The Pareto of our Discontent
December 17, 2013 6:00 PM   Subscribe

College football attracts a lot of rabid fans. Of late, college football (and football in general) has also attracted an increasing number of stats enthusiasts peddling increasingly obscure metrics to quantify success and failure. At MGoBlog, a popular Michigan fan blog, one intrepid poster has turned the statistics tools on the fanbase itself. A Season in Profanity details the usage of various swear words in open game threads. Among the relationships detailed are the usage of various colorful expressions by game, mood of the fan base by opponent, swearing efficiency, which coach(es) should be fired, and even the individual play outcomes that inspired the greatest amount of swearing. As it was kind of a rough season for the team, there was a substantial amount of data to comb through.

Previous entries include the half-season point and after games against Indiana, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, and Ohio State.
posted by Existential Dread (13 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Also: Go Blue!
posted by Existential Dread at 6:01 PM on December 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

I was at the MICH/PSU game in Happy Valley this year, and I can assure you I would have used a lot of those same words had we ended up on the wrong side of it after that many lead changes and overtimes. I saw a link from Black Shoe Diaries to one of the earlier profanity tracking posts at MGoBlog, and am glad to see they've enhanced their methodology as the season has gone on. I hope they continue to advance the state of the art in this field, and hope my team gives them plenty of source material in years to come.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:34 PM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

all this proves is that wolverines fans are not very spartan

(and WE beat ohio state)
posted by pyramid termite at 6:52 PM on December 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

And we thank you for that.

By the way, did the East Lansing PD ever catch the "Burn the Couch" sign guy?
posted by Existential Dread at 7:06 PM on December 17, 2013

So like supposedly the rivalry is all on the OSU side, since Michigan fans have nothing to complain about since as underdogs they always beat OSU.
posted by saber_taylor at 8:52 PM on December 17, 2013

The Mathlete always develops interesting metrics. And Go Blue.
posted by klarck at 9:16 PM on December 17, 2013

Did someone say muck fichigan?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:30 PM on December 17, 2013

So I'm going to go ahead and assume that the surprisingly low scores vs MSU are due to the fact that pure exasperation is unquantifiable.

Either way, this is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
posted by graphnerd at 10:15 PM on December 17, 2013

(and WE beat ohio state)

Proves you're better than Michigan and Northwestern….you sure you want to brag about that?
posted by eriko at 3:00 AM on December 18, 2013

Yes. Yes we do want to brag. Because the look on Urban Meyer's normally smug face at the end of the game was just beautiful to see.
posted by caution live frogs at 4:59 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Well the only stat I could find that I think is truly relevant is that the Grateful Dead indicator. They played Ann Arbor three times. Once, almost 42 years ago to the day on December 14, 1971 and then again at Crisler on April 5, 1989 and April 6, 1989. On all of those days there were 2,844 total instances of the word "hippy" used by local police, 2,218 uses of the phrase, "long-haired freak", 2,095 times someone held up a one finger and had a sign that said, "Need a Miracle" and 8,520 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches consumed.

However, they played Buckeye Lake at least 5 times that I can find, one time that I attended although my memory of that show involves more of the trip (ahem) to the Burger King drive-thru afterwards than the actual show.

But, while the GD indicator points to OSU, I can safely say that the most fun I had at a college football game was when I was one of maybe 10 people rooting for Virginia in the Big House. UVa had the lead the entire game until Griese drove Blue down the field for the winning touchdown with time almost expired. I think it saved my life.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:09 AM on December 18, 2013

I like your style....but do you have to use so many cuss words?
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:17 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

2,095 times someone held up a one finger and had a sign that said, "Need a Miracle"

in 1971?

you flunk deadology 101, sir
posted by pyramid termite at 5:46 PM on December 19, 2013

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