In which I am willing to admit I was wrong about a factoid

The original factoid was “NFL salary capped teams would, adjusted for inflation, RELATIVE terms, be in the bottom 4 of the premier league”.  Now the friend who said it did admit he couldn’t remember where he’d heard it but the whole proposition sounded dubious anyway.Obviously I try to be a little more reasonable than ‘that doesn’t sound right’ so I’ve been ferreting away to prove the factoid is incorrect.

First, it does not compare like with like.  The NFL and the Premier League operate in very different ways.  The NFL has a salary cap and no promotion and relegation.  The Premier League has no salary cap, promotion and relegation, and has to compete for players with other equivalent leagues, primarily in Europe.  When a player is transferred between NFL teams, it tends to be for other players and draft picks, not for money.  When a player is transferred between football teams, it tends to be for cold, hard cash.

As a general rule, if someone’s making an analogy that involves an apple and an orange being the same thing, and they don’t caveat it like crazy, then they’re being disingenuous at best.  So I presumed the factoid was wrong.

I was able to scare up some data, but it’s the most complete set is not that recent (2011), so the following might no longer be an accurate reflection, particularly in the case of the Premier League where the new TV deal has meant teams going a bit crazy on the spending front.

The 2011 NFL Salary Cap was $120 million (£78 million).  This is for a 53 player team so we’ll call that $2.26 million (£1.47 million) per player on average.

According to this website, the average take home pay for a Premier League player was $2.71 million (£1.76 m), so yes that is more, and I think this is where the factoid comes from.

However, that’s an average, and for the factoid to be correct, even the NFL team paying the most for its players would have to be paying less than the average Premier League team.

According to ESPN, in 2011, the team with the highest salary cap was the Dallas Cowboys with $136.6 million (88.65 million) or $2.58 m (£1.67 million).

So I was wrong, and the average wage is indeed higher for Premier League teams.  I can’t prove all of the factoid because I don’t have an average wage breakdown by team for 2011 so there’s no way of telling what the bottom four Premier League teams were paying, but from these numbers, it wouldn’t surprise me.

* All currency conversion is done using the $1 : £0.649 ratio given as the average exchange rate for 2011 by the IRS.

The Provisional Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Now, there are good reasons for complaining about the planned Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

For instance, Azerbaijan’s terrible human rights record.

Or that it clashes with the Le Mans.

Both perfectly reasonable reasons.

It’s too difficult to get from Canada to Azerbaijan in a week is not a good reason.

For once, this isn’t just me being mean.  Several years ago, Baku hosted the Cadet and Junior World Championships in fencing.  Three days after the end of the Worlds, several fencers had to be in New York for a fencing grand prix.  They made it with a day to spare.  If a severely under-funded squad, with what can at best be described as a semi-pro organising team can do it, then I expect twenty professional sports teams to be able to do it without fuss, especially as several of them have access to FedEx and their own corporate jets.  Marussia and Haas are allowed to complain, but only because they have tiny, tiny budgets.  Mercedes and Ferrari really, really aren’t allowed to whinge in quite the way they have been.

Mexican Grand Prix

Fastest Friday  Practice Price Fastest Saturday Practice Price Fastest Qualifying Price
Nico Rosberg 9/4 Nico Rosberg 5/4 Nico Rosberg 5/4
Amount won/lost on a £1 bet £3.25 Amount won/lost on a £1 bet £2.25 Amount won/lost on a £1 bet £2.25
Amount won/lost on a £10 bet 32.50 Amount won/lost on a £10 bet £22.50 Amount won/lost on a £10 bet £22.50
Season Total £1 bets -£3.36 Season Total £1 bets £8.97 Season Total £1 bets £8.30
Season Total £10 bets -£33.53 Season Total £10 bets £87.71 Season Total £10 bets £90.17

Rugby World Cup final in diagrams

Even if, annoyingly New Zealand’s name gets cut off when the image is exported from Gephi. (Again, if anyone has any suggestions on how to fix that, I am all ears.)

startoffinalsallb

The Waratahs are the most represented club side with 10 players in the final, with the Brumbies, the Crusaders and the Hurricanes next with 9 players each.

startoffinalsb

At least this diagram is cuts both team’s names.

With the late withdrawal of Wyatt Crockett, both teams have used the same number of players overall.  The Waratahs are still the most represented club side with 12 players, the Crusaders come next with 10, followed by the Brumbies and the Hurricanes next with again 9 players each.