Football https://mag.uchicago.edu/tags/football en The right way to run a college athletics program https://mag.uchicago.edu/education-social-service/right-way-run-college-athletics-program <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/19_Summer_Munson_Brains.jpg" width="2000" height="1238" alt="Jay Berwanger and Bruce Montella" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/09/2019 - 17:17</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Jay Berwanger, AB’36, presents the game ball to Bruce Montella, AB’86, MD’90, at the 1985 homecoming game. (UChicago Athletics)</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/lester-munson-jd67"> <a href="/author/lester-munson-jd67"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Lester Munson, JDʼ67</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Summer/19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>For sports editor Lester Munson, JDʼ67, UChicago strikes the right balance of academic and athletics excellence.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Early in September 1985, our son’s first year at the College, my wife, <strong>Judy Munson</strong>, AB’66 (Class of 1963), and I found ourselves traveling downstate to Galesburg, Illinois, on a cold and rainy Saturday. We arrived just in time to watch him and his football teammates finish their warm-ups for a game against Knox College. (The University of Chicago resumed intercollegiate football in 1969 and has grown into a program with 93 young men in uniform last season.)</p> <p>The field at Knox nestles within grassy slopes. The rain was running down to the field and leaving puddles of water and mud on the playing surface, perfect conditions for the Maroons’ star running back, <strong>Bruce Montella</strong>, AB’86, MD’90. While the Knox defenders were sliding and falling in the mud, Bruce pounded through them for big yardage.</p> <p>I grew up in a family with season tickets to the Chicago Bears. I saw Gale Sayers at Wrigley Field and Walter Payton at Soldier Field. Neither Sayers nor Payton ever achieved what Montella achieved that day. There is no official record of the number of times he carried the ball, but my recollection is that he ran at least 25 times and maybe more. It is official that he ran for a total of 305 yards. That’s an incredible 12 or more yards per carry. It was a historic performance that put Montella in a group of University football greats that includes Jay Berwanger, AB’36, a running back who won the first-ever Heisman Trophy in 1935.</p> <p>A week after Montella’s performance at Knox, we joined other football parents for the lunch hosted by the director of athletics, at the time Mary Jean Mulvaney, before each home game. A crowd was gathered around Montella’s parents. “Isn’t that nice,” I thought. “They’re congratulating the Montellas on the awards and recognition Bruce received after the Knox game.” These honors included, for instance, <em>Sports Illustrated</em> College Player of the Week.</p> <p>I walked over to offer my own congratulations. To my surprise, the other parents were not talking about the Knox game. They were congratulating the Montellas on Bruce’s early admission to the University’s Pritzker School of Medicine.</p> <p>The breathtaking performance on the field and the admission to medical school demonstrate what a college athletics program ought to be. The University’s program is part of what is known as Division III in the nomenclature of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college sports. Within Division III, there are 443 schools offering intercollegiate competition in 25 sports. The students who compete engage in a pursuit of excellence in academics, teamwork, discipline, perseverance, and leadership.</p> <p>At the other end of the spectrum is Division I, in which large universities stage massive spectacles for public entertainment. Within Division I, 130 schools play big-time football and 353 schools compete in men’s basketball. These two Division I intercollegiate sports have become a major American industry that produces billions of dollars in revenue each year. There is nothing like it in any other culture.</p> <p>It is increasingly difficult to see any connection between these Division I extravaganzas and the objectives of higher education. The driving force in Division I is money—money in the form of television contracts, corporate sponsorships, ticket revenue, skyboxes, shoe contracts, sideline apparel contracts, naming rights, and other deals and gimmicks designed to increase revenue.</p> <p>The income from these two sports has produced salaries for coaches and administrators that can be incomprehensible. Top coaches are paid as much as $10 million per year. A contract with a manufacturer to wear its apparel in televised games can produce additional hundreds of thousands of dollars each season. There are now at least 20 <em>assistant</em> football coaches who are paid more than $1 million per year, two or three times the salary of their schools’ presidents.</p> <p>In addition to the Brobdingnagian coaches’ salaries, the schools are investing huge sums in workout facilities, dormitories, and other amenities for the athletes. The phrase “arms race” is frequently used to describe the rush to build these palaces. Attempting to justify such expenditures, some suggest that the income from Division I sports supports the school’s academic efforts. But economists who have studied the budgets of these universities have concluded that only 20 of the schools produce athletics income that could be used elsewhere in the university. The others struggle to break even on athletics; many of them suffer losses and must be subsidized by student fees and other budgetary maneuvers.</p> <p>The outsized revenues prompt many to ask why some of the money cannot be paid to the athletes who produce the income. It’s a good question. The NCAA insists that its athletes must remain “amateurs” to preserve the wholesome image of college sports and to continue to draw the vast TV audiences that these games enjoy.</p> <p>Players and former players have tried to use American antitrust laws to obtain a share of the money. They have a strong argument. The NCAA is clearly a monopoly (as the only game in town, it’s actually a monopsony), and its rules against payment are an obvious restraint of trade. But the players have been rebuffed in two major court decisions.</p> <p>The US Supreme Court had a chance to address the issue a few years ago. Although the matter involves hundreds of colleges and universities, thousands of athletes, and millions of fans, the court inexplicably declined to accept the issue for consideration.</p> <p>The student-athletes of our university and all Division III schools do not receive athletic scholarships, although they may be the beneficiaries of grants based on academic merit or need. Their training, practice, and performance are a proportional part of their lives on campus. If there is a conflict between a class and a team practice, the Division III athlete goes to class. That is often not the case for football and basketball players at Division I powerhouse schools.</p> <p>UChicago athletes go to class, and they graduate. Bruce Montella’s big day at Knox College was an indication of what was to come as the University began to attract student-athletes in multiple sports. Under the leadership of director of athletics and recreation <strong>Erin McDermott</strong>, the University has become one of the nation’s most successful Division III athletic programs.</p> <p>The NCAA maintains standings for the 449 schools competing in Division III. The University’s success in its 20 sports has put it in the top 20 for the past six years, and it is now ranked ninth among all schools for 2018–19.</p> <p>For the past 16 years, I have served as the master of ceremonies at the annual induction ceremony for the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame. Each year we award this honor to several highly successful former student-athletes. The achievements of these elite athletes in competition are remarkable, but what they have done after graduation is equally impressive.</p> <p>Our son, <strong>Lester Munson III</strong>, AB’89, for example, played left tackle for four years on the offensive line. With his political science degree, he went to Washington and worked on Capitol Hill for 25 years, concluding his career as staff director to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is now a principal in BGR, the lobbying firm founded by Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and longtime chair of the Republican National Committee.</p> <p>What is it about competing in Division III sports that puts the student-athletes of the University on a pathway to success? For four years, they practice, they train, and they compete at a demanding level while succeeding in one of the most challenging academic programs anywhere. They show up, they work, they help others on their teams, and they learn leadership. Along the way, they wake up one morning and discover that they have become educated men and women, ready for citizenship in full.</p> <p>In short, they demonstrate what a college athletics program can and should be.</p> <hr /><p><em>Journalist Lester Munson, JD’67, has served as a senior editor at ESPN.com and </em>Sports Illustrated<em>. He lives in Chicago.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/education-social-service" hreflang="en">Education &amp; Social Service</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/education" hreflang="en">Education</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/athletics" hreflang="en">Athletics</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/alumni-essay" hreflang="en">Alumni Essay</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/education-social-service/right-way-run-college-athletics-program" data-a2a-title="The right way to run a college athletics program"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Feducation-social-service%2Fright-way-run-college-athletics-program&amp;title=The%20right%20way%20to%20run%20a%20college%20athletics%20program"></a></span> Fri, 09 Aug 2019 22:17:25 +0000 admin 7150 at https://mag.uchicago.edu UChicago’s Puppy Bowl MVP https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/uchicagos-puppy-bowl-mvp <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1601_Gregg_Puppy-Bowl-MVP.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/28/2016 - 10:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Watch Graham House dog Cooper in Puppy Bowl XII on February 7, 2016, at 2 p.m. CST. (Courtesy Animal Planet)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/helen-gregg-ab09"> <a href="/author/helen-gregg-ab09"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Helen Gregg, AB’09</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/web-exclusives" hreflang="en">Web exclusives</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">01.28.2016</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Max Palevsky resident Cooper will tumble and play his way to glory on Super Bowl Sunday.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On Super Bowl Sunday, residents of <a href="http://housing.uchicago.edu/houses_houses/max_palevsky_residential_commons/graham_house/" target="_blank">Graham House</a> in <a href="http://housing.uchicago.edu/houses_houses/max_palevsky_residential_commons/" target="_blank">Max Palevsky Residential Commons</a> will gather to watch one of their own compete in the big game—and cheer each “linebarker” dodged and each chew toy run in for a touchdown.</p> <p>Cooper, a Great Pyrenees/Collie mix owned by <a href="http://housing.uchicago.edu/community_living/resident_staff/resident_head/" target="_blank">resident heads</a> Tim Johnson and Michelle Skinner (right), is on Team Fluff in <a href="http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/about-this-show/about-puppy-bowl/" target="_blank">Puppy Bowl XII</a>, airing on Animal Planet on February 7. An all-canine, all-adorable version of football’s biggest showdown, the Puppy Bowl features <a href="http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/photos/puppy-bowl-xii-starting-lineup/" target="_blank">49 rescue pups</a> playing around in a miniature stadium.</p> <p>First broadcast in 2005 as an aww-inducing Super Bowl alternative, the two-hour special uses cuteness to promote pet adoption and now includes chicken cheerleaders, a Hall of Fame, and a Kitty Halftime Show. Last year <a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-puppy-bowl-kitten-bowl-tv-ratings-20150203-story.html" target="_blank">10.4 million people tuned in</a>.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Cooper" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dcc6b958-aa53-4e15-9985-e9f7d6d258b2" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/1601_Gregg_Puppy-Bowl-MVP_spotA.png" /><figcaption>Cooper’s publicity shot for Puppy Bowl XII. (Courtesy Animal Planet)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>Skinner and Johnson adopted Cooper from <a href="http://www.pawschicago.org" target="_blank">PAWS Chicago</a> in August, and a few weeks later the organization asked for photos of him for a “media appearance.”</p> <p>During <a href="https://orientation.uchicago.edu/page/o-week" target="_blank">O-Week</a>, Skinner, AM’15, a doctoral candidate in the <a href="http://english.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">English department</a>, was doing research in <a href="http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/" target="_blank">Special Collections</a> when she got the call that Cooper had been picked to play for the Vince Lombarki Trophy. “I was like, ‘Can you say that again?’” she says. “It was so exciting.”</p> <p>A nondisclosure agreement kept the couple from telling anyone about Cooper’s spot on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/teamfluff" target="_blank">#TeamFluff</a> until earlier this month, which meant covert Puppy Bowl prep before the October pretaping.</p> <p>They trained Cooper to move toys around to practice scoring puppy touchdowns. Homecoming and other UChicago fall events gave them an excuse to have him practice wearing a bandana around his neck, an essential Puppy Bowl skill.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Cooper" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0c099c34-2562-4acf-a380-c49fe2ec0650" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/1601_Gregg_Puppy-Bowl-MVP_spotB.png" /><figcaption>Cooper models the UChicago bandana he used to train for the Puppy Bowl. (Photography by Helen Gregg, AB’09)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>Resident head duties meant Skinner and Johnson couldn’t attend the pretaping in New York, so “we’ll be on the edge of our seats” during the broadcast, says Skinner. They’re hosting a viewing party for the whole residence hall, which is filled with Cooper fans—especially the 85 students in Graham House.</p> <p>Cooper, and the students’ affection for him, has been a boon to the first-year resident heads. “We call him our most effective RH tool,” says Skinner. Upset students often ask to pet the dog for a few minutes, after which they’re more willing to open up and talk. During finals week, students can sign up to “check out” Cooper for 30-minute increments for stress relief, and a Thanksgiving weekend outing with the dog helped alleviate some students’ homesickness.</p> <p>Cooper isn’t allowed in student rooms and certain other parts of the building, but “even some of the students with dog allergies will come by and pet him for a little while and then go wash their hands really quickly,” says Johnson.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Cooper" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ac3be3a7-fe4e-40f5-adaa-e6c3412738a0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/1601_Gregg_Puppy-Bowl-MVP_spotD.png" /><figcaption>Cooper is a Great Pyrenees/Collie mix. (Courtesy Animal Planet)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>Cooper’s popularity extends beyond Graham House, says Johnson. “People who we have no idea who they are know his name and approach him and pet him and he loves it, he just loves the attention.” Skinner is pretty sure that’s why Cooper likes to play outside near the large windows of the Reg, because he knows he’s being watched. He also loves the Classics quads, she says, since it’s “a big dog hangout spot.” (One of his most recent playmates there was the dog of a Nobel Prize winner.)</p> <p>Cooper is completely at home on campus, says Skinner. “He definitely feels like he owns the place.”</p> <hr /><h2>Fun facts about Cooper</h2> <ul><li>Loves each of the 85 students he lives with in Graham House  </li> <li>Has a crush on Gracie, a dog who lives in Max Palevsky East  </li> <li>Looks up to Scout, the service dog of Tim’s brother  </li> <li>Hopes to graduate at the top of his obedience school class  </li> <li>Dreams of catching a ball at Wrigley Field</li> </ul><div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Cooper" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6e53adac-4c60-4b1e-bd8a-a288163e4c8a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/1601_Gregg_Puppy-Bowl-MVP_spotC_0.png" /><figcaption>Cooper in his Cubs jersey. (Photo courtesy Michelle Skinner)</figcaption></figure></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/dogs" hreflang="en">Dogs</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/student-life" hreflang="en">Student Life</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/super-bowl" hreflang="en">Super Bowl</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/uchicago-creatures" hreflang="en">UChicago Creatures</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/super-bowl-shuffle" target="_self">Super Bowl Shuffle</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 01.29.2015)<br /> “<a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/dog’s-life" target="_self">This Dog’s Life</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 08.08.2014)<br /> “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Summer2014/departments/uchicago-creatures.shtml" target="_blank">Big Dog on Campus</a>” (<em>Core</em>, web exclusives, Summer/14)<br /> “<a href="http://www.chicagobooth.edu/capideas/blog/2014/may/nfl-draft-day-wisdom-from-richard-thaler" target="_blank">NFL Draft Day Wisdom from Richard Thaler</a>” (<em>Capital Ideas Blog</em>, 05.08.2014)<br /> “<a href="http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/sweetness-and-super-bowl" target="_blank">Sweetness and the Super Bowl</a>” (<em>Sightings</em>, 02.01.2007)<br /> “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0508/peer/studies.shtml" target="_blank">Dog Days of Summer</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Aug/05)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Learn more about <a href="http://housing.uchicago.edu/houses_houses/max_palevsky_residential_commons/graham_house/" target="_blank">Graham House</a>. Watch this year’s Puppy Bowl pregame show at <a href="http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl" target="_blank">Animal Planet</a>. <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/priorities/college/creating-a-vibrant-campus-community/" target="_blank">Join the campaign</a> and help create a vibrant community that provides rich opportunities for students to live, eat, study, and socialize together.</p> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/uchicagos-puppy-bowl-mvp" data-a2a-title="UChicago’s Puppy Bowl MVP"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Fuchicagos-puppy-bowl-mvp&amp;title=UChicago%E2%80%99s%20Puppy%20Bowl%20MVP"></a></span> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 16:41:18 +0000 jmiller 5394 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Touchdown https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/touchdown <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1511_Gregg_Touchdown.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/28/2015 - 14:51</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>UChicago vs. Macalester, October 19, 2013. (UChicago Athletics)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Fall/15</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Maroon football, by the numbers.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>First-quarter points allowed by the <a href="http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/fball/index" target="_blank">Maroons</a> during the first six games of the football season: <strong>0</strong></p> <p>Average number of points scored per game by the 5–1 Maroons, compared with opponents’ average of 22: <strong>29.5</strong></p> <p>Head football coach <a href="http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/fball/coaches/chris_wilkerson" target="_blank">Chris Wilkerson</a>’s career win record with the Maroons: <strong>.792</strong></p> <p>UChicago football players who achieved University Athletic Association All-Academic honors for 2015: <strong>34</strong></p> <p>Maroons named <a href="http://www.saa-sports.com/landing/index" target="_blank">Southern Athletic Association</a> or <a href="http://uaasports.info/information/aow/aowarchive" target="_blank">UAA Athletes of the Week</a> so far this season: <strong>4</strong></p> <p>Rushing yards by running back and second-year <a href="http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/fball/2014-15/bios/carroll_chandler_gvwv" target="_blank">Chandler Carroll</a> during a Sept. 26 win, breaking a 1985 school record by <a href="http://www.midwestsportsmed.com/Physicians/DrBruceMontellaMD.aspx" target="_blank">Bruce Montella</a>, AB’86, MD’90: <strong>311</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/athletics" hreflang="en">Athletics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/william-rainey-harpers-index" hreflang="en">William Rainey Harper&#039;s Index</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/genius-gridiron" target="_self">Genius of the Gridiron</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 10.14.2015) “<a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/super-bowl-shuffle" target="_self">Super Bowl Shuffle</a>” (<em>University of Chicago</em> Magazine, web exclusives, 01.29.2015) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/ineligible-receiver.shtml" target="_blank">Ineligible Receiver</a>” (<em>Core</em>, Winter/12) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/web-extra-football.shtml" target="_blank">The Chicago Way of Football</a>” (<em>Core</em>, Winter/12) “<a href="../university-news/midway-point" target="_self">The Midway Point</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 11.30.2012) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/9510/October95Legends.html" target="_blank">Legends of the Fall</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/95)</p> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/touchdown" data-a2a-title="Touchdown"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Ftouchdown&amp;title=Touchdown"></a></span> Wed, 28 Oct 2015 19:51:00 +0000 jmiller 5139 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Genius of the gridiron https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/genius-gridiron <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1510_Golus_Genius-gridiron.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/14/2015 - 12:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">Of the UChicago football stars of yesteryear, Jay Berwanger, AB’36 (1914–2002) was the most famous. (University of Chicago Photographic Archive, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf2-07577.xml" target="_blank">apf2-07577</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/carrie-golus-ab91-am93"> <a href="/author/carrie-golus-ab91-am93"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Carrie Golus, AB’91, AM’93</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/web-exclusives" hreflang="en">Web exclusives</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item"><p>10.14.2015</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">Eighty years ago, Jay Berwanger, AB’36, won the Heisman Trophy—before it was even called that.</div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2878","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"786","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]](University of Chicago Photographic Archive, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf1-00641.xml" target="_blank">apf1-00641</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</h5> Jay Berwanger was a star halfback for the Maroons in the final years of UChicago’s Big Ten football era. <p align="center"><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2879","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"609","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]] (University of Chicago Photographic Archive, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf1-00642.xml" target="_blank">apf1-00642</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</h5> In 1935 Berwanger was awarded the Downtown Athletic Club trophy for “most valuable football player east of the Mississippi.” <p align="center"><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2883","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"432","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]] (<a href="http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/photos/berwanger/" target="_blank">University of Chicago News Office</a>)</h5> The award “wasn't really a big deal when I got it,” Berwanger recalled decades later. It was renamed the Heisman Trophy in 1936. <p align="center"><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2881","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"337","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]](University of Chicago Photographic Archive, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf1-00650.xml" target="_blank">apf1-00650</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</h5> Berwanger (right) was also the first pick in the first-ever NFL draft. But top players at the time were paid just $500 a game. Instead, he opened a manufacturing business, coaching and refereeing football in his spare time. <p align="center"><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2882","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"432","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]](University of Chicago Photographic Archive, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf1-03000-057.xml" target="_blank">apf1-03000-057</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</h5> In 1939 UChicago president Robert Maynard Hutchins famously abolished varsity football. As the story goes, Hutchins once quipped, “Whenever I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” <p align="center"><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2880","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"372","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]] (University of Chicago Photographic Archive, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf1-00647.xml" target="_blank">apf1-00647</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</h5> For decades Berwanger’s aunt used his Heisman trophy as a doorstop. In 1978 he donated it to the University. It’s now displayed in Ratner Athletics Center, where it inspires varsity athletes and fitness-seekers alike.</div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/homecoming" hreflang="en">Homecoming</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/history" hreflang="en">History</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/college" hreflang="en">The College</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-athletics" hreflang="en">UChicago Athletics</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/photography" hreflang="en">Photography</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">“<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/super-bowl-shuffle" target="_blank">Super Bowl Shuffle</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 01.29.2015) “<a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/trophy-life" target="_blank">Trophy Life</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Nov-Dec/13) “<a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/that%E2%80%99s-squirrelly" target="_blank">That’s Squirrelly</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Sept-Oct/13) “<a href="../university-news/midway-point" target="_blank">The Midway Point</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 11.30.2012) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/ineligible-receiver.shtml" target="_blank">Ineligible Receiver</a>” (<em>The Core</em>, Winter/12) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/web-extra-football.shtml" target="_blank">The Chicago Way of Football</a>” (<em>The Core</em>, Winter/12) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/winter2010/eye-football.shtml" target="_blank">Back to the Beginning</a>” (<em>The Core</em>, Winter/10) “<a href="http://uchiblogo.uchicago.edu/archives/2009/10/a_sort_of_homec.html" target="_blank">A Sort of Homecoming</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, <em>UChiBLOGo</em>, October 27, 2009) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0701/chicago_journal/night_lights.shtml" target="_blank">Night Lights</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Nov–Dec/07) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0310/features/hof.shtml" target="_blank">Starting Team</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/03) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0208/campus-news/journal-heisman.html" target="_blank">First Heisman Winner Dies</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Aug/02) “<a href="http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/02/020627.berwanger.shtml" target="_blank">Jay Berwanger, First Winner of the Heisman Trophy, 1914-2002</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 06.27.2002) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0110/campus-news/report-pe.html" target="_blank">Destined for Greatness</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/01) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/9510/October95Legends3.html" target="_blank">Legends of the Fall: Saint Amos</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/95)</div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">Live in Chicago? <a href="https://alumniandfriends.uchicago.edu/events/signature/homecoming" target="_blank">Attend this year’s Homecoming events</a>. Follow @<a href="http://twitter.com/chicagomaroons" target="_blank">ChicagoMaroons</a>. <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/join-the-campaign/" target="_blank">Join the campaign</a> and help create a vibrant campus community. A great College requires not just great students but <a href="http://csl.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">a community that supports their development and prepares them for academic, personal, and professional success</a>. Support <a href="https://www.kintera.org/site/c.8gKMJYMvF9LWG/b.9203113/k.870C/The_College/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp?_ga=1.262339724.1213698241.1440079171#.Vh7Ass7I7TQ" target="_blank">the College</a>.</div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/genius-gridiron" data-a2a-title="Genius of the gridiron"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Fgenius-gridiron&amp;title=Genius%20of%20the%20gridiron"></a></span> Wed, 14 Oct 2015 17:55:28 +0000 jmiller 5066 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Super Bowl shuffle https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/super-bowl-shuffle <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1501_Zulkey_Super-Bowl-shuffle.png" width="700" height="325" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/29/2015 - 15:50</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/6824854509/" target="_blank">Photography</a> by Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0)</div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/claire-zulkey"> <a href="/author/claire-zulkey"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Claire Zulkey</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/web-exclusives" hreflang="en">Web exclusives</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item"><p>01.29.2015</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">UChicago assistant football coach Craig Knoche stops by I-House to teach residents about American football.</div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Sandwiches, wings, fries, and chili with the fixings were on the menu for the 40 or so attendees at the <a href="http://ihouse.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">International House</a> annual talk “Understanding American Football,” presented the week before the <a href="http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/49" target="_blank">Super Bowl</a>. “If you didn’t know, the University of Chicago does have a <a href="http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/fball/index" target="_blank">football team</a>, and they do quite well in their division,” said I-House’s Kory Sopko (“quite well” meaning the team went eight for nine last season). “There are some smart people who play football,” added Sopko, as she introduced the guest speaker, assistant football coach <a href="http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/fball/coaches/craig_knoche" target="_blank">Craig Knoche</a>, who received bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and Spanish from <a href="https://www.iwu.edu" target="_blank">Illinois Wesleyan University</a> and a master’s degree in pure mathematics from the <a href="http://illinois.edu" target="_blank">University of Illinois</a>.</p> <p>Knoche began his talk by passing around some of the equipment the players wear so attendees could feel the weight of the pads, try on a helmet, and palm a football (obligatory joke from the audience: “What is the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/sports/football/nfl-investigator-seeks-to-consult-columbia-physicist-over-patriots-deflated-footballs.html" target="_blank">‘pressure’</a>?”).</p> <p>Knoche showed video clips of the Maroons playing <a href="http://wustl.edu" target="_blank">Washington University in St. Louis</a> (Chicago won, 44-23) to demonstrate the various jobs of defense, offense, and special teams, and discussed the differences between the various collegiate divisions and professional teams before explaining the key points of Super Bowl XLIX: who the key players and coaches are, the teams’ various controversies, and even America’s actual favorite pastime, Super Bowl <a href="../economics-business/best-bettor" target="_self">betting</a>. “I think one of the reasons why football is popular, aside from the violence and the way it fits well with TV with all the breaks for commercial, is that people gamble like crazy on the NFL.”</p> <p>Then Knoche opened up the floor to questions, of which there were many (not surprising, since the audience was composed of undergraduate and graduate students as well as several visiting scholars and postdocs). Here is a sampling:</p> <p><strong>Do you need to be in the college system to be in the NFL?</strong> No. You need to be at least three years out of high school.</p> <p><strong>What are the major differences between football and rugby?</strong> I don’t know anything about <a href="http://uchicagorugby.strikingly.com" target="_blank">rugby</a>.</p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2314","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] (Photography by Claire Zulkey)</h5> <p><strong>How does mathematics help you coach football?</strong> It’s mental gymnastics, which helps train our kids to think abstractly about concepts. Kids want to memorize by rote, but I try and teach them in the abstract. Our kids now understand that if the front end of passing play is running a certain route, we want to keep our spacing so they don’t run into each other. We’re trying to stretch the field vertically, so we want to think of it that way instead of thinking, “Okay, there’s the X, Y and Z, and I’m the Z.”</p> <p><strong>Why do the coaches use headsets?</strong> Some are on the field and some are up top in the booths. The best way to watch football is from far away so you can see everything.</p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2315","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"362","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]] (Photography by Claire Zulkey)</h5> <p><strong>What should we watch for in the Super Bowl?</strong>&nbsp;<br /> The <a href="http://www.seahawks.com" target="_blank">Seahawks</a> have a great defense, but the <a href="http://www.patriots.com" target="_blank">Patriots</a> arguably have the greatest quarterback of all time [in <a href="http://www.patriots.com/team/roster/Tom-Brady/272d4f2c-1bb9-4372-b02c-dfa3fa60575b" target="_blank">Tom Brady</a>]. I think the game will be low scoring. If [Seattle defensive back] <a href="http://www.seahawks.com/team/roster/richard-sherman/b689109a-5471-4c08-bd56-e1568117081e/" target="_blank">Richard Sherman</a> has a good day covering people, then the Patriots won’t win, but if [New England tight end] <a href="http://www.patriots.com/team/roster/Rob-Gronkowski/d4ae2cff-1daf-45d5-a1a8-63f5986e3397" target="_blank">Rob Gronkowski</a> has a great day catching and scoring, the Patriots will win.</p> <p><strong>Who are you cheering for?</strong> I want the Patriots to win. They’ve been so good for so long and people hate them and are jealous of their success. They never have a bad year. Some people say, “I hate them because my team isn’t as good as they are.” I appreciate their consistency.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/law-policy-society" hreflang="en">Law, Policy &amp; Society</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/super-bowl" hreflang="en">Super Bowl</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/athletics" hreflang="en">Athletics</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">“<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/ineligible-receiver.shtml" target="_blank">Ineligible Receiver</a>” (<em>Core</em>, Winter/12) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/web-extra-football.shtml" target="_blank">The Chicago Way of Football</a>” (<em>Core</em>, Winter/12) “<a href="../university-news/midway-point" target="_self">The Midway Point</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 11.30.2012) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/9510/October95Legends.html" target="_blank">Legends of the Fall</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/95)</div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/super-bowl-shuffle" data-a2a-title="Super Bowl shuffle"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Flaw-policy-society%2Fsuper-bowl-shuffle&amp;title=Super%20Bowl%20shuffle"></a></span> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:50:20 +0000 jmiller 4362 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Best bettor https://mag.uchicago.edu/economics-business/best-bettor <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1404_Tsang_Best-bettor.png" width="700" height="325" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/rsmith" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rsmith</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/04/2014 - 12:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Gamblers watching a football game in Las Vegas. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/23623751@N00/3216454253/in/photolist-5UeaMP-gopBa-gopNj-go9YC-go9eE-go9yF-go84E-go9qo-goaKt-go8Na-go9Kt-go8yQ-goade-go92X-goarc-5zHRGM-5zHRFB-dYxmES-5SFdpR-5QyEZ4-5QyJ5D-5QyGzX-5QD3y9-gFyrDG-gFyrDm-gFyXTS-c5PnjS-gv5X5U-gv5XjG-gv55Aq-gv5Xpb-gv6geg-gv5Bkn-gv6gip-gv5XgA-gv55uo-gv6g7x-gv55Jb-gv5X9m-gv6gc2-gv5Xdu-7sKPfM-gv6g7n-66bsm1-bpwqci-bpwppk-bpwpMH-bpwpDt-bpwpvz-bpwqng-bpwq4x" target="_blank">Photography</a> by Antony Pranata, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/derek-tsang-ab15"> <a href="/author/derek-tsang-ab15"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Derek Tsang, AB’15</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Mar–Apr/14</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Chicago trader David Frohardt-Lane, SM’00, put his statistics education to lucrative use.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The best sports bettors have a success rate of about 54 percent, says David Frohardt-Lane, SM’00, and anything higher is luck. He should know; the Chicago trader won $557,850 last December in Las Vegas’s largest handicapping contest by nailing a record 67.9 percent of his picks.</p> <p>Every week during football season, the 1,028 entrants in the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SuperContest picked five NFL games against the point spread. In Week 17, for example, Frohardt-Lane picked San Francisco (-1), meaning he thought San Francisco would beat Arizona by more than one point. The whole contest came down to that game. With two seconds left and the score tied, the 49ers’ Phil Dawson nailed a 40-yard field goal, winning the game for San Francisco and the SuperContest for Frohardt-Lane.</p> <p>After spending all day checking the score on his iPhone at his brother-in-law’s wedding reception, Frohardt-Lane got in front of a television for the final kick. “Just looking at my iPhone, I felt helpless,” he told the Associated Press. “But just seeing the game, I started to regain my confidence.”</p> <p>Frohardt-Lane started watching sports in 1984, when his hometown Detroit Tigers won the World Series after an MLB-record 35–5 start. He was seven years old. “I had no idea that it would not be this easy,” he says. “Like, I could live a full life and die without ever seeing the Tigers win another World Series. It’s incredible.”</p> <p>To celebrate, a relative gave him Bill James’s 1985 <em>Baseball Abstract</em>—the pioneering sports statistician’s take on the year in baseball—and a couple years later, he was hooked. “My dad was a math professor, so I’ve always been interested in numbers,” explains Frohardt-Lane. “I love just playing pickup football, basketball, whatever, but I was terrible, I never played on a team or anything.”</p> <p>He kept up with advanced sports statistics but didn’t think seriously about handicapping until his second year as a math major at Carleton College, when he made a model to predict the results of NFL games.</p> <p>“Until that point I just assumed that markets are totally efficient,” including Vegas, and that trying to beat the oddsmakers is futile, Frohardt-Lane says. His “simple” model would have beaten the line on over 60 percent of games over the previous five years. “That kind of just changed my whole thinking.”</p> <p>So he enrolled in the PhD statistics program at UChicago, leaving after a year with a master’s. “It ended up being a naïve idea,” he says. “I just like numbers, and I didn’t appreciate that at the graduate school level statistics ceases to be about numbers and starts to be more like analysis.”</p> <p>Frohardt-Lane headed to California, taking “frankly unambitious” jobs at Wells Fargo and the now-defunct NextCard to focus his energy on betting baseball. After hundreds of hours spent looking for factors with predictive value, he built a model in the stats program R with individual projections for every player based on past performances. A second model, built in C, simulates each game thousands of times and identifies the probability of every discrete outcome for each batter’s appearance at the plate: walk, strikeout, hit, out, and homer. Another model he designed for football predicts final scores.</p> <p>By the end of 2003, Frohardt-Lane had worked his bankroll from $10,000 to almost $100,000, betting $1,000 to $2,000 per game. “I love having some skin in the game,” he says. He still considers himself a sports fan—“When the Tigers had their runs in ’06 and ’12, I was really into it,” he says—but gambling comes first. And in fact, he says, the experience of having money on the line is similar to that of being a fan. “You have something you’re rooting for, and you just root for that,” even if it means cheering against his hometown teams. “If the model says bet Detroit or fade Detroit”—meaning, bet against—“that’s what I’ll do.”</p> <p>In 2004 Frohardt-Lane moved to Chicago and took a job at trading firm Getco (now KCG Holdings), which left less time for gambling. Increasingly restrictive sports betting laws also made it harder. But in the fall  of 2011, looking for a way to bet more often than his annual trips to Vegas, Frohardt-Lane jumped at the chance to compete in high-stakes handicapping contests. That year he won the Cantor Football Contest, beating out 14 other entries for $75,000.</p> <p>The sports world took notice; since last summer, Frohardt-Lane has been consulting for a major league sports team, although they’ve asked him to keep mum. Sports teams “are a lot smarter than you think,” says Frohardt-Lane. “I think ten years ago they were far behind the public even, and I just don’t think they are anymore.”</p> <p>Frohardt-Lane’s trust in data even extends to what he does with his winnings; he donated half of his contest windfall to GiveWell, a nonprofit that evaluates other charities. “They think in terms of probabilities and expected values,” he says. “They talk about expected return on dollar invested.”</p> <p>Frohardt-Lane does play fantasy football to keep up with old friends—model-free—and his wife of five months doesn’t mind his sports betting. “She just kind of writes it off as the one quirky thing, maybe not the one, but one quirky thing she has to deal with.”</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/economics-business" hreflang="en">Economics &amp; Business</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/gambling" hreflang="en">Gambling</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="../through-hoops" target="_self">Through Hoops</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Jan–Feb/13) “<a href="../economics-business/point-man" target="_self">Point Man</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Sept–Oct/13)</p> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/economics-business/best-bettor" data-a2a-title="Best bettor"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Feconomics-business%2Fbest-bettor&amp;title=Best%20bettor"></a></span> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 18:35:20 +0000 rsmith 2911 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Trophy life https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/trophy-life <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1312_Kelly_Trophy-life.png" width="700" height="325" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/11/2013 - 13:06</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Long after Chicago left big-time football, Berwanger’s Heisman legacy endures. (Archival Photographic Files, apf4-00490, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/jason-kelly"> <a href="/author/jason-kelly"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Jason Kelly</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Nov–Dec/13</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Jay Berwanger’s legacy endures, thanks in part to an award nobody had heard of when he won it.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Jay Berwanger, AB’36, needed a place to store his Heisman Trophy and his Aunt Gussie needed something to prop open the swinging door between her kitchen and dining room, so the arrangement worked out well. For 15 or 20 years that’s where the first Heisman statue stood, on Aunt Gussie’s floor, as if its stiff arm was designed to be a doorstop.</p> <p>“Eventually Jay retrieved it and now it’s there at the Ratner Center on campus,” says Brian E. Cooper, author of <em>First Heisman: The Life of Jay Berwanger</em> (Crestwood Publishing, 2014). A few feet from where Cooper spoke, a new statue of Berwanger stood on a pedestal overlooking a high school football stadium in Dubuque, Iowa.</p> <p>A September 22 ceremony featured the unveiling of Berwanger’s bronze likeness on a plaza at the entrance to the field where he played, now named for his high school coach, Wilbur Dalzell. Among the recollections floating around that afternoon, the “Heisman as doorstop” story captured Berwanger’s peculiar identification with what has become college football’s most prestigious prize.</p> <p>As a senior halfback, he aspired to the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>’s Silver Football, given to “the most useful player to his team in the Big Ten.” He received the Silver Football and the Douglas Fairbanks Trophy, then the best-known honor for the nation’s most outstanding player. With those prizes already in tow, the telegram informing Berwanger that he had won the inaugural Downtown Athletic Club Trophy (later renamed the Heisman) interested him more for the expense-paid trip to New York it offered.</p> <p>But the trophy and Berwanger’s reputation symbiotically increased in esteem over the years. As Archie Griffin, to date the only player to win the Heisman twice (for Ohio State in 1974 and ’75), told Cooper, “he was a classy individual and he lent a lot of credibility to the award.”</p> <p>To this day, the award bestows credibility on Berwanger. It is the prize most associated with college football—“the best known individual award in American sports,” as <em>First Heisman</em> calls it—recognizable even to those who don’t follow the sport.</p> <p>Even though Chicago has long since abandoned the trappings of big-time football, the legacy of the inaugural Heisman winner adds luster—and attracts talent—to the team. “He still helps our football program,” says associate athletic director Brian Baldea. “He’s a great recruiter.”</p> <p>Widely recruited himself, Berwanger’s reputation preceded him to Chicago, but his humility belied his ability. Classmate Ernest Dix, AB’36, had never played the sport, Cooper says, “but decided as a freshman at Chicago that it might be a good idea to try to play Big Ten football.” Dix struggled just to master the equipment.</p> <p>As he fussed with his shoulder pads, Berwanger came to his aid, essentially helping a novice teammate dress himself. A fast and long-lasting friendship developed. “For more than 70 years, they were friends,” Cooper says. “When I interviewed Ernie he talked about how modest Jay was about his accomplishments.”</p> <p>Berwanger’s major athletic accomplishments ended at Chicago. In another notable “first,” he was the first pick in the first NFL draft, but the cost-benefit analysis of a professional football career didn’t add up. Although top players could earn up to $500 a game, they still had to supplement their income with other jobs in the off-season. As Berwanger noted, he could make that much money as an after-dinner speaker without the physical punishment.</p> <p>There were rumors of a contract dispute with Chicago Bears owner George Halas, but Cooper says that Berwanger simply made him an offer he couldn’t accept. “Jay basically signaled to Halas by making an extremely high salary ‘demand’ that he wasn’t really that interested in pro football.”</p> <p>Competing in the 1936 Olympics as a decathlete was a possibility and he considered leaving school after his senior football season to train. But the idea of the University’s star athlete—and student body president—taking an academic leave didn’t sit well with administrators. A vice president let Berwanger know that his scholarship would not be good if and when he returned. “We had a long discussion around Christmastime,” he said, “and we decided I should graduate.”</p> <p>Never an Olympian, Berwanger played rugby and officiated college football games, moonlighting from his day job running a manufacturing business. He stayed in the Chicago area, raising his three children with his wife, Philomela, AB’38, AB’40, and returning to Hyde Park regularly for football games until his death in 2002 at age 88.</p> <p>If most know him as the Heisman-winning halfback, it took a moment for his family to recognize the leather-helmeted ball carrier in the sculpture now on display in Dubuque. “We all looked at it and said, ‘That isn’t him,’ because we remember him as an older person,” his son Cuyler “Butch” Berwanger says. “But then you saw the pictures of him and, hey, that’s him, as a younger man.”</p> <p>Sculptor Vala Ola’s rendering captures Berwanger in full stride, socks bunched around the ankles of his high-top cleats, one arm outstretched and head cocked backward as if he’s leaving defenders in his wake. In fact, the Berwanger statue bears a striking resemblance to Heisman itself, fitting given the association that was so rewarding for both the trophy and the man.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/athletics" hreflang="en">Athletics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/trophy-life" data-a2a-title="Trophy life"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Ftrophy-life&amp;title=Trophy%20%20life"></a></span> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 19:06:02 +0000 jmiller 2544 at https://mag.uchicago.edu The midway point https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/midway-point <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">Amos Alonzo Stagg (third from left) with the University of Chicago football team, undated. (Archival Photographic Files, <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf4-00661.xml" target="_blank">apf4-00661</a>, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library)</div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/jason-kelly"> <a href="/author/jason-kelly"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Jason Kelly</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/web-exclusives" hreflang="en">Web exclusives</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item"><p>11.30.2012</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">A former player traces UChicago’s oblong football history, from dominance to disappearance to happy coexistence with the school’s academic culture.</div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item">Even back—<em>way</em> back—when the University of Chicago took football as seriously as any major college program in the country, the Maroons suffered from the occasional egghead move. After leading the team to the 1922 Big Ten title, star quarterback Milton “Mitt” Romney (<a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/July-2011/Mitt-Romney-Named-after-QB-for-Chicago-Bears-U-of-Chicago/" target="_blank">yes, relation</a>) lost his eligibility for his senior season for “piling up too many credits.” It was a tough blow, but the Maroons could withstand it. The program Amos Alonzo Stagg built from 1892 to 1932 was so dominant—244 wins, seven Big Ten titles, two national championships—that it left a mark not just on college football but on American history. Jay Berwanger, AB’36, the first Heisman Trophy winner, stiff-armed a Michigan defender named Gerald Ford, leaving the future president with a permanent scar under his left eye. Jeff Rasley, AB’75, a former UChicago wide receiver, tells those stories and more in <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/466998308" target="_blank"><em>Monsters of the Midway</em></a>, a “truthy memoir combined with actual history” about the rise and fall and revival of Maroons football. If not exactly the story of a Phoenix rising—Stagg personally chose that mascot, by the way—it contains enough Chicago idiosyncrasies to interest even readers who hate football as much as Robert Maynard Hutchins did. Stagg’s official job title, for example? Director of Physical Culture. He created a cultural phenomenon. In 1913 the University built a 55,000-seat castle—it had turrets—called Stagg Field after the incumbent coach who would spend two decades working in the edifice bearing his name. Less than a decade after he left for the College of the Pacific, though, Hutchins banished football (if he could have, he would have eradicated physical culture altogether) from the University of Chicago. From 1939 to 1964, the game stayed gone, even though Chancellor Lawrence A. Kimpton hired Carelton College coach Wally Hass in 1956 with the promise that he could reinstate the program. It took eight years for even a club team even to take the first hesitant step—and when that happened, students protested. A few years later, students protesting more important matters played an unwitting role in the return of varsity football. As 400 students attempted to occupy the Administration Building in February 1968, athletes blocked their entry. “Eventually, though, it got to be lunchtime, the jocks got hungry and left,” Rasley says in a talk to an Indianapolis alumni group. “So the 400 protestors entered the Ad Building.” They stayed for a week, inspiring counter protests on the quad, national news coverage, and a letter from Milton Friedman, AM’33, comparing the situation to Hitler’s Germany. “Serious stuff,” Rasley says, but in that contentious atmosphere some football club members circulated a petition to revive the varsity program. “Probably because petitions were flying around all over the place and most people didn’t bother to read what it was about,” they compiled 1,500 signatures. “Coach Hass said that was instrumental in convincing the administration that they should allow football to come back.” And it did come back, in a manner of speaking. The tradition of piling up credits remained; the football dominance did not. Players scheduled classes purposely to conflict with practice. “Others didn’t show up for Saturday games when they had a term paper due on Monday or a major exam,” Rasley says. The rosters in his era included aspiring nuclear physicists and classics scholars. There was a linebacker who was an expert on Italian Renaissance chamber music and another player who missed a week of practice “trying to finish a translation of the <em>Epic of Gilgamesh</em> from Sumerian to English.” The team’s record reflected those priorities. From 1969 to 1994, the Maroons never won more than five games in a season—and they reached that high-water mark only four times. Things have improved significantly since then. Although scholars still populate the roster, they have matriculated the ball down the field well enough to win four conference titles since 1998. Last season the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/sports/ncaafootball/at-the-university-of-chicago-football-and-higher-education-mix.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a> took notice, profiling the program “where football and higher education mix.” Dean of the College John W. Boyer, AM’69, PhD’75, expressed his approval of the “nice and proper team” the University fields today. They still play at Stagg Field, but a more modest incarnation a couple blocks from the original. The old castle, of course, was demolished to make room for Regenstein Library. Also on that site: Henry Moore’s sculpture commemorating the first controlled nuclear reaction, which is in no way a commentary on the fate of the football program that once played there.</div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/athletics" hreflang="en">Athletics</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/football" hreflang="en">Football</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">“<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/sports/ncaafootball/at-the-university-of-chicago-football-and-higher-education-mix.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">Where Football and Higher Education Mix</a>” (<em>New York Times</em>, September 16, 2011) “<a href="http://thecore.uchicago.edu/Winter2012/features/ineligible-receiver.shtml" target="_blank">Ineligible Receiver</a>” (<em>Core</em>, Winter 2012) “<a href="http://uchiblogo.uchicago.edu/archives/2009/10/a_sort_of_homec.html" target="_blank">A Sort of Homecoming</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, <em>UChiBLOGo</em>, October 27, 2009) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0701/chicago_journal/night_lights.shtml" target="_blank">Night Lights</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Nov–Dec/07) “<a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/October-2006/Marooned/" target="_blank">Marooned!</a>” (<em>Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct. 2006) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0310/features/hof.shtml" target="_blank">Chicago’s Starting Team</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/03) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0208/campus-news/journal-heisman.html" target="_blank">First Heisman Winner Dies</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Aug/02) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0110/campus-news/report-pe.html" target="_blank">Destined for Greatness</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/01) “<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/9510/October95Legends3.html" target="_blank">Legends of the Fall: Saint Amos</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Oct/95) “<a href="http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1128811/index.htm" target="_blank">College Football Is an Infernal Nuisance</a>” (<em>Sports Illustrated</em>, Oct. 18, 1954)</div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">“<a href="http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/centcat/fac/facch06_01.html" target="_blank">Amos Alonzo Stagg, Physical Culture and Athletics: 1862-1965</a>” (University of Chicago Centennial Catalogues)</div> <div class="field field--name-field-storymedia field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><h2 class="media-icon media-icon-slideshow">Slideshow</h2> <object width="210" height="158"> <param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fscientechpix%2Fsets%2F72157631165455708%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fscientechpix%2Fsets%2F72157631165455708%2F&set_id=72157631165455708&jump_to="></param> <param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=122138"></param> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=122138" allowFullScreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&lang=en-us&page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fscientechpix%2Fsets%2F72157631165455708%2Fshow%2F&page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fscientechpix%2Fsets%2F72157631165455708%2F&set_id=72157631165455708&jump_to=" width="210" height="158"></embed></object><p>Slides from Jeff Rasley’s August 20, 2012, presentation about the Monsters of the Midway.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com//photos/scientechpix/sets/72157631165455708/show/" target="_blank" class="more-link">VIEW THE IMAGES FULL SIZE AT FLICKR</a> </p> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/midway-point" data-a2a-title="The midway point"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Fmidway-point&amp;title=The%20midway%20point"></a></span> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 20:09:38 +0000 jmiller 1658 at https://mag.uchicago.edu