Christmas Time Is Here

There's one more present under the tree.

Christmas Time Is Here

So that storm was fun.

I'm writing this from a 1-bar hotspot on my phone, because it's 8pm on Christmas and we still don't have internet back. It could be worse, though. The house next door still doesn't have power.

I believe only 4 games managed to get played on the 23rd, but it's hard to say, what with the lack of internet and everything. Those should be added by morning, but as you'll see, I got sidetracked. I do know that the Game of the Day wasn't particularly close, but there were only 4 games to choose from and this happened:

That got me wondering just how many numbers have been retired--I know there's a couple--and what the criteria for that might be. Each school would have their own criteria, of course. Winning Mr./Miss Basketball is probably too low of a bar to clear. Then again, if you were to win that at North Haven, they'd probably name the gym after you. Or a lobster boat.


Before the internet went out, I came across this story on Maine athletes with NIL deals:

First off, this is awesome.

I've long been a proponent of NIL deals for amateur players, especially those who will "go pro in something other than sports." Would it have been nice for Jayson Tatum to be able to do ads while at Duke? Sure. But he's doing just fine. Where the real benefit lies is for your NAIA quarterback, your DIII point guard, or the scrawny kid in Hoosiers who makes clutch free throws. Those are the real winners here. A player like that might only be marketable for 2-3 years in a very small market, so it's amazing that they can capitalize on it while they can.

However, there is one important clarification to make. The NewsCenter article refers to the NIL rules in Maine as "an open book", which implies a wild west landscape where anything goes. That does not appear to be the case. While it went completely unreported at the time, last spring the MPA proactively implemented rules to govern NIL usage by high school athletes. They're to be commended for getting out in front of this and giving our student-athletes this opportunity.

See, I can say nice things about the MPA!

From page 48 of the handbook:

So if you were planning to wear your lacrosse uniform while promoting your cousin's new cannabis dispensary slash underground casino, I have some bad news. But there are plenty of other opportunities to make that paper. If you have any questions, check with your AD.

One more thing...

While the storm raged, I managed to get the Boys Tournament Odds up and running.

Some of you will remember this from 2019-20. It's a Monte Carlo simulation (actually it's 130 simulations inside of a large simulation) that runs the rest of the season 1,000 times with a random number generator. The creates all sorts of combinations and gives us a range of where your team can finish and the likelihood they'll be making the tournament.

This looks more complicated than it is. Brewer ends up as the 1 seed more often than not, but they could go as low as 4. Of course, they could go a lot lower than 4. Brady Saunders could decide he wants to spend the rest of the winter ice fishing and they could fall all the way to 10th. And if I had a more powerful computer or some crazy-expensive program, we'd do 10,000 simulations and it'd find those crazy outliers. So don't think of this as the absolute range of outcomes, but the likely range. Moving down, you can see that Nokomis is likely in the 2-6 range. Same with Mount Blue. Camden could go as high as 2. And so on.

As you might imagine, this is a VERY popular feature with coaches.

If you hover over Brewer, you get more information.

You get their current best and worst case scenarios and the number of wins they probably need to get in the tournament. Later, I'll add a 50/50 version to this which will be able to tell you if you've actually clinched. You also get the number of simulations in which the team finishes with a certain record. Here we see that in 35.2% of simulations, Brewer finishes 17-1. They make the tournament in all of those seasons. If there was a number instead of a checkmark, it'd mean they make the tournament that percent of the time in seasons where they finish with that record. There might be a bug here or it might just be finding some wacky scenarios where teams win 13 games and miss the tourney. I'm not sure yet.

The first year I did the Tourney Odds, I saved the numbers from January 8th (the first day it occurred to me to do that). It had 95.4% of the tournament field correct and 72.2% of them either in the correct seed or off by one with an entire month left to play.

It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to run this each day for each gender (it's a MASSIVE Excel file), so this is obviously a paid feature. It's easily worth it. I should probably make this available at a higher tier, but that seems like a hassle.

It'll be free for a day or two, to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Girls will be up as soon as I can.

A small aside on the subscriber front.

When I relaunched this, I gave myself a goal around Thanksgiving of 100 paid subscribers by Christmas. It's not a huge number, but it felt ambitious. Well, on Christmas Eve, I hit the goal.

Onward to 200!

It's a lot of fun to do this, so it means so very much that this many people are as crazy as I am and willing to support this little old website that's really just a spreadsheet that hates their team.

There's only 2 countable games on the schedule tomorrow (East Grand and Hodgdon boys & girls) and neither rises to the level of a Game of the Day, so we'll skip that for this update.

However, the Christmas tournament at the Expo looks promising.

So on your way to return that toaster your mother-in-law bought you, check out some games at the Expo.

The schedule of countable games, for the record, girls then boys.

And whatever holiday you celebrate, whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, or Whiskey Basketball Day, I hope it went as well as the Celtics/Bucks game.