New Year’s Eve, the Sugar Bowl, and the Unclaimed Baggage Center – part 3/3

New Year’s Eve

We didn’t do very much on the morning of December 31st. We slept in and wandered around some more around Bourbon St. We decided to get tickets to the Sugar Bowl that would take place the day after. We found a nice pub to eat dinner while we watched Clemson beat Oklahoma. Continue reading

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What football can learn from the tennis tiebreak

In 2012 Portugal lost to Spain after a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final of the European Cup. Did Portugal get a fair chance?

In 2012 Portugal lost to Spain after a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final of the European Cup. Did Portugal get a fair chance?


With the World Cup moving to the knockout stage in some days, a few teams are destined to be ‘knocked out’ because they lost a penalty series.

Statistical analysis based on historical shoot-outs has shown that the team taking the first penalty kick, thereby starting the series, historically won in ~60% of the times.

This statistic should not be underestimated – teams starting the penalty series have a ~50% bigger chance of winning!

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Why American and European soccer players won’t play chess together

Firstly, a brief note on my absence, since tomorrow it would have been 7 months since my last blog post. In April this year I started working as a strategy consultant at Deloitte. Life’s been slightly different than it was a student, sadly leaving practically no time for writing here.

A while ago Sarah and I were on a trip to the U.S. Somewhere along the trip we watched the soccer game of the U.S. versus Mexico. After the game goalkeeper Tim Howard and offensive midfielder Clint Dempsey were interviewed. Something caught my attention, but at first I didn’t really know what it was. Then it hit me: these guys actually know what they are talking about.

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You’ll Never Walk Alone: a Myth at FC Twente

As Sarah wrote some time ago, right before every home match starts the FC Twente supporters sing the You’ll Never Walk Alone from Gerry & The Pacemakers. What the supporters mean to convey is that they will support their team no matter what; in good times and, perhaps especially, in bad times. The past weeks have shown that that was a lie. The vocal supporters of the FC Twente crowd, often referred to as ‘Vak-P‘, named after a stand in the previous stadium, are what one may describe as “fair weather fans“.

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Please, Sven (Kramer)?!

Lance Armstrong’s exposure sprouted a renewed attention for doping in sports. Firstly, of course, within cycling, but recently the debate around performance-enhancing drugs intensified with regard to other sports as well.

For instance, Christophe Rochus stated that he believed that doping is significantly present within tennis, pointing a hesitant finger towards Rafael Nadal. Although this may be the opinion of one player, there are more disturbing signals. Roger Federer called for more doping tests in tennis, since “some substances can’t be discovered right now.” Andy Murray agrees, but adds “don’t accuse me or my rivals of doping.” (Where have we heard that before?) James Blake said something that, to me, sounds sensible: “[we should be] realistic with this much money involved, $1.9 million for the winner of the U.S. Open, people will try to find a way to get ahead.” Continue reading