We Talk Curling And Stats With The Guys Who Won The Gold

By Neil Paine Here are some excerpts from the conversation.On advice for first-time curlers:Hamilton: “My best advice would be, don’t fall. In my first game at the Olympics, I fell. So don’t go down — it’s still hard ice. But in seriousness, if you go in with an open mind and are really curious about the sport itself — not just the throwing aspects, but actually immersing yourself in what curling is about — you’ll find all these people who are so willing to help and teach and get you into the strategy, which is really the draw. … Making shots is great, and it felt good when you made your first couple of shots in curling when you tried it, but when you finally learn why you’re throwing that shot, why making that shot set you up later in the game to win, it’s just a remarkable feeling. It really is like chess on ice, just that mental game mixed with a finesse game, mixed with the brute force of sweeping. It has all the aspects of a really fun game.”On preparing with analytics guru Gerry Geurts of CurlingZone.com:Hamilton: “He sat us down at our summer camp and explained to us where we sat [among] elite players at certain things, like with the hammer/without the hammer, up by one with the hammer/down by one with the hammer … and it went on for all of the potential scoring scenarios. And he gave us feedback [on] which positions we could be better at, which ones we’re really good at, where we need to keep doing what we’re doing. Then he gave us some info on other teams in those same kind of numbers. … I’d be lying if I said that didn’t come into play at all.”On the flaws of using curling percentage to judge players and teams:George: “It’s incredibly subjective because it depends on what types of shots you’re playing. And the way that they do stats for the television events [is] really simplistic because they’re only going on make/miss or how close you were to making the shot [but] not factoring in the difficulty of the shot. … So for the viewer at home, looking at our percentages, they probably thought that we weren’t playing nearly as well as our record would imply. … But a lot of that is because we’re playing with a lot more rocks in play. We’re making a lot more difficult shots, but the viewers are not seeing that.”On the role analytics might have in the game in the future:George: “There’s a major change coming up next season where they’re literally changing the rules in the game, where stats are going to have to be applied to figure out what the best strategies are … (Editor’s note: The change involves being able to add one extra protected stone to the area in front of the house.) It doesn’t seem like much — it’s only one more rock that you can’t take out to play — but it completely changes the strategy of how you start ends out, and they’ve been using it in Grand Slam events so far. So you see it maybe six or seven times a year, and teams are still kind of tinkering with strategy on how to defend, especially [because] it’s a way more offensive game. … Stats are going to be huge in figuring out the best ways to go about defending with this new strategy because we just haven’t done it that much.”On whether curling will be able to capitalize on its newfound popularity:Shuster: “I think you’re going to see it because [of] the ratings that we were getting during the Olympics and the ratings we’ve been getting with “Curling Night in America” the last couple of years. What happens is, we haven’t had national television coverage between Olympic cycles, and then every Olympics we get more and more coverage and the ratings get better and better. And then all of a sudden, NBC Sports Network ran “Curling Night in America,” so we had a weekly show going on. After we won the gold, they’re going to show one live game every single day during the world [championships] that are coming up in Vegas. … I think curling right now could be on [the same] trajectory as something like poker was 10 years ago. If the world championships are high-quality, entertaining TV this year, people are going to demand it more, and we’re going to start seeing it on more of a regular basis moving forward.” More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed But after the U.S. men’s Olympic curling team won gold in Pyeongchang, we knew it had to become reality. So, on Friday, despite bad weather in the Northeast — which left Nate calling in from an airport tarmac after his flight was diverted — I was joined in the FiveThirtyEight podcast studio by Olympic champion curlers John Shuster, Tyler George and Matt Hamilton.We talked about curling analytics, the team’s new celebrity fans and where the sport goes from here. You can listen to it on your phone by subscribing to our NBA podcast, “The Lab,”1Sadly, we don’t have a curling podcast feed … yet. or by clicking the play button below. Embed Code It all started as a predawn tweet: read more

Stranger Things 3 turning Netflix ratings records Upside Down

first_imgAccording to Netflix, that 40.7 million viewership number is more than any other Netflix film or series earned in its first four days. Recently, the network announced that the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston movie Murder Mystery was watched by over 30 million accounts worldwide in its first three days. What are the chances of that coveted season 4? Seems likely, considering how much of a ratings phenomenon and critical darling the 1980s-set sci-fi-horror show has become. See all the Stranger Things season 3 photos Fans were less impressed with the ratings, and more insistent the network confirm an expected fourth season is on its way.  Wrote one Twitter user, “Now confirm season 4 and DON’T MAKE US WAIT AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS FOR IT THIS TIME.” .@Stranger_Things 3 is breaking Netflix records! 40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season.— Netflix US (@netflix) July 8, 2019 TV and Movies Stranger Things season 3: Rad ’80s details you might have missed Watch the Stranger Things cast play their own video game Stranger Things season 3: Our biggest WTF questions Okay now confirm season 4 and DONT MAKE US WAIT AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS FOR IT THIS TIME— 🤡 (@elhopperisbaby) July 8, 2019 Tags The Stranger Things cast has earned an ice-cream cone or 40 million. Netflix If you’re eager to spill Stranger Things season 3 spoilers, take heart. More than 18 million people out there are ready to talk.According to a Monday tweet from Netflix, more than 40 million household accounts have been watching the show since its new season debuted on July 4, and 18.2 million have already watched the whole season. 4center_img Stranger Things season 3: Everything to know Netflix 59 Photos Comments More Stranger Things Share your voice 2:33 Now playing: Watch this: As of press time, there was no word on a fourth (or fifth) season, but David Harbour, who plays police chief Jim Hopper, told CNET Magazine in 2018 that the series would as least go to four seasons.”We’re either going to season 4 or season 5,” Harbour said at the time. “It’s still being debated. I do know the arc of the story, though. This was something that I discussed with [show creators] the Duffer brothers right from day one.”last_img read more

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz India Launch by September Report

first_imgMaruti Suzuki is reportedly gearing up to launch its much anticipated Ciaz ahead of the festive season this year, claims a new report.Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, the replacement of the company’s underperforming SX4 sedan has hit the web numerous times through spied images and reports. Now a latest report in Financial Express, citing its sources close to the development says that Maruti will launch the Ciaz in the domestic market by September this year. The report also states that the company has started the trial production of Ciaz at its Manesar facility.The Ciaz, the new sedan offering of Maruti was first seen at the Delhi Auto Expo 2014 and is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept car, which was displayed at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. The car will be pitted against Hyundai Verna, Honda City and Volkswagen Vento in the sub-continent and is expected to fall in the price brackets of 7.2 lakh to 10.5 lakh.Under the hood, Maruti’s new C-segment offering, Ciaz is likely to pack the same 1.3 liter Multijet diesel or 1.4 liter K Series petrol engine of Ertiga and is expected to carry some of the features of both SX4 and Ertiga.Ciaz is expected to come loaded with safety features like with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The car is also likely to accommodate premium features like 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push button start, puddle lamps and leather seats.Earlier last week, the company had showcased the near production version of Ciaz at the Beijing Auto Show 2014. The mid-sized sedan concept dubbed Alivio measures 4545mm in length, 1475mm in height, 1730mm in width and has a wheelbase of 2650mm. Suzuki’s Alivio sedan draws power from 1.6-litre DOHC 4-cylinder petrol engine and comes mated to six-speed automatic transmission.With the launch of new sedan, Maruti hopes to cash in during this festive season. The auto industry in the country, which has been witnessing poor demand for the past few months is also getting ready to welcome the festive season in hopes of finding a change in the market condition.(ED:AJ)last_img read more