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Weekly Roundup 12.10.2023

As we all start to gear up for Christmas, both the Premier League and NFL are gearing up for crunch periods. The Premier League begins a period of many games in a short space of time and although you can't win the league title this early, you can definitely lose it.

Similarly in the NFL, the teams are approaching the business end of the season and vying for the divisional titles and remaining wildcard sports for the postseason. It's been quite an open league so far and there is still quite a lot to play for.

It's been a busy period for the #SportsVizSunday community too and appropriately enough I'll start with Vignesh Suresh's visualisation on NFL game day attendance. I really like this viz and how Vignesh has tied it together using the same colours from the NFL logo. I was surprised to see that overall team attendances had stayed comparitively level though. A couple of the obvious moments thaty stood out to me were the opposing change in attendances as the Rams and Chargers both moved to Los Angeles in 2015/2016 (and now share a stadium too) - one team felt to be returning to their home and the other looking to create a new one.

Pleasantly, Vignesh also did some more variations on the NFL attendance too including showing the win/loss record for each season as well as the attendance. I look forward to have a look through that to see how the win/loss might have impacted attendances too.

Next this week is Pat Sarsfield's Makeover Monday looking at the toughest sports. Pat's viz contains a lot of impressive interactivity to go from the small mulitple radar graphs to a more indepth look at how each sport compares on each metric. The indepth page also makes use of some of Tableau's other features from box plots through to web frames and embedded playlists! It's a very good example of just how much can be done.

It's also a great advert for radar graphs which are great for comparing different things across multiple categories.

Ben Norland has created an elegant form guide to the Premier League but what really elevates this for me is his use of a bivariate colour palette to indicate whether teams are above or below average, and also improving or declining at the same time. This is a clever choice to make it easier to get the insight from how teams are performing. It might only be a couple of weeks since Ben made it but I would be interested to see how things have changed already.

Ben also took a spin round the block with Formula One, graphing the trajectories of F1's greatest winners. Verstappen seems to be hard on the heels of Hamilton, and shows no signs of slowing down yet. I wonder whether he has enough momentum to keep going...

Briefly returning back to a football theme, David Rudkin has dived into StatsBomb's Messi dataset and created a wonderful biography of Messi's footballing career. First out, I really like David's style design here. It's wonderfully uncomplicated and his choice of colour palette, informed by the Barcelona badge, is very striking. I also really enjoyed reading about the rise of Barcelona pre-Messi, before continuing on to the emergence and success of Messi himself. It's a great read and I'd highly recommend having a look through it - the auto-generated screenshot on X/Twitter really doesn't do it justice.

Long time regular contributor Jeff Platner has documented the various eras for the Timberwolves in the NBA. Jeff has created a navigation bar so that each era has it's own page focusing on the overall success of the team in each season. This really helps to construct the idea that these eras are chapters in an overall story. The graph on the intro page showing the entire history of the team sets an incredible stage, and the use of the same colours throughout each era keeps the theme consistent. There's lots to read and enjoy here!

Basketball provided the basis for our next contribution, Gregg Hirshberg's comprehensive dashboard on the Kansas Jayhawks. Gregg has looked at the overall results while also diving into individual player contributions. I enjoyed looking across the seasonal results, and the differnent fortunates of each coach. What took my eye was Kansas' impressive record against all of the other teams they frequently played, except for Kentucky! I don't know enough about college basketball to know whether there is something behind this so I might have to go and find out.

Another regular contributor, Adam Green, went to the snooker recently and watched Ronnie O'Sullivan win his 8th UK Championship. Adam's visualisation shows Ronnie's history at the championship since his first one in 1992. Ronnie's recent victory means he now holds the record for most time between his first and last titles - 30 years in fact! Adam's viz also shows Ronnie's remarkable consistency with titles coming relatively regularly. Check out his viz for the tooltip with dynamic references lines too!

Abbie Taylor has been inspired by the recent Cricket World Cup and has looked at the contribution of players in high scoring partnerships. As well as making the key design feature to look like a cricket ball, there is a wealth of data to dive into. It's no surprise that the top four scoring partnerships across the whole tournament belonged to the teams that made the final. Maxwell & Cummins partnership against Afghanistan also really stands out for being so lopsided. Despite that, it not only changed that match in their favour but winning from such a position arguably helped give Australia the platform to go on and win the tournament.

Last but hopefully not least is a little visualisation by yours truly. I wanted to recreate some of the visualisations of Premier League teams for my local non-league football team. Although the data is slightly incomplete by comparison, I'm very pleased with the result, and I'm looking forward to collecting more data and creating more visualisations!

It's not just visauliastions this week, there's also a couple of job opportunties for sports and data! The first is for a data/video analyst at Bay FC in the USA, and the second is for a data scientist at British Athletics (through the UK Sports Institute) in the UK. Check out the links for more details!

That's everything for this week. As always, thanks so much for all your contributions and remember to keep tagging away with #SportsVizSunday!

Mo & the SVS team

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