Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, April 01, 2021

Of course I’m familiar with the magic number, that games-remaining calculation used to determine when a team clinches a postseason berth:

The short method: Take the number of games yet to be played, add one, then subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent. But it might be even easier to do it with one glance at the standings if you can follow this simple mathematical formula: Games In A Season plus 1 minus Wins minus Losses by Second-Place Team.

When the magic number is 1, that means the team has clinched at least a tie for the championship. Once it reaches zero, the team has won the title.

It’s most commonly identified with Major League Baseball, although technically it applies to all team-league sports.

I’ve gotta admit, though, that I never thought to reverse the concept, and come up with the “tragic number”:

The Tragic Number is the combination of the number of loses one team needs with the number of wins the other significant team needs in order to be eliminated. It works just like the Magic Number, Team A is the team you want to calculate the Tragic Number for, Team B is the team with the best record of the remaining Teams. When the Tragic Number reached 1, the best that that team can hope for is a tie, when it reaches 0, that team is eliminated.

Basically a put-us-out-of-our-misery index. I can’t believe I’d never come across it before, given my background in sports media. I guess I tend to focus on the magical element of the sporting world, while avoiding the tragedy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/01/2021 10:54:33 PM
Category: Sports, Wordsmithing
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bust it
Can’t say I’m concerned about the big bad Conficker worm virus that’s set to strike.

But I applaud the Associated Press for gracing their coverage of the impending cyberdoom with a “DOING THE WORM” headline, thus applying the oldschool breakdancing maneuver to a techno-societal level.

Plus, it gave me an excuse to post the above picture, which is a screenshot of Visa’s old “Worm/Recycling” animated TV commercial:

Note that this particular breakin’ worm starts his set with the King Tut — seemingly incongruous, but actually more impressive owing to the lack of limbs. Probably why I took time to blog about it, exactly three years ago today (worm-related coincidence?).

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/01/2021 11:58:33 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, Pop Culture, Tech, True Crime
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Yup, the top of this month means it’s April Fool’s time today.

By all means, go F yourself today. And interpret that “eff” any which way you choose.

If you need help on that count, consider activating Gmail’s newly-unveiled AutopilotTM feature.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/01/2021 11:13:25 AM
Category: Comedy, Internet
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