Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Reader Mail

Meredith writes,
I know what DFL means but it'd be nice if you mentioned it on your "welcome to DFL" page since the term is a common slang saying among athletes but is destined to leave "common folk" scratching their head in wonderment.
Good point -- I've been trying to underplay it because I figured that if the media got hold of it, they'd have a hard time with the naughty word. The D stands for "dead", the L stands for "last", and the F is obvious.

The standings table on the sidebar is getting all sorts of suggestions. Steve thinks I should break the ties in the opposite order, with larger teams ranked higher. Katie and Alfredo want me to display the countries' score as a percentage of last-place finishers versus athletes. For example, São Tomé and Príncipe has one last-place finish and three athletes at the Games, so their score would be 33.3 per cent, whereas China, with 800-plus athletes, would have a much smaller percentage score even if it has the most last-place finishes. This is an excellent idea (so of course I'd been thinking along the same lines, ha). The only problem is that for team sports, I'd have to factor in the size of the teams: if the men's eights rowing team finishes last, for example, it's actually nine athletes (including the coxswain) out of n, rather than a single last-place finish. I might do something along those lines at the end for just those countries whose scores would end up being more than a few percentage points. Still thinking about it.

Jodi sends a nice note about my decision to include the paralympic events in Sunday's athletics results:
Thank you SO much for publishing info on the wheelchair athletes. As a wheelchair user, it makes me sick the way they don't give these athletes as much coverage as their "able-bodied" counterparts. These athletes work just as hard if not harder for what they do.
I figured that what wheelchair athletes wanted more than anything else was to be treated like any other athlete; subjecting them to the cruel lash of DFL was, oddly enough, the right thing to do.

Finally, I think X Garlaza is a little upset about the Portuguese football (note: soccer) team: he wants them listed here even before the final game is played!

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