Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fat Albert....

Fat Albert teaches statistics at the local college. Talking to some of his (female) students leads me to believe that he's a fairly good teacher, which doesn't surprise me much. I mean, he is anal, and I believe that that's the one sure sign of a good statistician. He likes to look at statistics, no matter how straight-forward they may be, and draw some rather wild conclusions from them. Let's have an example, ok? I know that statisticians love examples.

Let's say that your poor old drinking buddy, Blue, enters a bunch of cross races one year. Let's say that he's out having a good time busting his ass just to have fun and that he finishes DFL in (almost) every race he enters. Suppose that not all of the people that he races against participate in every race of the season but that your poor old drinking buddy does. You must also assume that your poor old drinking buddy finishes every race that he enters and that some of the other people who start the race don't. Also assume that your poor old drinking buddy participates in every race in the state during that season. Are you with me so far? You should also know that your poor old drinking buddy sometimes stops during the race to talk to friends, family, extended family, team mates, acquaintences, or other interesting people that he sees on the course, and occasionally stops to talk to hecklers, and may have stopped a time or two to drink beer with some of the antagonists on the run-ups and such. He also may have stopped a time or two to help other racers who threw a chain or had other mechanical difficulties while participating in an event. He might have stopped by the barriers during one race to dance with a stranger who simply appeared that she wanted to dance.

Anyway, just because your poor old drinking buddy did these things, oops! May have done these things, should you take the coveted title of Lanterne Rouge away from him?

I'm feeling persecuted by my buddy Fat Albert because he's trying to "prove", by using statistics and records, that I didn't finish DFL. Just because the state standings say I wasn't actually DFL and the DICE standings say I wasn't DFL, doesn't mean that I wasn't DFL. Right? Seriously. Think about it. Should Blue be penalized just because someone else who entered a race didn't finish, or because someone else didn't race in all of the races available? It doesn't seem right that he be docked for things such as these which are obviously well beyond his control. Make sense? Besides, 93.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

So here's the deal.... Let's vote on this. If you guys post a comment saying yes regarding my claim to the title Lanterne Rouge for the 2008 CX season, and there are more yes votes than no votes, I get 2 sixers of Guinness from Fat Albert. That only seems fair since he has caused me great mental anguish over these last weeks by claiming that I am not entitled to the title I fought so valiantly for and which I titled myself with. Of course you can vote no, if you so desire, but why would you? If the no's outnumber the yes' at 6 p.m. central time on Friday (though I can't see getting any no votes) he'll still give me two sixers of Guinness but I'll share it with him. Sounds fair, right? (Please remember the part about "mental anguish" and show some sympathy)

I believe that I've stated my case quite clearly so now it's time to vote. Vote soon and vote often. Thank you.

Remember, 97.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot! :)

Ride safe.

Peace out, yo!

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you da man blue. i vote yes! yes yes yes!

thor, god of thunder

10:06 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnson said...

YES

Honor the title well.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be dumb...but this isn't even fair! I'm getting screwed either way in buying you Guinness!!! How the hell does this happen?

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO,NO, NO, NO,NO...

11:15 PM  
Blogger Guitar Ted said...

Just remember Blue, smart people often don't have any common sense. Such would seem to be the case here.

Using my common sense abilities, I would have to agree that you were indeed DFL.

My Vote: A resounding YES!

(And Fat Albert likes buying folks beer, I know ;-) )

5:35 AM  
Blogger Lily on the Road said...

A resounding YES from the Canuk!!!

5:37 AM  
Blogger Carl Buchanan said...

You were the last finisher in each of the races that you entered and therefore were given the title of DFL in each instance. Due to the fact that you were unable to control who shows up for each race and consequently unable to force those persons to participate in an equal amount of events as yourself, you have done everything in your power to maintain said position. Given that you were DFL consistently throughout the CX season, I would say that you have earned any and all claims to the title of "Lanterne Rouge" and would also agree that your claim to the dozen bottles of Guinness is valid. In other words, I would vote "Yes". I would also like to clarify that I have no stake in the outcome of this feeble matter since I do not consume Guinness, I just feel that I need to put my foot down when I see people being wronged in our society.

The Jackal has spoken.

6:25 AM  
Blogger B I D W E L L said...

YES

7:26 AM  
Blogger Redg! said...

YES!! By the way Guiness is muy deliciosa! Enjoy it!
Redg!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Blue and Jackal, what you are saying is that had you started in a field of 100 racers at Jingle Cross...finished 19th, but yet there was only 19 finishers. Would you STILL say you got DFL? What about the other 81 who obviously are BEHIND you in the results??

10:06 AM  
Blogger Porkchopwi said...

Best DFL post -Evar!

But then we have to figure on all the people who started to write one but then stopped or couldn't finish...

10:52 AM  
Blogger bryan said...

no. sorry, Blue. DNF = DFL. If you finished, you obviously didn't DNF, and therefore cannot be DFL.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bryan!!!!

11:28 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

I read the statistics and understand the research that has gone into validating his arguement, but I have to go with my gut on this one. You have made it your seasons work to finish as far behind the field as possible and those efforts should be applauded and rewarded.
To hell with the bean counters; long live the Old Men!
I vote yes on Blue for DFL in 2008!

P.S. I'll leave you a note later on where to send my share of the winnings. Did I sound convincing?

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey hey hey, its time for Fat Albert to get you some dark dessert!

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Thor, God of Thunder said...

Question?

How can one be considered to have finished behind Blue if he finished last? Those who DNF'd cannot, by definition, be considered as having finished behind DFL since they did not finish at all. It seems a tad strange to me that they would be awarded points for not finishing, but it appears that they were. I didn't think we were talking about starters but rather we were talking about finishers. You Iowegians are a strange bunch. It seems to me a simple thing. Blue be da man and he earned his self bestowed and valiantly contested title of Lanterne Rouge through hard work and determination. He had to use some serious creativity and good tactical skills to achieve his goal. So, with that being said, if you "no voters" want to change your votes to the correct vote, you may do so now. I'm sure that Blue would understand. He's just that kind of fellow.

Again, I vote yes. Yes, yes, yes.

5:40 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

thor....
thank you! that's 4 yes votes

mike johnson....
thank you, buddy. rest assured that i will honor the title!

g-ted....
thanks, buddy! a "resounding yes" is equal to two yes votes. i agree with you that fat albert is smart. he's also dead sexy, but he bit off more than he could chew. did he not understand that old age and treachery will always trump youth and stats?

lily....
thank you too, young lady! again, a "resounding yes" equates to two yes votes and being from the great white north adds a bonus vote so you get credit for 3 yes votes. woohoo! ;)

jackal....
it's obvious that you were raised well with a strong sense of logic and a sense of what's right. thank you for your vote!

bidwell....
thank you for your vote, buddy! i thought of you this morning as i was pulling out of my drive in my nice warm car. it was 16f outside and someone was coming down rainbow on their bicycle. oh yeah!

redg....
you are definitely the man! thank you for your vote! since you agree that guinness is great, your vote counts as two!

anon....
if the other 81 didn't finish they can't be last. just quitters. 19th place would be, in your scenario, dfl.

crazy wisconsin porkchop....
if they started to write but couldn't finish they're quitters. godddddd, we had some kind of fun playing hockey, eh? :)

bryan....
i respectfully disagree, buddy, and will give you credit since you're from nebraska. ;)

anon....
pffffttttt.....

oldman....
we older guys have to stick together. your yes vote counts as three because, well, just because. thank you!

anon....
you've got that right and i'll count your comment as a yes vote. thank you!

thor....
i don't see how anyone can argue with your logic. well, someone will, but they will be wrong. 4 more yes votes, eh? thank you for your generosity!

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grandpa's are always right so I say yes. I was proud to watch you finish "last" at every race I watched.

Love Rhea

9:47 PM  
Blogger Travel Gravel said...

You can always pretend the statistics are wrong, unless you're like most adults and forgot how to pretend! YES vote. Later!

11:31 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

queen of cross....
thank you, sweetie. i love you too!

greg....
thank you! yes, i certainly remember how to pretend. hope you're having a great winter!

6:49 AM  
Blogger Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

Excellent post.

The Jackals argument is impeccable. However, in order to qwash any lingering argument with regard to the sad sacks who did not have the wherewithal to cross the finish line, let us reference the origins of this term, "lanterne rouge." The title originally comes from the Tour De France.We Americans like to say it because we think it connects us in some small way to glory of the "Grand Boucle". In fact, it was an official award at one point, with prizes attached, until blokes started hiding in the bushes and such to lose time and win the dubious accolade. The title of "Lanterne Rouge" has been, and always will be, awarded to the last FINISHER. DNF's do not count. Also, the title does not apply to anyone who did not compete in all the races. Once again, based on it's derivation from Le Tour, a rider must compete in all stages or he is out of the race. Any attempts to apply any other warped logic or Americanized methods of calculating standings would simply be a bastardization and subject, at least, to sanction by The Grand Order of the Grimpeurs.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

Btw, YES, lest the statistician forward the argument that my implied support was not an actual vote in the affirmative.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO

6:01 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

craig....
thank you for your affirmative vote. i hoped that you would weigh in and i appreciate the time spent with the ever lucid and interesting commentary on the history of the "lanterne rouge". there is great glory in the bestowal of the "lantern rouge and the corresponding self bestowed title of clown prince of iowa cyclocross 2008"

anon....
thank you for voting

anon....
thank you for voting

anon....
thank you for voting

the polls are now closed

anon....
sorry, too late

anon....
sorry, too late

anon....
sorry, too late

well, i guess that's that. i count 26 yes votes and 6 no votes that were registered prior to the 6 p.m. cst deadline.

i'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who voted, whether yes or no.

it's good to know that sometimes, sometimes right prevails.

fat albert, you were a worthy opponent throughout this torturous time. the people have spoken.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Steve Fuller said...

I'm late to the party here, but I'm going to argue that you were indeed DFL. Using the same logic as Jackal. The guy that gets first place has to go X # of laps or X distance. The guy that doesn't make X laps or X distance hasn't really "finished", he DNF'd. ANYONE can enter a race and DNF. It takes skill and planning to enter a race and consistantly *finish* last.

Enjoy the Guinness.

10:05 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

thanks steve! keep smiling, buddy!

9:13 AM  

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