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Saturday, January 23, 2016

If only the NY TImes used the sports headline writers for the news

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Saturday's New York Times sports section features an article blasting the NFL for its treatment of Israel's football team (which plays for the AFC title and a trip to the Super Bowl tomorrow) and team quarterback Tom Brady (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). The headline is titled True Scandal of Deflategate Lies in the N.F.L.’s Behavior.
In May, the data arrived. The prominent lawyer Theodore V. Wells Jr., who was hired to investigate Deflategate for the league, delivered a devastating indictment of the Patriots. The Wells report concluded that “it was more probable than not” that two members of the Patriots’ locker room staff had “participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls,” and that “it was more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware” of the impropriety.
Although the evidence was circumstantial — based on ambiguous text messages; Brady’s discarding of a cellphone; and a trip to the bathroom by one of the staff members, who took the balls in with him — it was also buttressed by a lengthy scientific report prepared by Exponent, a consulting firm with dubious bona fides, having disputed the dangers of secondhand smoke and asbestos. Exponent was a hired gun, and its conclusions backed Wells’s narrative.
Brady liked his footballs at the lowest p.s.i. in the range — 12.5. The consultants concluded that the drop in the p.s.i. of the Patriots’ footballs — the average was 11.3 p.s.i. — could not be fully explained by the Ideal Gas Law; it was too steep. But the smaller drop in the p.s.i. of the Colts’ footballs could indeed be explained by the laws of physics.
Numbers in hand, Leonard went to work. He bought the same gauges the N.F.L. used to measure p.s.i. levels. He bought N.F.L.-quality footballs. He replicated the temperatures of the locker room, and the colder field. And so on. When he was done, he concluded that Exponent had made a series of basic errors. Leonard’s work showed the exact opposite of Exponent’s conclusions: The drop in the Patriots’ footballs’ p.s.i was consistent with the Ideal Gas Law; the smaller drop in pressure in the Colts’ balls was not. (Leonard surmises that because the Colts’ balls were tested after the Patriots’ balls, they had warmed up again.)
By early November, he had a PowerPoint presentation with more than 140 slides. By the end of the month, he had given two lectures about Deflategate, the second of which he had videotaped and posted on YouTube. A viewer who watched the lengthy lecture edited it down to a crisp 15 minutes; Leonard agreed to let him post the edited version.
The edited lecture went up on YouTube on Dec. 1 and has been viewed more than 17,000 times. It is utterly convincing. Leonard told me that if an M.I.T. undergraduate made the kinds of mistakes that Exponent made, “I would force them to repeat the experiment and correct the analysis.” Based on his study of the data, Leonard now says: “I am convinced that no deflation occurred and that the Patriots are innocent. It never happened.”
He is hardly the only scientist to take that position. As Dan Wetzel pointed out in a recent Yahoo Sports column, scientists at Carnegie Mellon, the University of Chicago, Boston College, Rockefeller University, the University of Illinois and Bowdoin College — and others — have all come to the same conclusion.
Fair headline? I think so. Now compare it with this headline and the accompanying article's content.

Palestinian Girl with Knife Killed by Israeli Guard, Police Say
A 13-year-old Palestinian girl was fatally shot by an Israeli security guard at the entrance to a West Bank settlement on Saturday after she ran at him with a knife, according to the Israeli police.
The girl was identified by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa as Ruqayya Eid Abu Eid, a resident of the Palestinian village of Anata. The village is about a mile from the settlement of Anatot, where the episode occurred.
According to the Israeli police, Ms. Abu Eid quarreled with her family on Saturday morning and then left her home with a knife “intending to die.” She arrived at the settlement about 8 a.m., the police said in a statement, and ran toward the civilian guard at the entrance, who opened fire. Grainy security camera footage from the scene appeared to show a girl with a knife in her hand chasing a guard.
The girl’s father, who was looking for her, arrived at the settlement soon after she had been shot. The police detained him for questioning.
Sure glad I read the article for the context. I wonder how many other people didn't/ 

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At 4:50 PM, Blogger Alex in Montana said...

The winning team is always invited to the White House. The Patriots won the Super Bowl but Brady was the only prominent player to have a 'schedule conflict'. Good for him and owner Robert Kraft who loves Israel.

I'm a Packer fan so I can say what I want about other teams and not be biased.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger free` said...

Carl, It is even worse, the original headline didn't mention the knife. After several hours they changed it to the one you posted. So many if not most of the people saw the first headline and no nothing of the knife.


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