Category Archive for: Sports [Return to Main]

Friday, October 28, 2011

"The Owners Will Say There’s Been a Franchise Bubble"

NBA.com interviews Kevin Murphy (he's an advisor to the players in their negotiations with NBA owners):

Kevin Murphy on the NBA Negotiations, The Sports Economist: ... NBA.com: The owners will say there’s been a franchise bubble not unlike the housing bubble. A number of them bought high and don’t think they’ll see the equity growth.
KM: The fact is, guys have not done well over the last few years as asset prices generally have gone down. I don’t doubt that. But to say that you lost money in the worst asset crash in memory — and franchises haven’t gone down nearly as much as many assets have gone down — that’s not telling you you need concessions going forward.
If you go back before the last 3-5 years, these guys did incredibly well. Their franchises weren’t going up by 4 or 5 percent, they were going up by 8 or 9 percent a year. They were making money hand over fist. Should [the players] get credit for that? Should we get that money back? Now those are different people in some cases. They need to go get their money from the guys they bought the franchises from. That’s the guy who has all your money. Not us.
But who bought anything in ’07 that they’re happy with the price they paid? If you bought a house in ’07, if you bought stocks in ’07, if you bought bonds in ’07 — I don’t care what you bought, you’re not happy with the price you paid. When you buy at the top, you don’t make your money. That’s not unique to the NBA, that’s everywhere in life. But by and large, NBA franchise ownership has been a good investment. You can’t base long-run projections on how you did in the biggest financial downturn of the last 50 years. On that basis, there are no good investments out there. But we know that’s not true.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Sports Stories Written by Algorithm"

Should sports reporters worry that computers will take their jobs?:

Sports stories written by algorithm, by Shane Greenstein: Have you suspected for some time that most writing about sporting events is formulaic? Well, suspect no more! It is possible to have a computer write a sports story merely from the box score. ... It is described in this article.
Now, seriously, there are two ways to read this article, and one of them is substantially more right than the other. The first interpretation would foresee a massive replacement of sports writers with computers... The second interpretation would foresee the growth of a new service, the creation of stories for events that previously did not receive them — such as local high school games.
I think we will see more of the latter in the next few years.
First of all, the computers do not yet employ that extra verve or wordplay or attitude that makes for great sports writing. ... So the best sports writers are in no danger of losing their uniqueness, the voice that gives their writing value. Second, there is considerable demand for the second type of service. There are lots of sporting events played all over the country. A routine sports story would enhance a web page, and add just a nice element to a summary. Lots of places will pay ten dollars for that (which is what the price is today), and that price will decline with time.
Think about it: Much of sporting news follows a routine canon, a contest with ups and downs and comebacks and heroism and more. These are played out every day on high school playgrounds and in many others places, but the only stories ever written are those written in the heads of the right fielder. Now we have another source.
Onward to a new form of journalism!