Rethinking Home Field Advantage

Everyone seems to have a theory about home field advantage. Here’s one you haven’t heard before. 

Freakonomics says it’s the referees. There is probably some truth to this, but what about sports that do not have referees? Since 1983, the host team has won the Ryder Cup 70% of the time. So there is something else at play here.

There are more fouls in important games. But why? If we say that the referees are so crucial to the game outcomes, it’s probably because there is more pressure on them. FiveThirtyEight’s blog did a piece about the home advantage playoff “boost.” Strangely enough, hockey does not get a boost at all.

In baseball, playing at home is only gives you a 2.6% edge.  That’s really low if you’re thinking that crowd, umpires, and atmosphere play a major role here. Not to mention the added advantage of the home team batting last.

Soccer has the best home field advantage of any mainstream sport. The home team wins 49% of the time, and the away team only wins 29% of the time. Draws make up the other 22%.

Also worth noting, Denver athletics have the top home field advantage in every sport [Except hockey. Calgary has the highest advantage in hockey, and has an altitude of 3500 feet]. So altitude definitely plays a role here. 

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It’s clear that it’s the sports. Not the franchises.

So why the huge difference between home field advantage in soccer and basketball?

Being similar endurance sports, you’d expect similar results. The home team in soccer wins 49% of the time, the away team wins 29% of the time, and they draw 22% of the time. If we say that half of the draws are wins, and half are losses you get a home field advantage right on par with that of basketball [8%-10%].

Why doesn’t home field advantage in baseball matter much at all? 

Home advantage in baseball is under 3%. That’s almost a fair game. Take a look at the endurance athletes, that make decisions that impact the play of the game. It’s the pitchers, and they have much less control over a game than a quarterback does on a football field.  Not to mention, they may be pulled before they complete the game for match ups , poor performance, or if they just didn’t have good “stuff” that day. So even if pitchers had a decent control over the action, they may only throw for a couple innings.

Your batters and fielders in baseball are your speed and strength guys. They are less effected by the environment, and translate better to road games.

What conclusions can we make here? 

The main decision makers in the game, what type of athletes are they? If they are endurance athletes, home field advantage is much greater. For example, take the quarterbacks of the NFL. They are going to be the individuals most effected by the change in environment, and since they basically run the show, it’s a much more dramatic home field advantage.

In soccer and basketball, most of the athletes are endurance athletes and decision makers. The new environment has a small but measurable impact in the athletes, changing their timing, essentially. This is why the warm up is essential, even to players who have been at it their whole lives. Conditions are never exactly the same.

Your speed/strength athletes will be effected much less by the conditions. If you’re strong at sea level, you’re strong at 5000 feet. But timing is much more complicated than that. A basketball shot isn’t about how far you can shoot or how high you can jump. It’s a very precise, fluid motion. There’s a lot more room for error around the rim, so your “bigs” in basketball should be less effected by the environment. 

Translating this to football, the majority of the athletes are speed and strength guys. So naturally, the sport is much less effected by home field advantage. The quarterbacks are the athletes most affected by the new environment, and because in most NFL games they play a major role in the outcome, it comes to reason that home field advantage should be close behind soccer and basketball. Obviously, this line of thought has its limitations. Alabama has the biggest, fastest, and strongest players in college football, so the quarterback really doesn’t matter.

The sport is the most important factor in determining the strength of your home field advantage. The nature of the athletes controlling play is more important than altitude or the referees in determining how many wins you have at home. 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_advantage
  2. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/in-126-years-english-football-has-seen-13475-nil-nil-draws/
  3. https://deadspin.com/which-teams-in-each-sport-have-the-biggest-home-field-a-1828880402
  4. https://statsbylopez.netlify.com/post/playing-at-home/
  5. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-home-playoff-game-is-a-big-advantage-unless-you-play-hockey/
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/sports/soccer/12score.html
  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/07/25/home-field-advantage/#6598fad73fdc
  8. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/tennis/2013/8/9/4599096/tennis-home-court-advantage-us-open
  9. https://www.sbnation.com/2011/1/19/1940438/home-field-advantage-sports-stats-data
  10. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/home-away-splits-factor-into-making-fantasy-pitching-decisions—but-theres-a-twist/amp/
  11. https://www.google.com/amp/s/gizmodo.com/the-surprising-way-jet-lag-impacts-major-league-basebal-1791521616/amp
  12. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.isportsweb.com/2016/06/29/mlb-analytics-statistical-discrepancies-home-away-games/amp/
  13. http://review.chicagobooth.edu/magazine/spring-2014/home-field-advantage-the-facts-and-the-fiction
  14. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1604854-how-much-does-home-field-advantage-matter-in-soccer
  15. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1520496-how-important-is-home-court-advantage-in-the-nba
  16. https://www.numberfire.com/nfl/news/7490/the-best-home-and-road-quarterbacks-of-2015

Rethinking Body Temperature

We are all familiar with body temperature. We’ve been using the measurement for hundreds of years to tell when someone is sick. But that’s not the whole story. 

Let’s start with some strange facts about body temperature.

Your nose heats up when you tell a lie. That’s really not that surprising. Lies create stress. Stress causes brain entropy. And that is literally heat.

Body temperature varies throughout the day. Your lowest body temperature occurs two hours before you wake up. Your highest body temperature occurs in the late afternoon.

Increased physical fitness increases the daily variation of temperature. Conversely, drinking alcohol reduces the range in temperatures.

Some studies suggest that body temperature can decline with age. Here’s the study people need to be looking at. In normal weight adults, body temperature actually increases in men up to age 49 and in women up to age 39. After that, body temperature begins to decline. If stress builds as you age, and body temperature follows that, what is happening when people turn fifty? I think it may be when people start to die.

Think about it. If your DNA changes over time, your DNA may actually improve as until your 30’s. You could get fitter. Add muscle. Whatever. But when your decline starts, you literally wither away, and you become less and less like your former self.  Your brain changes, and that changes your diet and lifestyle, and that changes your DNA. So you become a product of the environment you create. 

So if stress builds throughout the day, it’s natural that your body temperature increases throughout the day as well. But I’d expect to see a general increase in temperature as people age. And I think you would, if people didn’t change their bodies in hopes of living longer. And if we don’t adapt new ways of dealing with greater stress, a lower energy state may be the only way to survive. 

Does hibernation factor in to this equation?

Yes. Hibernation is a low energy, low temperature state, that helps some animals conserve energy. I’d equate this to the elderly losing body temperature as they age. We know their metabolisms slow down. They eat less and consequently do less, and slowly wither away as their bodies work to conserve heat and energy.

Here’s a study that ties body temperature to heart rate and rate of respiration. Most notably the heart rate varies 6 or 7 beats per minute per degree [Celsius] of temperature change. So essentially, as brain entropy rises, body temperature rises as pulse increases, and breathing increases.

So why don’t we just get hotter until we die? 

That’s a great question. We get shorter throughout the day, and throughout our lives because of the added stress. Why would the same stress not increase our body temperature? Because we don’t continue on the same path. We make changes in our diet and lifestyle. And instead of trying to maximize our best selves, we become aging, low-energy creatures. Why? Because our building level of stress affects the way that we recover from it.

What does it all mean?

We are not programmed to wither away. We are built to recover, and to get stronger, and get better and bouncing back from increasing stress. Once we throw in the towel and stop growing, we start dying. Don’t hibernate. Calories were made to be burned. Go do something.

Sources:

  1. https://www.bustle.com/p/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-stay-up-late-after-a-month-watch-out-for-these-changes-8495033
  2. https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/fascinating-facts-about-body-temperature.aspx#11
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3107024/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/blood-pressure-goals-may-need-to-change-with-age-201207205034
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4511462/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body_temperature
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/29/health/29real.html
  8. https://www.howitworksdaily.com/why-do-animals-hibernate/

 

Pitchers Are Endurance Athletes

Watching the World Series this past week begs a single question? Why can’t pitchers hit? Before you say because of their builds, think about those outfielders who are built like pitchers, and can hit.

Use it or lose it. They simply don’t take much batting practice, and have even fewer plate appearances. There’s obviously some truth here. But I’d argue that you’d never be able to train most of these pitchers to hit over .200. With infinite resources in an environment that rewards nothing but performance, couldn’t we figure this out?

Pitching is about control. It doesn’t matter if you can throw 105 if you can’t throw strikes. And not just strikes. You need to be able to pick small portions from around the plate. It takes a very specific mindset to throw 95 mph and hit spots. Especially 100 times in a row. And the mindset to hit such a pitch is completely different. Think about most of those pitching motions. They’re typically long and loose. It’s the baseball equivalent to a distance runner. Relaxed, predictable, endurance athletes.

Batting is about reaction. It’s the opposite of control. There’s not much time to react to a major league pitch. Most people can’t even see it. To hit a fastball, you need to be able to change your mind after the ball has been pitched. The movements are shorter, faster, and less predictable. A good hitter hits .300. Any pitcher that threw strikes 30% of the time would’ve stopped playing baseball in high school, or found another position.

Why are most professional pitchers so tall? 

The longer levers help them throw harder while relaxed. Meaning more pitches on target, for a longer period of time. Your third baseman may be able to touch 94 on the gun, but chances are great that with his build he couldn’t throw many pitches consistently on target at that speed. It’s exactly this difference that allows the third baseman to outhit the pitcher every single game. The shorter levers and bigger muscles allow for more changes and more acceleration.

What does John Isner have to do with this? 

He has one of the best serves in the history of the tennis. But also one of the worst return games of anyone inside the top 100. It’s just like baseball. These big athletes do very well when they control the action. When they are reacting, they are just slower. More importantly, John Isner is a great example that you can’t teach a 6’7″ pitcher to hit. Why? Because he has the serving game figured out. If he could just return average for a touring pro, he’d make deep runs in majors, so don’t tell me he doesn’t practice returning. He probably spends at least as much time returning as he does on his serve.

What if the same mindset that makes him such a great server is what made him so tall and not vice versa? If that sounds crazy, you may want to read my post about height.

What about the exceptions? 

Turns out most of the pitchers that were good hitters, couldn’t pitch all that well. I’d argue that the mindset that made them bad pitchers in the first place, gives them a better chance behind the plate.

Babe Ruth is the most interesting exception. He was a great pitcher, and one of the best batters in the history of the game. The problem with viewing him as the missing link, is that he only pitched professionally 10+ innings per year until 1919, and these were some of the worst hitting stretches of his career. After that, he focused almost exclusively on hitting.

What conclusions are there here? 

Baseball is about thinking fast and slow. And those that think fast, bat well. Those that think slow, pitch. A reactive mind is faster, but has much less endurance. The controlled delivery of the best pitchers helps them maintain their velocity and accuracy inning after inning. So your most consistent pitchers are going to have the worst batting averages. And if you find a a way to change their minds and time perception, you may can turn them into hitters, but it will come at a price.

Sources:

  1. https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/why-pitchers-will-always-suck-at-hitting-1620184799
  2. https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article211588729.html
  3. https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/5/31/2199146/hitter-aging-curves
  4. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/71693338/new-york-mets-bartolo-colon-among-worst-hitting-pitchers-ever
  5. https://sabr.org/research/does-pitcher-s-height-matter
  6. https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/short-pitchers-still-getting-short-shrift/

Curing Alzheimer’s

I’m sure you haven’t read it, but a while back we did a logical proof comparing schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. In that post, we logically theorize that schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are the same disease. And because some people have had remission from Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s should be curable as well.  

Blind people don’t get schizophrenia. Not one recorded case. The question is why?

Why would people who can’t see be immune to this type of crazy? Because they are immune to vision issues. As we’ve mentioned in multiple other posts, mental strain causes refractive errors and is a symptom of brain entropy. Because the blind never see, they never have the able to see incorrectly, in a way that produces mental strain. Left untreated, this strain can lead to sleep problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and all sorts of other things including schizophrenia.

So if blind people don’t get schizophrenia, and schizophrenia is Alzheimer’s, could we cure Alzheimer’s with blindfolds? I don’t think it will be that simple, but essentially…yes. 

And why do I think that it will work?

Comas were used decades ago to cure schizophrenia. There were huge risks, but there was some success. Some people died. The rest got really fat.

Many Alzheimer’s patients go into comas before they die. 

People with Alzheimer’s have more mental strain than any other group of people. They are far enough from their equilibrium, that sleep does not help them any more. Stress has been building on them throughout their lives, and they likely have a wide variety of health issues that start in the mind. We’ve shown how high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and many others all start with the same sort of mental strain.

The biggest issue I see with inducing blindness [in some manner] as a cure, is that all the medication taken by the individual will skew results. The goal here is to essentially zero out the brain, and that is impossible with drugs in your system. So the less meds the better. 

Twenty-four hours without sight should be enough to gauge results. If you start seeing improvement, continue as needed. If you decide to try this with yourself or a family member, please remember that nothing we’re doing here can do any permanent damage to your eyes or brain. You still have a fully functional brain. You always have.

Check out this study. The shotgun approach actually worked for UCLA. You can read their notes on it. They have no idea why. They had their subjects diet and exercise, go to counseling, and worked on stress management. Here’s why it worked:

Because they finally started addressing some of the major issues at the root of the disease. As they lowered their stress levels and improved their diets, they began to finally move the needle on the patients brains. The major difference not mentioned in this study, keeping these patients from true equilibrium is their eyesight. It’s really just a symptom of brain distortion, but it makes it much harder to stay healthy if you try to operate without your barometer.

There’s never going to be a pill or vaccination to cure Alzheimer’s. The answer lies within you. 

Here’s your Alzheimer’s Protocol:

  1. Go outside
  2. Move
  3. Relax
  4. See better
  5. No meds
  6. Doubt your fears
  7. Do something new
  8. Talk to a counselor
  9. Blindfold yourself

Sources:

  1. https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/from-fever-cure-to-coma-therapy-psychiatric-treatments-through-time/
  2. https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/symptoms-and-stages
  3. https://www.webmd.com/brain/coma-types-causes-treatments-prognosis#3
  4. https://qz.com/977133/a-ucla-study-shows-there-could-be-a-cure-for-alzheimers-disease/

Why Do We Cry?

Crying is the shedding of tears (or welling of tears in the eyes) in response to an emotional state, pain or a physical irritation of the eye. Emotions that can lead to crying include anger, happiness, or sadness. The act of crying has been defined as “a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures”, instead, giving a relief which protects from conjunctivitis. A related medical term is lacrimation, which also refers to non-emotional shedding of tears. Various forms of crying are known as sobbingweepingwailingwhimperingbawling, and blubbering.

So essentially, we cry in extreme emotional situations, whether that be anger, happiness or sadness. And extreme pain. Oh, and onions

Take a moment and stare and something. Hold your eyes open long enough so that tears come out. So there is a limit to how long you can hold your eyes open without blinking, right? And typically, at that point, your eyes will water. 

So if we take our view of time dilation as it relates to stress, the human perception of time contracts as the stress increases. So in your most emotional moments, your brain is so active, that seconds seem like minutes. Time literally freezes. And if time froze when your eyes were open, you know what would happen? Your eyes would dry out. So you produce tears. Crying is a symptom of high brain activity which drastically slows the individual’s perception of time.

Sources

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/why-do-we-cry-the-science-of-tears-9741287.html
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-humans-the-only-prima/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/science/onions-crying-chemicals.html

Sneezing Solved

There’s not a whole lot to debate here. Sneezing typically expels foreign objects from the nasal passages. Simple enough, but, as always, there are some cases that just don’t seem to fit:

  • The sun makes some people sneeze.
  • Some people sneeze after orgasm.
  • Most people sneeze when they’re sick.
  • Allergies make people sneeze.

So for allergies and colds, a sneeze is basically a reflex to the mucus or congestion that is there in the first place. So it makes sense that you would sneeze when your nose is irritated. But why is the mucus there in the first place? Well, the mucus and congestion restricts air flow, which would cause the pressure of the system [your brain] to rise. So is a cold just low brain pressure?

People do get sick when they go to high altitudes. Why does that matter? Because that’s the same as taking your brain to a lower pressure environment.

We also get sick most frequently when it’s cold outside. So if it gets cold suddenly, the brain pressure may be low. Think about your tires in cold weather. The only difference is that your tires can change volume, your brain can’t.

Why in the world would you sneeze after an orgasm? 

I think it’s safe to say that an orgasm is relaxed as you’ll be in any given day, aside from sleeping. We’ve correlated brain activity to stress, so the lack of brain activity would coincide with relaxation. And if stress means high brain pressure, relaxation means low brain pressure. If the change in pressure is too great, it could simulate a pressure event in your brain similar to a cold, so you would sneeze to expel air and normalize pressure.

Why would you sneeze during or after a workout? 

See previous answer.

If that’s true, why does the sun make some people sneeze? 

First off, this condition only affects 18-35% of the population. More interestingly, white people make up 94% of the sun sneezing population.

Let’s go back to Bates. Didn’t he say something about sunlight?

Sunlight relaxes the mind? Yes. That’s where is all started. Bates used to have people stare directly into the sun, and claimed that it helped their vision. I’m not saying that. Lets just say that the sunlight relaxes you. Find your own study here. Or read my article on how to improve your vision, and how staring off into a single point at a distance helps relax your mind. 

So pick your own reason why. The sun relaxes your mind. Period. And with that assumption:

If we can assume that sunlight relaxes the mind, a stressed mind would be considered high pressure. You’re stressed at school, and you walk outside. The sun, the outdoors, the distance-whatever- relaxes you. It lowers your stress, and decreases the temperature and pressure of your brain. Since your brain’s reflex is to normalize pressure, the fastest way to re-pressurize is to expel air. So you sneeze.

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/11-surprising-sneezing-facts#1
  2. https://www.quora.com/Why-do-people-sneeze
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneeze
  4. https://thepip.com/en-us/2016/06/improve-your-mood-reduce-stress-with-sunshine/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness#2
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bates_method#Sunning

Why Do We Yawn?

People yawn when they are getting tired typically, but why?

The restorative process of sleep lowers the brain entropy by lowering the biological processes and increasing airflow. As the day pushes on, you literally build pressure. For the same reason you get shorter over the course of the day.  You create more disorder in your brain as the day wears on. The yawn is essentially a deep breath that maximizes the airflow and decreases the brains temperature and pressure.

This is why breathing pure oxygen doesn’t eliminate yawning. It doesn’t address the problem.

People also yawn when they are bored. Can we explain this?

If we go back to William Bates’ book on eyesight, boredom actually creates mental strain. And we know that mental strain changes your vision. And we know that vision changes are just a symptom of brain entropy. And your yawn is just a way to counteract all that.

If that’s true, why are yawns contagious? Or are they?

It’s safe to say that they are contagious. But the jury is still out as to why. I was first going to say that it’s a reflex after seeing someone else yawn, but blind people do it too-when they hear someone yawn.

So just like when you see someone drinking, you consciously or subconsciously do a self check to see if you’re thirsty. When you see [or hear] someone yawn, you do a self check regarding the entropy or temperature of your brain. If it’s too hot or chaotic, you yawn.

People with Autism are less likely to yawn contagiously. 

Because that’s what makes them Autistic in the first place. They operate with higher levels of brain entropy. It’s the same reason they they die so much sooner. They are so far from their equilibrium point, that they experience time in a completely different manner. Well not completely,  just shorter. It’s also why they are so much more likely to drown. 

So no, they are probably not going to yawn contagiously. Because they have built an identity around the pressure that the yawn equalizes.

Sources: 

  1. https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2017.00052
  2. https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/yawn.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-yawn#see-a-doctor
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3120687
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201403/why-is-yawning-so-contagious
  6. https://www.factretriever.com/autism-facts