Oakland Raiders, Past and Present: Who Is the Greatest of Them All?

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IISeptember 10, 2009

Sports and STEM

So many sports analysts say one player is greater than another, using subjectivity and perception to make judgements.

There are technology, software, and models that can help to evaluate performance, in a different way.

Quantifiable measures are somewhat useful for comparisons, descriptions, and projections of performance.

Granted, there are other variables that cannot be quantified, so interpretations and other conjectures can provide a context for a sports discussion.

Exploring the various ways of analyzing, describing and forecasting outcomes should be used in the 21st century.

A project has been designed to inspire deeper discussions in sports communities.  The project is at the introductory level, and effective and intellectual development are expected in the participants.  This article provides a skeleton for your perusal.  Others should feel free to revise, improve and enhance the design.  The purpose of this article is to foster discussion and a forum on how we might explore discussions of the Oakland Raiders' performance, in the past, present and future.

Here are a brief outline and summary of a procedure that can be used to study teams or players.

Enjoy!

GROUP ACTIVITY

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PURPOSE—TO LEARN HOW TO ANALYZE SPORTS EVENTS OR PLAYERS, USING MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS.

The discussion can include concepts from science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

METHOD

WE WANT TO STUDY EITHER TWO PLAYERS OR TWO TEAMS TO COMPARE AND DESCRIBE THEIR PERFORMANCE OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD, FROM 2004 TO 2008. 

We will conjecture what the performance may be for 2009.

Excel and Word can be used.  Graphing calculators are to be used.

The final report should contain:

  • Objectives
  • Method  
  • Sources or database
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion

The length of the report can be 500 words or more, including one graph such as a histogram, a line graph, pie chart or other.

Linear regression and/or least squares can be used, if the group participants are willing to learn the concepts and procedures.

Groups interested in additional points can research and apply floating trend analysis or mathematical modeling in the project, if applicable.

The project can have two phases:

1. Only using charts, and graphs, etc. 

2. If the analysis includes regression or trend analysis, then the total points will be greater.

Due Date:  September 30, 2009, by 6 p.m.  The project should be submitted by email and by hard copy before the deadline.

Note:

The United States Department of Education will convene a conference in Virginia.

An ad hoc subgroup of conference participants may have opportunities to forward ideas and proposals of curriculum and instruction strategies to foster interest in the STEM professions.

Two projects will be selected for publication on the Bleacher ReportBleacher Report has designed a Sports and STEM team page where articles can be uploaded and shared in the public domain.

The inspiration for this project comes from a professor's participation in both the Calculus Reform and College Algebra Reform program administered by Prof. Don Small of the United States Military Academy.  To see a sample of the newsletter, click link.

Comments are invited. 

The inspiration for this study and project comes from the historical contributions of Oakland Raider players who garnered attention during past eras for outstanding performance in the NFL.

Challenge: The graph of Jerry Rice's data is pictured. The labels for the categories of the statistics will be provided in a future article. Your challenge: Whose dataset is pictured in the following link?

Hint: You can compare franchises. Pick any two and gather the data to do your own comparisons. An HOF website published a dataset that is graphed below using Many Eyes. Good luck!