I really do believe that if you set your mind to something, it manifests itself and becomes noticeable to others. I started a blend of sports and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) exactly one year ago, in April 2009.
Now that April 2010 has been declared "Mathematics and Sports Month" you can be certain that the Oakland Raiders are at the forefront in having more articles with mathematics and statistics mentioned than any other team page on the Bleacher Report.
Once again, we take the lead in a national movement.
Here are other articles of Mathematics and Sports.
- A Markov Method for Ranking College Football Conferences
by R. Bruce Mattingly and Amber J. Murphy
- How to Kick a Field Goal
by Daniel C. Isaksen
- Linear Algebra on the Gridiron
by Daniel C. Isaksen
- A Look at Overtime in the NFL
by Chris Jones
- Extending the Colley Method to Generate Predictive Football Rankings
by R. Drew Pasteur
- When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough: Retrodictive Rankings in College Football
by R. Drew Pasteur
- How Deep is Your Playbook?
by Tricia Muldoon Brown and Eric B. Kahn
The difference between these articles and some of the BR articles is that the level is suitable for public consumption, sometimes entertaining and often very informative.
Now with all of this intellectual activity surrounding sports and the discussion of the design, pursuit of excellence, and efficiency, we want to remind ourselves that this is not "kiddy ball" this is professional football.
The commitment to excellence that we believe in is a commitment to study the situation from a to z, from top to bottom, from the interior to the exterior, from the inside to the outside, over a time period, and in any and every location in space.
For example, the Oakland Raiders must play at their best both at home and in other stadiums. They must seek excellence in every level of the professional football game.
The Oakland Raiders are not only going to show a powerful start, but must also show a powerful finish in the fourth quarter. Too many times in 2009, we lost it near the end of the game.
It seems that the players became careless, stressed, or even fearful when the pressure mounted up.
Here is our object lesson for the day. A definition of object lesson:
A lesson in which a material object forms the basis of the teaching and is available to be inspected.
Now the representation of the football shown in the article photo is not as big as an NFL football. It does not have the volume, nor the surface area. The NFL football is called a prolate spheroid.
The representation has the word "excellence" on it. The Oakland Raiders are to move from the abstract to the concrete and demonstrate a commitment to excellence by playing smart and winning more games.
Also, the representation has a scripture on it:
He gives us the victory....1 Corinthians 15:57
These words indicate to us that our team must have some type of book or wisdom, a set of principles by which they conduct their lives and their pursuit of excellence.
Even in a good mathematical system, or, better, in the game of mathematics, there are axioms, principles, theorems and conjectures which drive and guide good mathematical thinking.
So it is in football. A complete and exhaustive knowledge of the play book, the NFL rules, and other on-the-spot "intelligence" to out-maneuver the opponent are the necessary skills to pursue excellence.
Here is a conclusion.
Often things start out simple and in baby steps or kiddy steps. Then, because we pursue excellence, the things advance to a macro-system, affecting many people and many things.
That's what happened in my pursuit of sports writing. First, there were just a few of us who wanted to explore the process, structure, content, and context of professional football, focusing, in my case, on the Oakland Raiders.
Now, a larger community of teacher, professors and mathematicians are publicly celebrating mathematics and sports.
Now to apply this to our beloved Oakland Raiders.
Each and every player started in small baby steps, and kiddy steps, exploring this thing called football. Now, we are no more children.
A good book says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child.....but now I must put away childish things..." (in a paraphrase).
Play football like the men we know that you are. Play hard, play like you mean it. Play to win, and bring home the victories and the trophies.