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January 2013 Events Image

So between planning this post and actually writing it, up to 12" of snow descended upon Connecticut, so I guess a good New England winter is finally here. What won't be here much longer is the year. We bid goodbye to 2012 tonight and welcome 2013 with celebrations galore.

As the new year starts, much is going on. Here's just some of it:


Justin Bieber: Biebs continues his Believe Tour on January 5, with several dates throughout the month, before heading to Europe.

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George Strait & Martina McBride: George Strait begins his farewell Cowboy Rides Away Tour on January 18. The tour will span two years and the first leg will feature special guest Martina McBride.

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Soundgarden: Soundgarden also has a tour beginning on the 18th: it's Winter 2013 North American Tour. The grunge band will play through mid-February.

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Other Concerts in January:

  • Lady Gaga brings her Born This Way Ball Tour to North America beginning on January 11.
  • Luke Bryan begins a tour on January 17.
  • Muse begins a tour on January 21.

A football fan's guide to Thanksgiving

In just two days another Thanksgiving will be upon us. A day to enjoy family, an unreasonable amount of food and a full schedule of NFL football. While I would love to go on a 500 word rant about all my favorite foods from Thanksgiving (pumpkin pie, obviously), I figured I would instead create a perfect schedule to make sure you get the most out of your holiday.

Pre-12 p.m.

Assuming you are not the person preparing all the food, the morning of Thanksgiving is the time to sit back and rest up; you have a big day ahead of you. Eat something really light for breakfast—no heavy pancakes or waffles. The only exception is if you are offered a plate of bacon. Choose the bacon.

12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

With just 30 minutes until kick-off, assess the seating situation. If you are with a big group, seating can be at a premium, so be prepared to claim your spot. You don't want to be stuck standing.


Looking ahead to the second half of the 2012 NFL season

NFL 2012 Season

With nine weeks of the NFL season now officially in the books, teams have begun to distinguish themselves as contenders or pretenders. There have been some surprises and some disappointments, but it has all been entertaining. Now the NFL enters its unofficial second half of the season, and there is plenty of dramatic story-lines for fans to be excited about.

How good are the Atlanta Falcons?

The Falcons are the lone undefeated team in the NFL, but despite their perfect record many doubt that Atlanta is a true Super Bowl contender. They had to come from behind in the 4th quarter for three straight games against mediocre teams; those teams currently have a combined record of 8-17. The question is: can the Falcons step up when they face tougher competition?

Can Andrew Luck lead the Colts to the playoffs?

The Indianapolis Colts were the worst team in the league last year, winning only two games. The prize for all their losing? QB Andrew Luck, who they recruited with the first overall pick in the draft. Many predicted that he would be good, but few thought he would be this good. He has already led the Colts to five wins this season and a real shot at the postseason. This could be the start of a long and successful career for Luck, and it should be great to watch.


What people were talking about last week: Referees, Part 2

Last week I took a look at how the NFL® referee kerfuffle affected ticket sales at up to that point in the season. I found the data a little inconclusive, as the sales trend from this season closely matched that of last season up until last week, suggesting that the controversial call made the Monday before last affected sales in a negative way. However, I hypothesized that the trend might just be a season difference.

So what does the data tell us now that the real referees are back and previous disappointments have had a week to turn to delight? Well, as you can see below, there was a definite improvement for a while. The day after the refs returned, orders at spiked again, and generally did so for a few days afterward. So it can be argued that the return of the refs improved things a bit from last week. NFL sales for 11 days on and following the Monday Night Football controversy. Data is normalized.
NFL® tickets sold at for 11 days on and after the MNF controversy, and for a similar period in 2011. Data is normalized.

What people are talking about this week: Referees

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you know that the NFL® has been embroiled in criticism over its hiring of temporary referees to officiate at games, due to a lockout of the regular refs due to contract negotiations. The situation came to a tipping point on Monday night when a controversial call handed the Seahawks/Packers game to the Seahawks. Two days later, the regular refs were back, and so the controversy has ended. Of course, as some have noted, there will inevitably still be arguments over calls. That's just how things roll, I guess.

At, we have been wondering how this referee kerfuffle has affected ticket sales. Did the call make fans who otherwise would be clamoring for tickets leery of buying, lest they have their time at the stadium marred by bad calls? Or did it have no effect?

Sales for the first 23 days of the 2012 and 2011 NFL seasons. Normalized.
NFL® tickets sold at for the first 23 days of the season. Data is normalized.
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