Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sports news for a football Saturday

I was going to snark for today's final Michigan-Notre Dame football game--for the time being--but I decided to stay quiet and ignore the game until it was over.  Good thing I did, as I got the result I wanted: Michigan beats Notre Dame 41-30.  However, it looks like I should have watched the game, as Beyonce taped an intro to the Michigan band's halftime, something almost guaranteed to get them on TV.

Beyoncé, Michigan Stadium. Michigan Stadium, Beyoncé.

Looking good.

Enough fluff.  Here are the sports-related research stories from tonight's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (LADEE launched) on Daily Kos.

University of Alabama, Birmingham: Sports addictions can ruin relationships
By Nicole Wyatt
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
As players take the field for fall sports like football, experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) remind adults that an obsessive focus on any sport can deter kids from playing and damage relationships.

Sandra Sims, Ph.D., associate professor of human studies in the UAB School of Education, said while parents do not purposefully take the joy out of their children’s games, being overzealous about their abilities, effort or participation can do just that.

“Young athletes have two needs that should be fulfilled, and those are to feel worthy and have fun,” explained Sims, who was a middle- and high-school teacher and coach for 20 years.

“When a sport is no longer fun – if the child feels the sport is more like a job – they will quit,” she said. “It’s sad to see them walk away."
University of Alabama: UA Professor Authors ‘First True Survey’ of Fantasy Sport Leagues
Sep 4, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Andrew Billings, a sports researcher whose academic home is The University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, soon will release a book he believes to be the “first true survey” of fantasy sport leagues in the United States.

Billings, the Ronald Reagan Endowed Chair of Broadcasting in the telecommunication and film department at UA, co-wrote “The Fantasy Sport Industry: Games within Games” with the University of Cincinnati’s Dr. Brody J. Ruihley. The book explores the ins and outs of fantasy sport as an industry game changer.

“Fantasy sport tips the scales for media consumption,” Billings said. “At the most fundamental level, why do people watch sports? They watch to see who wins. In fantasy sports, that’s not the case. You’re rooting for individual players and may not even care at all about which team wins. That changes the most basic equation of sports media research.”

The book includes data from surveys of more than 1,000 fantasy sport players, interviews with industry leaders and provides a history of fantasy sport. Billings said around 35 million Americans play fantasy sports each year, even more than the number of people who have active Twitter accounts.
In case you're wondering, it's that time of year again.
Between now and the general election, Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday will highlight the research stories from the public universities in each of the states having elections for federal or statewide office this year plus stories from all research universities in major cities having municipal elections.  That written, tonight's edition features the science, space, environment, and energy stories from universities in the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Virginia (list from The Green Papers), and the cities of Detroit and New York.
I shouldn't be surprised that Alabama is the state whose universities are providing the sports research.

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