By Kathir Ilango • 17 Feb 2020 • 17 min read
After finishing the 2016 season with 2 wins, the San Francisco 49ers decided it was time to try something new. They went into full-rebuild mode, giving six-year contracts to new head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Prior to their hiring, Shanahan was an accomplished play caller who was only 37 years old, while Lynch was a commentator for Fox Sports who had zero front office experience. It was certainly a gamble, but one that ultimately paid off as Shanahan and Lynch completely rebuilt the team from the ground up (46 of the 53 players on San Francisco’s roster were brought in by the new regime) and within three years, got the Niners to the Super Bowl for a shot at their sixth title.
By Vishal Sundaram • 02 Feb 2020 • 13 min read
When tasked with winning football games, every head coach in the NFL talks about establishing an identity, as all the best teams have one. The 49ers are winning off of a multi-dimensional running game and a ferocious defense that gets to the opposing quarterback. The Saints are winning off a dink-and-dunk quick-hitter offense. The Chiefs are winning with speed on the outside and a lethal deep-ball passer. The Patriots have been "doing their job" for the last 2 decades. But out of all the teams in football, there's one team's identity which stands out as the most established, physical, and against-the-grain in all of football: the 14-2 Baltimore Ravens, the best team in the league.
By Fischer Sherrod • 25 Jan 2020 • 7 min read
For many baseball fans, the MLB postseason—the World Series in particular—is the ultimate test of skill and teamwork. Over the course of a month, the best teams battle it out to become the World Series champion. Dating back to the first MLB postseason in 1884, the title of World Series champion has been the highest achievement that a professional baseball team can attain. Thus, the importance of the postseason to MLB teams and baseball enthusiasts alike cannot be understated. This, however, has not kept the MLB from changing the postseason format every 10 to 20 years. As expected, these changes are met with criticism and controversy, roster and strategy changes, and—in rare cases—MLB dynasties.
By Max Blane and Borna Nazari • 15 Jan 2020 • 9 min read
Drafted as a Florida Marlin 23rd overall in 2010, Christian Yelich was a very highly touted prospect with loads of potential. As predictions usually go for players drafted in the first few rounds, he was expected to eventually reach the Major Leagues and be a top of the order bat, hitting in a fierce and intimidating Marlins lineup (80-82, 3rd in NL East in 2010) that was supposed to include Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Emilio Bonifacio, Cameron Maybin, and eventually Marcell Ozuna.
By Donald Chung • 15 Jan 2020 • 5 min read
On October 12, 2019, it was still early morning as the world watched as Elliot Kipchoge put one foot in front of another, gracefully passing the finish line and becoming the first person ever to run a marathon in under two hours. He finished in a blistering fast time of 1:59:40.
By Ishaan Shah • 15 Jan 2020 • 9 min read
The modern fullback is way more than just a defender. Their duties and expectations have evolved as the game has changed over these past decades. Earlier, their main duties were to prevent opposition wingers from giving crosses, supporting the centre backs while defending and maintaining a good defensive shape. Fullbacks were famed by their defensive qualities and many greats such as Zanetti and Petit are still known for it. However, modern day fullbacks have to do all this and much more. They are now a vital cog to the team's attacking play, putting more emphasis on controlling the game in the attacking third and helping in the team's build up play. It is almost weird that sometimes their defensive duties become their second priority.
By Ethan Allavarpu and Kyle Boal • 07 Jan 2020 • 9 min read
The Free Throw. the only shot in basketball that is theoretically free, but players continue to show that it's more difficult than it originally appears. In the early 2000's, the idea of "hack-a-shaq" was introduced. This strategy had players intentionally foul poor free throw shooters, such as Shaquille O'Neal to send them to the charity line. The hope. at least one missed free throw, and an opportunity to seize possession once more. However, as this strategy became popular, teams sent their poor foul shooters to the bench at late moments in a game. Fast forward to 2015. Stephen Curry became the eighth player to join the 50/40/90 club (50% field goal, 40% three-point, 90% free throw), and many shooters began to score at an all-time high rate. With shooting success becoming fundamental to an increasingly offensive game, we thought it would be interesting to look at how the free throw differs from years, stars, position, and three-point shooting.
By Breanna Ramos • 19 Jul 2019 • 6 min read
Earlier this year, Nike became the official uniform and footwear supplier of Major League Baseball (MLB). This means that Nike now dominates three of the four major professional sports leagues within the U.S.: MLB, NBA, and NFL. When I learned that Nike had secured its third major deal, I was curious about its recent stock performance. Using portfolio analysis and optimization techniques, my goal was to create an efficient sports stocks portfolio. For those who are unfamiliar with portfolio analysis, a portfolio is essentially a group of assets. The assets, or stocks, that I included in my analysis were : Nike (NKE), Under Armour (UAA), Disney (DIS), Adidas (ADDYY), and Foot Locker (FL). Identifying the most efficient portfolio is an optimization problem, and there are two main objectives involved. The first is to select a portfolio that yields high returns, whereas the second is to assure that these returns are stable. For this reason, my goal is to determine which combination of sports assets will yield minimum risk and high expected return. The data is composed of monthly adjusted close prices, which are adjusted for dividends paid or stock splits. It ranges from May 2013 to May 2019.
By Haley Rao , Kristen Ahmann and Joe Dunham • 30 May 2019 • 23 min read
One of the thrills of watching playoff hockey is the emotional aspect, following a team through several games against the same opponent with everything on the line, and an especially close series makes the thrill even higher. The San Jose Sharks playing the Vegas Golden Knights in the first series of the playoffs was notable for its excitement, intensity, and controversy. The series was highly anticipated as a rematch of the previous year's second round, where the Knights won in six games. This time around, the Sharks were a much improved team, adding key players Erik Karlsson and Gustav Nyquist, while Vegas had more-or-less kept the same lineup as the previous year's Stanley Cup Final-bound team, with the notable addition of top line forward Mark Stone. The Golden Knights took early control of the series, finishing Game 4 with a 3-1 lead in games won. The Sharks managed to battle back, scoring a miraculous overtime goal in Game 6 to force a deciding game in San Jose. A close, hard-fought series was expected on the outset, but the conclusion shocked everyone.
By Vedant Sahu • 29 May 2019 • 10 min read
With the Indian Premier League wrapped up and the ICC World Cup just on the horizon, the cricket fever is definitely reaching its peak. As more and more people turn towards cricket to keep themselves entertained over the summer, it is probably safe to say that people who have been newly introduced to the sport won’t find it particularly easy to follow. While cricket is an already complicated game to begin with, there is one notorious component of the game that even most seasoned cricket fans fail to completely grasp - the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.