Why Did The Arizona Cardinals Miss The 2013-2014 NFL Playoffs?

Because there are now 32 teams in the NFL, up from 28 in 1990 when the 16 game season started, while there are still only 12 playoff spots. 10 – 6 is not good enough anymore to almost guarantee a playoff spot.

Read the full analysis here.


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How To Turn A String Into An Integer In Hive SQL For Hadoop

You use the CAST function.

CAST(fieldname AS INT)

Let’s say you have a field called ‘subscription_ids’ in the ‘subscriber’ table that someone saved as a string but actually should be integers.

To change this to an integer, you would use the command:

SELECT CAST(subscription_ids AS INT) as subscription_ids_as_int

FROM Subscriber

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Hilarious Meme About Being A Data Analyst

I found this What People Think I Do / What I Really Do meme about Data Analysts while doing a Google Image Search for Data Analysis. I promise that you’ll get a kick out of seeing it. The last three pictures are perfection.

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How To Turn Your Excel Worksheet Into A Simple HTML Table

As I said in my NFL Playoff post, here is a brief description on how to convert an Excel worksheet into a simple HTML table.

What makes this tricky is that Excel tries to preserve all of the formatting from Excel in the HTML file, which adds an enormous amount of clutter that you do not need.

Here is what to do:

The Really Short Version

Save the worksheet as a “Single File Web Page”. Open it up in a text editor and erase everything above the <table> tag and below the </table> tag. Erase all of the attributes in the remaining tags.

The Longer And More Detailed Version

  1. Go to File, Click Save As.
  2. In the “Save as Type” drop box, choose the format “Single File Web Page (*.mht,*mhtml)”.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click “Yes” in the pop up box to lose formating.
  5. Find the file where you saved it.
  6. Open it in a text editor like Notepad, though I highly recommend getting the free Notepad++
  7. Man there is a lot of code. Don’t worry. Just Search for the string “<table”. This is where the actual data from the worksheet is. It should contain a lot of <tr> and <td> tags. You should be able to spot your actual data inside the <td> and </td> tags.
  8. Erase all of the code before “<table”.
  9. Search for “</table”.
  10. Erase all of the code after “</table … > full tag.
  11. Erase all of the attributes inside all of the remaining tags such as “width=” and “style=”. A good short cut at this point is to a find and replace for what you are trying to erase and replace it with nothing since it is repeated in many of the tags.

That should do it.

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Does A Record Of 10 – 6 Guarantee A Playoff Spot In The NFL?

One thing that I have noticed in recent years while following the National Football League is that teams with 10 wins and 6 losses miss the playoffs more than in the past. Am I just seeing things, or has have things slowly changed since 16 game seasons started in 1990? If I am not seeing things, what caused it? Parity? More teams? I decided to take a look. Here is what I found:

Year Total NFL Teams Teams 10-6 In Playoffs Not In Playoffs
1990 28 2 2 0
1991 28 3 2 1
1992 28 2 2 0
1993 28 3 3 0
1994 28 3 3 0
1995 30 3 3 0
1996 30 4 4 0
1997 30 3 * 3 0
1998 30 3 3 0
1999 30 2 2 0
2000 31 4 4 0
2001 31 3 3 0
2002 32 4 * 4 0
2003 32 6 5 1
2004 32 3 3 0
2005 32 3 2 1
2006 32 3 3 0
2007 32 5 4 1
2008 32 1 1 0
2009 32 3 3 0
2010 32 5 4 1
2011 32 3 3 0
2012 32 5 4 1
2013 32 2 1 1

* In 1997, The New York Giants were 10 – 5 – 1. In 2002, Pittsburgh was 10 – 5 – 1. I considered that close enough for 10-6 for these purposes.

As one can see, before 2003, only the 1991 season had a team with a 10 – 6 record that missed the playoffs. Then in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2012, one 10 – 6 team missed the playoffs. This does appear to be a recent trend.

So what caused it? Parity or More Teams?

As far as parity is concerned, I would argue that parity started in the 1997 season, three years after the salary cap took effect. The AFC finally won a Superbowl that season after losing for 13 years straight. Superbowls that came after tended to flip more between the two conferences each year while far fewer were blowouts with one team crushing the other.

I suspect the reason for the recent increase in seasons with at least one 10 – 6 team missing the playoffs is the increase in the number of teams. In 1990, the NFL had 28 teams. By 2002 it had increased to 32. However, the number of playoff spots stayed fixed at 12.

Think of the playoffs as a pie that has exactly 12 slices. Some of those slices are bigger and tastier than others. A bye week with home field advantage throughout the playoffs is the biggest and tastiest slice of pie. The smallest and blandest is a wild card with no home field advantage. However, even as the league added more teams, the slices of playoff pie have stayed fixed at 12. 28 teams shared those 12 slices in 1990. Since 2002, 32 teams have fought for the same 12 slices of pie. Therefore, one now has to struggle more to get a slice of playoff pie, causing a 10 – 6 record to be less likely than it used too to get you a playoff spot.

Up Next

How to make a nice HTML table like the one above in Excel..

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