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From FiveThirtyEight:

FEB. 22, 2021, AT 10:01 AM

Why Athletes’ Birthdays Affect Who Goes Pro — And Who Becomes A Star
By Tim Wigmore

If you want to be a professional athlete in most sports, it helps to be born at the right time of year.

In basketball, baseball and ice hockey, players born in the first quarter of their selection year — the cutoff for which age-group teams are picked, which is normally the school year — are overrepresented both in youth and professional sports. In soccer, players born in the first quarter of their selection year are overrepresented throughout major leagues in Europe and South America.

This phenomenon, called the relative age effect, impacts almost every sport. It has been demonstrated in both men’s and women’s sports, although the effect seems to be less pronounced in women’s sports.

Of course, children old for their cohort don’t have better genes or more talent. Instead, “the relative age effect is almost certainly related to differences in rates of biological and psychological maturation,” said Joe Baker, a professor at York University in Toronto who researches the relative age effect. “Those who are relatively older appear stronger, faster, etc., but they’re really just older and therefore more advanced in their maturation.”

Such children are more likely to be picked for school teams. Once they are picked, players benefit from more practice, coaching and game time — advantages denied to those not selected, who are disproportionately likely to be younger for their selection year. Once accounting for their biological age, the older players might not have been any better than later-born children when they are first picked. But after becoming part of a team, and being exposed to training and matches, they really do become better than later-born children who might be equally talented.

One clear trend holds true across sports: The younger that talent is identified, the greater the relative age effect. This makes intuitive sense; on a fourth grade sports team, made up of 9- and 10-year-olds, the oldest child could be 10 percent older than the youngest.

This all suggests a way of countering the relative age effect: to delay selection for as long as possible — until mid-adolescence or even later. In practice, Baker said, “coaches could work to ‘soften the blow’ of not being selected,” by keeping late-maturing players in the system for longer, thereby giving them the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential later. New Zealand’s youth rugby teams have long grouped young players together based on weight rather than age; the method means that skillful but smaller players are not disadvantaged. Similarly, in soccer, teams have tried methods including “bio-banding” — grouping together players based on their height and weight, not age. Teams have even explicitly arranged trials for those born in the last months of the selection year in case their talent has been missed.

At every turn, school sports are effectively rigged for children born soon after the school start cutoff date — which varies by state in the U.S. but is most commonly around Sept. 1 — and against later-born children. Yet in the NBA, James Harden1 and Kobe Bryant2 are among the former MVPs born in August, putting them among the youngest in their school year group. In baseball, Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger were each just 17 years old when they were drafted; Tom Brady and Barry Sanders are among the NFL MVPs who were young for their cohorts.

Mike Trout was born August 7, 1991, so he graduated high school at age 17 in 2009, and then was drafted 25th overall. If he’d been born September 7, 1991, he would have graduated at age 18 in 2010. Presumably, he would have have hit about .600 in another year of high school ball and been the #1 draft pick that year, even over Bryce Harper.

Tom Brady was born August 3, 1977, so he graduated from high school at 17. He was quite good in high school, being recruited by schools that traditionally have strong quarterbacks like UCLA, Cal, and Michigan. He then redshirted his first year at U. of Michigan and then played four more seasons. But he was always rather youthful-seeming. He didn’t wow the NFL as a draft prospect and was the 7th QB drafted that season. But youthfulness is a good thing in an adult athlete, so he played through age 44.

Kobe Bryant was born August 23, so he was 17 when drafted 13th by Jerry West of the Lakers.

These athletes embody a notable paradox: Once they reach professional levels, younger-born players tend to be more successful and are overrepresented among “super-elite” athletes. This phenomenon, found across a range of sports and explored in “The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made,” a book I co-authored, is known as the underdog effect. Essentially, it is harder for later-born children to become professional athletes — but if they do become professional, they have a higher chance of becoming among the very best players in their sport.

A study of the most valuable male players in professional soccer, ice hockey, baseball and Australian rules football analyzed their birth dates relative to the selection year for the sport in their country. The finding was the opposite of the relative age effect: Players born later for their year were overrepresented among the very elite, accounting for a combined 55 percent of players.

One interesting question I haven’t seen addressed is whether kids switch sports out of ones where they have a relative age disadvantage to one in which their birth date is more auspicious. A test case might Canadian athlete Larry Walker who grew up focused on being a hockey goalie, but when he washed out at 19 he switched to baseball and went to the Hall of Fame. I have to imagine Walker had the skill set to be a hockey goalie. But he was born on December 1, 1966, so he was always eleven months younger than his oldest rival born in 1966, which likely affected his trajectory through youth hockey and kept him from getting the best coaching.

 
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  1. Conversely, Albert Pujols was born January 16th, 1937.

  2. I would guess that coaches and parents subject the bigger/stronger kid to more intense and possibly psychologically harmful pressure…well you’re bigger and stronger, so how come you’re not doing more with it.

    O/T speaking of coaches: I did not hear a single olympic athlete, in the post-victory interview, thank her coaches. All of five seconds it would have taken. (Disclosure: I did not watch the coverage extensively.)

  3. Norman Mailer, in his book Of a Fire on the Moon I think, posited that the Apollo moonwalkers had family names that were disproportionately early in the alphabet.

    Armstrong
    Aldrin

    Conrad
    Bean

    Norman wrote his book early in the program, but then, when the early exploration had been done, the later part of the alphabet showed up:

    Shepherd
    Mitchell

    Scott
    Irwin

    Young
    Duke

    Cernan
    Schmitt

    When we average all 12 moonwalkers family names by place in the alphabet, we arrive at slightly less than 10, which is significantly below the middle. Then again (on the other hand™) maybe family names in English are just that way.

    Mailer wrote this at a time when it was obvious that the first explorers on another world had names that were early in the alphabet, and he hypothesized that they were always called upon early in school. When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early. That was Mailer’s whole point.

    Whether or not this means anything is another question.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    @Buzz Mohawk

    When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early

    I guess you must be referring to a feature of American schools that is unknown to me. Can you explain, please?

    Replies: @guest007, @Russ

    , @but an humble craftsman
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Winston Spencer called himself Churchill for a reason.

  4. A friend once lent me a collection of essays by (I think) a neurologist – whose name escapes me – which included a short piece on the luckiest month to be born in. It must have been based on observations from data taken from the Northern Hemisphere because the gist was that conception during the period of optimal availability of food (midsummer) would be a good indicator of how successful offspring would tend to be: March/ April. I did try to do a search for the collection mentioned before posting this but the search results threw up a lot of New Age nonsense. (I’m an October child).

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Cortes

    February is the month of most auspicious births, at least in America and for presidents. Think Washington, Lincoln, Reagan. There's also Harrison, but who was he?

    Anyway, we have Presidents Day as a holiday in February just because Washington and Lincoln were born in this month, and they are, after all, considered the most significant presidents.

    (I was born in February, and my mother told me I was conceived in the back yard on a beautiful spring day. She said she knew. The back yard. I think that's cool.)

    Replies: @SafeNow, @nebulafox

    , @E. Rekshun
    @Cortes

    the luckiest month to be born in

    Similarly, I think an interesting study would be to determine the luckiest year to be born (say, since 1900). Off the cuff, I would conclude sometime during the late '30s - missed the depression, too young to go to WWII and Korea, too old for Vietnam. Got all the advantages of a growing economy, much lower population density and immigration, and less competition for jobs. A college graduate in the late 50s - 1960 would almost automatically get a lifetime corporate job with phenomenal benefits.

    Replies: @Cortes

  5. It also helps to be coordinated. Or smart. Or competitive. Better yet, all three.

  6. @Cortes
    A friend once lent me a collection of essays by (I think) a neurologist - whose name escapes me - which included a short piece on the luckiest month to be born in. It must have been based on observations from data taken from the Northern Hemisphere because the gist was that conception during the period of optimal availability of food (midsummer) would be a good indicator of how successful offspring would tend to be: March/ April. I did try to do a search for the collection mentioned before posting this but the search results threw up a lot of New Age nonsense. (I’m an October child).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @E. Rekshun

    February is the month of most auspicious births, at least in America and for presidents. Think Washington, Lincoln, Reagan. There’s also Harrison, but who was he?

    Anyway, we have Presidents Day as a holiday in February just because Washington and Lincoln were born in this month, and they are, after all, considered the most significant presidents.

    (I was born in February, and my mother told me I was conceived in the back yard on a beautiful spring day. She said she knew. The back yard. I think that’s cool.)

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    @Buzz Mohawk


    Conceived in…The back yard
     
    .
    The back seat for me.
    (you knew someone would say it)

    Reminds me of an old Rodney Dangerfield no-respect joke… he couldn’t get a date in H.S., so he would go to the drive-in alone, and do push-ups on the backseat to try to keep up appearances.

    , @nebulafox
    @Buzz Mohawk

    As a tangential joke, the famous Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann always said his mood swings (he was bipolar, which I can vouch is very much a doubled edged sword for scientific creativity) were caused by him being born on the night between Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Said in moments of fun that it was right as the final dance of Carnival was dying down.

  7. One interesting question I haven’t seen addressed is whether kids switch sports out of ones where they have a relative age advantage to one in which their birth date is more auspicious.

    …switch sports out of ones where they have a relative age disadvantage to one in which their birth date is more auspicious?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Calvin Hobbes

    Thanks.

  8. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Cortes

    February is the month of most auspicious births, at least in America and for presidents. Think Washington, Lincoln, Reagan. There's also Harrison, but who was he?

    Anyway, we have Presidents Day as a holiday in February just because Washington and Lincoln were born in this month, and they are, after all, considered the most significant presidents.

    (I was born in February, and my mother told me I was conceived in the back yard on a beautiful spring day. She said she knew. The back yard. I think that's cool.)

    Replies: @SafeNow, @nebulafox

    Conceived in…The back yard

    .
    The back seat for me.
    (you knew someone would say it)

    Reminds me of an old Rodney Dangerfield no-respect joke… he couldn’t get a date in H.S., so he would go to the drive-in alone, and do push-ups on the backseat to try to keep up appearances.

    • LOL: Cortes, Alden
  9. I suspect there’s a similar effect with female models/women whose career is significantly based on looking hot. Not the age cohort thing but the part about having a longer career if you don’t peak too early.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Jokah Macpherson

    Remember, the minimum height for a runway model is 5 foot eight inches and that is considered tiny for a model. The first thing fashion model scouts look for is height. See the writings of Ashley Mears, a former runway model is not a sociology professor at NYU.

  10. Whether or not this means anything is another question.

    Norman Mailer was good for stuff like that. His main points were usually debatable, but like his contemporary Gore Vidal his digressions and “what if’s” were always terrific.

    His personal details probably did that. He had an engineering degree from a prestigious university but ended up an enlisted rifleman on Luzon during WWII. On top of that he chose a literary life, not tech, was deeply suspicious of technology especially computers. Odd mix.

  11. Instead, “the relative age effect is almost certainly related to differences in rates of biological and psychological maturation,” said Joe Baker, a professor at York University in Toronto who researches the relative age effect. “Those who are relatively older appear stronger, faster, etc., but they’re really just older and therefore more advanced in their maturation.

    What an astonishing self-contradiction!

  12. Marcus Garvey and Barack Obama were born in August. Garvey predated this phenomenon, and was built for sumo more than anything else. Obama was a frustrated golfer.

    At what age did he pick up the sport? And how old was he when he first cast a vote?

  13. One clear trend holds true across sports: The younger that talent is identified, the greater the relative age effect.

    It has nothing to do with when talent is identified or with the identification of talent at all. It has to do with how old the players are and how big the age range is in the organized activity.

    This makes intuitive sense; on a fourth grade sports team, made up of 9- and 10-year-olds, the oldest child could be 10 percent older than the youngest.

    No, the oldest player could be as much as 22% older than the youngest.

    This all suggests a way of countering the relative age effect: to delay selection for as long as possible — until mid-adolescence or even later.

    No, you can counter it only by compressing the age range or by switching the cutoff dates from season to season.

    Teams have even explicitly arranged trials for those born in the last months of the selection year in case their talent has been missed.

    That’s stupid because the development of their talent has already been retarded.

  14. My guess would have been that the kids born later in the time frame would tend to be more successful, since they have the advantage of starting their sport (or activity) at a younger age. I believe that the most important factors that overcome the advantage of starting young have to do with self confidence and self image. Initially, the older kids are good, and this instills self confidence that is long lasting and that serves them well (even more so than, say, extra coaching). Indeed, I have seen a lot of people “punch above their weight” in all kinds of activities because of an (over?) abundance of self confidence. Also, perhaps the most important reason that the superstars tend to be from the younger age group is that they have the advantage of starting their sport at a younger age and they are so talented that even though they are younger, they are still good (and they know it). In a possibly related topic, do people who mature at a younger age tend to have any advantages or disadvantages?

  15. @Calvin Hobbes

    One interesting question I haven’t seen addressed is whether kids switch sports out of ones where they have a relative age advantage to one in which their birth date is more auspicious.
     
    …switch sports out of ones where they have a relative age disadvantage to one in which their birth date is more auspicious?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Thanks.

  16. There’s a lot of concrete evidence that blacks mature physically faster than whites, who mature faster than Asians. Combine this with their being held back in school … although I guess they stopped doing that, because it’s racis’.

    • Agree: Ben tillman, res
  17. So Nate Silver is ripping off Malcolm Gladwell now? Outliers is a 13-year-old book at this point!

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Thanks: Russ
  18. @Buzz Mohawk
    Norman Mailer, in his book Of a Fire on the Moon I think, posited that the Apollo moonwalkers had family names that were disproportionately early in the alphabet.

    Armstrong
    Aldrin

    Conrad
    Bean

    Norman wrote his book early in the program, but then, when the early exploration had been done, the later part of the alphabet showed up:

    Shepherd
    Mitchell

    Scott
    Irwin

    Young
    Duke

    Cernan
    Schmitt


    When we average all 12 moonwalkers family names by place in the alphabet, we arrive at slightly less than 10, which is significantly below the middle. Then again (on the other hand™) maybe family names in English are just that way.

    Mailer wrote this at a time when it was obvious that the first explorers on another world had names that were early in the alphabet, and he hypothesized that they were always called upon early in school. When your name starts with an "A," you get used to teachers and professors calling you early. That was Mailer's whole point.

    Whether or not this means anything is another question.

    Replies: @dearieme, @but an humble craftsman

    When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early

    I guess you must be referring to a feature of American schools that is unknown to me. Can you explain, please?

    • Replies: @guest007
    @dearieme

    Alphabetical order. A student with a last name of Adams is at the front but the student with a last name of Zeigler will always be one of the last.

    Replies: @prosa123

    , @Russ
    @dearieme



    When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early
     
    I guess you must be referring to a feature of American schools that is unknown to me. Can you explain, please?
     
    They work in alphabetical order by last name. So whether the task was to head to the chalkboard to work a problem in front of the whole class or run the 100-yard dash, Henry Aaron would always get called first, while Zachary Zygote -- sorry -- always last. Thus offering Zack learning opportunities which Henry never had.
  19. @Buzz Mohawk
    Norman Mailer, in his book Of a Fire on the Moon I think, posited that the Apollo moonwalkers had family names that were disproportionately early in the alphabet.

    Armstrong
    Aldrin

    Conrad
    Bean

    Norman wrote his book early in the program, but then, when the early exploration had been done, the later part of the alphabet showed up:

    Shepherd
    Mitchell

    Scott
    Irwin

    Young
    Duke

    Cernan
    Schmitt


    When we average all 12 moonwalkers family names by place in the alphabet, we arrive at slightly less than 10, which is significantly below the middle. Then again (on the other hand™) maybe family names in English are just that way.

    Mailer wrote this at a time when it was obvious that the first explorers on another world had names that were early in the alphabet, and he hypothesized that they were always called upon early in school. When your name starts with an "A," you get used to teachers and professors calling you early. That was Mailer's whole point.

    Whether or not this means anything is another question.

    Replies: @dearieme, @but an humble craftsman

    Winston Spencer called himself Churchill for a reason.

  20. I’ve seen this idea before but including a more psychologically based dynamic in what’s happening — not just access to measurable things like coaching, training, time on the field, which could easily be provided to later birthdate kids. The older kids with more physical strength get the psychological boost of success over smaller kids or those whose coordination hasn’t quite developed yet. They get to see themselves dominate and then take on the self-image of good athlete. Even if the younger kid’s body and coordination eventually catch up, those kids don’t see themselves in the same jock-dominant alpha mentality. Judith Rich Harris is pretty good at this dynamic in identity development being a peer-to-peer phenomena. Eventual CEOs/alpha males aren’t the biggest strongest, best looking 22 year olds who feel empowered. They were the biggest, strongest, best looking 13 year olds who formed that mentality relative to their adolescent cohort.

    One flip is the athlete who has basically fully matured physically and probably mentally at 18/19 years old. He is a high school star and goes on to become an All-American college player. While another kid who isn’t going to be fully physically (and mentally) developed and coordinated in his body until 23-24 years old, will eventually pass by the top high school jock and might be the “super-star” in the professional ranks.

  21. Remember Gladwell made a convincing case for this looking at mostly Canadian players in the NHL who were statistically likely to have been born earlier in the year (think Canada used a Jan 1st cut off date at each level) and to have been on average a few months older and probably a little larger and probably a little more skilled overall than others in their Pee Wee and other leagues going on up as they got older. And if they were a little more skilled at each level they probably get to play a little more than the other kids at each level and so their skills improved and their being better was perpetuated.

    Think he also found a European country or country which used a cutoff date other than Jan 1st and found that there was still reason to believe that the kids born soon after this cutoff date were also more likely to make the NHL than kids born closer to the next cutoff date and their being a few months older than other kids they played with.

    The effect may be more pronounced in hockey than most sports given the organization needed to actually play at kid’s levels other than pond hockey, if it is around you (rink time, leagues, etc.). You can get a lot of basketball time in showing up a local court with just a ball and without the need for organized leagues.

    So there may be a statistical link but it is not going to account for everything. Auston Mathews was a first overall NHL pick who grew up in AZ and presumably played only organized hockey and was born in Sept.

  22. The idea that older is better affects many things. It is why parents “red-shirt” boys by having them repeat kindergarten or pre-school so that they will be the oldest students in first grade. It is why Texas has the strange rule that once a student is in 8th grade, they can only play five years of school sports. This causes parents to hold back students in 7th grade to improve their chances of being good in high school football. This is why Asian parents lie about their kids age so that they will be the oldest students in American high school classes.

    A good study would be looking at college students who started at 17 instead of 18.

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    @guest007

    This causes parents to hold back students in 7th grade to improve their chances of being good in high school football.

    Dominican coaches and agents been lying about their baseball players ages for decades.

    Remember little leaguer Danny Almonte

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Almonte

    Replies: @guest007

  23. At the end of the day it just comes down the combination of raw athletic talent combined with physical development at the right time. Some kids are late to physically mature relative to others and that can be a big handicap, particularly in basketball, football, and track, somewhat less so in tennis or baseball.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Arclight

    The older kids are going to better and thus, will be encouraged to practice and develop. The parents will more likely support athletic pursuits and pay for coaching, travel teams, summer camps.

    On the other hands, if I had $10 dollars for every parent who told me their 10 y/o was going to go to college on an athletic scholarship, I would be a retired rich man. Until a kid goes through puberty, no one knows how good an athlete they are going to be.

  24. @Jokah Macpherson
    I suspect there's a similar effect with female models/women whose career is significantly based on looking hot. Not the age cohort thing but the part about having a longer career if you don't peak too early.

    Replies: @guest007

    Remember, the minimum height for a runway model is 5 foot eight inches and that is considered tiny for a model. The first thing fashion model scouts look for is height. See the writings of Ashley Mears, a former runway model is not a sociology professor at NYU.

  25. @Arclight
    At the end of the day it just comes down the combination of raw athletic talent combined with physical development at the right time. Some kids are late to physically mature relative to others and that can be a big handicap, particularly in basketball, football, and track, somewhat less so in tennis or baseball.

    Replies: @guest007

    The older kids are going to better and thus, will be encouraged to practice and develop. The parents will more likely support athletic pursuits and pay for coaching, travel teams, summer camps.

    On the other hands, if I had \$10 dollars for every parent who told me their 10 y/o was going to go to college on an athletic scholarship, I would be a retired rich man. Until a kid goes through puberty, no one knows how good an athlete they are going to be.

  26. This applies to horse racing too — all horses officially become a year older on Jan 1, but their actual birthdays are generally available and a young racehorse born in January might have a maturity advantage over one foaled in March or April. (And breeders usually make sure the baby will not be born any later in the year)

    Speaking of birthdays, Bill James’ research indicates MLB players do better on their birthdays than their overall stats. Of course, if you’re born in December that’s not going to help.

    Speaking again of birthdays: Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern share the same birthday. I was born on Rush Limbaugh’s birthday. Rush Limbaugh died on my late father’s birthday

  27. anon[226] • Disclaimer says:

    Malcolm Gladwell discussed the benefit of earlier birth date in sports in Outliers. Red shirting is quite common now. More parents are holding back their August born, athletically inclined boys to start school after their 5th birthday in September. Those kids also tend to become leaders in elementary school, but no guarantee they’ll continue to be in middle and high school.

    Essentially, it is harder for later-born children to become professional athletes — but if they do become professional, they have a higher chance of becoming among the very best players in their sport.

    Maybe it’s the survival of the fittest effect. The younger ones who got selected have to work harder to stand out, and also tend to be more naturally gifted, not just selected because they’re physically bigger.

    But he was born on December 1, 1966, so he was always eleven months younger than his oldest rival born in 1966,

    But schools start in September, so he’d only be 3 months younger than those born in September, in fact, he falls into the born-in-first-quarter window proffered as a better head start in this article.

  28. Essentially, it is harder for later-born children to become professional athletes — but if they do become professional, they have a higher chance of becoming among the very best players in their sport.

    Because those who did manage to make their teams, despite being up to a full year younger than other kids, would have required more talent to make the cut. The younger kids are more likely to be the best both mentally and physically, while the older kids made the team only because they were big.

    A similar phenomenon can be seen in law enforcement. The police are so much more vigorous in enforcing the law in black neighborhoods that the result is that black neighborhoods are much, much safer than white neighborhoods.

    Discrimination explains why blacks are better coworkers, better at paying back loans, make better husbands for white women, etc. There is so much discrimination against them that only the cream of the crop manage to qualify.

  29. A test case might Canadian athlete Larry Walker who grew up focused on being a hockey goalie, but when he washed out at 19 he switched to baseball and went to the Hall of Fame. I have to imagine Walker had the skill set to be a hockey goalie. But he was born on December 1, 1966, so he was always eleven months younger than his oldest rival born in 1966, which likely affected his trajectory through youth hockey and kept him from getting the best coaching.

    The Canadian major junior leagues (OHL, QMJHL, WHL) hold drafts for the rights to fourteen year old players. (Junior hockey ages out at twenty one years of age). If you’re outside of that system (and the minor junior system in which aspirants to play NCAA hockey can choose to remain) you’re basically regarded as not someone with a career in hockey.

    At that point, obviously there is an advantage to being born earlier among your draft cohort than later. Add to this some human element (i.e., I drafted Jim Smith with the third overall pick in the OHL draft, so I’m going to invest in him more and longer than a lower drafted player beginning at age 14 even if the lower drafter player becomes better because I can’t be wrong) and that system is bound to make substantial mistakes. Also, when you begin scouting pre-teens, an early impression of the athlete tends to replicate itself even after it becomes less true or less relevant.

    Baseball is more diffuse, and there are many more opportunities for late developing players like Larry Walker. Curt Schilling, who is a borderline HOF pitcher, meandered his way to the bigs after a stint at community college.

  30. @Cortes
    A friend once lent me a collection of essays by (I think) a neurologist - whose name escapes me - which included a short piece on the luckiest month to be born in. It must have been based on observations from data taken from the Northern Hemisphere because the gist was that conception during the period of optimal availability of food (midsummer) would be a good indicator of how successful offspring would tend to be: March/ April. I did try to do a search for the collection mentioned before posting this but the search results threw up a lot of New Age nonsense. (I’m an October child).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @E. Rekshun

    the luckiest month to be born in

    Similarly, I think an interesting study would be to determine the luckiest year to be born (say, since 1900). Off the cuff, I would conclude sometime during the late ’30s – missed the depression, too young to go to WWII and Korea, too old for Vietnam. Got all the advantages of a growing economy, much lower population density and immigration, and less competition for jobs. A college graduate in the late 50s – 1960 would almost automatically get a lifetime corporate job with phenomenal benefits.

    • Agree: Cortes
    • Replies: @Cortes
    @E. Rekshun

    I sometimes think that being born late 1930s/early 1940s would’ve been ideal for career opportunities. I’ve certainly met some real examples of people who magically rose through the ranks on the “HRC” principle of “it’s his/her turn” from that cohort.

    Having thought about it, I think the essay on lucky birth month might have been in a Richard Wiseman book.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @E. Rekshun

  31. During the ’70s – ’80s in my MA school district, school year grade assignment was determined by calendar year. Everyone born, say, Jan. 1965 – Dec 1965, started the first grade at the same time in Sep.

    I was born in late Dec., so I was 11 – 12 months younger than my oldest classmates. Compared against students that got held back a year, I’d be 23 – 24 months younger. I guess this explains why I didn’t make my High School varsity baseball team three years in a row and gave up my major league dreams after Junior year. On the other hand, I peaked at 6-0 tall, 150 lbs at age 17, never grew any further, and this morning, nearly 40 years later, I was just 155 lbs on the bathroom scale.

  32. The super player reverse effect does make some sense – if you were good enough to compete and make it with players almost a year older/more biologically developed as a youth player, then you must have had a significant amount of natural talent. Once the effect of the age gap diminishes, it would not be surprising that you would excel.

  33. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Cortes

    February is the month of most auspicious births, at least in America and for presidents. Think Washington, Lincoln, Reagan. There's also Harrison, but who was he?

    Anyway, we have Presidents Day as a holiday in February just because Washington and Lincoln were born in this month, and they are, after all, considered the most significant presidents.

    (I was born in February, and my mother told me I was conceived in the back yard on a beautiful spring day. She said she knew. The back yard. I think that's cool.)

    Replies: @SafeNow, @nebulafox

    As a tangential joke, the famous Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann always said his mood swings (he was bipolar, which I can vouch is very much a doubled edged sword for scientific creativity) were caused by him being born on the night between Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Said in moments of fun that it was right as the final dance of Carnival was dying down.

  34. I’ve always wondered why we don’t seem to see this sort of effect for cognitive accomplishments.

    You’d expect that, say, being almost 7 vs almost 6 would have a very big effect on performance in first grade, and that teachers would reward the better students with more praise, higher level instruction, segregation into more advanced reading groups, etc.. But these advantages don’t seem to propagate through the education of students, so far as I am aware.

    Why not?

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @candid_observer

    I'm sure there is a lot of research on this topic.

    After all there are millions of school teachers and a fair percentage have Ph.ds and Masters.

    You (and I) have not even tried to investigate what research there is on that.

    "Early childhood education" has long been a hot topic. Probably thousands of published papers.

    There may be an effect as to relative age, but your assumptions are also suspect. Brighter students don't necessarily get more praise or attention, or get segregated into advanced classes. That seems like a good idea but has been derided for decades as "unequal" etc.

    Slow learners get far more specialized attention.

    My very large HS had "advanced" classes more or less (groupings of the better students) but that was long ago in a 2,000 student school.

    There seems to be no institutional glory for graduating very smart students. Unlike the treatment of successful jocks who have special coaching and are carefully cosseted to keep playing.

    Since I was a nerd and not a jock, this always bugged me. Jockdom conveys very little lifetime advantage for most, and many negatives like injuries and inflated egos. Distraction from actual learning.

    Learning, on the other hand, has lifetime payoff.

    Of course without the military-patriotic symbolism of secondary school sports teams, many of these would look very different. European and other nations often segregate students into "tracks" with different schools and have only intramural sports competition in them. Universities there don't have sports teams.

    In my day anyway, coaches spent zero time or effort with regular students, other than to keep them busy during the assigned time period. Their contempt for non jocks was evident.

    , @Steve Sailer
    @candid_observer

    Some people "redshirt" their kids for academic reasons. I wrote an article about it 20 years ago. It probably helps your kid's chance of getting tracked into an honors program, or staying out of the low-end track.

  35. At every turn, school sports are effectively rigged for children born soon after the school start cutoff date — which varies by state in the U.S. but is most commonly around Sept. 1 — and against later-born children.

    I hadn’t realized how much this changed in the US (and became more uniform). This link looks at 1975-2010 and has a table of each state’s policy for 1975, 1990, 2005, and 2010.
    http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/73/67/7367.pdf

    In 1975, of 30 states that established a cutoff date, nine required students to have turned 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (30%).

    By 1990, 42 states established a cutoff date and of those, 28 required that students must turn 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (67%).

    By 2005, 45 states established a cutoff date, and 33 of those required that students must turn 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (77%).

    By 2010 45 states established a cutoff date, and 36 of those required that students must turn 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (80%).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @res

    One way to boost test scores is to make the students a little older.

    MBA schools don't let in many new college grads anymore, like I was. That boosts starting salaries.

    Replies: @res

  36. Malcolm Gladwell wrote an extensive piece on this years ago..But for those of us who have coached kids’ sports, it is very old news, and blatantly obvious in the younger age groups. Being 9 moths older is huge to an 8 yo…..In our upper middle class area, many boys born in the summer are held back so that they will be the oldest kids in their class, not the youngest…

  37. The career arc of midfielder Declan Rice is instructive — he plays for West Ham in the English Premier League.

    He started out in the Chelsea academy, but at 14 years he was “released” — basically told sayonara pal, you are not good enough to stay and we see no effective development for you. Rice is a January birthday, so no doubt among the youngest and least developed 14 year olds at the Chelsea academy at the time. He was devastated, but decided to keep going, shifting to the West Ham academy.

    Fast forward to today. He grew into his body, tall, lean. He is arguably one the best midfielders around, not just in the EPL, but globally, a dynamic athlete and a technical wizard, whose positive impact on every game is significant. At 23, he is the captain of West Ham. He will be fixture on the English national team for the next two World Cups.

    Today, he wears the number 41 –a number for scrubs way down in the pecking order – the number he was assigned when he joined the West Ham academy. He has not forgotten how he was treated at Chelsea.

    But in the world of professional soccer, ruthless culling of weaker players at young ages is the norm. These clubs are not in business of adjusting their plans based on birthdays, because, frankly, for every Declan Rise that gets evicted, there are many many more who will, by virtue of their more modest abilities, will never get a sniff of an EPL game. This is the way it has always been in professional soccer, and will likely always be.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    Agreed that ruthless culling is the norm. And very many good players never get over the shock. One who did and executed the old “Robert the Bruce” strategy for success via perseverance is current first-pick Liverpool left-back and Captain of the Scotland side Andy Roberston, jettisoned at 15 as too small for the professional game:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Robertson

  38. @candid_observer
    I've always wondered why we don't seem to see this sort of effect for cognitive accomplishments.

    You'd expect that, say, being almost 7 vs almost 6 would have a very big effect on performance in first grade, and that teachers would reward the better students with more praise, higher level instruction, segregation into more advanced reading groups, etc.. But these advantages don't seem to propagate through the education of students, so far as I am aware.

    Why not?

    Replies: @Muggles, @Steve Sailer

    I’m sure there is a lot of research on this topic.

    After all there are millions of school teachers and a fair percentage have Ph.ds and Masters.

    You (and I) have not even tried to investigate what research there is on that.

    “Early childhood education” has long been a hot topic. Probably thousands of published papers.

    There may be an effect as to relative age, but your assumptions are also suspect. Brighter students don’t necessarily get more praise or attention, or get segregated into advanced classes. That seems like a good idea but has been derided for decades as “unequal” etc.

    Slow learners get far more specialized attention.

    My very large HS had “advanced” classes more or less (groupings of the better students) but that was long ago in a 2,000 student school.

    There seems to be no institutional glory for graduating very smart students. Unlike the treatment of successful jocks who have special coaching and are carefully cosseted to keep playing.

    Since I was a nerd and not a jock, this always bugged me. Jockdom conveys very little lifetime advantage for most, and many negatives like injuries and inflated egos. Distraction from actual learning.

    Learning, on the other hand, has lifetime payoff.

    Of course without the military-patriotic symbolism of secondary school sports teams, many of these would look very different. European and other nations often segregate students into “tracks” with different schools and have only intramural sports competition in them. Universities there don’t have sports teams.

    In my day anyway, coaches spent zero time or effort with regular students, other than to keep them busy during the assigned time period. Their contempt for non jocks was evident.

  39. One downside to holding your kids back just to be more mature for their grade is that once a kid turns 18 and gets it into his head that he’s “an adult now” it can be hard to keep him in school long enough to graduate. This is mostly a problem with the lower orders, but it’s something to keep in mind.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Wilkey

    It was one of the reasons that the drinking age was raised. An 18 y/o in high school could purchase alcohol for all of their underage friends.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Brutusale

  40. @dearieme
    @Buzz Mohawk

    When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early

    I guess you must be referring to a feature of American schools that is unknown to me. Can you explain, please?

    Replies: @guest007, @Russ

    Alphabetical order. A student with a last name of Adams is at the front but the student with a last name of Zeigler will always be one of the last.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @guest007

    Alphabetical order. A student with a last name of Adams is at the front but the student with a last name of Zeigler will always be one of the last.

    When I was young my father had an acquaintance named Zyber Zyko. Albanian Muslim, I believe. Talk about being very low in the alphabet.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  41. @Wilkey
    One downside to holding your kids back just to be more mature for their grade is that once a kid turns 18 and gets it into his head that he’s “an adult now” it can be hard to keep him in school long enough to graduate. This is mostly a problem with the lower orders, but it’s something to keep in mind.

    Replies: @guest007

    It was one of the reasons that the drinking age was raised. An 18 y/o in high school could purchase alcohol for all of their underage friends.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @guest007

    Having been a dropout, I arrived at college at the ripe old age of 21, after the drinking age in our state had been raised to exactly that. This made me instantly popular, as my fellow freshmen enlisted me to go get kegs of beer in my beat up '67 Chevy Biscayne.

    Huge trunk. Perfect.


    https://ccmarketplace.azureedge.net/cc-temp/listing/104/2500/10246831-1967-chevrolet-biscayne-std.jpg


    I say there are advantages to starting late.

    , @Brutusale
    @guest007

    Being a rather large and hirsute 14-year old, I was able to purchase booze at Quincy Adams Liquors. I used to buy for my older (16 months) brother and his friends for my night's supply.

    I know it sounds strange to you youngsters, but nobody really cared about underaged drinking back then. It also helped to be living among the Irish and Italians.

    My friend Ralph and I had graduated to bourbon by junior year, and it gave us a certain mature cache with the girls.

  42. @dearieme
    @Buzz Mohawk

    When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early

    I guess you must be referring to a feature of American schools that is unknown to me. Can you explain, please?

    Replies: @guest007, @Russ

    When your name starts with an “A,” you get used to teachers and professors calling you early

    I guess you must be referring to a feature of American schools that is unknown to me. Can you explain, please?

    They work in alphabetical order by last name. So whether the task was to head to the chalkboard to work a problem in front of the whole class or run the 100-yard dash, Henry Aaron would always get called first, while Zachary Zygote — sorry — always last. Thus offering Zack learning opportunities which Henry never had.

  43. @guest007
    The idea that older is better affects many things. It is why parents "red-shirt" boys by having them repeat kindergarten or pre-school so that they will be the oldest students in first grade. It is why Texas has the strange rule that once a student is in 8th grade, they can only play five years of school sports. This causes parents to hold back students in 7th grade to improve their chances of being good in high school football. This is why Asian parents lie about their kids age so that they will be the oldest students in American high school classes.

    A good study would be looking at college students who started at 17 instead of 18.

    Replies: @E. Rekshun

    This causes parents to hold back students in 7th grade to improve their chances of being good in high school football.

    Dominican coaches and agents been lying about their baseball players ages for decades.

    Remember little leaguer Danny Almonte

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Almonte

    • Replies: @guest007
    @E. Rekshun

    Johnny Manziel is a good example of being older helping. He repeated 7th grade (the first year of school based football in Texas) so that he was 19 when he graduate college. He red-shirted his first year at Texas A&M. So even though he was a freshman when he won the Heisman Trophy, he was already 21 years old. Traditional high school football powers such as St Louis high school in Hawaii, Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Mater Die in Orange County, California are filled with 19 year olds with most of them recruited to play at those schools.

    If one wants to learn the horrors that can happen to someone desperate to play professional football, look up QB Tate Martell. He started in San Diego, transferred to Bishop Gorman, transfer to a public high school to be a fall graduate, and then signed with Ohio State. However, Ohio State signed better QB prospects so Martel transferred to Miami. The issue at Miami is that a better QB transfer to Miami through the transfer portal. So Martel ended up at UNLV. So Martel is 24 years old and still playing college football.

    Replies: @res

  44. @guest007
    @Wilkey

    It was one of the reasons that the drinking age was raised. An 18 y/o in high school could purchase alcohol for all of their underage friends.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Brutusale

    Having been a dropout, I arrived at college at the ripe old age of 21, after the drinking age in our state had been raised to exactly that. This made me instantly popular, as my fellow freshmen enlisted me to go get kegs of beer in my beat up ’67 Chevy Biscayne.

    Huge trunk. Perfect.

    I say there are advantages to starting late.

  45. Something to consider…being decent at sports i mostly played with guys a year or two older . As those guys became my pals i believe i was exposed to adult activities(mostly drinking) earlier than had i played with guys my age. The peer pressure to get laid was like in Last American Virgin lol. I started my kids late in school as much for hopefully a little extended innocence as well as athletic advantage,and they are not super smart anyway.

  46. @res

    At every turn, school sports are effectively rigged for children born soon after the school start cutoff date — which varies by state in the U.S. but is most commonly around Sept. 1 — and against later-born children.
     
    I hadn't realized how much this changed in the US (and became more uniform). This link looks at 1975-2010 and has a table of each state's policy for 1975, 1990, 2005, and 2010.
    http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/73/67/7367.pdf

    In 1975, of 30 states that established a cutoff date, nine required students to have turned 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (30%).

    By 1990, 42 states established a cutoff date and of those, 28 required that students must turn 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (67%).

    By 2005, 45 states established a cutoff date, and 33 of those required that students must turn 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (77%).

    By 2010 45 states established a cutoff date, and 36 of those required that students must turn 5 by a certain date in September or earlier (80%).
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    One way to boost test scores is to make the students a little older.

    MBA schools don’t let in many new college grads anymore, like I was. That boosts starting salaries.

    • Replies: @res
    @Steve Sailer

    Interesting take which had not occurred to me. Thanks.

  47. @candid_observer
    I've always wondered why we don't seem to see this sort of effect for cognitive accomplishments.

    You'd expect that, say, being almost 7 vs almost 6 would have a very big effect on performance in first grade, and that teachers would reward the better students with more praise, higher level instruction, segregation into more advanced reading groups, etc.. But these advantages don't seem to propagate through the education of students, so far as I am aware.

    Why not?

    Replies: @Muggles, @Steve Sailer

    Some people “redshirt” their kids for academic reasons. I wrote an article about it 20 years ago. It probably helps your kid’s chance of getting tracked into an honors program, or staying out of the low-end track.

  48. @E. Rekshun
    @Cortes

    the luckiest month to be born in

    Similarly, I think an interesting study would be to determine the luckiest year to be born (say, since 1900). Off the cuff, I would conclude sometime during the late '30s - missed the depression, too young to go to WWII and Korea, too old for Vietnam. Got all the advantages of a growing economy, much lower population density and immigration, and less competition for jobs. A college graduate in the late 50s - 1960 would almost automatically get a lifetime corporate job with phenomenal benefits.

    Replies: @Cortes

    I sometimes think that being born late 1930s/early 1940s would’ve been ideal for career opportunities. I’ve certainly met some real examples of people who magically rose through the ranks on the “HRC” principle of “it’s his/her turn” from that cohort.

    Having thought about it, I think the essay on lucky birth month might have been in a Richard Wiseman book.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Cortes

    We've had three presidents born in 1946 and one in 1942, but none born in the 1950s.

    Replies: @Cortes, @prosa123

    , @E. Rekshun
    @Cortes

    My father ( and all of his friends) is a perfect example of great birth timing. Born in 1939, graduated high school in 1957 and enlisted in the US Army. Honorably discharged in 1960 and did a couple of years of good-paying masonry work. Got married in 1963. Had four kids by 1968. Earned his AS Engineering degree on the GI bill in 1969. Had a 35-year career with two different large government defense contractors. Retired in '94 at age 55 with two (relatively small) pensions. And has since lived on the FL gulf coast a block from the beach, with a $2 million net worth and good health!

    He once showed me his W2 for the year, about 1973, totaled $35K. That was very good money in the northeast in 1973.

    He said he never worried about a job because he always knew he could go to the next company and get a good-paying job right away.

  49. @E. Rekshun
    @guest007

    This causes parents to hold back students in 7th grade to improve their chances of being good in high school football.

    Dominican coaches and agents been lying about their baseball players ages for decades.

    Remember little leaguer Danny Almonte

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Almonte

    Replies: @guest007

    Johnny Manziel is a good example of being older helping. He repeated 7th grade (the first year of school based football in Texas) so that he was 19 when he graduate college. He red-shirted his first year at Texas A&M. So even though he was a freshman when he won the Heisman Trophy, he was already 21 years old. Traditional high school football powers such as St Louis high school in Hawaii, Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Mater Die in Orange County, California are filled with 19 year olds with most of them recruited to play at those schools.

    If one wants to learn the horrors that can happen to someone desperate to play professional football, look up QB Tate Martell. He started in San Diego, transferred to Bishop Gorman, transfer to a public high school to be a fall graduate, and then signed with Ohio State. However, Ohio State signed better QB prospects so Martel transferred to Miami. The issue at Miami is that a better QB transfer to Miami through the transfer portal. So Martel ended up at UNLV. So Martel is 24 years old and still playing college football.

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @res
    @guest007

    With the injury risk of football it seems sensible to wait given the likelihood injuries end your career rather than simply age. Seems true both for pros and for college where you are eligibility limited. I think sports like baseball and basketball would be different for pros trying to maximize salary. Complete those rookie contracts early.

    Replies: @guest007

  50. @Cortes
    @E. Rekshun

    I sometimes think that being born late 1930s/early 1940s would’ve been ideal for career opportunities. I’ve certainly met some real examples of people who magically rose through the ranks on the “HRC” principle of “it’s his/her turn” from that cohort.

    Having thought about it, I think the essay on lucky birth month might have been in a Richard Wiseman book.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @E. Rekshun

    We’ve had three presidents born in 1946 and one in 1942, but none born in the 1950s.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Steve Sailer

    Thanks. The same cohort benefited extravagantly from the “dripping roasts” of

    1. Constantly rising house prices;
    2. Vast expansion of the endowment policy model of mortgage funding with eye-wateringly great terminal bonuses; and
    3. Availability of lavishly-funded private and public pension schemes enabling hordes of people to join the ranks of the leisured retiree community, enjoying life to a degree unimaginable to earlier and later generations.

    Some of the older guys in plants I worked during student vacations felt sorry for the younger permanent workers - they remembered not having to take crap from petty Adolfs: they could pack in a well-paying job and walk into another paying as much or more...the very same day.

    , @prosa123
    @Steve Sailer

    We’ve had three presidents born in 1946 and one in 1942, but none born in the 1950s.

    Nor did we have any born in the 1930's.
    There could still be one from the 1950's.

  51. @Steve Sailer
    @Cortes

    We've had three presidents born in 1946 and one in 1942, but none born in the 1950s.

    Replies: @Cortes, @prosa123

    Thanks. The same cohort benefited extravagantly from the “dripping roasts” of

    1. Constantly rising house prices;
    2. Vast expansion of the endowment policy model of mortgage funding with eye-wateringly great terminal bonuses; and
    3. Availability of lavishly-funded private and public pension schemes enabling hordes of people to join the ranks of the leisured retiree community, enjoying life to a degree unimaginable to earlier and later generations.

    Some of the older guys in plants I worked during student vacations felt sorry for the younger permanent workers – they remembered not having to take crap from petty Adolfs: they could pack in a well-paying job and walk into another paying as much or more…the very same day.

  52. @guest007
    @Wilkey

    It was one of the reasons that the drinking age was raised. An 18 y/o in high school could purchase alcohol for all of their underage friends.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Brutusale

    Being a rather large and hirsute 14-year old, I was able to purchase booze at Quincy Adams Liquors. I used to buy for my older (16 months) brother and his friends for my night’s supply.

    I know it sounds strange to you youngsters, but nobody really cared about underaged drinking back then. It also helped to be living among the Irish and Italians.

    My friend Ralph and I had graduated to bourbon by junior year, and it gave us a certain mature cache with the girls.

  53. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia
    The career arc of midfielder Declan Rice is instructive -- he plays for West Ham in the English Premier League.

    He started out in the Chelsea academy, but at 14 years he was "released" -- basically told sayonara pal, you are not good enough to stay and we see no effective development for you. Rice is a January birthday, so no doubt among the youngest and least developed 14 year olds at the Chelsea academy at the time. He was devastated, but decided to keep going, shifting to the West Ham academy.

    Fast forward to today. He grew into his body, tall, lean. He is arguably one the best midfielders around, not just in the EPL, but globally, a dynamic athlete and a technical wizard, whose positive impact on every game is significant. At 23, he is the captain of West Ham. He will be fixture on the English national team for the next two World Cups.

    Today, he wears the number 41 --a number for scrubs way down in the pecking order - the number he was assigned when he joined the West Ham academy. He has not forgotten how he was treated at Chelsea.

    But in the world of professional soccer, ruthless culling of weaker players at young ages is the norm. These clubs are not in business of adjusting their plans based on birthdays, because, frankly, for every Declan Rise that gets evicted, there are many many more who will, by virtue of their more modest abilities, will never get a sniff of an EPL game. This is the way it has always been in professional soccer, and will likely always be.

    Replies: @Cortes

    Agreed that ruthless culling is the norm. And very many good players never get over the shock. One who did and executed the old “Robert the Bruce” strategy for success via perseverance is current first-pick Liverpool left-back and Captain of the Scotland side Andy Roberston, jettisoned at 15 as too small for the professional game:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Robertson

  54. @Cortes
    @E. Rekshun

    I sometimes think that being born late 1930s/early 1940s would’ve been ideal for career opportunities. I’ve certainly met some real examples of people who magically rose through the ranks on the “HRC” principle of “it’s his/her turn” from that cohort.

    Having thought about it, I think the essay on lucky birth month might have been in a Richard Wiseman book.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @E. Rekshun

    My father ( and all of his friends) is a perfect example of great birth timing. Born in 1939, graduated high school in 1957 and enlisted in the US Army. Honorably discharged in 1960 and did a couple of years of good-paying masonry work. Got married in 1963. Had four kids by 1968. Earned his AS Engineering degree on the GI bill in 1969. Had a 35-year career with two different large government defense contractors. Retired in ’94 at age 55 with two (relatively small) pensions. And has since lived on the FL gulf coast a block from the beach, with a \$2 million net worth and good health!

    He once showed me his W2 for the year, about 1973, totaled \$35K. That was very good money in the northeast in 1973.

    He said he never worried about a job because he always knew he could go to the next company and get a good-paying job right away.

    • Thanks: Cortes
  55. @Steve Sailer
    @res

    One way to boost test scores is to make the students a little older.

    MBA schools don't let in many new college grads anymore, like I was. That boosts starting salaries.

    Replies: @res

    Interesting take which had not occurred to me. Thanks.

  56. @guest007
    @E. Rekshun

    Johnny Manziel is a good example of being older helping. He repeated 7th grade (the first year of school based football in Texas) so that he was 19 when he graduate college. He red-shirted his first year at Texas A&M. So even though he was a freshman when he won the Heisman Trophy, he was already 21 years old. Traditional high school football powers such as St Louis high school in Hawaii, Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Mater Die in Orange County, California are filled with 19 year olds with most of them recruited to play at those schools.

    If one wants to learn the horrors that can happen to someone desperate to play professional football, look up QB Tate Martell. He started in San Diego, transferred to Bishop Gorman, transfer to a public high school to be a fall graduate, and then signed with Ohio State. However, Ohio State signed better QB prospects so Martel transferred to Miami. The issue at Miami is that a better QB transfer to Miami through the transfer portal. So Martel ended up at UNLV. So Martel is 24 years old and still playing college football.

    Replies: @res

    With the injury risk of football it seems sensible to wait given the likelihood injuries end your career rather than simply age. Seems true both for pros and for college where you are eligibility limited. I think sports like baseball and basketball would be different for pros trying to maximize salary. Complete those rookie contracts early.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @res

    A new trend in college football is for the player to take enough classes to be able to be a fall graduate from high school and enroll in college in the Spring semester, sometimes before the scholarship offer has been officially signed. That allows kill players like quarterbacks, wide receivers, and middleline backers to go through spring training and get the coaching. It is referred to unofficially as green shirting.

    The flip side of green shirting is having a senior in high school who wants to go to a school that already had a great player in their position fail their senior year english class and be a few credits short of graduation. The player then enrolls at a prep academy, plays high school football another year, and then graduates in the fall and enrolls in college. It is referred to as gray shirting.

    Something that is not really discussed much in college football in players playing a different position in college than in high school. Many high schools have the best athlete playing quarterback but that player should probably switch positions and play running back or wide receiver in college. Or a high school linebacker will be moved to safety in college due to size. The transfer portal has made this harder because quarterbacks want to keep playing quarterback.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  57. @res
    @guest007

    With the injury risk of football it seems sensible to wait given the likelihood injuries end your career rather than simply age. Seems true both for pros and for college where you are eligibility limited. I think sports like baseball and basketball would be different for pros trying to maximize salary. Complete those rookie contracts early.

    Replies: @guest007

    A new trend in college football is for the player to take enough classes to be able to be a fall graduate from high school and enroll in college in the Spring semester, sometimes before the scholarship offer has been officially signed. That allows kill players like quarterbacks, wide receivers, and middleline backers to go through spring training and get the coaching. It is referred to unofficially as green shirting.

    The flip side of green shirting is having a senior in high school who wants to go to a school that already had a great player in their position fail their senior year english class and be a few credits short of graduation. The player then enrolls at a prep academy, plays high school football another year, and then graduates in the fall and enrolls in college. It is referred to as gray shirting.

    Something that is not really discussed much in college football in players playing a different position in college than in high school. Many high schools have the best athlete playing quarterback but that player should probably switch positions and play running back or wide receiver in college. Or a high school linebacker will be moved to safety in college due to size. The transfer portal has made this harder because quarterbacks want to keep playing quarterback.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @guest007

    What color do you call a position changer? For example, Julian Edelman played QB at one of those great Ohio football schools like Kent St. or Miami of Ohio, then, because he was too short to challenge Tom Brady for the quarterback job, played some cornerback for the Patriots before settling in at receiver and making the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.

    Replies: @guest007, @Brutusale

  58. @guest007
    @res

    A new trend in college football is for the player to take enough classes to be able to be a fall graduate from high school and enroll in college in the Spring semester, sometimes before the scholarship offer has been officially signed. That allows kill players like quarterbacks, wide receivers, and middleline backers to go through spring training and get the coaching. It is referred to unofficially as green shirting.

    The flip side of green shirting is having a senior in high school who wants to go to a school that already had a great player in their position fail their senior year english class and be a few credits short of graduation. The player then enrolls at a prep academy, plays high school football another year, and then graduates in the fall and enrolls in college. It is referred to as gray shirting.

    Something that is not really discussed much in college football in players playing a different position in college than in high school. Many high schools have the best athlete playing quarterback but that player should probably switch positions and play running back or wide receiver in college. Or a high school linebacker will be moved to safety in college due to size. The transfer portal has made this harder because quarterbacks want to keep playing quarterback.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    What color do you call a position changer? For example, Julian Edelman played QB at one of those great Ohio football schools like Kent St. or Miami of Ohio, then, because he was too short to challenge Tom Brady for the quarterback job, played some cornerback for the Patriots before settling in at receiver and making the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Steve Sailer

    Edelman is from California and played a year of junior college football before going to Kent State. Looking at his numbers in his school and college, he was a run around quarterback. His senior year at Kent State he rushed for almost as many yards as he threw. He obviously was not going to play quarterback in the pros. Once again, quarter backs are one of those positions where players played in high school and college but changed in the pros.

    I found that people have written about this before.

    https://www.the33rdteam.com/these-5-college-quarterbacks-found-nfl-success-at-other-positions/

    https://www.thesportster.com/football/8-current-nfl-players-who-switched-positions-in-college-and-7-who-should-have/

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @E. Rekshun

    , @Brutusale
    @Steve Sailer

    Dave Meggyesy, who wrote the NFL version of Ball Four, Out of Their League, was the leading fullback in the country as a high schooler in Ohio. When he arrived at his first football practice in college at Syracuse (the Ernie Davis era), a coach said to him "Meggyesy, you're on defense now. Linebackers are over there!"

  59. @Steve Sailer
    @guest007

    What color do you call a position changer? For example, Julian Edelman played QB at one of those great Ohio football schools like Kent St. or Miami of Ohio, then, because he was too short to challenge Tom Brady for the quarterback job, played some cornerback for the Patriots before settling in at receiver and making the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.

    Replies: @guest007, @Brutusale

    Edelman is from California and played a year of junior college football before going to Kent State. Looking at his numbers in his school and college, he was a run around quarterback. His senior year at Kent State he rushed for almost as many yards as he threw. He obviously was not going to play quarterback in the pros. Once again, quarter backs are one of those positions where players played in high school and college but changed in the pros.

    I found that people have written about this before.

    https://www.the33rdteam.com/these-5-college-quarterbacks-found-nfl-success-at-other-positions/

    https://www.thesportster.com/football/8-current-nfl-players-who-switched-positions-in-college-and-7-who-should-have/

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @guest007

    I would presume that Julian Edelman was the best athlete on his high school and college team. He was also a pretty good athlete on the greatest play in the greatest Super Bowl:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcr_6__wuoo

    , @E. Rekshun
    @guest007

    Terrell Pryor was the starting quarterback for the Ohio State from 2008 to 2010, winning the Big Ten championship twice. Pryor was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft. He then played quarterback for the Raiders from 2011 to 2013 and later spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals. He converted full-time to wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns in 2015 and played that position for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Tim Tebow won the Heisman as a sophomore and two National Championships playing quarterback for Florida, was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft, was inconsistent as an NFL quarterback, played some special teams, and was effectively out of the league after the 2012 season. Just prior to starting his brief NFL career many said that he should convert to Tight End (which he unsuccessfully attempted to do in 2021 w/ Jax).

  60. @Steve Sailer
    @guest007

    What color do you call a position changer? For example, Julian Edelman played QB at one of those great Ohio football schools like Kent St. or Miami of Ohio, then, because he was too short to challenge Tom Brady for the quarterback job, played some cornerback for the Patriots before settling in at receiver and making the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.

    Replies: @guest007, @Brutusale

    Dave Meggyesy, who wrote the NFL version of Ball Four, Out of Their League, was the leading fullback in the country as a high schooler in Ohio. When he arrived at his first football practice in college at Syracuse (the Ernie Davis era), a coach said to him “Meggyesy, you’re on defense now. Linebackers are over there!”

  61. @guest007
    @Steve Sailer

    Edelman is from California and played a year of junior college football before going to Kent State. Looking at his numbers in his school and college, he was a run around quarterback. His senior year at Kent State he rushed for almost as many yards as he threw. He obviously was not going to play quarterback in the pros. Once again, quarter backs are one of those positions where players played in high school and college but changed in the pros.

    I found that people have written about this before.

    https://www.the33rdteam.com/these-5-college-quarterbacks-found-nfl-success-at-other-positions/

    https://www.thesportster.com/football/8-current-nfl-players-who-switched-positions-in-college-and-7-who-should-have/

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @E. Rekshun

    I would presume that Julian Edelman was the best athlete on his high school and college team. He was also a pretty good athlete on the greatest play in the greatest Super Bowl:

  62. @guest007
    @Steve Sailer

    Edelman is from California and played a year of junior college football before going to Kent State. Looking at his numbers in his school and college, he was a run around quarterback. His senior year at Kent State he rushed for almost as many yards as he threw. He obviously was not going to play quarterback in the pros. Once again, quarter backs are one of those positions where players played in high school and college but changed in the pros.

    I found that people have written about this before.

    https://www.the33rdteam.com/these-5-college-quarterbacks-found-nfl-success-at-other-positions/

    https://www.thesportster.com/football/8-current-nfl-players-who-switched-positions-in-college-and-7-who-should-have/

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @E. Rekshun

    Terrell Pryor was the starting quarterback for the Ohio State from 2008 to 2010, winning the Big Ten championship twice. Pryor was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft. He then played quarterback for the Raiders from 2011 to 2013 and later spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals. He converted full-time to wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns in 2015 and played that position for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Tim Tebow won the Heisman as a sophomore and two National Championships playing quarterback for Florida, was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft, was inconsistent as an NFL quarterback, played some special teams, and was effectively out of the league after the 2012 season. Just prior to starting his brief NFL career many said that he should convert to Tight End (which he unsuccessfully attempted to do in 2021 w/ Jax).

  63. @Steve Sailer
    @Cortes

    We've had three presidents born in 1946 and one in 1942, but none born in the 1950s.

    Replies: @Cortes, @prosa123

    We’ve had three presidents born in 1946 and one in 1942, but none born in the 1950s.

    Nor did we have any born in the 1930’s.
    There could still be one from the 1950’s.

  64. @guest007
    @dearieme

    Alphabetical order. A student with a last name of Adams is at the front but the student with a last name of Zeigler will always be one of the last.

    Replies: @prosa123

    Alphabetical order. A student with a last name of Adams is at the front but the student with a last name of Zeigler will always be one of the last.

    When I was young my father had an acquaintance named Zyber Zyko. Albanian Muslim, I believe. Talk about being very low in the alphabet.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @prosa123

    In the 1970s, people used to compete to be last in the giant Houston phone book. When I was a freshman at Rice, the last name was Zukie Zzulch. But Zukie got relegated to next to last the next year by Choco Zzyzch. I was hoping there'd be a Zircon Zzzygurat, but then interest in this competition seemed to fade.

  65. The piece mentions new zealand junior sport being organised by weight. This has also become common in the rugby and rugby league playing states of Australia. It appears to be almost explicitly connected with an interest in keeping caucasian junior players in the sport once polynesian and maori players their own age hit puberty. There is also a concern with losing players with good ball skills once they hit the age where polynesian and maori behemoths take over.

    This is an article about ten years old by a well respected Australian rugby league coach about this problem.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/crunch-time-for-juniors-weighty-issue-20110319-1c1ba.html

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @Anon55uu

    Good luck to the rugby officials, but speaking as someone who could never play Pop Warner football because of the weight restrictions, I paid special attention to busting up the undersized Pop Warner heroes when I finally got a chance to actually play as a 225-lb. freshman.

    The "good ball skills" guys had better be ready to absorb some shots if they make it to the big time.

  66. @prosa123
    @guest007

    Alphabetical order. A student with a last name of Adams is at the front but the student with a last name of Zeigler will always be one of the last.

    When I was young my father had an acquaintance named Zyber Zyko. Albanian Muslim, I believe. Talk about being very low in the alphabet.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    In the 1970s, people used to compete to be last in the giant Houston phone book. When I was a freshman at Rice, the last name was Zukie Zzulch. But Zukie got relegated to next to last the next year by Choco Zzyzch. I was hoping there’d be a Zircon Zzzygurat, but then interest in this competition seemed to fade.

  67. @Anon55uu
    The piece mentions new zealand junior sport being organised by weight. This has also become common in the rugby and rugby league playing states of Australia. It appears to be almost explicitly connected with an interest in keeping caucasian junior players in the sport once polynesian and maori players their own age hit puberty. There is also a concern with losing players with good ball skills once they hit the age where polynesian and maori behemoths take over.

    This is an article about ten years old by a well respected Australian rugby league coach about this problem.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/crunch-time-for-juniors-weighty-issue-20110319-1c1ba.html

    Replies: @Brutusale

    Good luck to the rugby officials, but speaking as someone who could never play Pop Warner football because of the weight restrictions, I paid special attention to busting up the undersized Pop Warner heroes when I finally got a chance to actually play as a 225-lb. freshman.

    The “good ball skills” guys had better be ready to absorb some shots if they make it to the big time.

  68. Where does The Ryan Express fit in?

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