Friday, June 22, 2012

Football Player Doesn't Like Math Problem

It's a perfectly valid binomial situation:

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles "Peanut" Tillman was recently supporting his Cornerstone Foundation at a sporting goods store in the suburban Chicago area, when he received an autograph request from the daughter of the store's owner. The teenage girl was doing her math homework during the appearance, and she showed Tillman one of the problems given to her by her teacher, John Amrein of Round Lake Middle School:
The Packers play the Bears 4 times in two seasons. The Packers, being a much better team, have an 80% chance of winning each game. What is the probability that the Bears win all four games? What is the probability that the Bears win at least one game?
Tillman gave the autograph to the girl, but he also gave a bit of aggro to the teacher in question -- fair enough, we suppose, since the school is just a bit north of Chicago.
Mr. Amrein,
This is Charles "Peanut" Tillman of the Chicago Bears and I'm shocked that you would have a problem like this for your students. The probability that the Bears would win in my opinion is 100%. Please do not and I repeat DO NOT send them home with math homework that is disrespectful to our team, city and our beloved Chicago Bears.
Your All Pro Corner
Charles "Peanut" Tillman
Geaux Bears
P.S. Bear Down
While we understand Tillman's dismay at the fact that an Illinois teacher would create anti-Bears math problems, Mr. Amrein does have a point. The Packers have the edge in the last 10 games between the longtime rivals, winning seven of those games, including the last four in a row.
His reply is ok--a little pantie-wadded, but ok--but I have a problem with the respect angle.  The Chicago Bears are a business, why are they owed any "respect" at all?  And respect is earned, not given.

The only issue with the math problem is that it seems the actual percentage, at least in recent games, should be 70% and not 80%.


Cal said...

Wow, a bit humor impaired. The teacher has a much better response than your rather priggish take.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite certain that Darren fully understands both positions.

But ... It is NOT a good example of a binomial distribution. The home team has a persistent and measurable edge ( about 3-4 points), so we are missing at least one of the Is in IID :-)

Mark Roulo

maxutils said...

Um . . . sounded to me like Tillman had tongue planted firmly in cheek. If he'd really been upset, he wouldn't have given the autograph . ..

maxutils said...

Also, 80% makes for much nicer numbers. 1/625, and 15/16, respectively.