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Don Banks is an Idiot (mistake in Pats article)

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by letekro, Jan 2, 2008.

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  1. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    In a neverending race to the bottom, this clown has joined TMQ and Peter King as writers that can't spot simple factual mistakes in their brief (or in TMQ's case, overlong) pieces:

    "But over the course of their last six games, the Patriots average margin of victory has shrunk to a modest 6.1 points, despite playing only two teams with a winning record: the Steelers and Giants. They've had three games decided by the margin of a field goal, and a sluggish 10-point win against a pesky Jets team -- in a game played in less than ideal weather conditions."

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/don_banks/01/02/Patriots/1.html

    The Pats average margin of victory over the last 6 games is actually 10.1 points (61/6). But Banks didn't let that bothersome fact get in the way of his larger point, i.e., the Pats are vulnerable.
     
  2. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    I give the guy a pass. Making a mistake is different than having an agenda. He doesn't have an agenda.
     
  3. Grogan's neck roll

    Grogan's neck roll On the Game Day Roster

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    I agree, I think he's been pretty spot on with the Pats during the year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  4. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Apparently the OP is upset that he had some statistical numbers wrong in his column today and that he said they will need to turn it up a notch to win it all. I'm not so sure why the latter is so offensive.

    I'd also note that it was Banks who was writing fair about the Pats earlier in the year in the wake of spygate when nobody else was. I think he's one of the best, not just at CNNSI, but overall.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  5. ClevTrev

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    I like Banks. The guy knows football and is one of the more rational journalists out there.
     
  6. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Its clear he divided the 61 by 10 instead of by 6. Pretty dumb mistake. You'd think someone would have caught that in proof reading.
     
  7. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Don Banks is just as bad a writer as TMQ and King, and his columns are filled with just as many examples of factual errors and misguided rationale as the other two, he is just a Pats homer, so I guess that earns him a pass in some people's eyes.
     
  8. Deus Irae

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    That's a huge mistake to be making when the argument is about how a team is winning.
     
  9. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Exactly. It's the statistical evidence that backs up his "point."

    I hope they continue to win games by double digits throughout the playoffs.
     
  10. TomBrady'sGoat

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Guys make mistakes and Banks shouldn't be lumped with Easterbrook.

    Where's his editor/proofreader/fact-checker? That's who this really falls on.

    Though it does sound a little silly if you correct him, saying that winning by an average of 10 points in bad weather makes you vulnerable.
     
  11. Ethan 55

    Ethan 55 On the Roster

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    I typically like Don Banks and find him even-handed in his articles, but this one has huge holes in it. It seems like the type of article that you write because you're bored with writing the same thing over and over again.

    I understand the 6.1 ppg is a statistical mistake, but isn't that the basis of his article? That they aren't beating teams soundly anymore? When you change the number to 10 ppg, it doesn't even make sense any more. Indy is the only team in the league that averaged 10 ppg more than their opponent for the season, and suddenly that's poor over a 6-game stretch?

    And they've only dominated one opponent? 28-0 at halftime wasn't domination?

    Choosing 6 games is awfully suspect too, isn't it? Seems like a number chosen strictly to enforce his points. Not the last month, not the 2nd half of the season, not since the bye...6 weeks. Funny that if you choose any number of weeks to go back between 2 and 16, the lowest point differential average is...6 weeks. Over the last month (4 games), they've beaten teams by an average of 2 TDs (13.75). Over the last 2 months (8 games), they've beaten teams by an average of 2 TDs (13.875)

    This was absolutely a case of trying to find facts (and that's used loosely since he seems to have ignored things and messed up his numbers) to support an idea...that the Patriots haven't been that good lately. It's not a case of a guy looking at the numbers and reaching a conclusion based on them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  12. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    I think the Patriot WERE vulnerable toward the end of the year. The key word being "WERE". They were vulnerable because it was getting late in the season and several of their oponents were mediocre at best.

    They are NO LONGER vulnerable because they know they are 3 wins from taking the super bowl. This is the position the Patriots love...one & done! They will have no mental lapses or lack of motivation. They will be their usual Playoff-intense selves. Personally, I think anyone who believes they were losing it toward the end of the season and this may carry into the playoffs is not a student of the game.

    The Patriots will be more intense than they have been at any point in the season. They will execute better than they have to date. I have no doubt because I've watched every single game since BB & Tom Brady came here. That is their MO & I have no doubt it will carry them through once again.

    Look at last year's loss to the Colts. Think about the Patriots team that played that game and think about the team we now have...NIGHT & DAY my brothers....night & day.
     
  13. primetime

    primetime Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Banks has been pro-Patriots the whole way. This is fact-checker error, not his own. To be fair, the point he made was valid: the Patriots have begun to look vulnerable. Every team is vulnerable... but it's all about winning games, and the Patriots did that better than any team in history.
     
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot


    Umm...guys, this isn't the 1920's New York Times. No online columnists have "fact-checkers"! (In fact, precious few print publications do either these days. Just this week a newspaper reporter interviewed me, then published an article misquoting me with both my first and last names spelled wrong.)

    It's an honest mistake by Banks, and an easy one. BUT, given that it appears to be the basis for his whole argument, he should probably apologize and rewrite. Averaging a 10-pt margin of victory over a 6-game spread is pretty darned dominant by most standards.
     
  15. primetime

    primetime Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    You're wrong. Actually, in this day and age of lawsuits and litigation over everything, fact-checkers are even more important. Even most university publications have fact-checkers, who can be dual-role editors or (for larger publications) specifically making sure these numbers and calculations and the like are correct. SI is a publication that undoubtedly employs a few.
     
  16. letekro

    letekro In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot


    Why would a publication that writes about public sports figures be worried about litigation?

    First, if you're a public figure, it's almost impossible to prove defamation.

    Second, 99.9% of these articles contain nothing that could be considered defamatory. No one is getting defamed if the number of touchdowns they have scored this year is erroneously reported.
     
  17. marcus

    marcus On the Game Day Roster

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    I think you should cut the guy some slack.
    He is dead on.
    Overall as the season wore on, it became more difficult for the patriots to dominate as they had in the first 10 games.

    The margin of victory is irrelevant.

    The truth is:

    1) Their pass rush and defense has to improve
    2) Their running game has to be more consistent.

    Banks is a very fair writer and he was pretty much spot on with this piece.
     
  18. primetime

    primetime Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    That's the reason they have fact-checkers, though. Stastics and erroneous math can cause problems... defamation isn't a big worry for these types of publications, but bad facts can create problems. Trust me, I've worked with publications that have fact-checkers on staff.
     
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    Wow, do you really think they have fact-checkers re-run every football, baseball and basketball statistic for every column? That would absolutely shock me -- it would be a huge expense against precious little risk of a lawsuit. (What's the potential litigation in, say, miscalculating the Celtics' free-throw percentage during a road trip? What damages and defamation?)

    FWIW, my husband and I have been interviewed by dozens of publications including lots of national magazines and newspapers, and only two have ever called/written to confirm facts: The New Yorker and National Geographic. In other words, the old-line magazines, a dying breed.
     
  20. primetime

    primetime Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Re: Don Banks is an Idiot

    I think they're told to take a look at it. Like I said, editors usually double as fact-checkers anyways (for obvious reasons). A zillion and four letters written to columnists and editors about every wrong statistic are usually enough to keep at least one of these guys on staff, and enough to get journalists to at least double-check their statistics before going to print or uploading the document, in the case of internet columns.

    It's such a minor statistical error that no one would probably notice it, though, so the argument really doesn't matter. Calling poor Mr. Banks an idiot for miscalculating the margin of victory, which was then missed by whoever proofread the document as well (there, fair enough?) is hardly fair. He's been more than supportive of the Patriots this year and is one of the better football columnists out there. I think he's a better writer with more insight than Dr. Z (whose columns consist of an old fogie reminiscing about the glory days of the NFL... Norm Van Brocklin would never have put up with these whippersnappers!) and Peter King (my coffee was great!).

    Some people get angry that anyone could imply the Patriots have weaknesses. The same people who will likely be driving a backhoe through those weaknesses if they happen to lose in the playoffs. It's bizarre, they're only a football team.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
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