Nationals Baseball: Yards to glory most recent

Friday, August 05, 2011

Yards to glory most recent

At the end of 3rd grade my teacher polled us on what our favorite book that year was. When the results came back overwhelmingly in favor of one ("The Indian in the Cupboard" I believe) she said she was not surprised. She said that over the years it was invariably the last book of the year that won these polls. (well... maybe she didn't use "invariably" with 8 year olds) We are inclined to pick not what was actually objectively the best (though that was a pretty good book) but just what was freshest in our memories.

With that in mind I pulled the years from ESPN's "Yards to Glory" feature about the "immortal" touchdowns in college football from every distance. College football has been around for a very long time. If this were truly fair than the distribution would be equal across the decades. It's not.

pre1920 1
20s 5
30s 4
40s 0
50s 8
60s 7
70s 8
80s 22
90s 19
00s 25
10+ 2


How lucky we are that we just experienced arguably the most memorable decade of college football ever! the 2010s are going to find it hard to live up to that.

You can forgive a bit the pre-TV years, I imagine, but come on - there must have been some great football going on before 1980? The fact that there were fewer immortal touchdowns from 1950-1979 than there were from 2000-2009 is ridiculous. This is why I don't begrudge ESPN for doing alot of their stuff in the "ESPN era". It's the time frame from which the people making these picks are going to inherently favor.

In conclusion: My third grade teacher was right.


Carl the Big Fool said...

Well, sure. Remember they had the "baseball's most memorable moments" poll a few years ago? Cal Ripkin breaking Gehrig's record won, and Ichiro's rookie season made the top ten. That had temporal bias written all over it.

Harper said...

I guess if you say "most memorable" though you have an out. I mean - how is anyone under 15 going to remember something before the millennium?

(that list was total crap)

T. Taylor Joo said...

There's a term for it in psychology/behaviorial science, recency effect. Let's start calling it ESPN effect. ESPN Effect: Importance in sports history is decided by what ESPN deems to be important in the sports history.

Anonymous said...

How about "immortal" in the sense that "we have the videos to show in our feature"?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...

How come you are on a football kick? NATS sweep Cubs, take two out of 3 from Phillies. Discuss. Or "real football"- All time striker, Pele, Maradona (God was in his corner) or Messi?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 said...


One serious question, what is the matter with your Blog Clock? Even since the Oleander days, it has been well perculiar. My rift on soccer says I posted at 9:45 am when It was at approx. 12:40 pm. 8/8 EDT. Are you on the west coast or something?

Harper said...

Is one post a kick?

As for your soccer Q - I don't know. I'll go with Luigi from Super Mario Strikers.

I have no idea what's up with the clock. I'm not on the west coast. Doesn't really bother me so I haven't tried to fix. Does it mess up readers or something?