sbnation:

Maybe the best idea yet. 

AGREE
(yes, I was shouting as I typed that)

sbnation:

Maybe the best idea yet. 

AGREE

(yes, I was shouting as I typed that)

usatodaysports:

royals:

We couldn’t agree more with this.

Good morning, Tumblr! Be the Dance you want to see in the world.

Screech?

usatodaysports:

royals:

We couldn’t agree more with this.

Good morning, Tumblr! Be the Dance you want to see in the world.

Screech?

The ‘Perfect’ Assist

kickdex:

Most players love scoring goals (especially those playing for German teams), but luckily for the beautiful game, there are some players that don’t want to score and would rather craft the perfect assist.

So, if you have a mentality like Xavi, what’s the best way to do it?

Using Opta data for assists made in the Premier League over the last three seasons, we can plot where these passes originated from (excludes corners):

Assists - Source

It is clear that to rack up the assists, a direct style isn’t the way to go. Only 14% of all assists come from long balls, and 29% from crosses (many of which are also classified as long balls). Over two thirds of all assists are short, precision passes made from just in front of the box and wide within the box.

Now that we’ve seen where assists originate from, we can ask; where do these passes go to?

It must be noted that the plotted locations shown below might not match the exact location of where a shot was taken from, but there is little in it.

Assists - Target

Other than the outliers, such as Tim Howard’s clearance/goal, the vast majority of passes that ended up as assists were aimed between the penalty spot and the goal mouth. This comes as no surprise, as from this position, the ‘angle of view’ of the goal is so large that nearly 100% of the resulting shots hit the target. 

So, if you want to emulate Xavi, your best chance is to get the ball either just in front of the box or at the side of it, and play it to your striker where he can’t miss! Simple.

At Kickdex, this type of analysis is of real interest. Not just because of what we have shown here, but because it opens up many other avenues of analysis, including:

  • Estimating the ‘value’ distribution between the shot and the assist
  • Assessing the ‘quality’ of a key pass (a pass that led to an attempt but not a goal)
  • Evaluating how ‘useful’ a pass was that is not an assist or a key pass

We’ll be expanding on these topics in future blog posts, but if you want early access to our data engine, signup here.

dementia-pugilistica:

Sonny Liston vs. Floyd Patterson II

July 22, 1963

On September 25, 1962, Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in two minutes and five seconds for the world championship belt, becoming the first man to earn a first-round knockout over a heavyweight champion. It had done nothing for his popularity.

Liston’s disdain for the civil rights movement alienated him from contemporary blacks and his brutish tactics and mob affiliations made him a target for white journalists eager to pen broad generalizations and racial slander. Speculation abounded that Sonny had used his underworld connections to fix the fight in his favor. Incensed by such groundless accusation, Liston arranged a rematch to be fought in ten months’ time - plenty of time for Patterson to iron out whatever problems had limited him in their first meeting.

They fought again in the summer of ‘63, this time with Liston as champion and Patterson as challenger. Within two minutes, Patterson hit the canvas thrice. The three-knockdown rule was not in effect, but Patterson could not (or would not) rise to face Liston after the third and final knockdown. He had lasted two minutes and nine seconds - exactly four seconds longer than their previous bout. The match over, Liston embraced the former champion as boos filled the arena.

that right cross followed by the left hook = lights out

entiendobuchwald:

Ten years anniversary of Dave Watsons Tour de France drop. One magic moment in the history of cycling.

curious how the landing went

entiendobuchwald:

Ten years anniversary of Dave Watsons Tour de France drop. One magic moment in the history of cycling.

curious how the landing went