Sticking to the schedule

One of my favorite SportsBiz columns for ColoradoBiz Magazine provides a behind-the-scenes look at how sports leagues figure out which teams will play when, and where. From June 2005, here’s a profile of a math genius and his work.

Puzzle Flickr Olga Berrios 4-16

The Nuggets couldn’t play at home during the last weekend in February because of back-to-back Freestyle Motocross events at Pepsi Center. Instead, the team was in Memphis on Friday and in New Orleans on Sunday night, the latter game dictating the Nuggets couldn’t play a day game Monday. Which was perfectly fine, because the players had to travel back to Denver anyway for a game Tuesday night. Which would have left Wednesday available for a home game, except that Pepsi Center was reserved for an Avalanche-Predators game that night.

A Rubik’s cube is child’s play compared to the computational puzzle that surrounds sports-league scheduling. Trying to squish thousands of games into the calendar while accounting for everything from Paul McCartney concerts to network TV demands is about as easy as nailing a three with Allen Iverson in your face. Scheduling means diving into a muddy brew of restrictions, parameters, rules, quirks, unanticipated changes, divisional conflicts, travel limitations and dozens of other ingredients that clamor for consideration. Continue reading Sticking to the schedule

An exercise in real ghost-writing

This magazine cover story reflects an unusual reporting challenge – to develop a comprehensive profile of an individual who refuses to be interviewed.

Too bad, because I think Denver sports magnate and real estate impresario Stan Kroenke is probably a pretty interesting individual, and someday I’d love to sit down with the guy over a glass of that expensive wine from a California vineyard he recently bought. Until then, this will have to do.  

(Published originally in ColoradoBiz and available here from the magazine’s archives.)