Changes in Fandom

A few readers have asked if their preference for teams or sports can change. The answer to this is of course, each fan has his or her own favorite sports that may change over time. Hockey may change from a fan’s favorite to least favorite sport. A fan may start following the Cubs instead of the Brewers (unlikely, but it is possible). 

The Lifetime Championship metric easily accommodates these preferences. If a fan’s preference changes, an adjustment is made to the Lifetime Championship weights in the year that the preference change occurs.

For example, if Josh was a New York Giants fan until 2000 (when he moved to Georgia), and then became an Atlanta Falcons fan, he would include New York Giants championships before 2000 and Atlanta Falcons after 2000 when calculating his lifetime happiness as a fan. Similarly, if Julie’s favorite sports changed in 2007 from the order basketball, football, baseball, hockey to football, baseball, hockey, basketball, she would scale basketball championships by 400 before 2007 and 100 thereafter. Similarly, she would scale football scores by 300 before 2007 and 400 after 2007. Similar changes would be made for baseball and hockey. The Lifetime Championship metric adjusts to a fans preferences over time. 

Hopefully this clarifies that the Lifetime Championship attempts to capture a fan’s happiness over the course of his or her lifetime, even as preferences change. 

The Rivalry Effect

Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees

Ohio State Buckeyes v. Michigan Wolverines

Los Angeles Lakers v. Boston Celtics

Classic rivalries affect fans and fan bases differently than games against other teams. Games against rivals heighten the interest, nerves, emotion, trash talking, and memories of sports fans.

Aside from the Lakers – Celtics rivalry, it is very rare for two rivals to meet in a championship game. To develop, rivalries require frequent competition. Typically this means that rivalries develop when teams in the same division or conference play each other regularly (think Red Sox v. Yankees).

The reason that we waited to include rivalries in the Lifetime Championship metric is that rivalries are common in collegiate sports. Geography and academic standing can facilitate the development of a rivalry (e.g. Florida v. Florida State – the annual battle for sunshine state dominance).

Clearly victories and losses against rivals during the regular season affect fan’s happiness differently than postseason (and especially championship) wins and losses. Regular season rivalry wins and losses tend to blend together or are forgotten over time. The one sport where this does not seem to be the case is college football. Since single games occur regularly in college football, they are easily remembered over the course of a sports fan’s lifetime happiness. Thus, SportSmiles is proposing that college football rivalry games be treated the same as postseason rivalry games in all other sports. Playoff rivalry victories are like “bonus” happiness and sadness for fans. A fan first remembers that his or her team won the championship, but a fan also remembers that his or her team won the championship while beating their rival or nemesis. Thus,  to quantify rivalries in the Lifetime Championship metric we will treat postseason rivalry victories as +5 points and postseason rivalry losses as -10 points in bonus happiness (remember tough losses have a greater effect on fans). 

For example, the 2013 Red Sox won the World Series, gaining me 400 points of happiness (my favorite sport). However, in 2004 the Red Sox won the World Series while also defeating the rival New York Yankees, in the ALCS – gaining me 405 points of happiness (400 for championship and 5 for postseason rival victory).

Rivalries matter. They matter most in the postseason and championship. They just matter  less than the ultimate fan goal: championships.

In hopes of keeping readers informed, we are in the process of building a Lifetime Championship Sports Happiness Calculator. Before this calculator is able to seamlessly calculate fan’s lifetime happiness, SportSmiles needs to finish quantifying the olympic effect and discuss secondary teams, role models, records, and the pile on effect.

As always, please send any questions or comments to sportssmiles@gmail.com

Collegiate Sports

For many Americans, college sports are followed more closely than professional sports, especially in regions without professional sports teams. Until now, SportSmiles has only discussed the effect of professional sports (and the olympics) on a fan’s happiness. Today’s entry incorporates collegiate sports into the LifeTime Championship metric.

Quantifying the happiness of college sports fans depends upon each fan’s preference for collegiate or professional sports (when discussing collegiate sports we are primarily focusing on NCAA football and basketball. However, this same discussion will apply to the “non-moneymaking” collegiate sports that many fans follow closely as well). There are three types of college sports fans: 1. Fans who like both college football and basketball more than professional sports, 2. Fans who like either college football or basketball more than professional sports, 3. fans who prefer professional sports to college sports. Before calculating his or her lifetime happiness, a fan has to rank their preference for professional and collegiate sports teams.

Instead of having a first, second, third, and fourth favorite team. When talking about professional and collegiate sports, a fan can have a first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth (and seventh and eighth) favorite team. A championship won by a fan’s favorite team is still worth 400 Lifetime Championship points (300 points for second favorite team etcetera). However, to account for the additional teams followed by a college and professional sports fan, a championship won by a fan’s fifth favorite team is worth 50 points and a championship won by a fan’s sixth favorite team is worth 25 points to continue the Lifetime Championship weighting system.

Thus for example, my friend James who only likes college football (and does not follow professional sports) would calculate 400 points for every NCAA football championship won by Ohio State in his lifetime. In contrast, my friend Tommy, who admittedly is not a college sports fan would continue to only calculate 400 points for each Patriots championship, 300 points for each Bruins championship, 200 points for each Red Sox championship and 100 points for each Celtics championship in his lifetime. Finally, my friend Kevin, who enjoys both college and professional sports would calculate 400 points for each Knicks championship, 300 points for each Mets championship, 200 points for each Jets championship, 100 points for each Blackhawks championship, 50 points for each Northwestern football championship, and 25 points for each Northwestern basketball championship.

There are some caveats to this calculation. College football fans derive some longterm happiness from bowl wins in addition to national championships. Moreover, college basketball fans derive some longterm happiness from conference tournament championships (but typically not NIT tournament championships) in addition to NCAA “March Madness” championships. Finally, college fans are extraordinarily happy when their team beats a longtime rival or upsets a top 25 team (especially when their team is perennially bad or from a small conference).

We will discuss the rivalry and upset effects in future entries.

 

The Goal of SportSmiles

Some readers have emailed to clarify the goal of SportSmiles. They are unsure if they are supposed to calculate one number that is their definitive happiness as a fan and what the Lifetime Championship really means.

To clarify, the goal of SportSmiles is to quantify the happiness of sports fans. This number is by no means definitive and is inherently subjective. Each fan derives happiness in his or her own unique way. However, the same way that economists and psychologists measure happiness using utils (numbers), we can attempt to measure fans happiness during specific events and attach numerical correlations between these events and a fan’s overall happiness (think of a linear regression).

The LifeTime Championship metric is an attempt to capture the typical happiness quotient that fans experience over the course of watching sports. It is not a measure of immediate happiness (of course fan’s enjoy a great dunk, goal, or regular season win), but happiness over the long-term. Therefore, the sporting events the LifeTime Championship focuses on need to be remembered 10, 20, and 50 years after the event itself.

Is it an exact science? No. But based upon conversations with both diehard and casual sports fans, SportSmiles is an attempt to create mathematical relationships between sporting events and the long-term happiness fans experience. The mathematical relationship is almost certainly different for each sports fan. However, the general rules of SportSmiles hopefully serve as a guide to help quantify sports happiness and get more fans thinking about the events that bring them joy while watching sports.

Olympic Happiness

USA 4 USSR 3. Al Michael’s call is synonymous with olympic triumph. The American college team, led by Jim Craig and Mike Eruzione, not only spawned a Disney movie, but lifted the spirits of Americans in the midst of the cold war. This moment encapsulates the happiness fans derive from the Olympics.

Most sports fans I know are ecstatic about the upcoming winter olympics – ice skating, hockey, luge, skeleton, curling. The key to quantifying fan’s olympic happiness is that there are multiple sports, multiple events, multiple medals per event, and multiple fan preferences within the Olympics. Certain events are more popular because they define athleticism (think 100m mens or women’s sprints which are associated with the title “fastest man or woman in the world”), while other events are more popular for their quirkiness (think curling).

From a happiness perspective, it is clear that different events and outcomes make different people happy. The following outcomes can make a sports fan happy during the summer or winter olympics:

1a. Country wins medal count – The happiness here is associated with national pride and nation-state competition.

1b. Country wins gold medal count – The happiness here is again associated with national pride and nation-state competition.

2a. Athlete from country wins gold medal in major event (e.g. 100m dash, long jump, ice skating) – The happiness here is associated with the success of the athlete and national pride. Winning a gold medal brings fans more happiness than a silver or bronze medal for the obvious reason that the country’s athlete is the best in the world (and of course you get to hear your national anthem at the medal ceremony).

2b. Athlete from country wins silver medal in major event – The happiness here is again associated with the success of the athlete and national pride.

2c. Athlete from country wins bronze medal in major event – The happiness here again is associated with the success of the athlete and national pride, but we will discuss how winning a bronze medal may create more happiness than winning a silver medal (the medaling effect). 

3a. Team from country wins gold medal – The happiness a fan incurs when their country’s team wins a gold medal (e.g. men’s basketball, hockey, and women’s gymnastics) is different in scale than the happiness of a single athlete winning a gold medal. 

3b. Team from country wins silver medal – Again, the happiness a fan incurs when their country’s team wins a silver medal is different in scale than the happiness of a single athlete winning a gold medal. This is in-part due to the fact that team medals are often won after a tournament rather than a single event.

3c. Team from country wins bronze medal – The happiness a fan incurs when their country’s team wins a bronze medal is different in scale than the happiness of a single athlete winning a silver medal and again may result in more happiness than a team winning the silver medal (medaling effect). 

4a. Individual/team from country wins gold medal in quirky event – The happiness associated with this type of medal has to do with an athlete from your country being the best at some popular minor sport. There is no good reason why these sports are more popular than other minor olympic sports (e.g. most Americans enjoy olympic water polo more than field hockey); however, the “quirkiness” of the sport or event makes them popular. Typically the popular quirky events are discernible by the television coverage they receive. Often the popularity of these quirky events differs by country. 

4b. Individual/team from country wins silver medal in quirky event – The happiness associated with this type of medal again stems from an athlete from your home country being second best in some popular minor sport. 

4c. Individual/team from country wins bronze medal in quirky event – The happiness associated with this type of medal stems from an athlete from your home country winning a medal in some popular minor sport. Again, a bronze medal in a quirky sport may bring more happiness than a silver medal in a quirky sport (medaling effect).

5a. An athlete from country sets a new olympic or world record – Fans are happier when an olympic or world record is set by their own country’s athlete. These moments bring more happiness for most fans than a gold medal alone, especially if the record remains decades later. 

5b. An athlete from another country sets a new olympic or world record – Many fans are also happy watching an olympic or world record being set, just to a lessor extent then when the athlete is from their home country. The happiness from this moment stems from the thrill of a record falling and the ability to tell future generations about the record setting moment. 

6. The opening ceremony and parade of nations – There are many fans who also care about the “beauty of the olympics”. They enjoy seeing geopolitical rivals competing side-by-side on a playing field, the political peacefulness and world unity. Hundreds of nations marching under their flag after the pageantry of the opening ceremony encapsulates this feeling. In other words, some fans receive happiness simply from what the olympics represent. They do not care who wins or losses, but enjoy the symbolism of the games. 

Instead of attaching Lifetime Championship values to each of these olympic happiness points, we will save this for the hype and buildup to the 2014 winter olympics. Readers will be able to quantify their 2014 winter olympic happiness during the games. While we put the olympics on hold, SportSmiles will next turn to college sports so that we can begin to discuss rivalries.

As always, readers are encouraged to send feedback to sportssmiles@gmail.com. Your thoughts and input are essential to make sure we quantify these effects correctly. 

Minor Sports – Major or Minor Fan Happiness Quotient

This is the first of many entries that will discuss sports outside of the traditional big four (baseball, basketball, football, hockey) in the United States. 

Minor sports as we will call them, such as tennis and golf, can have a major effect on some fan’s happiness. Over 6 million Americans watch the major golf championships on TV. Over 16 million people tuned in to watch Andy Murray in the 2012 US Open Tennis final. While these television ratings (and in-person attendance) are paltry when compared to the major sports’ ratings (except maybe for hockey), they are not insignificant. Thus, we have to devise a way to quantify the happiness of minor sports fans and incorporate it into the Lifetime Championship. This simplest way to quantify minor sports championships would be to include them in the Lifetime Championship directly (instead of four favorite sports a fan would preference six or more favorite sports). 

However, minor sports are different than major sports. Each weekly tournament (in the case of tennis and golf) has a winner. Yet, a favorite player winning these weekly tournaments does not bring a fan happiness in the long-run. The greatest example of this is Tiger Woods – his fans enjoy a Sunday fist pump after the closing putt to win at Bay Hill or Memorial, but this happiness is insignificant in the long-run. Unless Tiger breaks Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA tour victories – something that we will discuss in an entry on the record breaking effect – his fan’s do not remember the victory over the decades. Instead, what minor sports fans care about are the Major Championships or Grand Slams. Yet, majors and grand slams are different from regular championships because they occur four times per year and only last a few days or weeks (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open in tennis – The Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship in golf). Therefore, minor sports championships need to be treated differently from major sports championships.

The second way that minor sports are different is that fans don’t root for a team, and often they don’t cheer for a single player. Some fans are happiest watching a grueling match or back-and-forth battle.  Fans like this often talk about the “great tennis” or “great golf” instead of the individual players. Yet, we did not add additional utility to baseball or hockey fans who “love the game”, so we will not add Lifetime Championship points for these fans either. Most fans, however, root for one player when watching a minor sport. For example, tennis fans might prefer either Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi to win a particular match. Despite this, quantifying minor sports is not as simple as counting up the number of times a favorite player won major championships. This is because the player a minor sports fan roots for often changes. I know plenty of fans who root for Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, and Ernie Els or Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Andy Murray. Yet, in hindsight fans often associate with one player from each generation (e.g. a Sampras or an Agassi fan, a Venus or Serena fan). 

Therefore to calculate the effect of Majors or Grand Slams in minor sports we can perform happiness calculations using two conditions:

1. Discount major tournament championships based upon their frequency and length of tournament. Since four major tournaments, or grand slams, occur each year, they are intuitively worth one fourth the happiness to a fan as championships in the major sports. For example, if a fan’s fourth favorite major sport (e.g. hockey) is worth 100 points, a PGA Championship has 25 points of value (100/4 = 25) for a fan. This formula can be adjusted if a fan prefers a minor sport to one of the major sports (e.g. if tennis is actually a fan’s favorite sport, a major championship would be worth one fourth of 400 Lifetime championship points, which equals 100 points).

2. Record favorite players and their victories retrospectively. What I mean by this is that since fans often root for multiple players in a tournament, but typically associate with one player long-term, the quantifiable happiness from minor sport victories is only accurate once a player retires. For example, although my friend Andrew roots for Serena Williams, he is also happy with players like Lindsay Davenport win. Thus, we can only quantify the happiness he derives from Serena Williams wins once she retires. At the future time Andrew will be able to reflect back on the tennis era and solidify that he was happiest during Serena grand slam victories (currently this future Lifetime Championship value would be worth 425 – 17 grand slam championships x 25 points each). 

I admit these calculations are imperfect since we cannot quantify the fan’s minor sport happiness immediately. However, sports like tennis and golf are inherently different than team sports and this seems the best way to integrate both in the Lifetime Championship metric. We will carry these calculations forward to talk about the Olympics before delving into college sports and rivalries.

Please keep sending thoughts and feedback to sportssmiles@gmail.com

SportSmiles Is Hiring!

Thank you to everyone who is helping to make our readership grow!

I am happy to announce SportSmiles is looking to work with a graphic designer to create a custom logo. If you are interested, please email sportssmiles@gmail.com

We are also looking for help to design our Lifetime Championship calculator. Interested programmers with experience creating web-crawlers and internet search to create formulas based upon a fan’s preference please email sportssmiles@gmail.com. Contract will be negotiable depending upon ability, level of experience and project length.

The Favorite Player Effect

We need to make a quick addendum to the Star Player effect. My buddy Jared is a big fan of Derek Jeter and made a great point: having a favorite player affects a sports fans happiness. He dropped to his knees and cried when Derek Jeter got his 3000th hit. Even as a Yankee fan he would not cry for every Yankee’s accomplishments. The sheer happiness of his favorite player reaching such an exclusive milestone brought tears to his eyes.

A favorite player is often  a member of your favorite team, but may also play for another franchise. For example, in the mid-90’s, much like the rest of the country, I followed everything related to Michael Jordan. He was my favorite basketball player – his game 6 winner with the flu against the Utah Jazz is forever ingrained in my head. Kids and adults alike typically have one player that they pull for on an individual level, not a team level.

When these players succeed we derive happiness. This player’s individual accolades, championships, milestones, and league leading statistics (unless its a negative category like turnovers) matter to us as fans. I had not previously thought about this aspect of the Lifetime Championship score and will have to more clearly workout how to quantify favorite player’s effect on a fan’s happiness – perhaps a guest blog post is appropriate from other sports fans who have rooted for a favorite player throughout their lifetime.

However, one aspect of the “favorite player effect” is clear. A favorite player on your own team succeeding brings you more happiness as a fan. An Orioles fan who rooted for Cal Ripken Jr. was happier when Lou Gehrig’s iron-man record for consecutive games played was broken than an Athletics fan from California who rooted for Cal Ripken Jr. throughout his career because of his individual player appeal.

We will figure out a way to best quantify the happiness to derive from favorite players. However, in the meantime we will turn our focus back to the happiness derived from minor sports, the olympics, and collegiate sports.

The Star Player Effect

Well it was not a week until our next post – sorry about that, busy few weeks and then the Thanksgiving Holiday. But, we’re back on on track.

Individual players can bring longterm happiness to fans. Today’s topic expands the lifetime championship beyond team accolades. We’re discussing star player effects (like this, and this, and this, and this).

A distinction is important: Good players can have all-star seasons, but star players transcend memory through consistent greatness. When thinking about the lifetime happiness of fans, the good players fade, but there are certain stars who are reminisced about for generations. Individual accomplishments are not more important than team championships, but they do add some long-term value for fans.

The difficulty now is to create a clear metric that quantifies Star Players. To do so, I’ve chosen to focus on when a player is the best in their sport. Stars are not just all-stars, they win MVP awards and Cy Youngs. The first way to quantify the star player effect is to count the number of MVP awards won by players on your team. Fans continue to talk about MVP seasons with regularity – fans often look back and talk an MVP seasons decades later. To calculate the effect of MVP seasons on Lifetime Fan Happiness we can simply scale the effect proportionally within the Lifetime Championship metric. Since fan’s talk about championships way more often than they talk about MVP seasons, these individual accolades carry 1/10 of the weight of championships in our lifetime metric. In other words, a player on your favorite sports team wins the MVP that is worth 40 points of happiness to you (400/10 = 40). Subsequently  a player on your second favorite sports team winning the MVP is worth 30 points, third favorite team is worth 20 points and fourth favorite team is worth 10 points.

We will not count other player awards, such as Rookie of the Year, because fans do not derive happiness other awards the same way as MVPs over the course of their lifetime. However, baseball fans often remember watching Cy Young award winners (e.g. Pedro Martinez dominated baseball but never won MVP), which are almost as difficult to win as MVP awards. Cy Young awards should be counted as half the value of weight a fan places on baseball MVPs. For example, baseball is my friend Jared’s second favorite sport, so he would count Cy Young award winners as 15 points (30/2 = 15). The same is true for the Vezina trophy in hockey for goalies, the defensive player of the year in football, and the scoring champion in basketball.

To exemplify this MVP calculation:

I would add 170 points to my Lifetime Championship score, bring my total Lifetime Championship Score to 1870.

Over the course of my lifetime, two Red Sox have won MVP awards (Mo Vaughn in 1995, Dustin Pedroia in 2008) for 40 points of additional value each. Pedro Martinez won two Cy Young awards (1999, 2000) for 20 additional points each. No Celtics have won the MVP award. Tom Brady won two MVP awards (2007, 2010) for 20 additional points each, and Joe Thornton won one Hart Memorial Award (2006) for 10 additional points of fan happiness for a total of 170 points.

However, some star players, who are clearly transcendent do not win MVPs or Cy Youngs (e.g. Derek Jeter). The second way to measure the Star Player effect is a players election to the Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame players consistently play at an all star level. Their careers are memorable and statistics reflect the type of transcendence that sports fans draw happiness from over the course of their lifetime. Hall of fame careers are more significant than a single MVP season. Therefore we will weight them double in comparison to MVP awards (80 points for hall of fame player in favorite sport, 60 points for hall of fame player in second favorite sport, 40 points for hall of fame player in third favorite sport, 20 points for hall of fame player in sport).

There is an important caveat to quantifying the Star Player effect of Hall of Fame players. There is a big difference between a Hall of Famer who plays his entire career for one of your teams and a Hall of Famer who plays only part of his career for your team. Watching Larry Bird play his entire career as a Celtic is not the same as watching Kevin Garnett play part of his career as a Celtic. To address this issue, we will count a Hall of Famer towards a fans happiness when the player retires in the jersey of a favorite team. For example, even though Carlton Fisk played for the White Sox, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Red Sox. Only Red Sox fans derive significant additional happiness having had Fisk root for their team.

No Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, or Bruins have been inducted into the Hall of Fame at this point, so there is no Lifetime Championship Calculation update for me to show. If for example, Pedro Martinez were to get inducted to the Hall of Fame I would add 80 points to my lifetime championship score (40*2 = 80 for favorite sport).

This entry incorporates individual accomplishments into a fan’s sports utility. Now we will start to address minor sports and the olympics.

Quantifying Tough Losses

Now that we have established the three types of tough losses (Losing as the overwhelming favorite, losing in an unexpected way, losing at the last second) this entry will attach negative values to these experiences.

1. Losing as an overwhelming favorite

These losses are tough to deal with because you expect your team to win. However, in reality the #1 seed in the playoffs wins the championship less frequently than one might expect. For example, since 2000 the team with the best regular season record won the World Series 19% of the time. Similarly, since 2000, only two teams (17%) have won the Super Bowl with the best record in their respective conference. In the NBA six of the past 12 champions have not held the best record in their conference (50%). The trend holds in the NHL as well: since 2000 only three teams who won the President’s trophy for the best regular season record went on to win the Stanley Cup (25%). Averaging these championship rates from the top seeds, a fan can expect their team to win the championship roughly 25% of the time.

Using this number we can say that a fan losses 25% of the happiness they would derive from winning a championship. For a fan’s favorite team this would be -100 points using the Lifetime Championship metric (-25 * 4 for favorite sport). For a fan’s second favorite team this would be -75 points using the Lifetime Championship metric (-25 * 3 for 2nd favorite sport). For a fan’s third favorite team this would be -50 points using the Lifetime Championship metric (-50 * 2 for 3rd favorite sport). Finally, for a fan’s 4th favorite team this would be -25 points using the Lifetime Championship metric (-25 for 4th favorite sport).

2. Losing in an unexpected way

These losses are arguably more damaging than losses as the overwhelming favorite because they linger. An unexpected play can be remembered easier than a normal loss. For example, it is very easy for me to recall David Tyree’s helmet catch. The Patriots should have sacked Eli Manning (twice) and 99/100 times Tyree drops a ball lodged between his hand and his helmet. Similarly, my friend Kevin cannot easily forget Carlos Beltran, one of the great postseason players, taking strike three down the heart of the plate to end the Mets season in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. The lingering effect of unexpected plays makes these losses more significant than losses as the heavy favorite. For this reason, we will weight these losses twice as strong as losses as an overwhelming favorite: -200 favorite team (-100 *2), -150 for second favorite team (-75 *2), -100 for third favorite team (-50*2), and -50 for fourth favorite team (-25*2).

3. Losing at the last second

Similar to losses on unexpected plays, last second losses linger. A fan does not forget when their team losses on the final play of the game. Pistons fans still recall where they were watching when Bird stole the ball (sorry I could not resist a Johnny Most play-by-play). Phillies fans do not forget Joe Carter ending their 1993 world series hopes. We will treat the lasting effect of last second losses  twice as strong as losses when the heavy favorite and the same as losses on unexpected plays (-200, -150, -100, -50).

Economic and decision theory supports such a strong negative affect for losses. We don’t like to think they matter that much as sports fans. Yet, in reality tough losses hurts for years to come. To reiterate, for the typical risk averse person losses are valued twice as high as gains. The lifetime championship negatively values losses, but does not place twice as much weight on losses, since the happiness of championships is more than a onetime event and carried to some extent throughout a fan’s lifetime.

4. Losing at the last second or in an unexpected way as the overwhelming favorite

Finally, friends have asked me about unexpected or last second losses when your team was also the favorite. In talking to fan’s about these games, they remember less about being the favorite and instead focus on the unexpected or last second nature of their team’s defeat. Thus, in the rare case where a heavily favored team losses in an unexpected or last second manner, these losses affect fan’s the same way as an unexpected or last second losses over time (-200, -150, -100, -50).

Until I create an online calculator for each fanbase’s happiness, I will continue providing examples of how to calculate a fan’s Lifetime Happiness. We have previously calculated my happiness to be 2200 (400 points Red Sox * 3 championships = 1200 points, 300 points Celtics * 1 championship = 300 points, 200 points Patriots * 3 championships = 600 points, 100 point Bruins * 1 championship = 100 points).

Now we will factor in tough losses. In the 2003 ALCS the Red Sox lost on a walk off home run (-200). The Patriots lost the 2007 Superbowl on an unexpected play and the 2011 Superbowl on a final drive (-100 each, -200 total). Finally, the 2012, 2009, 2004, and 2002 Bruins held the best record in the league and were eliminated after being heavily favored from the playoffs without even reaching the conference finals (-25 each, -100 total).

Lifetime Championship Total: 1700 (1200+300+600+100 -200 -200 -100 )

Next week we will turn our attention back to happy events in the life of a sports fan: The Star Player Effect. If you have any comments or topics that you would like to see included in the blog please feel free to email me at sportssmiles@gmail.com.