.

P.S. 2, The Squeakuel: If you think I'm nitpicking, you gotta do me a favor and read through this again slowly so you'll see that I'm exactly right.

P.S. 3, Dream Warriors: This also isn't about being pissed that the Giants are given more credit than they're due--if they were saying it wrong where it gave them less credit than they're due, I'd still be writing this.

Ok, but when did the 21st Century begin? - daddybcat
You're killin' me....
"P.S. 2, The Squeakuel: If you think I'm nitpicking, you gotta do me a favor and read through this again slowly so you'll see that I'm exactly right."

Cracking up over here! :)
This is right on. I heard someone saying that, thought it sounded wrong and just moved on. This kind of weird, fuzzy estimation is pretty prevalent and irritating. In this case, as you point out it isn't even under the 5 year threshold, but you do find people rounding down as if 4.95 was "within 4 years." People rounding up with gigantic numbers are also a problem: if you are talking about, say, $700 million, and people keep rounding up to $1 billion, that's not cool, because $300 million is still a huge number.

Post a Comment

If you're "anonymous," please leave a name, even if it's a fake one, for differentiation purposes.

If you're having trouble commenting, try signing in to whatever account you're using first, then come back here once you're signed in.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States