The Cubs Quantum Leap

The Cubs Quantum Leap

Superposition is a term that seems to belong to the world of sports.  In football there is a "superback" that can play multiple positions including tight end, fullback, or running back.  In baseball, there are utility players that can play multiple positions throughout the course of a game.

Superposition, however, actually belongs to world of physics. More specifically, “The superposition principle is the idea that a system is in all possible states at the same time, until it is measured.” In the world of quantum mechanics, the smallest particles (think electrons and protons) exist in every possible position until they are observed. When that occurs, all of the probability collapses into a single position.

If you have not fallen asleep already then a natural question at this point is why are we talking about Superposition (and especially quantum mechanics) and sports? Superposition can be applied to why live games or events will continue to be a value for the sports industry. More specifically, audiences live in superposition while watching games. From the start to the finish of a game, there are many different possibilities of an outcome. The fans, media, and sponsors constantly live in a world of multiple possible outcomes in every game their favorite team plays. This inherent drama and emotion is what drives so much passion about sports. It is only after the final score or outcome is observed that we can know with certainty what will happen to the our favorite team during a game.

[GROSSMAN: Dollars say Dwyane Wade a better investment for Bulls than Derrick Rose]

We can use last night’s epic (or heartbreaking depending on which team you cheer for) Chicago Cubs win as an example of superposition in sports. Going into the ninth inning, the Cubs were losing 5-2 and had a 2.5% win expectancy according to the baseball analytics site FanGraphs. At this particular moment, the Cubs possible states included:

· Scoring zero runs and losing Game 4 by the score of 5-2.

· Scoring one run and losing Game 4 by the score 5-3.

· Scoring two runs and losing Game 4 by the score 5-4.

· Scoring three runs and losing Game 4 in the bottom of the ninth or extra innings.

· Losing Game 4 and winning Game 5.

· Losing Game 4 and losing Game 5

· Scoring four runs and winning Game 4 by the score 6-5 with the Cubs   wining the series 3 games to 1.

Each one of these “theoretical states” exists for the Cubs, and Cubs fans “exist” partially in each of these states until the game is over. Even though the last outcome had a very small probability of occurring, it still was a possible state and part of the overall Cubs superposition. 

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs postseason gear right here]

Superposition does exist for all entertainment options – particularly for movies and television shows. For example, fans are currently thinking about how the show Game of Thrones will conclude at the end of its eighth season (the show just completed season six). However, once viewers see the series finale, Game of Thrones no longer is in superposition. The series is over, and the viewers know what happens.

Unlike other entertainment options, sports are constantly in a state of superposition. That is what makes them such a valuable asset. Every year for many sports, there is a new season with a new slate of games. Each game has a conclusion, but there is a new game and new theoretical possibilities for each team. The team or sport for the most part is never “over”. Even when ratings are down for NFL games year-over-year, the concept of superposition will likely keep fans engaged with the league for years to come. More specifically, fans need to watch each game live to achieve the maximum emotional impact of superposition.

Superposition sounds like a sports concept. Even though it comes from the world of physics, it does not require a quantum leap to see how it shows why fans, media, and sponsors love sports.

Adam is the CEO and Founder of Block Six Analytics. He is also a lecturer for Northwestern University's Masters of Sports Administration and the co-author of The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders For A High-Performance Industry. Ross is a Partnership Analyst at Block Six Analytics.

Crain's releases list of 25 highest-paid Chicago athletes

Crain's releases list of 25 highest-paid Chicago athletes

Crain's Chicago Business released their latest list of the 25 highest-paid Chicago athletes this week.

Even though Derrick Rose has been shipped off to New York, a Bulls guard is still atop the list with Dwyane Wade earning the No. 1 spot.

Wade's salary comes in at $23.2 million — the largest in Chicago — but he also nets an estimated $12 million in marketing for a 2016 total income of $35.2 million.

The $35.2 million dwarfs the rest of the Chicago list as the next closest is White Sox pitcher James Shields at $21.3 million. Most of that is salary ($21 million, of which the San Diego Padres are paying a large portion of) and very little is estimated marketing ($250,00).

The Top 10 list includes three Bulls players, three Cubs, two Blackhawks, one Bears and then Shields as the only Sox representative.

Here is the complete list:

1. Dwyane Wade - $35.2 million
2. James Shields - $21.3
3. Jon Lester - $20.9
4. Jimmy Butler - $17.6
5. John Lackey - $16.4
6. Jay Cutler - $16.4
7. Jason Heyward - $15.7
8. Jonathan Toews - $15.1
9. Patrick Kane - $14.9
10. Rajon Rondo - $14.6
11. Miguel Montero - $14.6
12. Melky Cabrera - $14.2
13. Robin Lopez - $13.3
14. Kyle Long - $13
15. Ben Zobrist - $12.9
16. Jake Arrieta - $11.7
17. Alshon Jeffery - $11.4
18. David Robertson - $11.1
19. Jose Abreu - $10.3
20. Leonard Floyd - $10.2 ($9.7 million signing bonus)
21. Danny Trevathan - $10.1
22. Taj Gibson - $9.4
23. Brent Seabrook - $9.1
24. Todd Frazier - $7.8
25t. Pernell McPhee - $7.2
25t. Anthony Rizzo - $7.2

Almost a third of Rizzo's total comes from marketing ($1.8 million) with 19 different affiliated brands including Buona Beef, ESPN Radio, Jewel-Osco (remember RizzOs??) and State Farm.

Crain's Danny Ecker explains how unique it is to see Kris Bryant — one of the faces of Major League Baseball — not on the Top 25 list, but that's due to his $652,000 salary in 2016 despite monster ad deals with Express Men, Red Bull, Adidas and more.

Ecker also provides context for the athletes who were left off the list, including Chris Sale (who was traded to the Boston Red Sox), Dexter Fowler (who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals) and Jason Hammel (who is currently still a free agent). Then there are the guys who left town earlier in 2016, including Rose, Joakim Noah, John Danks, Adam LaRoche and Matt Forte.

Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa are among those who fell off the list despite retaining residence on Chicago's sports teams.

Last year's list looked like this:

1. Derrick Rose
2. Jon Lester
3. Jay Cutler
4. Jimmy Butler
5. Patrick Kane
6. Jonathan Toews
7. Joakim Noah
8. John Danks
9. Melky Cabrera
10. Adam LaRoche
11. Miguel Montero
12. David Robertson
13. Matt Forte
14. Jason Hammel
15. Pau Gasol
16. Taj Gibson
17. Pernell McPhee
18. Marian Hossa
19. Duncan Keith
20. Jose Abreu
21. Corey Crawford
22. Chris Sale
23. Anthony Rizzo
24. Lamarr Houston
25. Jermon Bushrod

Check out more insight on the list from Ecker on ChicagoBusiness.com.

Puppy Bowl XIII starting lineups announced, which puppy has MVP potential?

Puppy Bowl XIII starting lineups announced, which puppy has MVP potential?

Are you ready for the cutest show on turf?

The 13th annual Puppy Bowl will take place on Sunday, Feb. 5 just a few hours before Super Bowl LI. Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XIII festivities begin with the "Tail" gate pregame show at 1 p.m. before the game kicks off at 2 p.m.

And don't worry cat lovers, you wont be left out. The halftime show will be performed by the Chicago Rock Cats and Kitty Gaga.

The Puppy Bowl will include 78 puppies from 34 rescues around the country divided into two teams: "Team Fluff" and "Team Ruff."

Last year, Star ruffed up the opponents earning the MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) for her never-before-seen historic double touchdown scamper.

Check out the entire Puppy Bowl XIII starting lineup photo gallery here, and see which puppy has MVP potential this year.

Alexander Hamilpup

Team: Fluff | Breed: Pomsky | Sex: Male | Age: 19 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Archimedes

Team: Fluff | Breed: Otterhound/Lab Mix | Sex: Male | Age: 15 weeks| Shelter: Green Dogs Unleashed, Virginia

Blitz

Team: Fluff | Breed: Golden Retriever | Sex: Male | Age: 15 weeks | Shelter: Miami-Dade County Animal Services, Florida

Buddy Love

Team: Fluff | Breed: Dachsund/Pit Bull mix | Sex: Male | Age: 14 weeks | Shelter: Mr. Bones & Co., New York

Buttons

Team: Fluff | Breed: Pomeranian/Schnauzer mix | Sex: Female | Age: 12 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Dawson

Team: Fluff | Breed: Jack Russell/terrier mix | Sex: Male | Age: 14 weeks | Shelter: Paw Works, California

Hope

Team: Fluff | Breed: Labrador/Hound mix | Sex: Female | Age: 19 weeks | Shelter: Unleashed, New York

Lucky

Team: Fluff | Breed: Terrier Mix | Sex: Female | Age: 16 weeks | Shelter: Operation Education Rescue, Tennessee

Max

Team: Fluff | Breed: Pit Bull mix | Sex: Male | Age: 13 weeks | Shelter: Morris Animal Refuge, Pennsylvania

Nikita

Team: Fluff | Breed: Cocker Spaniel/Bichon Friese Mix | Sex: Female | Age: 18 weeks| Shelter: Flordia Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Nyquist

Team: Fluff | Breed: Husky/Shepherd mix | Sex: Male | Age: 15 weeks | Shelter: Bonnie's Animal Rescue Kingdom, New Jersey

Oliver

Team: Fluff | Breed: Standard Poodle | Sex: Male | Age: 12 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Panda

Team: Fluff | Breed: Sato (Puerto Rican Terrier) | Sex: Female | Age: 18 weeks | Shelter: The Sato Project, Puerto Rico

Parfait

Team: Fluff | Breed: Yorkie/Poodle mix | Sex: Female | Age: 17 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Peanut

Team: Fluff | Breed: Brussels Grifon mix | Sex: Female | Age: 19 weeks | Shelter: Nevada SPCA, Nevada

Precious

Team: Fluff | Breed: American Pit Bull Terrier mix | Sex: Female | Age: 15 weeks | Shelter: ASPCA NY, New York

Rory

Team: Fluff | Breed: Poodle mix | Sex: Male | Age: 17 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Sable

Team: Fluff | Breed: Husky/Lab mix | Sex: Female | Age: 14 weeks | Shelter: Animal Friends Humane Society, Ohio

Slippers

Team: Fluff | Breed: Pomeranian/Havanese mix | Sex: Female | Age: 17 weeks | Shelter: Help Save Pets, Illinois

Stretch

Team: Fluff | Breed: Terrier mix | Sex: Male | Age: 19 weeks | Shelter: Stray Rescue, Missouri

Tucker

Team: Fluff | Breed: Australian Shepherd mix| Sex: Female | Age: 16 weeks | Shelter: Williamson County Animal Shelter, Tennessee

Wilma

Team: Fluff | Breed: Pug /Shih Tzu mix | Sex: Female | Age: 16 weeks | Shelter: New Life Animal Rescue, New Jersey

Winston

Team: Fluff | Breed: Australian Shepherd | Sex: Male | Age: 14 weeks | Shelter: Double J Dog Ranch, Idaho

Beebop

Team: Ruff | Breed: Terrier mix | Sex: Female | Age: 16 weeks | Shelter: Stray Rescue, Missouri

Bizmark

Team: Ruff | Breed: Blue Tick Coonhound | Sex: Male | Age: 18 weeks | Shelter: AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport, Iowa

Bo

Team: Ruff | Breed: Parson Russell Terrier mix | Sex: Female | Age: 15 weeks | Shelter: SPCA LA, California

Daisy Moses

Team: Ruff | Breed: Chihuahua mix | Sex: Female | Age: 13 weeks | Shelter: Last Hope K9, Massachusetts

Daphne

Team: Ruff | Breed: Pit Bull | Sex: Female | Age: 19 weeks | Shelter: Operation Education Animal Rescue, Tennessee

Doobert

Team: Ruff | Breed: English Pointer | Sex: Male | Age: 15 weeks | Shelter: Green Dogs Unleashed, Virginia

Foster

Team: Ruff | Breed: Burmese Mountain Dog mix | Sex: Male | Age: 19 weeks | Shelter: One Tail at a Time, Illinois

Puddles

Team: Ruff | Breed: Cocker / Shih-Tzu mix | Sex: Female | Age: 13 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Smooshie

Team: Ruff | Breed: Shar Pei| Sex: Female | Age: 12 weeks | Shelter: Florida Little Dog Rescue, Florida

Squirt

Team: Ruff | Breed: Dachshund/Rat Terrier mix | Sex: Male | Age: 12 weeks | Shelter: Denver Dumb Friends League, Colorado

Stormy

Team: Ruff | Breed: Mastiff/Pit Bull/Shar Pei mix | Sex: Male | Age: 13 weeks | Shelter: Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, Tennessee

Striker

Team: Ruff | Breed: Miniature Pinscher /Shih Tzu Mix | Sex: Male | Age: 18 weeks | Shelter: Operation Paws for Homes, Virginia

Sully

Team: Ruff | Breed: Spaniel mix | Sex: Male | Age: 12 weeks | Shelter: Humane Society Nashua, New Hampshire

Wesley

Team: Ruff | Breed: Shepherd mix | Sex: Male | Age: 21 weeks | Shelter: Stray Rescue, Missouri

Winter

Team: Ruff | Breed: Jack Russell/terrier mix | Sex: Female | Age: 14 weeks | Shelter: Paw Works, California

Woody

Team: Ruff | Breed: Blue Healer/Cattle mix | Sex: Male | Age: 18 weeks | Shelter: BarkTown Rescue, Kentucky