Friday, April 04, 2014

The Numbers Don't Lie

Knowing the Yale men's basketball team was playing last night in the championship game of one of the alphabet-soup postseason tournaments, I decided to pull together some numbers that you may find interesting.

Yale played no fewer than five postseason games in the tournament, the last a 65-57 loss at Murray State, albeit without its best player. (The Bulldogs played their first game on Nov. 9, week eight of the football season, and finished 147 days later. The football season runs 64 days from first game to last. But I digress.)

No fewer than five Ivy League men's basketball teams played in the postseason and three women's teams continued on in the postseason. Together, they played 18 postseason games.

In men's ice hockey six teams played in the postseason and the last I checked, that's how many Ivy League schools sponsor men's ice hockey. They played a total of 18 postseason games. On the women's side five Ivy League hockey teams played in the postseason. They played a total of 17 postseason games. Together, they played 35 postseason games. (And keep in mind, they don't play doubleheaders.)

The Ivy League had men's and women's soccer teams play postseason games and a field hockey team played two postseason games. Women's volleyball also played in the postseason. Track and cross country and wrestling, squash, swimming, you name it, all had postseason representation.

With the spring season still to go, here's a running tally for you:

58Postseason games for Ivy League basketball, the hockey and the fall ball sport teams.
0Postseason games for Ivy League football teams.

Green Alert Take: The ban on playing football in the postseason is rooted in another time, when the Ivy League played the game at another, more-troubled level. Keeping the prohibition in place after the Ivies stopped playing major college football is as hypocritical as it is indefensible. Football is the only Ivy League sport not allowed to play in the postseason. You may see it differently, but what the ban says to me is that the poohbahs believe football players can't handle the athletic-academic grind the way all those hockey players and basketball players and the rest can over 58 postseason games. And if you ask me, that's every single bit as much a knock on former Ivy League football players who are now doctors and lawyers and teachers as it is on those who are in uniform today.
A regular emailer sent along a link to a Wall Street Journal story headlined, Nike, Brooks Running Get Entangled in Track Controversy; Top Athletes Consider a Strike Against Governing Body. Quoted in the story (LINK) is Olympic gold medal shot-putter Adam Nelson '97. From the story:
We're moving towards a situation in which the athletes truly can collectively speak. And I can say that this is certainly the first time in my generation," said Adam Nelson, president of the Track & Field Athletes Association. The nonprofit group represents 139 athletes, including more than a dozen Olympic medalists. 
Mr. Nelson, a 2004 Olympic champion in shot put, said the group has yet to reach consensus on, for example, whether to strike or form an alternative competitive circuit. "Nothing is off the table," he said.
Learning that Nelson was president of the T&FAA, I googled around a bit and found a series of stories he wrote called Confessions of an Olympic and World Champion Shot Putter. Be sure to read his well-thought-out comeback to a doctor who essentially said that he had to be taking steroids. LINK

And, oh yeah. Nelson, the president of that organization who penned that series of stories? He's one of those former Ivy League football players who couldn't handle playing in the postseason.
BGA has eyes all over the place. Here's a photo a regular reader snapped before the Dartmouth baseball game Tuesday afternoon.

If you look closely, that's head football coach Buddy Teevens doing his part to clear ice and snow from an entryway to Memorial Field in anticipation of the start of practice next week. Somehow I can't see Urban Meyer doing that.
And finally, I was nervous when she started playing Little League baseball with the boys, and again when she returned to play summer hardball with them after her freshman year playing centerfield on her high school softball team. At least  I was until I saw her sting that 80 mph fastball into the gap on her first at-bat. I was nervous at all four of her state championship appearances on the track and each time she qualified to run at New Englands. I was on pins and needles when she opened the envelopes she got from all of those top colleges in the spring of her senior year of high school and I was nervous last spring when she was running for Dartmouth student body president.

But clicking through The Dartmouth this morning to see how her first attempt at writing a sports column in the school newspaper may have topped them all. Read her column here.

That Certain '14 did a very nice job spinning a story out of her days as a townie who worshipped Dartmouth athletes growing up and modeled herself after them. Seems to have worked.

All that said, I'm glad she's smart enough to want to be a teacher and perhaps a coach, or do something in the science world instead of trying writing for a living. I guess we did something right ;-)