A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bomani and the survey

I didn't really want to get involved in this, but there's not a heck of a lot going on, and Bomani Jones keeps pushing the Caniac Nation's collective buttons, so I'm gonna give my two cents on the recent poll that everyone's talking about. Some "summer fellow" (i.e. intern) with some group called "Public Policy Polling" conducted a telephone survey which yielded some results that are getting some snickers from some folks. This poll "found" that 18% of the 500 respondents were unaware of the Hurricanes existence. Six percent of the respondents from within the 919 (Raleigh, etc.) area code didn't know about them.

The complete "findings" are available here in pdf format. What it shows is that 500 people were polled. How these people were selected isn't known. All that's known is that there was an automated questionnaire. "Is this a scientific poll? Press one for 'no', two for 'yes' or three for 'I like Fig Newtons!'"

That, in itself, makes the whole thing suspect to me. First and foremost, though, is that the entire sample size was 500, and that was meant to be representative of North Carolina as a whole. North Carolina has 8.9 million people. 500 represents less than one one hundredth of one percent. That's not a good sample size.

I might contact the guy who did the survey just to find out what his methods were? How many people declined to participate? Where did they get the pool? Seriously, they couldn't have possibly cold called people during the dinner hour. Could they? Did the results take into account for people who just pressed buttons quickly to make the survey end? Where were the dummy questions to determine whether people were paying attention? Why did the survey assume that the respondents cared about sports at all? Every one of the 15 or so questions had to do with sports.

Anyway, Bomani Jones has taken this and run with it. He's a local radio journalist who has a history of taking potshots at the Canes, most notably a piece that appeared on ESPN Page 2During the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs. Jones asked two of his buddies if they liked the Canes. They said no. He used this sample size of two to postulate that nobody in North Carolina cared about the Canes. Then he went to a couple of bars in Durham and reported that he couldn't find a single Canes fan. Jones, who is black, lamely threw out the race card.
you've probably heard that Durham has a lot of black people. And as you might expect, hockey's not really their bag.

Lame. And from that point on, it doesn't matter because he's revealed his bias.

He decided that he'd be fair about it and go to Raleigh. Instead of going to known Hurricanes hot spots (all Carolina Ale House locations), he went to some "family establishment", then to an NC State bar (remember, school wasn't in session, so the place was dead anyway). He proudly proclaimed that he still couldn't find any Caniacs.

My favorite bit is when he simply made stuff up. After naming every other place he went to and every person he talked to, he said that he went to a bar in Raleigh where the manager insisted that he and the establishment remain anonymous. He described it as a ghost town. Yeah, that's great. If there were zero customers in there anyway, what difference does it make that zero out of zero were Hurricanes fans. Try going to a busy place.

I can make stuff up, too. Watch this:

People in Dallas don't care about the Cowboys. It's true. Some guy I met in an airport said so.


Anyway, Bomani, who writes for 850 the Blog, proudly pointed to that PPP survey and in a blog post said, essentially, See! I told y'all crazy crackers. Nobody cares!. He thinks that all of us are "missing the point", and when readers took him to task, asking "okay, what is the point, sir?", he refused to answer. He pledged to go on the radio and answer calls about this hullabaloo. That was supposed to happen today, but he decided to postpone, citing some "We need to make sure it runs smoothly, and now isn't the time for this" excuse. The real reason is that he realized that he didn't have a point.


WufPirate said...

Part of that survey noted that if offered free tickets to a sporting event in NC, the majority chose Carolina Panthers tickets.

Joe Ovies of 850 the Buzz had a money quote:
"If they conducted the survey in Columbus, Ohio; would people rather have OSU football tickets or Blue Jackets tickets?"

Said it before, I'll say it again. The survey was redonkulously organized.

Robert Ullman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Ullman said...

This guy sounds like a shithead, and definitely seems to be backtracking. Big shock that the original column was on ESPN.com! They seem to have a corporate mandate to only mention the NHL when they're making fun of it. Douchenozzles.


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