The Man Who Shook Up Vegas is a fascinating and relatively brief Wall St Journal article about Bob Stoll, a college dropout whose statistical wizardry seems to be forcing the $96 Billion U.S. sports wagering industry to jump through hoops. Even if you don't follow sports gambling at all, the article is a very compelling read. note: since the wsj.com is subscriber only, link goes to a reprint of the article.
By now, you might already have heard about Mark Walker, the 3 year old hoops prodigy that Reebok is featuring on their website; while the video of him hitting 18 straight shots from various spots on the floor is cute/impressive, the "interview" movie is horrendously creepy. The closing tagline "I'm the future of basketball; I am Reebok" done in the voice of such a small child just conjures up visions of in vitro logo tattooing. (Warning: Movies are in Quicktime)
There Ultimate Standings. ESPN has done a ranking of the relative value of each major U.S. sports franchise not in terms of mere victories, or championships, or even felony convictions, but in terms of how much value (as calculated here) each franchise is providing its fans. Stunned to see perrennial winners such as the Yankees & Lakers pushed down to the 20s, while small market teams like Green Bay, San Antonio & Sacramento dominate. Clearly life IS better in the small towns, at least for sports fans. Here's a more in depth explanation of what it all means.
Shaqzilla dethroned. Shaquille O'Neal, who warned Chinese citizen & #1 draft pick Yao Ming to "Look Out, Shaqzilla is coming" (presumably unaware that Tokyo is not part of China), has been dethroned; currently in fan balloting, he is running a distant second to the rookie for starting center in the All Star game. Even though his numbers are effectively double those of Yao's, even though he's a three time NBA Finals MVP.