Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Streak

After a full year of playing's "Beat The Streak" game, my record stands at exactly 235 wins and 235 losses (plus 15 'pushes,' or ties). Do I know a lot about sports, or do I know a lot about sports?! (The answer: sort of.) My longest-ever streak is seven correct guesses in a row, which sounds impressive until you see that you need to hit 29 in a row to even think about getting a prize.

It's all random chance, essentially. You're presented a slate of games or events from which to choose form, and ESPN makes things naturally difficult by picking somewhat hard-to-figure matchups. If the Colts are playing the Rams one week, you won't see that game as a possible choice --- but, you might see the game included under the question of 'what total will be higher, Indy's winning margin or the Rams' total points?' Actually wait, that's a bad example, since Indy's winning margin would still be the obvious choice, but still, you get the picture. Given the difficulty of matchups, making a 29-result streak would be like predicting the result of 29 straight coin flips. I don't happen to remember the calculation from my twelfth grade statistics class, but that's awfully tough to pull off. Not even a master of coin-flipping like Two-Face could manage it, and he's flipping crazy.

My New Year's resolution for 2010? Capture the poltergeist living in my basement. My second resolution, however, is to end the year over the .500 mark in the Streak game. Perhaps I'll run into a real spot of luck and put together a streak that rivals Joe DiMaggio's hits in consecutive games, Edwin Moses' undefeated record over a nine-year span in the 400-meter hurdles, or even the Undertaker's winning atreak at Wrestlemania. Someday, someday.

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