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The sea breeze might be suppressing homers at Petco Park

Land and water tend to do two different things when it comes to heat – the land retains it, while water repels it. The land’s retention of heat gives way by the afternoon, causing the rising heat to create a…

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Don’t quit your day job: Daily fantasy football is probably more chance than skill

What’s in a word? For daily fantasy leagues, one word is worth about $1 billion dollars. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 carefully excluded fantasy sports from their legislation. The 31 U.S. Code 5362 1.E.IX.II1 states the following: “All…

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Measuring team chemistry with social science theory

Every athlete, professional or otherwise, talks about that feeling of being on a team. There’s something that happens when a team “clicks” – it’s a united feeling of team spirit that propels team members to compete, most often referred to…

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The NFL might have a growing poverty problem

For many athletes, sports are an escape from the daily grind. The freedom of sports is often the perfect panacea to the workplace or classroom. However, for some aspiring professional athletes, sports can represent much more than just an escape…

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Analytics are good, but psychometrics can make them great

This is not about a relief pitcher resting horizontally on a comfy couch as he spills his deepest darkest secrets to a furrowed, bearded psychologist, nor is this about prescribing medication to a team’s severely depressed kicker who just missed…

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Play fantasy football? Other people think you’re a gambler.

Amid a storm of outrage from anti-gambling groups in 2006, Congress snuffed out online poker and ignited the cultural phenomenon of fantasy football in a single act1. The distinction in the law was simple: online poker is a game of…

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Why the Washington Redskins need to draft a running back

Not long ago, the duo of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris gave Washington a combination of youth and productivity that suggested good things were in the team’s future. Of course, that has not been the case. The team hasn’t won a playoff game…

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Michael Crabtree, the Oakland Raiders, and the stages of regret

Just like normal people, football teams sometimes make regrettable decisions. The echoed cries of coaches and NFL front offices that lament, “I really wish we ran the ball on 2nd-and1,” are no doubt the swan songs in the pantheon of football…

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How good was Troy Polamalu’s career?

The laws of nature are clear-cut for most predators. Catch your food, kill it, and eat it. It also helps if you’re bigger, faster, stronger, or smarter than thing you’re trying to catch. Out of all the predators we’ve documented,…

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Homes, Domes, Temperatures and Running Back Fantasy Points

It’s 2014, Sunday morning week 14: game day. It’s time to make the final changes to your fantasy football lineup, and you need a win — badly. You have one last RB slot to fill, and you’ve narrowed your choices…

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