A Logical Fallacy

Today I have a perfect example of the logical fallacy known as:

  • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

That is Latin for “After that, therefore because of that”.  Just because one thing happened before another thing in time does not mean that the first event caused the subsequent event.  And here is proof that this is a logical fallacy:

  • Yesterday in the morning, I wrote here that the NFL was about to change the so-called Rooney Rule in a way that I thought was wrong-headed.
  • Yesterday afternoon, the NFL owners chose to table the proposal to make that change.

Both statements are absolutely correct.  It is also absolutely correct that there is no causal relationship between the two statements.

Here is another example where correlation does not prove causation – – but in this case there may be at least a few threads that link the two events to each other.

  • Only a couple of weeks ago, the Governor of NY and the Governor of CA saw no way to hold large sporting events in their states.  Gov. Newsom in CA said that football might be possible by Thanksgiving.  Now, both Governors have done a 180-degree turn on that issue and are open to the idea of limited and controlled circumstances for sporting events in NY and CA.
  • MLB and the NBA have supposedly considered playing all their games in one confined geographical area to limit the need for travel and to minimize exposure of players and coaches to multiple areas of the country.

Both of those statements are absolutely correct.  The major shift in position for the Governors of NY and CA might have been caused at least in part by the ruminations of MLB and the NBA because the Governors of AZ, FL and TX all extended welcoming greetings to those leagues.  Since I cannot read minds, I cannot know that the potential loss of sports revenue from NY and CA if games are played but not in those states played any part at all in the decision making.  But I can convince myself that it could have…  It is always a good idea to heed the words of Deep Throat:

“Follow the money.”

Speaking of football and money, there are reports that the CFL as a league is in financial trouble.  The CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, testified in the Canadian Parliament that the CFL is in danger of folding if it does not get some relief from the Canadian government.  One rep0rt said that the CFL may need up to $150M in relief if its entire season is canceled.  CFL teams generate most of their revenues from the live gate and sponsorships; there are media rights deals in place, but those deals are nowhere near what the NFL takes in for media rights.  Therefore, if teams must forego games – or play games with no fans in the stands – and if teams must begin to refund money paid in advance by season ticket holders, the financial squeeze is on.

Many of the CFL players are US citizens and many reside in the US during the off-season.  That fact presents the CFL with two special problems:

  1. As of today, the border between the US and Canada is closed to non-essential travel due to COVID-19.  It is not clear how “essential” football players might be regarding border crossings.  The current closure extends to June 21; the CFL regular season was scheduled to start on June 11.
  2. At least some of the money that Parliament might extend to the CFL would be used to pay players on the CFL rosters.  There could easily be a reluctance on the part of Parliament members from places where there is no CFL team to funnel Canadian tax dollars to US citizens via a CFL team.

I enjoy CFL games; often the CFL Friday night game is more interesting than other Friday night sports offerings on my cable system and I tune in.  For purely selfish reasons, I hope that Commissioner Ambrosie is successful in finding ways to keep the CFL afloat; it has been around for longer than the NFL and it provides an interesting alternative football experience.

Finally, Dwight Perry had this item in the Seattle Times recently:

“May 13 marked the 35-year anniversary of O.J. Simpson and Bill Cosby serving as the groomsmen in ex-football star Ahmad Rashad’s wedding.

“Just for the record, O.J. was the best man.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “A Logical Fallacy”

  1. I am not sure we are ready to reopen the economy as much as seems to be happening in the coming days. Big gatherings are especially worrisome and nothing more so than a huge sports event with thousands of fans. But, we’re about to find out.

    My wife & I were sailing from Nassau to Lake Worth, Florida in our 36 football sailboat and the weather started picking up after dark. My wife asked if we were goiing to be OK. My answer was, I hope so because we’re about to find out.

    1. Doug:

      As big a fan as I am of baseball and football and basketball, I would not go to see any of those games in the current environment. I realize that other folks will have a different calculus on this matter, but not for me at this time.

      Regarding your sailing adventure, I am prone to seasickness so the chances that i would be on the open ocean in a sailboat under any circumstances are very slim indeed.

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