Monday, January 14, 2008

Dude! I made a sports analogy!

Me! Someone who couldn't be less interested in sports or more wrong on the details. Like, once when a friend said something about "the ball being in his court" - an expression we all know - I said, "Why is everything football references?"

Fine. It's a field. Not a court. I get it when I actually sit down to think about it.

I am also the person who referred to someone who wound up working for the San Francisco 49ers as working for "some baseball team."

Seriously. We were looking at a survey of graduates from a particular PhD program, and one of them reported that he'd gone on to be an assistant coach or something of the sort for the 49ers.

And so I mentioned this interesting data point. As in, this person who got a PhD in whatever it was decided to scrap academia and coach some baseball team.

"Which baseball team?" asked the sports-interested man whose project I was helping with.

"It's in San Francisco. The 49ers."

He didn't know me at all. He didn't know that I'd grown up in India, with parents who'd rather spoon their eyes out than attend sporting events or watch them on TV.

"Football, Lisa! That's football! And I wonder how he got that job?"

So back to the present. Because you see, I was writing this speech on data analysis in higher education. And in my outline of points to cover, the last one was "memorable conclusion."

Cripes! Memorable conclusion. And then I thought, hey, he loves sports! He's asked me to drop sports references in before, and so if the speech is in Chicago, for example, I've put in the text "INSERT CHICAGO SPORTS REFERENCE" because I am incapable of coming up with them on my own. He knows this.

But this time, this time I called a friend of mine. I ran through the goal of the speech, and the kind of analogy I needed. It's all about data, but looking at it in a different way.

This was when he introduced me to Sabermetrics. Which fit perfectly! And even if you aren't remotely sports-interested (i.e. even if you're me), it's really quite interesting.

Yay! I made a sports analogy!


  1. Hehe, you're so damn cute.

    In the last few years I've gotten so much more into sports. Mostly because I have a boyfriend who thinks it's endearing when I ask asinine questions, so I actually learn things.

  2. Yikes, my eyes glazed over just reading the first paragraph of that Sabremetrics site.

    I think you deserve several pats on the back for even attempting the analogy.

  3. There are sidewalk vendors all over India that sell pirated sports merchandise stuff, and you frequently see stuff like a baseball cap that says "49ers NBA." (The 49ers, as we've established, are a football team.) And to top it off, they'll usually have a made-up logo.

    So, really, your confusion on such things makes perfect sense.

    That having been said, if you start blogging about Sabermetrics, I'm going to be reading your blog a lot more regularly ....


Tell me about it.