Roundtable: What is the best sports statistic?

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Sports fans watch a game. While being a spectator is enough for most, finding bizarre sports statistics can make it even more fun. Photo by Tembela Bohle/Pexels

For most sports fans, the most enjoyable aspect within the game is just watching. The only thing that may be better? Finding bizarre and fun statistics that really make you wonder: “How is that humanly possible?!” Today, the Daily Campus’ Sports section looks at the most wild and fun sports stats. Strap in and enjoy the best of the best. 

Stratton Stave:

LeBron James Finals % vs. FG %

Some people may say this one’s a flawed statistic, but it’s still really fun to look at. The full stat is that LeBron James is more likely to make the NBA Finals on any given year than he is to make any given shot that he takes (53% vs 51%). James has made the Finals 10 times in his 19 year-career. Considering how competitive the NBA is, this is insanely high. Although it may be a misuse of stats to compare two completely different things like this, it’s still fun to think about how it’s been easier so far for James to make the Finals than to hit a shot. It’s also important to note that he’s taken over 26,000 shots, which is a bit more of a sample size than the 19 years. This stat may go away if he doesn’t make the Finals this year, but let’s enjoy it while it’s here. 

Evan Rodriguez 

Cleveland Cavaliers Playoff 3-point record 

Take a guess on who holds the record for the most 3-point shots made in a playoff game in Cleveland Cavaliers history. No, it’s not LeBron James, the best player in Cleveland sports history. No, it’s not Kyrie Irving, who holds the record for most 3-point shots in a regular season game. It’s actually a tie. One of those players is Kevin Love, a big man who is entering his ninth season with Cleveland and has become a beloved part of not only the team’s championship seasons, but also their rebuild back to the top of the NBA. The other player is the one and only J.R. Smith, a guard known for forgetting the clock in game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals and his electric off-the-court personality. The now-college golfer may not be loved for his play in the latter parts of his basketball career, but his role in the Cavaliers’ repeat finals appearances will always be remembered in the Cleveland sports record books.  

Jonathan Synott 

Manchester United’s Home Streak 

Having just gotten into soccer, I came across this statistic somewhat recently, but it has quickly become my favorite to talk about. Manchester United, one of the most historic clubs in both the United Kingdom and the world, has never lost a game in the Premier League at home when they were leading at halftime. Sounds specific, I know, but when you look deeper, this feat is truly incredible. There have been 306 instances that meet those specified requirements, and United is a whopping 283-0-23 in those games. This streak dates back over 110 years. There hasn’t been one Man U team during that span that took an early 1-0 lead from a lucky goal (a penalty kick, own goal, etc.) and let in two to a better team in the second half. Not once was their opponent better or luckier than them to the point of a comeback victory at home in over more than a century. The idea that this statistic has been maintained for the entire existence of a historic club is nearly unfathomable. 

Cole Stefan

Postseason Mariano Rivera 

As someone who grew up a New York Yankees fan, what can I not say about Mariano Rivera? He has the most saves in Major League Baseball history with 652, he developed his cutter during his major league career and is the only player to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. For all his regular-season accolades, Rivera was a different animal in the postseason. Rivera went to the postseason all but three times in his career (having missed one due to injury), but that is not what stands out the most. The first thing that stands out is that Rivera posted a 0.70 ERA in 96 appearances, the lowest in postseason history. The second thing is that more astronauts have walked on the moon (12) than runs Rivera allowed in his postseason career (11). It takes a sandman to put up those mind-boggling numbers, and Rivera was that guy for 16 postseasons.  It’s no wonder he won the World Series MVP in 1999 and closed out four out of his five championships.

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