Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bob Dunning: Ah, but I correctly predicted a loss


From page A2 | November 30, 2012 |

THE ODDITY OF ODDS … in Jeff Hudson’s excellent front-page recap of our local school board election, I was stunned to see the name of the Above-Pictured Columnist pop out of the mouth of candidate Jose Granda, who ran a respectable fourth in the race for two seats … said Granda, as reported by Hudson, “I met great people in Davis throughout the campaign against Measure E and in support of my candidacy. I want to express my appreciation to the people who voted for me. They certainly proved that the crystal ball that my friend Bob Dunning used to predict the odds may be in need of repair.” …

As I’ve noted before, I get an extra 10 bucks in my paycheck when I’m mentioned in a news story, with 15 more on top of that if I’m on the front page … now, while this was indeed a “front-page” story, it did “jump” to Page 8, which is where Granda’s comment appeared … while my agent claims that makes the mention of my name worth $25 because it appeared in a “front-page story,” management has so far declined to come across with the cash … looks like we’re heading for arbitration …

SPEAKING OF ODDS … what Jose Granda (see above) doesn’t seem to realize is that the “odds” I listed of his election were right on the money … in a column that ran two days before Election Day, I accurately noted that the chances against his election were 10,000 to 1 … I further said that “If Jose wins, I’ll find a dead crow and barbecue it at high noon on the steps of the Susan B. Anthony Building.” … note, I did not say I would eat the crow …

Be that as it may, I did not have to find a dead crow or barbecue a dead crow … Jose lost … my odds suggested exactly that outcome … they didn’t predict how many votes he would get or whether he would come in third, fourth or fifth … they simply said the odds against Jose gaining one of the top two spots and a seat on the board were 10,000 to 1 … since he didn’t gain one of the top two spots, the odds were correct …

If you bet against Jose based on my odds, you ended up holding a winning hand … in gambling terms, you’d have to wager $10,000 against Jose winning just to collect a single dollar … in fact, I did exactly that, driving up to Boomtown the day before the election and placing $10,000 against Jose’s candidacy … easiest dollar I ever made …

FOOTBALL FOLLIES … I don’t know about you, but for my money many of these conference “championship” games at the collegiate level need to go the way of the dinosaurs … take the case of UCLA and Stanford, playing tonight at Stanford Stadium in a game absolutely nobody cares about, including Davis’ famous Stanford grad, Dan Wolk … just last Saturday, Stanford routed UCLA, 35-17, to finish the season with an 8-1 Pac-12 record and the “North Division” title … the loss dropped UCLA to 6-3 in the Pac-12 as champions of the “South Division” … so, under this crazy format, North meets South for the entire Pac-12 championship just six days after these two played each other …

If UCLA wins the game, it wins the championship, even if its record is far worse than Stanford’s and despite the fact the Bruins will only have split two games with Stanford … those UCLA kids are smart … had they won last Saturday’s game, they’d be in Eugene tonight, getting drubbed by the Mighty Ducks and having absolutely no chance at a Pac-12 title …

Tickets for this post-Thanksgiving turkey start at $80 and run all the way to $120, which is a pretty penny even for Stanford folks … and, despite the fact Stanford reduced the size of its stadium to just 50,000 seats several years ago, there will be an embarrassingly large number of empty ones when these two teams take the field … put simply, these “championship” games are nothing of the sort …

SPEAKING OF CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES … how about Wisconsin, losing its last two games and three of its last four — all in overtime — to finish 4-4 in the Big Ten’s badly misnamed “Leaders” division and earning a title shot against Nebraska of the “Legends” division? … with a record like that, they should have put the Badgers in the “Losers” division …

SPEAKING OF CONFERENCES … the numerically challenged Big Ten now has 14 teams after further diluting its on-field product by adding no-names Rutgers and Maryland … in further college football news, Cal, coming off a 3-9 season, has petitioned for membership in the Big Sky Conference, Oregon State is joining the Canadian Football League and UC Davis will offer only touch football in 2013 because an all-male team is out of compliance with Title IX …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net





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