PDA

View Full Version : Scientists Prove Soccer is Better than Baseball



Unassisted
01-09-2006, 04:33 PM
But baseball is improving! :thumbup:

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg18925334.500


Surprises make soccer the best sport

BASEBALL has home runs, American football has touchdowns and basketball has slam dunks. But when it comes to which is the most exciting sport to follow, soccer takes the gold medal.

Eli Ben-Naim, Sidney Redner and Federico Vazquez at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico decided to look at unpredictability of results - how often a team with a worse record overcomes an apparently superior one - as the best measure of how exciting a league is. "If there are no upsets, then every game is predictable and hence boring," says Ben-Naim.

The team analysed results from more than 300,000 games over the last century from the US's national hockey, football, baseball and basketball leagues and the top English football league. Rugby and cricket were omitted because they do not have a big following in the US.

Their results showed that the "upset frequency" was highest for soccer, followed by baseball, hockey, basketball and finally American football. But when they looked only at data from the past 10 years, the English football Premiership and baseball swapped places, which suggests that soccer might have become more predictable in recent years.

RedFanAlways1966
01-09-2006, 04:45 PM
Hmmmm. Sounds like three guys with way too much time on their hands (the things you cannot use in that exciting sport). Of course who I am to say others have too much time on their hands when I am posting here again.


... how often a team with a worse record overcomes an apparently superior one - as the best measure of how exciting a league is.

Who judges this measure? I wonder if they use "the line" or if they only judge games like a Texans @ Colts game in the 2005 NFL season (an obvious favored team if you will)? I guess I need more clarification on their measures to see if I believe in their study or not.

oneupper
01-09-2006, 05:23 PM
Money has made results more predictible, as the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" has widened in soccer and baseball alike.

And that's all I have to say about that...

Crash Davis
01-09-2006, 05:36 PM
The headline doesn't fit the research or the actual news article.

bucksfan
01-09-2006, 06:10 PM
I'll admit to being very pleasantly surprised by how exciting it was to watch a Championship Leage soccer match in England. It was every bit as riveting, sitting right there in the stands, as most of the college football games I have attended. And I was by no means a fan of the sport. However, this article really does not address much of why it would or could be truly a "better" sport.

RBA
01-09-2006, 06:14 PM
Just scoring in soccer is unexpected.

Unassisted
01-09-2006, 06:23 PM
The headline doesn't fit the research or the actual news article.

Here's my line of reasoning for the thread title.

Scientists = " Eli Ben-Naim, Sidney Redner and Federico Vazquez at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico decided"

Better = "decided to look at unpredictability of results - how often a team with a worse record overcomes an apparently superior one - as the best measure of how exciting a league is."

Prove That Soccer > Baseball = "Their results showed that the "upset frequency" was highest for soccer, followed by baseball, hockey, basketball and finally American football."

marcshoe
01-09-2006, 08:45 PM
Wouldn't a greater unpredicability of results mean that soccer is less a sport and more a game of chance?

Seems that data can be interpreted more than one way. . . .

RFS62
01-09-2006, 10:48 PM
Everyone I know who played soccer loves to watch it.

Nobody I know that didn't does.

pedro
01-09-2006, 10:50 PM
Everyone I know who played soccer loves to watch it.

Nobody I know that didn't does.

Let's slightly modify that.

Everyone I know who loves to watch soccer played it.

Nobody I know that didn't does.

I played soccer and think it's boring to watch.

RFS62
01-09-2006, 10:58 PM
Yeah, good modification.

I wish I had the opportunity to play, but it wasn't available where I grew up.

It seems very boring to me to watch, but I've never been schooled by a veteran.

Betterread
01-09-2006, 11:05 PM
Football/futbol is the beautiful game, either to watch or to play.
Two quotes come to mind:
"If God had meant football to be played in the air he would have put grass in the sky" Brian Clough (famous British manager known for taking two small teams Nottingham Forest and and Derby county to championships - if we could find such a manager for the Reds)
"I fell in love with football as I would later fall in love with women: suddenly, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain it would bring" Nick Hornby (Well, because of High Fidelity, About a Boy and McSweeney's, you know who he is)

LoganBuck
01-09-2006, 11:05 PM
They couldn't prove that soccer is a product of intelligent design!

Crash Davis
01-09-2006, 11:36 PM
Everyone I know who played soccer loves to watch it.

Nobody I know that didn't does.

I played soccer for years...up until I got out of high school and the only available outlet was that sham known as indoor soccer. Just a terrible sport. Hockey in a box -- with feet instead of sticks.

I really enjoyed playing soccer, but I find it very tough to watch...

...except, of course, for the World Cup. I'll wake up at 3:30 in the morning to watch the World Cup.

Rojo
01-10-2006, 12:55 PM
Wouldn't a greater unpredicability of results mean that soccer is less a sport and more a game of chance?

Seems that data can be interpreted more than one way. . . .

My thoughts too. By this measure, Roulette beats them all.

savafan
01-10-2006, 12:59 PM
Science is the art of blasphemy. :)

redsfan30
01-12-2006, 02:45 PM
how often a team with a worse record overcomes an apparently superior one - as the best measure of how exciting a league is.
Or that could just mean the league sucks....top to bottom.

M2
01-12-2006, 02:56 PM
Cool study. It would be interesting to see how other major soccer leagues compared to the Premiership. I'm guessing La Liga in Spain and Der Bundesliga in Germany would come out as being less competitive. The top teams tend to own those leagues.

As for U.S. sports, the results don't surprise me. Had you asked me to list which sports are the most competitve and unpredictable I'd have given you the baseball, hockey, basketball, football order. Though it's entirely possible that predictability and ritual appeal to the average American sports fan more than competition.

westofyou
01-12-2006, 03:05 PM
Or that could just mean the league sucks....top to bottom.
But it doesn't the Premier is pretty much the top European league from top t bottom, that is evident week in and week out.

The other leagues are as M2 says, top heavy with stud teams like Real Madrid or AC Milan

GAC
01-13-2006, 06:25 AM
Next study: Who's Hotter? Soccer Moms or basbeball Moms?

I've dealt with both, and some soccer Moms I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. ;)