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How Robert Griffin III’s Heisman Ballot Compares to Past Winners

Last night Robert Griffin III became the first Baylor football player to win the Heisman Trophy, the college game’s highest honor. Griiffin was the 76th player to receive the award — and the 28th quarterback — since the tradition began in 1936.

The winner is selected from ballots cast by hundreds of sports journalists, and past honorees. Each votes for three players, and ranks them on scale from first place (three points) to third place (one point). The higher the points received by a player, the more unanimous his selection as the winner. 

Griffin received 1,687 points, slightly above the average winner over the years. Here’s how players have compared since the start (colored in Baylor green): 

View the full list of past winners here.

Walk-Off Home Run History

Turns out game-ending home runs — like last night’s centerfield shot by St. Louis Cardinals infielder David Freese — are more common than I imagined. There have been nearly 3,000 in the last five decades, including more than 70 this season. 

That’s twice the figure from 1960:

View interactive version | Source: baseball-reference.com 

Charting Troops in Iraq

President Obama on Friday announced that U.S. troops would be leaving Iraq by year’s end. The New York Timestake

The president’s statement, coming a day after a NATO air campaign hastened the death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, was laden with symbolism, marking the ebb tide of a decade of American military engagement that began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It also capped a remarkable period of foreign-policy accomplishments for a president who is hindered by a poor economy at home.

The Times also has an interactive column chart visualizing the number of troops in Iraq since the war began:

Here’s the view of Afghanistan, which has followed a different trajectory: 

Charting Twitter Stats

One hundred is the new 140 on Twitter, according to my wife. How am I doing? My tweets since August 2009: 

Tweets: 1523. Average tweet: 89 characters.

Longest tweet:

RT @KenLegler: MERRYº°¨¨°º¤ø °¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø¸CHRISTMAS¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤MERRYº°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤Ã

Shortest tweet:

Fire! 

English Premier League Wins, Goals

Today’s match between Manchester United and Chelsea could well decide who wins the English Premier League title this season. Of course, both teams are comfortable in this position, having dominated the league in the last two decades along with two other elite clubs: Arsenal and Liverpool.

This column chart shows that dominance, both in wins (470 for Manchester United and 383 for Chelsea) and goals (1,445 and 1,214, respectively) since 1992.

Wins:

Goals:

View interactive versions: wins, goals

Source: Barclays Premier League | Data: XML

Financing Texas Elections: 2010

Another cross-post from my work blog:

The 2010 political campaigns are over, but looking back at the fundraising and spending that financed them is now fully possible thanks to records made public by the Texas Ethics Commission after Tuesday’s filing deadline. 

With this new data, which cover donations and expenditures from October 24 to December 31, we can now illustrate campaign activity for the full year. This column chart visualizes campaign activity, by day, for all candidate/officeholders and specific-purpose committees during 2010. Red spikes represent spending; blue spikes represent fundraising.

(View a larger version)

The graphic offers an interesting, though not necessarily unexpected, timeline of the campaigns, which spent about $180 million during the year — not including what third-party groups devoted to the various contests up and down the ballot. I’ve highlighted spikes in activity that correlate with high points of the campaign. 

Notice spikes in the competitive Republican primary contest between Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, as well as the Democratic primary between former Houston mayor Bill White and hair care magnate Farouk Shami. The largest came on Feb. 18, when Perry, Hutchison and Shami spent about $3.5 million on television advertising ahead of Election Day. 

There’s a similar spike before the general election contests including Perry and White, and all the competitive and expensive Texas House races. The largest jump came on Oct. 15, when Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who was fending off a challenge from labor leader Linda Chavez Thompson, purchased $5.1 million in television time. 

Other events are highlighted, too. You’ll see that fundraising jumped sharply on June 30, the mid-year filing deadline. It also spiked on Sept. 23, which was a deadline for the 30-day ethics filing, which is released Oct. 4. Another spike occurred on Dec. 11, the day before a fundraising moratorium before the 82nd legislative session.

Let us know if you have ideas for data-driven features or visualizations, and be sure to follow @TribData on Twitter.

UPDATE: Here’s a quick interactive version built with the Google Visualization API