Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Statistical Abstract for a Scissorkick

The University of Notre Dame issued a record-setting 950 press credentials for Saturday's tilt, yet somehow The House Rock Built did not find its way onto this illustrious list. Alas, HRB had to dispatch its chief correspondent to a poorly-insulated studio apartment in Chicago's South Loop to get the inside scoop of the so-called "Game of the F#@&ing Century".

And then something glorious happened. While watching some innane chatter on GameDay, the HRB red phone lit up. Ninety minutes before kickoff, a lone ticket surfaced with HRB's name on it. I manned the official HRB-mobile and lurched off to a 95-mile windsprint across the Indiana Tollway. Sixty-three minutes later, the HRB-mobile shuddered down the onramp for Exit 77. After paying the toll and merging onto US-31, the Golden Dome burst forth from the foliage and blinded me with its radiance. Instantly, tears began to well up in these old eyes, partially from the nostalgia, and partially from the burning transmission fluid.

Supposedly, this is the part where we discuss the game. For example, we could go into intricate detail of the drive sequences, as my "beleaguered lads clad in emerald valiently strove strident into the jaws of the unassailable gladiators of Troy", or how "the mighty warrior-poet Quinn ardently scorched the mid-October lapis lazuli with leather-clad arrows deftly flung with divine precision." And had the outcome of the game been the tiniest bit different, you all would be subjected to this gut-wrenching epic poem.

But that ain't the case. You know what happened, you saw what happened, and you have all argued and whined about what happened. HRB is not about to rouse the rabble any more, as that would be journalistically irresponsible. After careful analysis, HRB's crack statisticians have deemed this game to be a "Scissorkick in the Groin". For those of you who are not Bill James disciples and are confused by fancy sabermetric terms, a "S.i.t.G." game is defined on page 423 of the 1978 "Baseball Abstract" as:

[...]there also are rare statistical outliers that underlie the computation of "Fan Grief Shares" (FGS) and "Fan Grief Shares per 9 Innings" (FGS/9). When the derivative of FGS * log(FGS/9) exceeds a threshold of the pre-calculated Jubilation Potentiality Facter (JPF), the spillover rest in one of three categories: for minor outliers, the game is deemed a "Gutpuncher"; for outliers underneath the bell curve of FGS/9 EXP(JPF), "Suckerpunch to Kidney"; and, in the rarest cases, the game crosses into "Scissorkick in the Groin" territory...

There's not much more that House Rock Built can do to help you out. WebMD states that Scissorkick in the Groin is a treatable, yet chronic condition. You will never fully recover from it, and its after-effects will linger with you until the day you die. But icing, elevating, drinking heavily, and bloody revenge are all ways to alleviate the pain and make it liveable. I'm writing you a prescription for all four. Slainte.