One Day in September (or in February, May etc)

September is a beautiful time to be in Melbourne. Spring is slowly emerging, days are getting longer, the sunshine warmer, bees are buzzing – it’s difficult even to walk around the corner without stumbling over a cliché. To give the nice weather just a little more tingle, for AFL fans September means the final series and the glorious march to that One Day in September. sept Continue reading

Just for Bruce McAvaney: these numbers are special

This article is very entertaining for anyone who’s a fan of both maths and the Simpsons. It covers a variety of exotic maths identities like perfect and narcissistic numbers, Fermat’s last theorem, Mersenne primes.

Inspired by this, on AFL grand final day, what better way for the New Statsman to celebrate? Than by revealing the AFL’s own long-pondered but never revealed exotic numbers: AFL Products and AFL Powers. Continue reading

There’s just no comparison (that Rohan Connolly won’t irrelevantly make)

Factually, you can’t fault Rohan Connolly’s article in this morning’s Age, drawn fastidiously from the genre: “here are the random stats that turned last year’s ordinary team into this year’s amazing team”. His key points, summarised and / or (sometimes ironically) rebutted:

Connolly: “Last season, as injuries cut a swath through the list, Carlton was forced to call on 41 players. This year, it has used 38, and five have played three games or less… Five players have played every game this season. Significantly, all of them have been defenders.”

Statsman: “This season, as injuries cut a swath through the list, Carlton was forced to call on 38 players. Last year, it used 41, but five played two games or less… Three Blues played every game last season. Significantly two of them were gun super-barometer excitement machines Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett.” Continue reading

How equal is equal? Part Two (hey mate, good game)

In my last post I discussed measures of equality in the AFL. As forecast, I couldn’t just let one analysis be enough.

Below are charts showing the proportions of games decided by 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 points or fewer. In short, this is a measure of how often players get to say “good game” and mean it more than Wiley Wiggins in Dazed and Confused (see from 1 minute mark or so). Continue reading

How equal is equal? Discuss (in ten thousand articles or fewer)

Everyone seems to love writing about equalisation in the AFL. That’s the only explanation that I can find for the articles here (vague speculation), here (AFL corporate line), here (AFL corporate line, part two) here (inflammatory rhetoric), here (inflammatory rhetoric, part two), here (my club has worked bloody hard to get where we are you bludgers), here (no actual news), here (a discussion of the goals of equalisation!), here (finances), here (excellent, excellent, excellent article… also the author has a black belt in karate), here, here, here, and, although the author seems a little confused re what his actual topic is, here.

And in all this writing, no-one seems prepared to take a stab at proving that a lack of equality actually exists. There’s plenty of discussion of money, but no evidence is provided that financial disparity creates on-field disparity (it seems likely that it does – but no-one challenges the assumption). Continue reading