Fake Social Science mostly wanted to have fun with this poll, as it was done for some treasured others in our lives. There were one or two times we were trying to actually see how the responders feel about some more volatile issues. (Sports Poll Part 1 and Part 2)
Much like Real Social Science, Fake Social Science does its field work, which is fun, then procrastinates or gets easily distracted when the toil of writing it up comes around. Our publishers are hounding us for at least a chapter and the tenure committee is scowling ominously at our lack of publication even though we told them the work was virtually complete. We weren't lying, really, just exaggerating a little teeny bit.
No. WAIT! We have a better excuse!! We devised our Sports instrument to coincide with the beginning of March Madness, which is typically the only noteworthy sports event this time of year. Football and baseball are out of season, hockey and basketball are in the doldrums in the weeks before the playoffs when we all know who the good teams and bad teams are, NASCAR is just beginning and golf hasn't played a major yet. But this March was extremely eventful. The brackets shook out to produce a Game of the Century next Saturday when Kentucky and Louisville play for a spot in the championship game. Peyton Manning went to Denver, Tim Tebow went to New York, the feel-good New Orleans Saints did a bad thing, Sidney Crosby played to form returning to hockey from a serious concussion, and Tiger Woods had a strong win at Bay Hill.
So Fake Social Science has spent the last two weeks with a clicker in its hand trying to keep up. Which was a good thing, because when we put our elderly mother back into the maze to follow up the original investigation, the first thing she asked was, "Why is everyone talking about Tim Tebow all over again?" So then we had to explain about Peyton Manning signing with Denver, which she found a shocking turn of events, and how that meant they had to trade Tebow to the Jets, which she also found shocking, and at the end she was just baffled by it all. Which for once puts her at the same level as even the most ardent sports fans.
Fake Social Science's elderly mother approved of the narrative of the original interview with a couple of minor objections. She insisted that she did to know that Jeremy Lin was a Knick but me claiming otherwise made for a nice ending, so she was okay with it on grounds of literary merit. Whew. Don't want Fake Social Science to come off like another Mike Daisey! She also wished the original interview had referenced former Boston Celtic legend Bill Russell in some way because she would surely have known any answer. Fake Social Science wishes that, too, because Bill Russell is my lifelong idol. Literally--over 50 years. His recent memoir of Red Auerbach is a great read, by the way.
With respect to the public survey instrument, we were a bit surprised. Fake Social Science found out that people are not as resentful of the high salaries pulled down by professional athletes as the two O's would have us believe (President Obama and Occupy Wall Street). These are the millionaires we love to love, not the ones we love to hate (except when our team loses.)
Another important discovery for Fake social science is that people are more upset by seeing a wedge of cheddar on a kid's head, than they are about other visual cultural displays in sports. But then, even Real Social Science knows that bizarre and humiliating rituals involving children or pets are an aspect of almost every culture, so perhaps Packer Backers can be forgiven.
It came as NO surprise that our guinea pigs would prefer liquor over hats and heartwarming stories in the Kentucky Derby poll. We believe that may call into question our responders sexual functioning, at least if this real study recently published is any indication, but further investigation is needed. Or further booze. Or further sex. We haven't decided yet.
Our cheese-hating, booze-loving audience is still charmed by love story of the Yankee Clipper and the Movie Star. And we were surprised at the result of the Hero question. We rather expected Jackie Robinson to run away with it, but Roberto Clemente did (although it's possible that some Pittsburgh-based voting shenanigans occurred.)
[Almost done. You gotta finish reading this like you gotta eat your Brussels sprouts or cauliflower or whatever your most-hated vegetable might be.]
Unfortunately for all of us who know what we're doing, including President Obama and his very unlucky pick of North Carolina, whose chances were ruined by a key injury, it turns out that .... remember "that cute girl in accounting" we joked about? Yeah. She's real. Really real. Worse than really real. For instance, she picked Xavier to go on a deep run not because they had a good team coming together at the right time but because it is Speaker of the House John Boehner's alma mater. Now THAT has got to stick in Obama's craw. It's hard enough getting whipped in the brackets by a girl, but by a Republican? (Trust me, I know how he feels.)
Since Fake Social Science's elderly mother had to suffer through a follow-up, you know the rest of you lab rats will, too. And we're afraid this might hurt if your brackets are busted, so you may need an anesthetic. And, of course, we have to ask about Tim Tebow. The Accreditation Committee of the Board of Fake Social Science demands it.