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The Diff

I made fun of Cavs fans in this morning's paper. Parts of that item, though, were cut by my merciless editor. Including "The DIFF."

Are you all familiar with "The DIFF?" It's the super-special statistic that Cavs fans are treated to on the Quicken Loans Arenas scoreboard. There's a complicated formula to figure out The DIFF: you take one team's point total, and then subtract the other team's point total. Get it? The DIFF shows you the difference. So if the game is 2-0, The DIFF is 2, and you don't have to do the math yourself.

There's actually a Quicken Loans blog, called THE DIFF, so if the goal was to increase Quicken Loans name awareness, I guess they got me. The point is, this is relevant today, because The DIFF made the comics page yesterday, inside a "Crankshaft" strip.

"They give you the difference between the two scores so you don't have to subtract it yourself," husband character says.

"Wow!" wife character says. "The end of civilization is a little closer than we thought."

Kidding aside, I disagree. Sometimes, you look at a 72-63 score real quick and it takes a second to register whether it's a 9-point or 11-point margin. Why not ease the sports fan's troubled mind? As Ivan Carter put it, "Just one less thing you've got to worry about in a complicated world."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 23, 2007; 10:41 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Can't wait for Windhorst to talk smack about the Washington fans...Oh, wait. He won't. He'likely stick to the outcome of the game as well as what occurances decided said ending.

Posted by: Scott Sargent | April 23, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

This might have come in handy back when the Cavs were really bad. 105-63? I have no idea. Anyone got a calculator?

Posted by: voteprime | April 23, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Why not just teach math?

The Diff would be utilized much better in sports like Cricket or Rugby.

Posted by: Kim | April 23, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

this could be expanded further to let spectators know what combinations of free throws, two-point baskets and three point baskets are needed to make up the DIFF. Also, an indicator of the minimum number of possessions needed to make up the DIFF. Where would I be without the TV analysts letting me know it is now a "two-possession game."

Posted by: pete | April 23, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Or it could be supplemented with Sesame Street style video clips on "Subtraction; Addition's Tricky Pal"

Posted by: Kev | April 23, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

maybe the wizards should concentrate on attempting to make "the DIFF" negative at least once during game #2

Posted by: keepinitreal | April 23, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I was educated in the Ohio public schools and grew up surrounded by Buckstaches. Trust me when I say that "the DIFF" is a necessary innovation that was long overdue in my home state.

Posted by: DevilGrad | April 23, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The DIFF would have a purpose if they took the game's point spread and let you know who was COVERED the entire game. So if CLE was a 9-point favorite, and it was CLE 75 WAS 64, the DIFF would be CLE by two. Now THAT would be useful!

Posted by: Brett Edwards | April 23, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Can we call it what it is, the "DUMB" instead of "DIFF"

Posted by: Sway | April 23, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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