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Moogs
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2004-12-19, 17:03

I posted this thread as a response to the discussion that was starting to take place in the Pedro thread, about which athletes have the most demanding jobs / are deserving of the most respect as competitors, etc. It's not a new debate and I sort of get tired of mulling over the same things every time, so I thought I'd do my part to put it to rest.


Things were started when it was debated how taxing a sport baseball can be, in terms of physical exertion and skills required. Having played and watched baseball for many years, I’ll just say this:

In its purest form (big stadiums and glitzy contracts need not apply), baseball is great. It has its own aesthetic and timing. The feeling you have playing the game is something special, especially when you're out there with other people who love the game and want to knock the ball around a little (and nothing more). I don't deny it, and that part of the game will always have me by the heartstrings.

But I've also played a lot of basketball, a lot of hockey and even some soccer, all with people who played at the collegiate level (and a few higher than that in the case of soccer and hockey). Never played anything but pickup football in college, but I have a sense of that game too. Anyone who has played three or more of the major N Americn sports will probably tell you that baseball does not require (on the whole) the same kind of athleticism (which I'll define as a *combination* of acquired skill and physical task) the other sports do. It just isn't the case IMO.

Yes, hitting a curve ball or a knuckler is the hardest single task in team sports probably, but that's only one aspect of the game; it requires excellent eye-hand coordination much more than anything else. You don't have to be a physically strong individual; I know guys skinny as a rail that could pound the crap out of anything you throw at them (line drives all over the park) because they have excellent eye-hand skills and "quick wrists". Throwing and fielding require a combination of things, but mostly eye-hand coordination. Baseball is simply not a taxing sport most of the time.

If I had to list by position the athletes tasked with the most difficult combination of acquired skill and physical exertion, in professional and semi-professional team sports (the list would change a lot at less competitive levels), according to the following criteria…

Agility (A),
Coordination (C),
Speed (D),
Mobility (M),
Stamina (S),
Reflex (R),
Physical Abuse (PA),
Overcome Fear (F),
Overpower (O)


Degree of the above items required:
Lowest (1),
Average (3),
Highest (5)


(For clarity: "Agility" I define as the ability to quickly dart from one position to the next (usually a short distance and while moving at relatively high speed) while simultaneously changing your body's orientation or posture, in order to get by an opponent or score…

"Mobility" is the ability to keep yourself in position over relatively short distances as a play develops; basically it's agility but performed while moving at a slower pace / from a relatively stationary position. A point guard requires high agility; linebackers require high mobility.

"Physical Abuse" is not necessarily just the act of taking a hit or getting slammed into the ground / ice, but could also be constant wear and tear on a single area of the body (pitcher’s arm, soccer player’s knees, etc)

"Overpower" simply means the task(s) require great physical strength of some kind or else you cannot play the position.

In general, all of the categories rated imply what level is needed to play the position well against skilled opponents. You could almost think of it this way: assuming someone is a good all-around athlete (good enough to be a professional), which things does he absolutely have to have in order to excel at a high level, at a given position? Note: this is different than saying that "most players at this position in this sport only rate this high". We all know there are baseball players out there who would make great football players, football players who can compete on the hardwood, basketball players that can tear it up on the soccer field, etc...

…anyway, the list would go something like this:


Defensman - hockey A-5, C-5, D-4, M-5, S-4, R-4, PA-5, F-4, O-3 (39)

Middle LB - football A-3, C-3, D-4, M-5, S-5, R-4, PA-5, F-2, O-5 (36)

Center - hockey A-4, C-4, D-3, M-4, S-4, R-4, PA-5, F-3, O-4 (35)
D Back – football A-5, C-4, D-5, M-4, S-4, R-4, PA-3, F-2, O-3 (35)

Scoring Wing - hockey A-5, C-5, D-4, M-4, S-3, R-3, PA-5, F-3, O-2 (34)
Quarterback - football A-3, C-4, D-3, M-4, S-4, R-4, PA-5, F-5, O-3 (34)

Ch Wing – hockey A-3, C-4, D-3, M-4, S-4, R-3, PA-5, F-2, O-4 (32)
Midfielder - soccer A-5, C-4, D-4, M-5, S-5, R-3, PA-3, F-1, O-2 (32)
Receivers – football A-5, C-4, D-5, M-2, S-3, R-3, PA-4, F-4, O-2 (32)

Goalie – hockey A-3, C-5, D-2, M-3, S-4, R-5, PA-3, F-3, O-3 (31)

Shortstop - baseball A-3, C-5, D-4, M-5, S-1, R-5, PA-2, F-2, O-3 (30)

Forward - soccer A-5, C-5, D-5, M-3, S-3, R-3, PA-2, F-1, O-2 (29)

Goalie - soccer A-4, C-3, D-1, M-5, S-1, R-5, PA-2, F-5, O-1 (27)
Forward - basketball A-3, C-3, D-2, M-5, S-4, R-2, PA-3, F-2, O-3 (27)
Catcher - baseball A-1, C-4, D-1, M-2, S-4, R-5, PA-4, F-3, O-3 (27)

Pitcher - baseball A-1, C-5, D-1, M-2, S-4, R-4, PA-3, F-3, O-3 (26)

Infield - baseball A-2, C-4, D-3, M-4, S-1, R-4, PA-2, F-2, O-3 (25)
P Guard - basketball A-5, C-5, D-3, M-4, S-3, R-3, PA-1, F-1, O-1 (25)

S Guard - basketball A-3, C-5, D-3, M-4, S-3, R-3, PA-1, F-1, O-1 (24)
Defensman – soccer A-3, C-3, D-4, M-5, S-3, R-4, PA-2, F-1, O-2 (24)

Outfield - baseball A-3, C-3, D-4, M-3, S-1, R-3, PA-2, F-1, O-3 (23)

Center - basketball A-1, C-2, D-2, M-3, S-3, R-3, PA-3, F-1, O-4 (22)


Sorry if there are any math errors; I checked over it a couple times but my eyes grow tired. And no I didn't spend all this time on this post. I had to stop for a few hours in the middle to make some lunch, watch some football, etc.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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johnq
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2004-12-19, 17:23

sorry i was testing lining things up

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-19 at 17:43.
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Kickaha
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2004-12-19, 17:26

Cool dude! Anal retentive, obsessive, and utterly insane, but cool!

It's like D&D character generation for jocks!
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Moogs
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2004-12-19, 17:27

Kick: I prefer "hyper-analytical" to "anal-retentive".

John: Were you trying to reformat the list? I couldn't figure out how to make everything line up manually... sorry if it's hard to read.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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johnq
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2004-12-19, 17:44

Right, I'm the anal-retentive one, for wanting to line things up!

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-19 at 18:06.
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johnq
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2004-12-19, 18:06

(removed to save space)

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-20 at 00:41.
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Kickaha
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2004-12-19, 18:09

*twitch* *shudder*

Not bad, I pretty much agree with most of it, except for baseball/{pitcher/catcher} having a stamina of *4*? I'd say 2 at most for the pitcher, more like 1. He just stands there. The catcher has to keep that painful crouch though. Solid 2 there. I mean come on, if a point guard in hoops has a lower stamina than a pitcher, something's wrong.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
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johnq
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2004-12-19, 18:28

Not scientifically accurate but close enough:

(removed to save space)


Now can we add average pay per position?

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-20 at 00:41.
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Wickers
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2004-12-19, 19:08

This is very interesting... but I do have to point out that unless we have a professional sports analogist among us, some of these numbers will have to be bios -- and that's not saying that the person who generated the numbers is bios toward or against any sport, or position, it's just that on order to be completely fair to each sport you would have to have a lot hours logged playing each position with an equally skilled amount of players.

That said. I think someone should generate a sheet for people to fill out and then average the numbers returned with this result. It still won't be perfect, but it would be damn near as best as Applenova can produce.

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Moogs
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2004-12-19, 19:17

John you are the freakin MAN! I hadn't even considered making an excel sheet of it for fear of being ridiculed.

Kick: Pitcher stamina has to do with the arm holding out over the course of a game (starting pitcher I mean). Throwing 100 pitches requires upper body stamina / good conditioning of those muscles and tendons. The catcher stamina comes from having to squat for the better part of four hours, although those calf pad things they have now probably makes it much easier on their back and legs.

You're right though; I thought about those two ratings specifically a couple of times. I was trying to be fair since there are different kinds of stamina. A track and field guy might have tremendous cardiovascular stamina and not be able to throw 20 hard pitches without getting jell-O arm, and conversely the pitcher might run to third on a rare triple and need an oxygen tank.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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johnq
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2004-12-19, 19:24

Catchers also have to watch and deal with base stealing, giving signs, watching for sign stealing, block the plate with their full body etc.

Aside: Maybe we need a mental agility column. Lot of complicated things for certain players.

------

I was having a brain fart and couldn't figure a way to make a range of 22 to 39 translate into 5 color segments. I used to know how.

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Moogs
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2004-12-19, 19:26

It's very true: some positions are much more cerebral than others. The SS, IF and Catcher in baseball would score pretty high on those as would hockey defensmen, Quarterbacks, D backs, LB and Point Guards.

Essentially the baseball players would be shifted up a bit higher, the basketball players a bit lower save for one, thus pooling that whole crew near the bottom.

Also I just realized I missed an obvious one:

RB - football A-5, C-3, M-1, D-4, S-3, R-4, PA-5, F-3, O-4 (32)

...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2004-12-19 at 19:42.
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Argento
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2004-12-19, 19:28

I'd be interested to see how the average pay stacks up with this chart. If anybody is up to it, because lord knows I'm not.
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Moogs
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2004-12-19, 19:38

There's likely to be an inverse relationship there, I'm guessing. Outfielders and Centers in basketball make huge salaries and they're going to be at or near the bottom of everyone's chart. Meanwhile very few hockey defensmen make more than $3M a year, and only a handful of star forwards make more than $6M a year.

The popularity of the sport does play into it (you'd never expect soccer players to make huge dollars because there's almost zero TV coverage in primetime). But even so there would still be a strong inverse relationship to parts of the table John made because some sports' salaries are skewed to the point of absurdity.

Football seems to be the exception where the guys at demanding positions who excel, make the big money as you'd expect... while mediocre players make relatively mediocre salaries (by professional sport standards).

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johnq
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2004-12-19, 19:40

RB reflex is what?
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Moogs
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2004-12-19, 19:42

Sorry... edited the post (changed stamina down a notch because many backs get spelled after two or three good runs, and added reflex).
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johnq
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2004-12-19, 19:52

(removed to save space)

I also put up the Excel file, sports.xls, although it's not scanned for viruses or anything, so, do what you will.

For colors, it's just that vertical row of reds/oranges, top one being 5 and then go down the 5 colors.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-20 at 00:40.
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Wickers
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2004-12-19, 19:56

john, that link points to a '.gif' image.

EDIT: well it did... until you changed it to the .xls file... hehe
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Kickaha
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2004-12-19, 20:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnq
Aside: Maybe we need a mental agility column. Lot of complicated things for certain players.
Agreed - hockey, soccer, and basketball would be higher than say football or baseball on average, since there are few set plays, *everyone* has to be on their toes and ready to shift radically at a moment's notice, and you have to keep tabs on where everyone else is at all times.

How about boxing?

A-4, C-4, S-5, M-2, S-5, R-5, PA-5, OF-5, O-5, MA-1

Total (pre-MA): 40, (post-MA): 41

Not sure about the S-5, thinking maybe an S-4... but I've done some small amount of sparring, and dear god your arms feel like lead after just a few minutes.

I'm not particularly a boxing fan, but I'll give props where due.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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Wickers
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2004-12-19, 21:51



I have made some minor changes to the spreadsheet...

for one, now when you change a stat (1 to 5) the cell auto changes the colour to reflect the new value... (same with the total. (1-2 is one colour, 3-4 is one colour, and 5 has it's own colour. and with the total it's 5-25 is one colour, 26-35 is another, and 36-45 is another.)

Also, the total changes based on the value you have entered. (seems the first spreadsheet was just some mental math... hehe..)

I'm now working on a way to add a stat line and sort the list by values... but I'm new to excel so it will take time.

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Brad
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2004-12-19, 21:56

Excel? I'm surprised you're not using Open Office, Wickes.
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Wickers
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2004-12-19, 22:10

yah... I'm at one of the two places that I work... just killing time while I wait for the unit I'm working on to finish transfering files.

Both workplaces use Windows... and only one lets me use Linux around the office for various tasks. (it can be a very handy tool for techs)

BTW, anyone here have the chance to test out OOo 1.2? (it's still in devel stages)

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johnq
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2004-12-20, 00:08

Not even mental math Just cut and paste.

Hm, sucks that Auto Format only goes up to 3 conditions... duh. (Plus a non-formatted default state)...

Here's a PDF sorted by each skill: (will cause a download)

http://www.nullface.com/ai/sports.pdf

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-20 at 00:30.
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torifile
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2004-12-20, 00:22

Wow. Moogs and johnq need to get into my office ASAP. There are some good treatments for OCD. Will only take about 3 months with some intense exposure sessions. I'll give you both AN discounts.

Seriously, interesting stuff. If you do include salary, I think it needs to be calculated relative to others in that particular sport. I don't think it's fair to compare raw salaries amongst sports because some are more expensive than others.
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johnq
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2004-12-20, 00:31

Here's an animated gif: (You can "pause" by clicking and holding in the empty part of the menu bar ).



(Frame every 5 seconds, 10 seconds on the total)

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-20 at 00:39.
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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 00:56

cool...

but just wondering... how did you make more then three conditions under conditional formating for the colour change within cells for the stats?

My version can only seem to add upto three... and even after I opened up your new one, I can only see three -- yet clearly you have 4 working.

Also, what are you adjusting to sort the lists? Why not make it so when you click the label cell at the top it does the sorting?

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!

Last edited by Wickers : 2004-12-20 at 01:08.
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johnq
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2004-12-20, 01:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/\/ickes
cool...

but just wondering... how did you make more then three conditions under conditional formating for the colour change within cells for the stats? My version can only seem to add upto three... and even after I opened up your new one, I can only see three -- yet clearly you have 5 working.
4 actually. I selected all the number cells and made them the lightest color (even if they have no value). Then I applied auto-format to those same cells, for values equalling 5, 4 and 3. 1 and 2 values are not noticed by the auto-formatting and merely show the default coloring. Lame but it mostly works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by \/\/ickes
Also, what are you adjusting to sort the lists? Why not make it so when you click the label cell at the top it does the sorting?
Good idea, I had just selected the whole thing, sorted by skill column (decending) and screengrabbed into ImageReady. Hadn't thought to sort by clicking the labels.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 01:17

Yah, well one of the spreadsheets I have to use at work uses a feature like this... however, the guy who wrote it did most of the work in vba for the spreadsheet, so I don't know if you can do it within just excel.

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johnq
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2004-12-20, 02:26

Ok, this one has a little summary ranking sports by difficulty (totals of 5, 4, etc.):

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Wickers
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2004-12-20, 03:39

I'm just going to point out that with that ranking table it does not take into account that football has more entries then any other sport, thus putting it in first place.

Maybe a table that takes the median score of each position per sport, then compairs them.

(PS, now that I'm home.... it's time to fire up this spreadsheet in a few open source based apps...)
(PPS, hey john -- how's the 'sort by title clicking' thing goin? -- I'm gonna grab a copy of that spread sheet at work for reference if we can't figure it out)

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!
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