Friday, October 26, 2012

Soda? Pop? Coke? An extremely questionable scientific analysis

So being a passionate "soda" guy, I've occasionally gotten into the classic old "soda vs pop" argument. A few times this has happened, someone has sent me a survey map. This is that map:

At first glance, damn that's a lot of blue. Pop is blue, maybe I've been wrong this whole time. Also damn, that's a lot of red, maybe I've been really wrong. I'm not looking forward to admitting this to my friends who say Pop. But then I started to take a closer look.

Half of those blue states are pretty loosely populated. I'm not sure North Dakota even has people in it, I think it's only a state because Canada didn't want it. Hell, there are a lot of counties in that blue sea that are purple, otherwise stated as "no data".

I can instantly see Soda rules both NYC and LA, the two biggest cities in the country. But Pop holds Chicago, #3 on that list. So in the interest of science, I decided to dedicate an hour or so of my time this friday to analyzing this single piece of data to figure out which saying rules: Soda, Coke or Pop.

here is my very unprofessional findings:

In terms of the map, land mass easily is won by Pop, nothing is touching that amount of blue. But acres without people in them don't count, so lets compare two other categories: Cities and States by population. Neither stat is perfect: Cities do not represent entire states population wise, so using only cities misses out on lots of people. But going by states isn't terribly accurate either, as cities represent large portions of state population and they are isolated into small areas. For example: look above. Colorado has about 2 counties that aren't blue, but one of counties is the location of Colorado Springs, the 41st most populated city in the nation. So that tiny yellow dot means more than it appears to. So that's why I'll look at both city and state, and make a judgement after that instead of just using cities or states.

Several states appear to be split geography wise. Lets go with the states that are all or 95% one color:

Now lets look at split states:

For the record, I used Wikipedia's "Projected Population in 2011" numbers.

Soda easily wins the Solid states by over 10 million people. Coke and Pop are pretty close. Pop easily has the most states under it's influence, but most of those states are of low population (NYC is 8 times Montana's population, and 16 times Wyoming's) so while they have the area, they don't have the people. However, Soda has the Entirety of California, and Coke the Entirety of Texas. Pop has no such big population state to itself, the biggest states pop is in are split, like New York and Pennsylvania. And the split states between Soda and Pop make up almost Pop's entire solid state population. So what to do about that?

If we split the split states in half and give the two sides their respective half, What happens to the numbers?
Half of 56,926,166 is 28,463,083
Half of 36,810,547 is 18,405,274
1 Third of Alaska is 240,906
Add those 3 halves up plus Soda's solid states and Soda's total is 121,342,338

Half of 56,926,166 is 28,463,083
Half of 10,886,278 is 5,143,139
1 Third of Alaska is 240,906
Add those up plus Pop's solid states and Pop's total is 93,539,923

Half of 10,886,278 is 5,143,139
Half of 36,810,547 is 18,405,274
1 Third of Alaska is 240,906
Add those up plus Coke's solid states and Coke's total is 85,655,860

So the standings switch slightly. Soda still dominates, but Pop is now edging out Coke for second place. But most of you can probably pinpoint the obvious flaw in the second computation I was doing there: Splitting the split states right down the middle number wise is not accurate whatsoever. Look at Pennsylvania. It appears to be split directly down the middle. But Eastern PA is far, far more populated than Western PA. Philly is the 5th biggest city in the nation, and Eastern PA also has Harrisburg and Scranton. Western PA's biggest city is Pittsburgh, and Pitt is all the way down at #61. So splitting Pennsylvania in half is actually very very flawed. So basically, we need more information, as judging by solid states is flawed, but judging from split states is also flawed. Lets move on to the other big category: Cities.

For this list, I used the top 100 cities by 2011 estimate:

Woof. This is where it's pretty obvious Soda is our winner. I don't even need to add it up. NYC and LA at #1 and 2 combine for 11 million already, which is more than most of the other cities combined. Considering Pop goes from #3 to #15, pop stands no chance. #50 to #100 is just a range of about 150 thousand, so late in the list there is no real discrepancies between cities: the top 10 makes this list. Soda has 6 of the top 10, Coke has 3, and Pop just 1.

Soda's got the stats no matter what way you look at it. The only category Soda does not win in is Land Area. What surprised me about all this is that Coke is far more prevalent then I thought. I knew it was a southern thing, but Coke has a lot of people saying it (which is weird, because Coke is a brand of Soda).

I've always been a Soda guy, so today I am triumphant.

Of course, this is all based off one single survey map that may not have asked enough people, and I am laughably unqualified as a statistician. The only real way to figure this out would be to put "soda pop coke or other" on a national ballot. But take that, Pop. if you say Pop, you are wrong. The numbers say so. So go drown your sorrows in some Soda.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A collection of Dumb Philip Rivers Photoshops

Philip Rivers laid the biggest egg I've seen in recent memory against the Broncos on Monday Night Football. This usually brings out the best (Or worst) of my dumb photoshop ideas

Philip Rivers is hilarious

Monday, October 8, 2012

The 10 types of Football Fans

I think it's time to stereotype people. Don't you?

I've spent enough time at games, with friends, in bars, etc. to have interacted with a whole number of fan types. While this is certainly a generalization, I still think most of the people I've interacted with can fall into these categories. Most people are a combination. If you like football, try and guess who you are!

The Passionate fan is a big personality. This is the dude who tends to get posted or posts himself on youtube ranting maniacally after a bad call or loss. They are very loud and boisterous, all cheers and highfives after touchdowns. After turnovers or bad plays, they tend to throw their hats (They almost always wear hats). Overall, the Passionate fan can be scary at first glance, but normally ends up being a generally fun individual to watch games with. Besides, once you manage to make friends with them you can mercilessly mock them and watch as they struggle not to throw their hat again.

Quality Examples. Warning, lots of cursing:

The Casual fan is high in number, but low in visibility. The Casual fan is usually just there to watch the game, isn't loud, isn't mad or depressed, but just content. The Casual fan has better things to do with his life, this is his leasuire time. You will often find them in bars or parties near the back, sipping a drink and talking reasonably about a variety of subjects. If you have no investment in the current game, or are looking to talk about subjects other than football (You Weirdo) the Casual fan makes a great acquaintance.

The Optimist is the type of fan who used to be casual, but slowly degraded into a more passionate fan, usually as a result of their team doing well the previous year. The Optimist believes in their team can do no wrong. The front office always drafts competently, the schedule is always very winnable (We are going to win the Superbowl! I can see it!) and the team is always running at full steam. The Optimist is naive. When you talk to an Optimist, you just end up shaking your head sadly because you know the Jaguars are not going to with the South unless they have a miracle. Do yourself a favor though, and try to talk them down somewhat. The Optimist is a fragile fan, and a couple of vicious heartbreaks from cracking apart.

The Pessimist is the quiet fan with the intense glare. They only talk during commercial breaks. Do not let the quiet exterior fool you, the Pessimist might be more in love with the game then everyone but the Passionate fan. They just keep it bottled up in case of a loss. Pessimists go into every game convinced their team has already lost, and will only become animated and happy during a blowout or an absolute victory. The closer the game is, the more intense the Pessimist is. However, if you get enough booze in them early, they will loosen up and stop taking everything so seriously.

The Stat Nerd is smarter than you, and boy do they love making sure you know that. You think Tony Romo is a bad QB? That he sucks because he "cant win the big game?" Well, the Stat Nerd is about to go to town on you, because you are wrong. The fact is, Romo is a great QB, there is no such thing as "clutch" (it's an ESPN Buzzword) and while the Stat Nerd is insufferable to argue with, they are usually mostly right. Stat Nerds often have a very deep understanding of the game in several facets. They know that it wasn't entirely Romo's fault on that interception, they realize it was mostly the receiver who ran the wrong route. The Stat Nerds makes sound arguments. Numbers don't lie. But they can mislead at times.
Football is a team sport, a game of millions of variables. No statistic made can take every single factor into account. Say a Running Back gets 15 yards up the gut. That's a good play. But maybe the offensive line is really good. Maybe the defensive line is horrible, and a linebacker wiffed on a tackle. Maybe it was play action, and they sold the fake well. What about what down it was? What about the position on the field at the time of the run? What about what time in the game it was? Maybe it was a garbage time run and the defense was in the Prevent formation. The RB gets 15 yards to his stat total, however so much went into that single play that no statistic can take this all into account. But don't try and tell a Stat Nerd that.

Jaded fan is what happens after years of terrible play and heartbreak. This fan used to love football. They still do, but they aren't sure why. They come back game after game, year after year, telling themselves they should just sever the relationship.But they can't. Because maybe this is the year it happens, and they'd never forgive themselves. The Jaded fan is a pessimist with just enough hope every year to cope with the awfulness of their team. Some even revel in it. You can often find Pessimists at the bar, by themselves, drinking hard liquor. Do not try to cheer them up. You don't understand their heartbreak.

Clueless SO is stereotypically a girlfriend or wife, but they come in all sexes and types. Sometimes they are just friends as well. You often see them with their beaus in social gathering wearing the same team jersey as their SO. The jersey is often not even theirs, but their SO's. But the end result is the same: they don't understand the game at all, and they ask a lot of questions. I hope you have patience, because they can be taught. Start slow, with the most basic rules and positions, as watch them slowly get it. I managed to turn my girlfriend from this into a casual fan in a little over a year, so do not fret, it is possible.

An eager girlfriend/boyfriend is an easy turn. But an indifferent spouse is more difficult. You can do the one thing that I've always seen work: Sell Football as a primetime drama TV show. Football and television were made for each other. There are so many stories, so many underdogs, so much drama laced into every game, and the show will never be canceled. Unless Goodell really screws up. Which he might.

The Fantasy Football nut doesn't care about his team. Maybe because he roots for a bad one, or maybe because he was never too into a particular team. Whatever the case is, this fan spends gameday staring at their phone. You will hear them yell obscenities and celebrations during commercial breaks, only to find out they are celebrating MJD getting them some extra points against his opponent. They do not root for teams, they root for players. They often love to tell you who they started and benched that week, and who they drafted that they are so proud of. Nobody cares who they drafted, but good luck getting them to accept this. The Fantasy Fan wants to feel smart, like he knows the game, and often poses as a Stat Nerd but does not have the knowledge to actually be a stat nerd.

Bandwagon Fan, sometimes known as the Fair Weather fan, is the worst fan in the world. High in number, high in attitude, high in volume, utterly basement levels of knowledge. The Bandwagon fan is the fan everyone else hates. But they are EVERYWHERE.
The Bandwagon fan knows nothing about the game. If a reciever drops a ball, The Bandwagoner screams that the refs should call interference. If a flag is thrown on his team, the Bandwagon fan will call bullshit and blame the refs, even on a blatant facemask. The Bandwagoner will yell at players who aren't even on the team anymore. The Bandwagoner will trash talk you and your team, spouting whatever EPSN said on Sportscenter. If his team beats your team, you will hear about it for weeks. If your team beats his team, the Bandwagoner will dissapear, become quiet, and never talk about football until the next game. They will also call you a nutjob if you call them on this. They only care if their team wins. They are the worst. Avoid conversation at all costs. It will only make you hate life. 

This is not a normal soccer fan. Soccer is a fine sport, and have plenty of fine fans. The "Real Football" fan is one of those jerks who became a fan of soccer just so they can smugly throw it in your face that Football is really "American Football, and you are wrong". If you live in America, don't say "Real Football" when you know that in the USA, it's SOCCER. You may be right, American Football has little to do with feet most of the time and Soccer is foot-based, but that's not why you said it. You said it to be a smug jerk to a Football fan. THIS IS AMERICA. Football means FOOTBALL. Touchdowns. Interceptions. Two Minute Warnings. Punishing drives and high scoring offenses. Names like "COWBOYS" and "GIANTS", instead of weird names like "Manchester United". That's not a team name, that's a sentence fragment. You aren't better than anyone just because you like a different sport. 

Myself? I'm mostly the Pessimist with a little bit of Stat Nerd/Passionate fan thrown in for good measure. What kind of fan are you?