Who has got the cure for the sit-at-home blues? Ask Dr Grabthar. Now with bigger, easier to read font!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

[Sport] Conspiracy theories

As many of you know I am a fan of the New York Jets (Kia ora to Bassett and the team at Jets Blog). As such I am NOT a fan of the New England Patriots.

So when I was browsing NFL.com yesterday (for the ninetieth time that day) I scoffed when I saw this photo of the SB Champion Patriots meeting Monkey President George W Bush. Then I noticed something, have a look and see if you see it too…

All of the black players are standing at the back, no where near the President. Maybe Kanye West wasn’t just guessing.

(Note: Offensive Coordinators Charlie Weis and Defensive Coordinator Romeo Cremmel are also not in the photo).

Then I thought I must be crazy. George seems like a nice guy, right? Tedy Bruschi seems to think George is hilarious (but why is he holding that other guys hand?).

Yeah, the arrangement of players must have been random. Let’s put my honours degree in mathematics to work and figure out the probability that the order was random (yes this IS a statistics problem, but that guy from Numb3rs does it all the time).

There are 33 players, and management, whose faces are in the shot. Of those 10 are black. There are roughly 12 positions “near the president (see picture). So what is the probability that if each of those 12 positions were selected randomly they would all be white players?

First: each black player has a 10 in 33 (or 30%) chance of being selected for the first position; each white player has a 23 in 33 (or 70%) chance of being selected for the first position.

Then: each black player has a 10 in 32 (or 31%) chance of being selected for the second position; each white player has a 22 in 32 (or 69%) chance of being selected for the second position.

Etc…until: each black player has a 10 in 22 (or 45%) chance of being selected for the 12th position; each white player has a 12 in 22 (or 55%) chance of being selected for the 12th position.

So the formula for the probability is this (I am rounding the percentages to one decimal place):

[70% x 69% x 68% x 67% x 66% x 64% x 63% x 62% x 60% x 58% x 57% x 55%]

The (rounded) answer is: 0.4%

So there is less than a one percent chance that all the white players were randomly the closest to the George Bush.

I could weight this. I could say that Coach Bill Belichick is guaranteed a place in the 12. I could say a similar thing for QB Tom Brady. But what about RB Corey Dillon? He should be weighted higher because of his excellent performance. Oh and what about SUPERBOWL MVP Deion Branch? Shouldn’t he be there automatically?

On Bush’s left is Coach Belichick, on his right is Patriots owner Bob Kraft, or if you will the rich white guy. Nah, that’s being too cynical.

Or is it....?

In other news, I just got call from the game store and Madden 2006’s New Zealand release date has been pushed back to September 15! Aaarrrggghhhh!!!!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

more like you hate black people you racist.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite prepared to believe that Bush is a racist and the GOP certainly doesn't care about anyone who can't help them retain power, let alone black people, but dude, that was a half-assed statistical analysis. Not convincing at all. You note that they are all bunched up at the back, and then you go and use a uniform distribution null hypothesis which is completely inconsistent with that fact. You forgot to include less invidious hypotheses, like maybe the photographer wanted it that way because it improves the composition of the shot.

Despite what Numbers has been telling you, probabilistic calculations are the easy part of statistics. Better throw the TV away. :-)

JoKeR said...

I think the simpler explanation is that the black players didn't want to be any closer to Bush than they had to be.

Anonymous said...

You're into statistics, check out the player heights.

Anonymous said...

The idea that Bush does not like blacks is silly. The actual issue is that there IS a group of people that everyone knows with out a doubt that Bush does not like.

Bush does not like Democrats. Same thing for his crew, they do not like democrats either.

It is merely a coincidence that many, if not most blacks lean to the democratic party. Completely a coincidence. Really.

Bush's crew will figure some way to stick it to the Democrats. Make that more than one way. They are surely working on it right now, with Karl Rove in charge of the 200 billion dollar reconstruction effort.

In a republic, the government is not afraid of the people.

Mike said...

Have you ever been in a group photo? Tallest people in back...

Anonymous said...

Have you ever been in a group photo? Tallest people in back...

I'm not trying to lend any credence to this half-ass stat's class, but I should point out that the players are almost certainly on steps.

Anonymous said...

0.4 % chance and guess what. 4 times in 1000 we could get the lineup shown. Doesn't mean it won't happen, just very unlikely. Just because it actually did happen does not suggest a conspiricy.

Anonymous said...

Tallest people in back? Only if the people in the back are more than one foot taller than the people in front of them. Take a look, do you really think that the people in back are that tall? They're standing on something.

Anonymous said...

Your "near the President" metric is pretty bad. You can be "near" him by being 5 people away in the front row but NOT "near" him by being two people away diagonally?

History Is A Weapon said...

Why is everyone so afraid to admit the truth? George Bush doesn't like black people. Now while I'm sure the analysis of this picture is partly in jest, why are so many people bothered to admit it? His daddy didn't and neither did his daddy's boss.
History Is A Weapon

Anonymous said...

This is idiotic. You lie-beral Demon-crat scum just hate the fact that Bush is kicking ass. He has given more blacks jobs in his administration than that whoremongering, married to a lesbian, murderers his friends and covers them up douch bag Clinton, who used Black people. Black who blame Bush are lazy thugs who are living off the govt. anyway. I say shoot the motherfuckers for treason or send them back to Africa since that is where they want to go. I bet the would love starvation and aids. Fucking nigs owe us for saving their ass from a stagnant civilization and given a better life in America. NO matter what they think, even the poorest ghetto mama is better off poor here than starving with Aids in Africa.

Anonymous said...

The black player above Bush is twice as close as the guy on the far right side that you list as being "near". Try drawing a circle around Bush instead of a freehand diagram around the white folk.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am really impressed by the rage of the anonymous commenters. Methinks they doth protest too much. What's wrong fellas, touched a nerve?

palinode said...

What interests me more is that there are five white folks adjacent to Bush and zero black folks. Given Bush's degree of control over his photo ops, you'd think someone would notice that.

Bonzai (also posted on Metafilter thread. said...

Let's see. .4% that one photo-op can produce these events? (That percentage has already been called into question. But let's just take it as a given)

How photo-ops does a president do anyway? If it's 100, the odds of 100 iterations not producing 1 example of .4% probability, is around 67%. So about a 33% chance of it happening at least once. 200 iterations would be 45% chance of it happening once.

The sample size is one. Can we draw on a larger sample set? How do you eliminate bias when deciding who is "close" and who is "not close", are these precise measurements?

This doesn't seem to be good science.

Anonymous said...

I bet last week all the blacks would have been up front!

illovich said...

You can't really use statistics to analyze a constructed photo shoot, because it's only 1 photo shoot which is constructed out of a small group of people, this is to say that any way you slice it, the numbers will be too small to give results which have any real meaning.

But this is probably more of a statistics joke than an actual use of stats.

But hey, anonymous...

You lie-beral Demon-crat scum just hate the fact that Bush is kicking ass. He has given more blacks jobs in his administration than that whoremongering, married to a lesbian, murderers his friends and covers them up douch bag Clinton, who used Black people...

Mr Rove, you are among friends here. There is no need to hide behind the cowardly anonymous, tag :)

Anonymous said...

Fine! Bush hates Nigs. The animals that shoot at law officers, burn cities deserve his hate. The spoiled jock who demands more money so he can buy lots of bling and care for his babies with various whores. These are people worth liking?

I say since the blacks and liberals all demand handouts, we just give them the Gulf Coast and see what they can do with it. I lay you odds, it will a crime ridden third world nation and they will be begging for whitey and the Republicans to come save them.

Screw em all. They sat on their asses for years living in poverty and doing drugs and well tough shit. My solution would have been to lock them all in the Superdome and let them kill each other. I don't want my tax dollars going to a bunch of drug addict criminals and whores.

Hadyn said...

Wow!
So many angry people.
So many wrong people.

I'll address this in a separate post if anyone's interested.

Cheers for dropping by

illovich said...

I say since the blacks and liberals all demand handouts, we just give them the Gulf Coast and see what they can do with it. I lay you odds, it will a crime ridden third world nation and they will be begging for whitey and the Republicans to come save them

Okay.

Except us lie-berals aren't really that interested in handouts. You may or may not be aware of this, but your beloved Republican party has become the handout party, except this administration gives the handouts to their cronies and the wealthiest corporations.

Assuming you're an American, doesn't this bother you? Halliburton, Bechtel, et. al don't have to even bid for contracts that billions of your and my taxes go to? While the deficits climb higher and higher?

And those great tax breaks? Woot, I got $300 off my federal taxes, meanwhile my state and local taxed have spiral upwards, resulting in a over $1000 increase in my taxes last year. And I live in a Republican controlled state and locality.

Yeah, that Republican party. I hope they stop saving me real soon.

Cranky Yankee said...

Hey anonymous racist, did you know that there are more white conservative, self-described republicans, on welfare and on drugs than blacks on welfare. Ever heard of a trailer queen? Ever heard of a meth lab? I lived in the south and there sure were a lot of Bush/Cheney bumper stickers in the trailer parks.... They hate "nigs" too. You are in good company. Did you get you check this week? Go get some crank so you can stop jonesing. Get that rambling under control.

You would think that with an intellect the produced "lie-beral" and "demon-crat" you would have gotten the facts before you unleashed you razor sharp wit. Your command of English is about as well wrapped as you grip on reality. Shrubco is kicking ass indeed. That must be why he is sucking up to the blacks in an effort to save his reputation from being the most racist potus in history.

Kane said...

I've read all the comments and as a young black male from DC who's quite fond of statistics, knows crackheads, whores and welfare dependants, and follows Bush's actions very closely, I think this picture is quite simple. Black football players most likely come from middle class and lower income families, they very large and may harbor a little anger toward "The Man." Bush being everything downtrodden black men hate: priviledged, and quite the redneck. They don't like him. Bush of course is like alot of white people I know scared of people and cultures they don't understand. He doesn't like them. When everyone started to get in position for the photo the black men naturally moved as far from him as possible and I'm sure Bush didn't protest this. Hey I don't blame them I wouldn't take a picture next to Bush unless it was for Sports Illustrated and we were in the ring at MGM Grand slugging it out.

Anonymous said...

"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."
-FDR

(that includes photo ops)

Jack Yan said...

Those who took the original post too seriously ought to lighten up. Nobody heard of entertainment? Is Bush a racist? Is Bush not a racist? I see more minorities in the Cabinet than I ever have. Looks better mixed than the National Party front bench. Thanks to Kane for a calmer comment. Simple explanation, situation defused.

Anonymous said...

We thought it would be a good idea to give you all the information available on olympics sport before you get down to the nitty-gritty of it.

Anonymous said...

viagra online

buy viagra

generic viagra