Friday, August 29, 2014

Bob Dunning: You can make stats tell lots of stories


From page A2 | February 04, 2014 |

WINNERS AND LOSERS … if you turned to the sports section on Super Bowl Sunday, you may have noted that six talented Enterprise journalists, including the Above-Pictured Columnist, were featured prominently on the back page offering their predictions for the big game … three picked the Broncos and three picked the Seahawks, but as I have pointed out many times in this space, gambling is the only reason the NFL exists in the first place …

So, as Sports Editor Chris Saur continues to strut righteously around the office after picking the Seahawks, 23-20, I’d like to point out a few salient points about my forecast of a 34-24 Denver victory … as anyone who follows professional football knows, the “over/under” is the most popular bet around, far exceeding who actually wins the game … the over/under for this Super Bowl was 47½ points … Saur forecast the under (43 total points for both teams), while I accurately took the over (58 points for both teams) … Seattle won, 43-8 (51 points total), which means the “over” bettors won … (The Enterprise’s Thomas Oide actually hit the over/under on the nose with his 27-24 Seahawks forecast, but I figure he must have somehow seen a tape of the game beforehand and thus his prediction was disqualified) …

Another important and popular Super Bowl proposition asks “How many points will the winning team score?” … Saur said Seattle would score 23, while I said 24 … another win in my column … and finally, the all-important “What will be the final margin of victory?” … Saur saw a razor-thin three-point game, perhaps coming down to the final seconds … I saw a much more realistic 10-point spread, with the game pretty much over before the Clydesdale ad … Seattle won by 35 points …

I was also the only one of the six prognosticators to boldly predict that Seattle would intercept a Peyton Manning pass and return it for a touchdown … at this point I’m 4-0, resting on my laurels and getting ready to cash in my chips … better luck next year, Chris … ESPN is waiting on the phone for you …

SOLVING OUR CITY’S FINANCES … you know, if you were willing to bet that the Denver Broncos would score exactly 8 points total in last Sunday’s Super Bowl, the nearby Reno casinos would have paid you 250 to 1 on your wager … just imagine if the city of Davis had hired a professional gambling consultant and handed him the $1 million we’re spending on the PG&E study and told him to “invest” the money instead, we’d be $250 million to the good and wouldn’t have to worry about dipping into our rainy-day fund ever again …

ALL IS NOT LOST … buck up, Denver fans … the good news is that the Broncos’ application for football-only membership in the Big Sky Conference has been accepted by the league commissioner … Denver will open the 2014 season on Aug. 30 against new arch-rival Northern Colorado and will visit UC Davis and Sacramento State on a two-week Northern California swing in early September …

WATER-WISE, POUND-FOOLISH … my friend Bill, taking note of all the water-saving tips coming our way these days, scoffs at the notion that you should run the dishwasher only when it’s full … “You shouldn’t be running the dishwasher at all,” Bill claims … instead, he has gone to the Finger Food Diet, which produces no dirty dishes whatsoever …

“Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Subway, Pizza Guys and the like do not involve using the dishwasher,” Bill notes … then again, you are more likely to wipe your fingers on your shirt on this diet, so you may end up using the washing machine more even as you save on running the dishwasher …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

California extends review of $25B delta plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Forum explores local mental health services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Equestrian eventing competition slated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7



Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

What if we need MRAP?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

How could tank be helpful?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

Don’t sentence our police to death

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

Will Davis see river water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

Travel buddy is getting too fat

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils scrimmage with Sac

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6





‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



Technology makes a great car better

By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



Margarita Elizondo

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4