Monday, July 21, 2014

When no news is bad news (and other Monday musings)

I don't know if it's a measure of his family's ability to guard their privacy or a rare example of media respect and decency, but very little information has been made public about the diagnosis and prognosis for Michael Schumacher nearly seven months after the Formula One legend suffered critical brain injuries in a skiing accident.  Even an attempt to sell Schumacher's stolen medical records found no takers among journalists, whether for ethical or legal considerations.  Sadly, it's not unreasonable to speculate that if Schumacher were doing well and on the road to a full recovery, there would be no need for the level of secrecy surrounding his health.

Dan Hawkins probably can't help but feel vindicated as he watches the Alouettes' early season misfortunes from afar. Whether or not new head coach Tom Higgins has a firmer grip on the team than Hawkins did before he was unceremoniously fired five games into the 2013 schedule, the results are essentially the same.

It's tough enough to survive in the modern media at 50-plus years of age without adding to your own burden by deliberately being a contrarian, especially just for its own sake. Hockey broadcasters and columnists who go out of their way to denigrate the advanced stats community are revealing themselves as being out of touch. Increasingly, fans, journalists and NHL teams are embracing statistics like Fenwick and Corsi as relevant measuring sticks and valuable scouting tools. Fancy stats are rapidly becoming mainstream, and media blowhards who believe otherwise are going to find themselves on the fringes - if they're not already there.

Rory wasn't the only McIlroy who cashed at the British Open yesterday. The 2014 champion's father collected 170 thousand dollars(US) on a bet he made in 2004, when Gerry McIlroy got 500-1 odds against his then 15 year old son winning the Open by age 25.  I tried to get the same odds 10 years ago on my son passing Grade 9 math but the bookies weren't biting, which is just as well because I had to drop him off summer school today. 

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