Friday, June 19, 2015

Chicago newspaper lies with statistics for its 'Title Town' headline

Back in college, I remember reading a book called How to Lie with Statistics.  Wednesday's cover of the Chicago Sun Times is the perfect example:

The line at the bottom says: "The numbers don't lie--no city has won as many championships as Chicago since 1990."  Half of that sentence is true, Chicago's 10 major sports titles by the Bulls (6), Blackhawks (3) and White Sox (1) are the most of any U.S. city since 1990.  However, the numbers do lie.

Why did they pick 1990?  Because it's just before Michael Jordan started winning.  Chicago's 10 championships in 25 years is nice, one every two-and-a-half years.  Going back 15 years instead of 25 though, Boston's nine by the Patriots (4) Red Sox (3) Celtics (1) and Bruins (1) is obviously much more impressive--one every 20 months.  And if you toss out the Jordan Bulls era, Chicago only has four titles since 2000.  Not to mention the fact that Boston also won each of the four major sports.

Chicago could do that by going back 30 years to include the Bears in 1985, but then it wouldn't be better than New York's 11 by the Yankees (5), Giants (4), Mets (1) and Rangers (1) in that time.

Maybe the Oakland Tribune should run a "Title Town" headline tomorrow for the Warriors, with the caption "No city has won as many championships in the last five days."

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