Leonard Cooper, Jeopardy Folk Hero, Still Could Have Lost When He…

Everyone is rightly lauding Leonard Cooper, the winner of the Jeopardy Teen Tournament, as America's coolest high schooler. When Final Jeopardy came around, Leonard didn't know the answer. So he wrote something much better. He wrote, » 2/13/13 8:05pm 2/13/13 8:05pm

H, Y, and Z Are Your Money Letters: How To Beat Scrabble's Flawed…

This week the director of research at Google, a fellow named Peter Norvig, published on his blog the results of a fascinating deep-dive into the English language. If you're at all interested in letter frequency or word frequency, you owe it to yourself to at least skim Norvig's post. Essentially the researcher who in… » 1/13/13 10:15am 1/13/13 10:15am

Who Was On The Ballots Of The Hall Of Fame Voters Refusing To Go…

For just the second time, the Baseball Writers' Association of America has given its voters the option of having their Hall of Fame ballots made public. Of the 569 voters who cast ballots, only 108 chose to reveal who they voted for. (Of course, many more discussed their selections in their own columns—194 of them, » 1/10/13 10:10am 1/10/13 10:10am

City Folks Are Wimps, And Other Things We Can Learn From America's…

In Game 2 of the NLCS on Monday night, 235-pound man-missile Matt Holliday broke up a double play by launching himself at Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro. Scutaro, only 185 pounds, never had a chance. The late slide demolished the 36-year-old's hip and took him out of the game. Since then the press has been

» 10/17/12 6:00pm 10/17/12 6:00pm

Even If Icing The Kicker Doesn't Work, It's Better Than Never Icing The…

Mike Tomlin iced the kicker twice last night, but with an unfortunate twist: First, he called a timeout on his own kicker, Shaun Suisham, who proceeded to miss a 54-yarder. Then he stopped the Titans' Rob Bironas just as he was about to attempt the game-winning 40-yarder. Bironas waited two minutes and nailed the kick, … » 10/12/12 4:05pm 10/12/12 4:05pm

Bud Selig's New, Random Postseason Knows The Soul Of Baseball Better…

Out of the 22 playoff games in the first two rounds of the MLB playoffs, 12 have featured at least one team on the brink of elimination, and six of those will have been sudden death for both teams. Bud Selig's new postseason format puts a lot more weight on single games, which has led many players, writers, and fans to … » 10/12/12 3:30pm 10/12/12 3:30pm

How The Crazy-Ass AL Division Races Unfolded: Visualizing Momentum

The Athletics and the Yankees clinched their respective division titles on the same day, but the paths they took to get there were very different. The A's budget freight train slammed through a Rangers squad that had sat atop the AL West for over 170 consecutive days, while the Yankees barely edged the Orioles despite… » 10/04/12 3:15pm 10/04/12 3:15pm

Charles "Peanut" Tillman Scornfully Responds To Local Teacher's…

The Bears' Pro Bowl corner Charles Tillman was promoting his Cornerstone Foundation in a suburban Chicago runner's shop, when he was approached by a teenaged girl. She was the daughter of the store's owner, and she was just killing time doing her math homework, when she came across a problem she thought he'd be… » 6/15/12 10:15am 6/15/12 10:15am

How Readable Are Bill Simmons, Jason Whitlock, Rick Reilly, And Other…

The last time we played around with sportswriter analytics, we wondered if we could algorithmically determine a column's author based on his favorite words. (We could!) For a followup, I decided to look at the readability of different writers. Reading level is a nebulous concept and hard to define precisely, but we… » 5/22/12 9:30am 5/22/12 9:30am

Kobe Is (Allegedly) A Better Womanizer Than He Is A Basketball Player: …

The National Enquirer dropped one of its perhaps-truth bombs this week on Kobe Bryant's marriage (here's a summary, since the Enquirer wants you to splurge in the supermarket and didn't put its story online): The tab reports that Bryant had affairs with 105 women during the 10 years he was married to Vanessa. Or at… » 12/22/11 5:10pm 12/22/11 5:10pm

Why NFL Players Love A Coach Who Goes For It On Fourth Down, And Why…

We're doing a season-long NFL roundtable with our friends at Slate. Check back here each week as a rotating cast of football watchers discusses the weekend's key plays, coaching decisions, and traumatic brain injuries. » 11/15/11 1:00pm 11/15/11 1:00pm