A Look Back at a Crazy (Statistically Speaking) Year in Sports

I like reading the “best-of-the-year” lists that are popular this time of the year. I had thought about putting together a blog post that compiled the listings of the top books of 2016 from a variety of sources, and seeing which books, if any, were in common across the various lists (from what I can tell the book Moonglow by Michael Chabon is at the top of several “best boo of the year” lists. I never heard of it…)

However, after seeing what ESPN did, I put the idea about the books on the back burner. I’d have to say that ESPN has put together my favorite end-of-year story that I have seen this year.

The story looks at some of the biggest sports events of the past year and indicates what the odds of the actual outcomes were.

Here’s a listing of some of the key sporting events of 2016, ranked in order of the likelihood of the event’s actual outcome, from most probable to least probable:

  • 91.7% – this represents the UConn women’s basketball team’s pre-tournament likelihood of winning its fourth straight title, which it did by defeating Syracuse in the finals, to complete an undefeated season.
  • 63.6% – the pre-tournament likelihood of the U.S. winning the Ryder cup against Europe, which they did, giving the U.S. its first victory in eight years.
  • 54.6% – the pre-tournament chances of Team Canada winning the World Cup of Hockey, which they did by defeating Europe in the finals
  • 53.5% – this was the pre-tournament chances of Novak Djokovic winning the Autralian Open, which he did by beating Andy Murray
  • 45.5% – Serena William’s pre-tourney chances of winning Wimbledon, which she did by beating Angelique Kerber
  • 35.7% – this was the likelihood that Fiji would win a gold medal in rugby at the Rio Olympics. They pulled it off by defeating Great Britain in the final.
  • 25.6% – the pre-fight chances of Miesha Tate beating Holly Holm (who had beaten Ronda Rousey), which she did with a technical submission
  • 25.0% – the likelihood that Exaggerator would win the Preakness. Exaggerator’s win ended Nyquist’s bid for the Triple Crown.
  • 23.5% – the chance at the start of Game 5 of the World Series that the Chicago Cubs, down 3 games to 1, would win the title, which they did by winning the final three games against the Cleveland Indians.
  • 18.2% – the chances, prior to the start of the season, that the Minnesota Timberwolves’s center, Karl-Anthony Towns, would win the rookie of the year award in the NBA. Towns won unanimously, with the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis finishing second in the voting.
  • 11.2% – the pre-game chances that Sweden would beat the U.S. women’s national soccer team at the Rio Olympics. Sweden won the game on penalty kicks.
  • 10.5% – the pre-season chances of Jimmie Johnson winning his seventh Sprint Cup, which he did  at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • 9.1% – the pre-game 5 chances of the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA title. Just like the Cubs, the Cavaliers were down 3-1, but won the next three games to beat the Golden State Warriors.
  • 7.7% – the pre season chances of the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl. Led by Peyton Manning, the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers.
  • 6.3% – the pre-season chances of the L.A. Sparks winning the WNBA title, which they did by defeating the Minnesota Lynx.
  • 4.8% – the pre-game chances of fifteenth-seed Middle Tennessee State beating second-seed Michigan State in the first round of the men’s NCAA March Madness tournament. Middle Tennessee State won the game 90-81.

If you want to see the five biggest upsets, click here to go to the ESPN web site; I don’t want to spoil all of its thunder.

By the way, the number one upset in 2016 (and perhaps the upset of the century) had only a 0.04% likelihood, which is less likely than the Philadelphia 76ers winning the NBA title! (and we all know how likely that is…)

I’ve Got to Stop Just Reading the Headlines

The Wall Street Journal posted a 2016 news quiz to its web site today, and since I read, and tweet, the WSJ every day, and often reference stories from the Journal in my classes, I thought this is the type of quiz that should be right up my alley.

Well things started off pretty well; it was a 30 question, multiple choice quiz, and I got the first 11 correct. Then I fell apart; my final score was a pathetic 19 out of 30, or 63%. In my line of work, that’s a “D”.

The results made me reflect on how I read the Journal, and I realized a lot of my reading consists of just reading the headline, and then the first paragraph of the story. I assumed by doing so I was getting the overall gist of the story.

That may be true to some extent, but clearly I was missing the details of the stories; what else could explain such a poor score?

There were also some questions on topics that I would have had no interest in reading about, so I was reduced to just guessing what the correct answer might be. (Where were all the questions on the Olympics and people’s workout regimens; I think I would have nailed those.)

The results also provided me with a New Year’s Resolution; don’t be in such a rush to get through the paper just so I can post some tweets, but to be more mindful about my reading and to read for comprehension.

Hopefully the quiz will be back next year, and I’ll be able to measure if I’ve become a more informed reader.

Hopefully I can become at least a “C” student…

Here’s the link if you’d like to take the quiz.

“Alexa, Tell the Police What You Know”

At this point, I’m sure many of you have heard about the murder case in Arkansas where detectives are seeking access to audio that may have been recorded on an Amazon Echo electronic personal assistant.

Specifically, the police were asking Amazon for “electronic data in the form of audio recordings, transcribed words, text records and other data” captured by the Echo.

So far, Amazon has not yet fully complied with two requests, although it has provided some very limited subscriber information. Here is the statement from Amazon:

Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course.

The case certainly raises issues about privacy and justice, but on this one, I’m clearly on the side of the detectives asking for access to what, if anything, the Echo may have recorded that is relevant to the investigation.

If the Amazon Echo is always getting smarter, as its ad above claims, then why not use that knowledge to discover the truth?

However, I would think the odds of the Echo having anything relevant is quite slim in this particular situation.

First, activating the Echo requires someone to say a key word, usually “Alexa”, to activate the device. Second, the Echo can pick up sounds up to 20 feet away from the device, and only record for up to 60 seconds. In this case the Echo was on the kitchen counter and it appears that that the murder took place in a hot tub.

So I’m not sure if the person being attacked in a hot tub would have had the presence of mind to yell out “Alexa” to a device that is in the kitchen, and hope that it can pick up something meaningful related to the attack.

But if somehow these two circumstances did take place (yelling “Alexa” and being within range), then it was clearly a cry for help, which I believe the detectives are then entitled to listen to.

It seems as if the only reason the defense attorney does not want the audio recording released (if indeed there is any), is that his client is concerned with what may be on there. If the defendant has nothing to worry about, then it seems like he would be willing to allow the audio to be part of the investigation.

Technology keeps marching forward, and I think laws lag behind such advances. I previously wrote about the use of big data in helping prevent mass shootings, and I noted then that I was in favor of such developments. This case seems to have similar issues.

If technology can make the world a safer, more just place, then why shouldn’t we take advantage of such capabilities?

If you’re not breaking the law, it seems as  if you would want technology to help prove your innocence.

If that’s not the case, then I can see why people would fight for their privacy. But should illegal acts be protected behind the claim of a right to privacy?

I certainly don’t think so.

So the solution seems pretty simple to me, and Jim Carey nailed it in this scene from Liar, Liar. If you took his advice, I don’t think people would be so overly concerned about protecting their privacy.

Is One Minute of Exercise as Effective as 45 Minutes?

Tara Parker-Pope, editor of the Well section of the New York Times, sent an email out today to her subscribers listing the 10 most popular articles of this past year.

While every article looked quite interesting, the one that caught my eye was “1 Minute of All-Out Exercise May Have Benefits of 45 Minutes of Moderate Exertion“, by Gretchen Reynolds.

The article shares the results of a research study at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The study began by recruiting 25 out-of-shape young men and measuring their current aerobic fitness and, as a marker of general health, their body’s ability to use insulin properly to regulate blood sugar levels. The scientists also biopsied the men’s muscles to examine how well their muscles functioned at a cellular level.

The men were then divided into three groups:

  • Group 1: the control group, was asked to change nothing about their current, virtually nonexistent exercise routines
  • Group 2: exercised at a moderate pace on a stationary bicycle at the lab for 45 minutes, with a two-minute warm-up and three-minute cool down
  • Group 3: warmed up for two minutes on stationary bicycles, then pedaled as hard as possible for 20 seconds; rode at a very slow pace for two minutes, sprinted all-out again for 20 seconds; recovered with slow riding for another two minutes; pedaled all-out for a final 20 seconds; then cooled down for three minutes. The entire workout lasted 10 minutes, with only one minute of that time being strenuous.

Groups 2 and 3 completed three sessions each week for 12 weeks.

When the scientists retested the men’s aerobic fitness, muscles and blood-sugar control now, they found that the exercisers showed virtually identical gains, whether they had completed the long endurance workouts or the short, grueling intervals. In both groups, endurance had increased by nearly 20 percent, insulin resistance likewise had improved significantly, and there were significant increases in the number and function of certain microscopic structures in the men’s muscles that are related to energy production and oxygen consumption.

The conclusion was that neither approach to exercise was, however, superior to the other, except that one was shorter — much, much shorter.

So if the results are the same, should you save time by just doing the shorter, interval-based workouts?

Here’s what Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University who oversaw the new study, has to say:

“If you are an elite athlete, then obviously incorporating both endurance and interval training into an overall program maximizes performance. But if you are someone, like me, who just wants to boost health and fitness and you don’t have 45 minutes or an hour to work out, our data show that you can get big benefits from even a single minute of intense exercise.”

I’m not sure I would interpret his quote as an endorsement of one minute of exercise over 45 minutes. He simply states that if you don’t have the time for 45 minutes, then one minute is better. Of course it is; any exercise is better than no exercise.

I have a few concerns with how the results of this study could be misinterpreted, possibly leading to more problems than benefits.

First, if you don’t have time to fit in more than 10 minutes of exercise a day, I’d say your biggest problem is a time management/lifestyle problem. You need to make exercise a priority.

Second, why shouldn’t “ordinary people” train like elite athletes. Perhaps not to their level of intensity or commitment, but at least using the same approaches. If a mix of endurance training and interval training is what works best for elite athletes, then that is what us ordinary folks should be doing as well.

Third, I think that if people read such an article and immediately begin an exercise routine that consists just of interval-based workouts, or if somebody switches to just this type of training, my guess is that there is likely to be more injuries and a higher drop out rate. Intense workouts, by their very nature, put greater stress on the body, potentially leading to more injuries than other, more moderate forms of exercise. Interval workouts are also meant to be challenging in order to get the full benefit from such a workout. If you already dislike exercise, knowing that every workout you do is going to be hard isn’t likely to be motivating to want to keep doing that type of exercise.

To me the answer, as usual, is one of balance. I think a mix of both high-intensity, interval-based workouts along with more moderate, endurance-based workouts are the most effective way to train (and no surprise, that’s how most elite athletes train).

I love the New York Times, and I love that they publish these kind of articles that look at the science behind exercise. However, I don’t like when they use headlines that may be a bit misleading, and don’t offer more of the pros and cons of each type of approach to exercising.

It’s also interesting to read the comments ) there were 389 of them!), that offer, as expected a wide range of opinion on the topic.

If I were to offer exercise advice, it would be the following:

  • commit to making exercise a priority in your daily schedule
  • start off easy, but be consistent
  • gradually increase the time and/or intensity of your workouts
  • add variety to your workouts; this could be done by adding in one or two high-intensity interval workouts per week or by mixing in different forms of exercise – running, walking, biking, rowing swimming, etc.
  • be sure to add in some strength training and some flexibility work as well to your weekly routine; the strength training can perhaps take the place of one of your cardio workouts, or be combined with a cardio workout
  • find what works for you, but again, to me the key is to be consistent; the drip, drip, drip of doing something every day pays benefits over the long-term

So try not to fall for the hype of getting something (health) for almost nothing (10 minutes of exercise).

As we all know, life doesn’t work that way…



Philly’s #1, Unfortunately

The public transit app Moovit recently published its Global Cities Public Transit report for 2016. The report provides a summary of some key public transit statistics, such as average public transit commute time, average trip distance, and average wait time at a public transit station.

To my surprise, of the seven U.S. cities the report looked at, Philadelphia commuters had the longest average commute time at 93 minutes per day. Here is a listing of the daily commute times:

  1. Philadelphia: 93 minutes
  2. New York City: 87 minutes
  3. Washington, D.C.: 86 minutes
  4. Chicago: 86 minutes
  5. Los Angeles: 86 minutes
  6. Boston: 83 minutes
  7. San Francisco: 77 minutes

Philly was also ranked #1 for the percentage of people using public transit who have a total daily commute of more than two hours, at 35%, as well as for having the longest average walking distance per trip, at 3,550 feet, which was almost 15% further than #2 L.A.

There is also a global report. When looking at this report, Philly is second only to Toronto (96 minutes) in terms of having the longest commute, but it is number one worldwide in the percentage of people who have a total daily commute of more than two hours, as well as for having the longest average walking distance per trip,

Before seeing this report, if someone had asked me to rank the U.S. cities by public transit commute times, I would have ranked Philly and Chicago as having the shortest commute times.

This is just based on all the horror stories I hear about commuting in these other cities, especially Los Angeles. But I guess those stories are referring to private transit (i.e., driving yourself to work) times, and not public transit.

I’m not sure what the results are suggesting. Is it that people in Philly tend to live further away from the city than the residents of the other six cities? This is somewhat reflected in one of the charts showing that Philly commuters have the second longest one-way commute, at an average of 6.4 miles. Only L.A. is longer, at 6.9 miles for an average one-way commute on public transit.

Are the results suggesting that Philly’s public transit system is not as efficient at moving commuters from one location to another?

As I said, I’m not really sure, but I would think it’s not a good think to be ranked so “highly” in these reports.

I used public transportation for about four years, while going to grad school at Drexel University in Philadelphia. When it worked, it was great; unfortunately, its performance was not always reliable, and I can’t say I miss it.

For the past 30 years I have been spoiled with a commute of less than one mile, with just one traffic light. Most days, the total commute time from when I close my office door and open the front door of my house is about seven minutes, with half that time consisting of the walk from my third floor office to my car.

We purposely made living close to work a key consideration when we were searching for a house, and I am grateful for having such a short commute.

There are times, however, when I wonder what it would be like having 93 minutes each day that could be spent reading, listening to music, or just relaxing. I’m sure the reality is not as romantic as I imagine it to be.

This post has also made me curious what the average commute times are in these cities for driving; perhaps I’ll follow up in a later post with that info.

In the meantime, happy trails!

Sorry, Santa, About the Heavy Books

It was the year of the 15 pound plus books.

I thought my book would easily be the heaviest present under our Christmas tree this year.

Back in August I placed a pre-order for Seth Godin’s new book, What Does It Sound Like When You Change Your Mind, which Seth initially referred to as the Titan.

Seth promised that the book would be big, and he delivered on the promise. The book came in at 17 pounds. Here’s a video of an unpacking of the book by one of my sons, Joey, who is also a big Seth fan. Joey also mentions his three favorite books of all time at the beginning of the video.

Anyway, when my book finally arrived (somehow a day after Joey got his copy, and he lives in Hawaii!) I decided to put the book under our Christmas tree (using two hands) and wait open it until Christmas morning, quite confident that it would be, if not the heaviest gift under the tree, certainly the heaviest book under the tree.

Well imagine my concern when our oldest son James opened up one of his gifts, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (Hardcover Box Set), and he remarked how heavy it was. He was quite excited about the gift (as we all were).

I didn’t want to take away his thunder, but I did think to myself, “wait ’til I open my present.”

A few minutes later I did open my present, and one of the first things I did was put the two books side by side. As you can see in the photo at the top, the Seth book is clearly taller, but my son thought that his book was actually heavier.

So I had to find out. I went to Amazon to look up how heavy the Calvin and Hobbes boxed set was, and it came in at a whopping 22 pounds!

I admitted defeat, but I also tried to quickly change the direction of the conversation by saying how bad I felt for Santa, aka the UPS delivery guy, having to lug these two books down our chimney/to our front door.

So it’s been a fun couple of days with each of us going through our books, which are both wonderful books to put on a coffee table.

I’m also guessing the odds are pretty high that I’ll never own a book as heavy as the Seth book, and the same for my son with his Calvin and Hobbes book.

Unless of course I decide to publish a compilation of all my blog posts…

I’ll be sure to tip Santa well if that ever happens.

A Musical Annotation of Bruce Springsteen’s Autobiography – Born to Run, Part 2

This is the second in a series of blogs in which I plan to go through and “musically annotate” Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, “Born to Run”. This involves going through the book page by page and listing the artists, and when possible, providing a YouTube video of the songs that Bruce mentions as among his favorites.

Last week’s post covered Chapters 1-8, this week’s post covers Chapters 9-16, which includes 56 videos (why does Bruce have to like so many different genres of music and musicians!?)

Note: apparently having 56 videos in one post is a little too much for smartphones, as several readers notified me that they had trouble loading this page. To fix the problem, I created a YouTube playlist of all 56 songs:

You can access any particular song by clicking in the top left corner of the screen and choosing the desired video. I have listed the 56 songs below, in order. In those cases where Bruce just mentions a musical group, I randomly chose one of that group’s songs to include in the playlist.

  • The Beatles, I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • The Beatles with Tony Sheridan and Guests, My Bonnie
  • Louis Armstrong, Hello Dolly
  • Chubby Checkers, The Twist
  • Anita Bryant, Paper Roses (my choice)
  • Paul and Paula’s, Hey Paula
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Monkey
  • Bobby Freeman, The Swim
  • The Larks, The Jerk
  • Chubby Checker, The Pony
  • Nat Kendrick and The Swans, The Mashed Potato
  • The Frug
  • Bruce Springsteen, Devil with the Blue Dress On
  • Greensleeves
  • The Beatles, Twist and Shout
  • Bill Doggett, Honky Tonk
  • White Stripes, Fell in Love with a Girl (my choice)
  • Chantays, Pipeline
  • Santo and Johnny, Sleep Walk
  • The Shadows, Apache
  • The Marketts, Out of Limits
  • The Pyramids, Penetration
  • The Kingsmen, Haunted Castle
  • Rolling Stones, It’s All over Now
  • Ian Whitcomb, You Turn Me On
  • The Castiles, Baby I
  • The Castiles, That’s What You Get for Loving Me
  • Glenn Miller, In the Mood
  • Patsy Cline, The Tennessee Waltz
  • Surfaris, Wipe Out
  • Cadillacs, Gloria
  • Don and Juan, What’s Your Name
  • Five Satins, In the Still of the Night
  • Animals, We Gotta Get Out of This Place
  • Exciters, Tell Him
  • Motifs, Someday (my choice)
  • Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Jenny Take a Ride
  • Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Devil With the Blue Dress On
  • Shindogs, I Live for the Sun (my choice)
  • Sonny and the Starfires, Please Don’t Hurt Me (my choice)
  • Paul Revere and the Raiders, Kicks
  • Circus Maximus, Wind
  • Jimi Hendrix, Hey Joe (my choice)
  • The Mothers of Invention, Oh, In The Sky (my choice)
  • Neil Young, Heart of Gold (my choice)
  • Cream, Sunshine of Your Love
  • Jeff Beck, You Shook Me (my choice)
  • Donovan, Sunshine Superman (my choice)
  • Bob Dylan, Blowin’ in the Wind (my choice)
  • Tim Buckley, Once I Was (my choice)
  • Tommy James, Mony Mony
  • Rock Me Baby
  • Bruce Springsteen with Child
  • Bruce Springsteen and Steel Mill
  • Sundance Blues Band, with Bruce Springsteen
  • Southside Johnny, with Bruce, Having a Party (my choice)


The Beauty of Children Singing Christmas Songs

At our Christmas mass today, we were blessed to have the children’s choir sing a song as part of the service.

As I was listening, I couldn’t help thinking, ‘is there anything more beautiful than the sound of children singing?’

So I thought I would just showcase a few videos I came across of children singing Christmas songs.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Farts – They Were Funny When I was 9, and They’re Still Funny at 59

I’ll admit it; I had trouble coming up with something to write about tonight.

I was going through the list of blogging ideas I’ve accumulated over the past couple of years, and of them was titled:

“It’s Better Than the Sound of an Ambulance”

This was going to be a collection of phrases my mom had used over the years, and this particular one had always struck with me. My mom was driving my sisters and me somewhere, probably to swim practice, and she farted. When we all expressed our displeasure, her simple reply, in her lilting Irish brogue, was, “It’s Better Than the Sound of an Ambulance”. 

As you might imagine, there’s no good comeback to such a line, and it’s stuck with me for probably 50 years.

However, turning that one line into a blog about other off-the-wall things my Mom said seemed harder than I thought, until I looked at it from a different angle tonight.

I thought – why not a blog about farting.

I know, it’s not a topic you’ll ever see Seth Godin or Fred Wilson blogging about, but hey, that’s their problem. And who doesn’t like a good joke about farting.

The newest one I heard, just a couple of months ago, goes something like this.

When you see someone ordering an entree that comes with beans, be sure to tell the person ordering to make sure the entree comes with no more than 239 beans. When they ask why, you can reply, “One more would make it too farty (240).”

I remember my high school algebra teacher would start each day by either telling a joke, or asking if a student had a joke to tell. One day, a student volunteered the following joke: “What’s the disadvantage of wearing pantyhose?” “When you fart, you blow your shoes off.” It took the teacher several minutes to control his laughter.

When I was in grade school, “Confucius say” type jokes; one that I remember was “Confucius say he who eats jelly beans farts in technicolor.”

While doing my research for this blog, I typed “fart jokes” into Google, and there were over 6 million results. I clicked on the first one, and came across some of the following jokes:

Q: What do you call a person that doesn’t fart in public? A: a PRIVATE TUTOR.

Laugh and the world laughs with you; fart and they’ll stop laughing.

A boy comes home and says to his parents “Mom, dad, the teacher asked a question today and I was the only kid in the class that knew the answer!” And the parents say “That’s amazing son! What was the question?” And the boy says “Who farted?”

An elderly couple go to church one Sunday. Halfway through the service, the wife leans over and whispers in her husbands ear, “I’ve just let out a silent fart. What do you think I should do?” The husband replies, “Put a new battery in your hearing aid.”

And finally, I want to share one of my fondest memories, probably from about 10-15 years ago. A college friend was having a party, and early on at the party he showed me and another friend his newest toy, a fart machine. He let us try it out, and then he left it with us as he resumed his hosting duties.

My friend and I could not use our newest toy often enough. We would go up to a group of people who were having a conversation, strangers to us, and just walk behind them and set off the fart machine, running through all the various options. We of course thought it was the funniest thing in the world, and continued to think so for the next three hours. No one was immune from our immaturity, and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in my life.

For some reason, I don’t think we were invited back the following year.

Anyway, so if anyone has ever wondered, is there anything I won’t write about, this blog probably answers that question.

I hope you got a gas out of reading this…


Classic Rivalries – Part II

Yesterday I wrote about some classic sports rivalries, including Army vs. Navy, Duke vs. UNC, and Michigan vs. Ohio State. But my favorite one to write about was the one between Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, since I came a cross a few great stories in my research.

Today I thought I would write about 10 classic business rivalries; some that probably come to mind are Coke vs. Pepsi and UPS vs. Fedex. But there are several others. In yesterday’s post I gave a scorecard as which team or individual was winning the rivalry. I’ll do the same thing in this post, using market value as the primary measure as to which company is winning the rivalry, along with annual sales and the number of twitter followers for other comparisons.

Let’s get started; I’ve bolded the winning company for each of the three comparisons (market value, annual sales, and Twitter followers).

Coke vs Pepsi: The Coca Cola company was founded in 1886, PepsiCo in 1898. Today, Coke’s market value is $179 billion, while Pepsi’s is $151 billion. Sales at CocaCola for 2015 were $44 billion, while sales at PepsiCo were $63 billion. Coke has 3.3 million Twitter followers, while Pepsi has 3 million Twitter followers.

UPS vs FedEx: UPS was founded in 1907, FedEx in 1971. Today, UPS’s market value is $101 billion, while FedEx’s is $51 billion. Sales at UPS for 2015 were $58 billion, while sales at FedEx were $51 billion. UPS has 167,000 Twitter followers, while FedEx has 244,000 Twitter followers.

AT&T vs Verizon: AT&T was founded in 1907, Verizon in 1971. Today, AT&T‘s market value is $262 billion, while Verizon’s is $219 billion. Sales at AT&T for 2015 were $146 billion, while sales at Verizon were $132 billion. AT&T has 796,000 Twitter followers, while Verizon has 1.7 million Twitter followers.

Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks: Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950, Starbucks in 1971. Today, Dunkin’ Donuts‘s market value is $5 billion, while Starbucks’s is $83 billion. Sales at Dunkin’ Donuts for 2015 were $810 million, while sales at Starbucks were $21 billion. Dunkin’ Donuts has 1.1 million Twitter followers, while Starbucks has 11.8 million Twitter followers.

McDonald’s vs Burger King: McDonalds was founded in 1955, Burger King in 1954. Today, McDonald’s market value is $103 billion and its sales for 2015 were $25 billion. As a privately held firm, Burger King does not release market value or sales figures. Suffice it to say, McDonald’s has a big lead in each category. McDonald’s has 3.3 million Twitter followers, while Burger King has 1.5 million Twitter followers. There are 36,000 McDonald’s worldwide and 15,000 Burger King outlets.

Ford vs. GM: Ford was founded in 1903, GM in 1908. Today, Ford‘s market value is $49 billion, while GM’s is $55 billion. Sales at Ford for 2015 were $150 billion, while sales at GM were $152 billion. Ford has 954,000 Twitter followers, while GM has 554,000 Twitter followers.

Nike vs Adidas: Nike was founded in 1964, Adidas in 1949. Today, Nike‘s market value is $87 billion, while Adidas’s is $31 billion. Sales at Nike for 2015 were $32 billion, while sales at Adidas were $18 billion. Nike has 6.7 million Twitter followers, while Adidas has 3 million Twitter followers.

Visa vs Mastercard vs American Express: Visa was founded in 1958, Mastercard in 1966, and AmEx in 1850. Today, Visa‘s market value is $164 billion, while Mastercard’s is $113 billion and AmEx’s is $68 billion. Sales at Visa for 2015 were $15 billion, while sales at Mastercard were $9.7 billion and AmEx sales were $34 billion. Visa has 351,000 Twitter followers, while Mastercard has 461,000 Twitter followers, and AmEx has 892,000.

CVS vs Walgreens: CVS was founded in 1963, Walgreens in 1901. Today, CVS‘s market value is $84 billion, while Walgreens’s is $90 billionSales at CVS for 2015 were $153, while sales at Walgreens were $117 billion. CVS has 314,000 million Twitter followers, while Walgreens has 930,000 Twitter followers.

Wawa vs : Simply put, Wawa has no rival. And since it is privately held, it does not release financial info. It does have 222,000 Twitter followers.

There are several other rivalries I may talk about in a future post – such as Gates vs. Jobs, xBox vs. Playstation, and Duracell vs. Energizer.

In the meantime, if you’d like to read other articles about business rivalries, here are a couple that I found:

The 50 greatest business rivalries of all time

The Top 10 Business Rivalries in History

These stories have some of the same rivalries that I include, as well as additional background on each company.