Blog Posts

Reading List: Why MLS teams tried to sound more European

As I watched an MLS playoff game today between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, I realized how annoyed I was by the derivative names of our soccer teams. Why do so many MLS teams imitate their naming conventions of their European cousins? From a marketing perspective I think it is unquestionably a successful approach – why not manufacture instant tradition? It feels very inauthentic. What do you think?

Source: Not feeling the (Dallas) Burn: why MLS teams tried to sound more European

Reading List: Analyses of Midterm Elections

Rather than post these individually, here’s a list of midterm election recaps (local and national) I found interesting.

American Meritocracy Is Killing Youth Sports

It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the current youth sports culture. The downside of participation – particularly at a young age – in elite travel clubs follows the law of unintended consequences. We want our kids to do well, compete and the highest levels, and have fun with their friends. What’s wrong with that? Perhaps nothing, but at what cost?

Expensive travel leagues siphon off talented young athletes from well-off families—and leave everyone else behind.

Source: American Meritocracy Is Killing Youth Sports

Media Diet: 538’s Nate Silver has a unique perspective on GOP congressional strategy

Ezra Klein, who hosts one of my favorite podcasts, recently interviewed forecast modeling guru Nate Silver. The result was a fascinating conversation about the 2016 election and the upcoming midterms, during which Silver offered up an explanation of the GOP governing strategy that resonated with me.

One of the most confounding aspects of the Trump era has been how meek the GOP rank and file have been in responding to the President’s…buffoonery? I’m paraphrasing, but essentially he posits that the party knows its current hold on the executive and legislative branches is likely fleeting, and that it needs to get while the getting is good. Rather than act as a party with a wafer-thin majority in the Senate, the GOP has decided to cash in its chips. Massive tax cuts, two conservative justices, and a near miss at an Obamacare repeal are wins that the party can hang its hat on for a long time.

This is incredibly cynical, but there’s a logic to it. That portion of the conversation starts around 13:45, but the whole interview is worth listening to if you’re a data geek like me.

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