If you sit in the intersection of “likes Australian Rules football / finds sport statistics interesting / is on Twitter”, you’ve probably come across Swamp. One of his recent tweets tells us that:
The answer to that question is at once surprising, less surprising when you think about it, and quite easy to figure out using the ever-helpful fitzRoy package.
When Marlion Pickett runs onto the M.C.G for Richmond in the AFL Grand Final this Saturday, he’ll be only the sixth player in 124 finals to debut on the big day.
The sole purpose of this blog post is to illustrate how incredibly easy it is to figure this out, thanks to the dplyr and fitzRoy packages.
afldata <- get_afltables_stats()
select(Season, Round, Date, ID, First.name, Surname, Playing.for,
Home.team, Home.score, Away.team, Away.score) %>%
# a player's first game
# grand finals only
filter(Round == "GF") %>%
# get the winning/losing margin
mutate(Margin = case_when(Playing.for == Home.team ~ Home.score - Away.score,
TRUE ~ Away.score - Home.score)) %>%
select(-Home.team, -Away.team, -Home.score, -Away.score)
This week we return to Australian Rules Football, the R package fitzRoy and some statistics to ask – why can’t Geelong win after a bye?
(with apologies to long-time readers who used to come for the science)
When this blog moved from bioinformatics to data science I ran a Twitter poll to ask whether I should start afresh at a new site or continue here. “Continue here”, you said.
So let’s test the tolerance of the long-time audience and celebrate the start of the 2019 season as we venture into the world of – Australian football (AFL) statistics!
In a sure candidate for an IgNobel prize, research indicates that Australians are less prone than Europeans to heart attacks induced by watching sport. This ground-breaking work is reported in the Christmas special section of the Medical Journal of Australia.
One of their datasets is the nail-biting 2005 AFL Grand Final, won at the death by the Sydney Swans. I wonder if they included a “fan factor” – the population at large may have been relaxed, but I know several people who repeatedly came close to cardiac arrest over the finals series that year. And we still can’t speak of the 2006 final.
Ah, cricket. Loved by those who grow up where it’s played and an utter mystery to everyone else.
I spent yesterday at Brisbane’s Gabba, a modern day amphitheatre, enjoying day 3 of the first Ashes test. It wasn’t the most compelling game – Australia’s dominance reminded me of a cat toying with an injured baby bird and the “fun police” have cracked down on water melon helmets, trumpets, beach balls and Mexican waves. However, if you’re visiting Australia and get the chance to see cricket or AFL at a major venue, I recommend that you do. It’s always good fun, relaxing in the sun with a beer, chatting with your mates, watching the crowd dynamics and the game. And it’s a great way to put work aside and wind down for a few hours.
…but it’s not going to be relaxing. The last weekend in September means footie finals and tomorrow, it’s the Grand Final rematch between the men in red and white and the men from the west. Their last four matches, including last years final, have been decided by 11 points total. It’s going to be one of the best, hardest games that you’ll ever see.
Go the Swannies!
photo © Graham Crouch, The Australian
Because Micky O’Loughlin really needs one. He’s never been the same since he got the yips in the 2005 Grand Final. They should have taken him onto the SCG next day and made him kick 50 straight before the celebrations.