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Hockey Invented In England ... Not Canada

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07-28-2014, 08:41 AM
  #326
Theokritos
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
I disagree - there's plenty of reason to doubt based on the available information, or rather the lack thereof.
I have to disagree with your disagreement. The available information includes details (participating countries; most of the German players were from Leipziger-HK; Sweden and Russia turned down the invitation because they were not d'accord with the proposed rules; the tournament was won by Great Britain/England) that are not inclined to arouse suspicion immediately and without checking papers from 1913.

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Here's an email response I received will some more detail about the claim:
Without being aware of the lack of evidence in 1913 papers you would have doubted the claim by a Swedish bandy historian in a 1975 publication by the Swedish Bandy Federation. But a claim by a Swedish hockey historian in 2014 is not something you doubt.

For the record: I don't doubt the claim by Gidén, but without looking into the sources I wouldn't have doubted the earlier claim by Dunér either without the recent counterclaim.

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07-28-2014, 09:12 AM
  #327
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I have to disagree with your disagreement. The available information includes details (participating countries; most of the German players were from Leipziger-HK; Sweden and Russia turned down the invitation because they were not d'accord with the proposed rules; the tournament was won by Great Britain/England) that are not inclined to arouse suspicion immediately and without checking papers from 1913.
The details provided are very superficial. On what dates was the tournament held? What were the scores in the games? Even just in the final game, if there was one? Who were the players, even just on the winning side?

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Without being aware of the lack of evidence in 1913 papers you would have doubted the claim by a Swedish bandy historian in a 1975 publication by the Swedish Bandy Federation. But a claim by a Swedish hockey historian in 2014 is not something you doubt.
This is a reversal of the onus of evidence. If you want to claim that something happened, you need to provide evidence that it did. None of the sources that claim the event happened provide any references. I doubt any positive claim until evidence is provided to support it. Since no evidence has ever been provided for the 1913 tournament, I strongly doubt it. Reading a 1975 book making a new claim about something that happened in 1913 without providing any references to support it? Darn right I'm going to doubt it.

I am aware that most people do not adopt such an explicitly skeptical approach, and this explains why this claim gets repeated despite there being no evidence for it.

(I also doubt Gidén's statement that it was a hoax. I don't think we can say that based on the evidence available. The writer could have misread or misinterpreted something to arrive at the conclusion, though that does seem unlikely.)

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07-28-2014, 09:41 AM
  #328
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This is a reversal of the onus of evidence.
No, it's simply pragmatism in light of the fact that the science of history of hockey is still in its infancy. Dunér's claim doesn't come with sufficient support judged by scientific standards, but as long as there are no internal or external reasons to doubt his account (obvious errors, contradictions, tendentious character of the claim etc) it is the best we have, at least until more profound researchers like Gidén etc al come along.

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I also doubt Gidén's statement that it was a hoax.
I wasn't referring to the claim it was a hoax but to the claim he looked through all the 1913 papers. I trust him as long as I don't have reason to doubt his claim.

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07-28-2014, 10:25 AM
  #329
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
No, it's simply pragmatism in light of the fact that the science of history of hockey is still in its infancy. Dunér's claim doesn't come with sufficient support judged by scientific standards, but as long as there are no internal or external reasons to doubt his account (obvious errors, contradictions, tendentious character of the claim etc) it is the best we have, at least until more profound researchers like Gidén etc al come along.
Doubt is the default skeptical position. We're not even talking science here, just the attitude one takes toward new claims. In this case, of course, there are specific reasons to doubt - the lack of pertinent details, the fact that no references were provided, the fact that it had never been mentioned between 1913 and 1975.

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I wasn't referring to the claim it was a hoax but to the claim he looked through all the 1913 papers. I trust him as long as I don't have reason to doubt his claim.
This is the reason the onus is on the party making the positive claim. All you would need to refute Gidén would be one piece of evidence that the 1913 tournament happened, and was reported in a newspaper. Ultimately it's not up to us to disprove the claim that the 1913 tournament happened, its proponents have to demonstrate that it did.

Currently I'm wondering if the bandy played at the 1913 Nordic Games might have led to Dunér's apparently erroneous conclusion. Seems unlikely, but possible. This page makes reference to the Nordic Games tournament, claiming that Leipziger HK was to have played in the Nordic Games, but it conflicted with the European championships so they did not go. So the Nordic Games may be part of the story.

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07-28-2014, 10:32 AM
  #330
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So did we Canadians invent it or not???
"Invented hockey" no, but what Canada did do was adopt it, make it its own, wrote the book on it ushering in the Modern Era of the game, re-designing & reconfiguring it, popularizing it & then re-exporting it to the US, the UK & northern Europe. Ergo "Montreal is the Birthplace of the Modern Game of Ice Hockey".

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I disagree - there's plenty of reason to doubt based on the available information, or rather the lack thereof. The lack of any dates or scores for the matches, for example... Here's an email response I received will some more detail about the claim:
We did discuss this some time ago though not to these lengths, and it certainly is a curious and interesting situation. Obviously pure fiction, not a shred of evidence to backup the claim by the Swedish Historian yet once in print & repeated fiction becoming fact. The question is why? Why would he have engaged in such, revisionism, ergodic literature essentially as per wikipedia whereby something is stated as fact, sometimes copious footnotes referencing non-existent people, events, films, books, speeches never given, music never written, links to nowhere or to beyond dubious sources and without scrutiny & peer review, you can get away with it but only for so long. So just why, what possible motivation I really havent got a clue.

Conspiracy theories are always highly entertaining, some, like Operation Paperclip and so forth with records sealed for decades if not centuries, generally very good reason for it. Not hard to understand why theyd be sealed (or destroyed altogether) and why governments would thereafter engage in full on denial when information surfaces contrary to their versions of history in order to perpetuate whatever carefully created myth. But this, this certainly isnt on the same magnitude of say the US Nuclear Program & the grabbing of Nazi technology & weaponry, faked suicides of high ranking German's Officers & Scientists, Engineers & Administrators with new identities, relocated to the US, kept them out of Soviet hands. Even some compelling evidence Hitler did not die in 1945 but fled to Argentina where he lived until the early 60's, and that the US was fully aware of it. Deal cut. So why this myth was created, and pure fiction it appears to be, just no idea. Who benefits?


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07-28-2014, 11:09 AM
  #331
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"Invented hockey" no, but what Canada did do was adopt it, make it its own
But adopt it from what? What was known at the time by James Creighton and his Montreal lacrosse enthusiast friends?

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07-28-2014, 11:09 AM
  #332
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
the lack of pertinent details
We disagree on the assessment here.

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the fact that it had never been mentioned between 1913 and 1975.
That is indeed a reason to doubt, but not one would be aware of without looking further into the matter.

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All you would need to refute Gidén would be one piece of evidence that the 1913 tournament happened, and was reported in a newspaper.
That's why it's not a case of "one claim this, others claim that" as in a 50:50 scenario, but a clear case of the newer claim topping the older since it provides revisable evidence.

That said, I'm pretty confident you haven't looked into 1913 Swiss newspapers yourself just like you haven't read the 1975 book yourself. Correct me if I'm wrong. The skeptical approach reaches its limit when you decide to trust someone's word without checking the references he gives. Not that this is unreasonable, of course a claim that comes with revisable reference is more trustworthy than a claim that comes without it. But you cannot do without a certain amount of trust, not even in science. That's where pragmatism comes into play.

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07-28-2014, 11:18 AM
  #333
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I have to disagree with your disagreement. The available information includes details (participating countries; most of the German players were from Leipziger-HK; Sweden and Russia turned down the invitation because they were not d'accord with the proposed rules; the tournament was won by Great Britain/England) that are not inclined to arouse suspicion immediately and without checking papers from 1913.

Without being aware of the lack of evidence in 1913 papers you would have doubted the claim by a Swedish bandy historian in a 1975 publication by the Swedish Bandy Federation. But a claim by a Swedish hockey historian in 2014 is not something you doubt.

For the record: I don't doubt the claim by Gidén, but without looking into the sources I wouldn't have doubted the earlier claim by Dunér either without the recent counterclaim.
I agree. I mean, it sure looks like a hoax based on what's been presented in this thread, but it's certainly more detailed than your average hoax.

And sure Iain, skepticism is the default in an academic setting, but most of us don't immediately adopt an academic outlook when presented with a (fake) bandy tournament from 1913.

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07-28-2014, 11:22 AM
  #334
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But adopt it from what? What was known at the time by James Creighton and his Montreal lacrosse enthusiast friends?
Ya, pretty much I think what went down Uncle. An amalgamation, sort of a Country Stew of this n' that. The games ancestry & its attributions developing organically for decades with a pinch of Lacrosse, Rugby Football; heaping helpings of Bandy & Field Hockey. A previously casual activity with made-up oral rules & regulations that varied greatly regionally then formalized, given shape, form & definition with the Montreal Rules uniquely Canadian, of the Canadian experience & perspective socially & climatically at that time.

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07-28-2014, 11:23 AM
  #335
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That said, I'm pretty confident you haven't looked into 1913 Swiss newspapers yourself just like you haven't read the 1975 book yourself. Correct me if I'm wrong. The skeptical approach reaches its limit when you decide to trust someone's word without checking the references he gives.
Gidén's statement is not a positive one. Even if he's lying to me, it would make no difference whatsoever to the claim about 1913, because that would remain without any supporting evidence. Which is to say, my doubt about the claim does not rely on Gidén, it relies on the lack of evidence.

To be pedantic, you could say he is making a positive claim that the tournament did not happen, but charitable reading of people's writings (especially those writing in a second language) allows you to add "based on the available evidence" before such a declaration.

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Not that this is unreasonable, of course a claim that comes with revisable reference is more trustworthy than a claim that comes without it. But you cannot do without a certain amount of trust, not even in science. That's where pragmatism comes into play.
Yes, I'm aware of this argument as it applies to science as well, but suggesting that there are equal levels of trust involved is fallacious. That's why we provide references, so that the work can be checked.

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07-28-2014, 11:48 AM
  #336
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^^^ ya, and in 1975 there was no internet, who knew that 20-30-40 years later, just about anyone with a computer equipped with sophisticated search engines could pretty much find out just about anything about anything? Verify, deconstruct, untangle whatever web was previously woven. Again though, I'd like to know why or how such an error couldve occurred. The only thing I can think of absent some reason to subvert the course of history & rewrite it might be that the author was fed this "story" by a purported eyewitness or maybe even someone claiming to have been a participant. A player.... perhaps a story relayed to the author over a bottle of Akavit washed down with jar upon jar of Omnipollo Agamemnon Imperial Stout & goodness knows what else. Was the 1970's Man. Some High Strangeness goin on. Sweden, the Swedes not immune. Heck, lead the Freak Parade at various times.

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07-28-2014, 11:50 AM
  #337
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^^^ ya, and in 1975 there was no internet, who knew that 20-30-40 years later, just about anyone with a computer equipped with sophisticated search engines could pretty much find out just about anything about anything? Verify, deconstruct, untangle whatever web was previously woven. Again though, I'd like to know why or how such an error couldve occurred. The only thing I can think of absent some reason to subvert the course of history & rewrite it might be that the author was fed this "story" by a purported eyewitness or maybe even someone claiming to have been a participant. A player.... perhaps a story relayed to the author over a bottle of Akavit washed down with jar upon jar of Omnipollo Agamemnon Imperial Stout & goodness knows what else. Was the 1970's Man. Some High Strangeness goin on.
Perhaps a combination of that and an author who really wanted to make a name for himself by publishing an interesting story. Frankly, I think the story of the hoax is pretty interesting.

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07-28-2014, 11:51 AM
  #338
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I agree. I mean, it sure looks like a hoax based on what's been presented in this thread, but it's certainly more detailed than your average hoax.
How so? It lists a location (as in a city), a year and seven teams, and a winner. The Doubleday myth states whose cow pasture it was that the first baseball game was played (Elihu Phinney), that's a very specific detail right there. If indeed the 1913 claim is a hoax, I'd say these are the absolute minimum facts you would have to include. I can't see how it's all that detailed.

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And sure Iain, skepticism is the default in an academic setting, but most of us don't immediately adopt an academic outlook when presented with a (fake) bandy tournament from 1913.
Understood, and this certainly answers your question about how the story became so popular, if it was a myth: people don't question what they read.

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07-28-2014, 11:53 AM
  #339
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A player.... perhaps a story relayed to the author over a bottle of Akavit washed down with jar upon jar of Omnipollo Agamemnon Imperial Stout & goodness knows what else.
Yes, it does seem more plausible that, rather than the author himself simply inventing the story, that he was told the story and did not confirm it. The person who told him might have heard it from a guy, who heard it from a guy...

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07-28-2014, 12:01 PM
  #340
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Gidén's statement is not a positive one.
What he states is: "I looked through all the 1913 newspapers and there's no evidence to be found of a European Bandy Championship in any of them". That's a positive statement you trust enough to not go through the newspapers yourself. To do the opposite every time a reference is given would be rather impractical.

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Even if he's lying to me it would make no difference whatsoever to the claim about 1913, because that would remain without any supporting evidence.
Well, since you haven't read the 1975 publication yourself and you've not read the "extensive Swedish bandy literature" you rely on Giden's word that there is no supporting evidence. If he was lying to you, that assumption of yours would break down like a house of cards.

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Which is to say, my doubt about the claim does not rely on Gidén, it relies on the lack of evidence.
Your knowledge of the lack of evidence does rely on Gidén though. Other than that, your point is valid of course.

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To be pedantic, you could say he is making a positive claim that the tournament did not happen, but charitable reading of people's writings (especially those writing in a second language) allows you to add "based on the available evidence" before such a declaration.
Gidén explicitly calling it a "myth" and "definitely a hoax" makes a charitable reading rather difficult in this case, don't you think?

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Yes, I'm aware of this argument as it applies to science as well, but suggesting that there are equal levels of trust involved is fallacious. That's why we provide references, so that the work can be checked.
I agree the levels of trust are not equal, that's in fact what I wrote: a claim that comes with revisable reference is more trustworthy. It's just my pragmatism goes a bit further than yours.

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07-28-2014, 12:08 PM
  #341
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...Frankly, I think the story of the hoax is pretty interesting.
Ya, thats for sure. I cant think of what good reason or motive for concocting such a story. Theres absolutely nothing to gain from it unless....

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...The person who told him might have heard it from a guy, who heard it from a guy...
... precisely. Or perhaps from some old-timer who for the purposes of ego & self aggrandizement may have made up this entire tale, guzzling Rocket Fuel or not. Though wicked & twisted to serve their own purposes in turning history on its head, some truth in the Stalinist era expression "all eyewitnesses are liars". Yet here absent any apparent motive it appears the author did take this perhaps by then oft-told-tale and presented it as fact. Guilty only of lazy journalism, naivety.

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07-28-2014, 12:11 PM
  #342
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Well, since you haven't read the 1975 publication yourself and you've not read the "extensive Swedish bandy literature" you rely on Giden's word that there is no supporting evidence. If he was lying to you, that assumption of yours would break down like a house of cards.
No, because I've looked for evidence myself and have found none. None of the sources I have found that put the claim forward provide any evidence or even references for it. I certainly haven't searched nearly as much as Gidén, but once again, it's not up to me to disprove a claim. The claimant is responsible for providing the evidence.

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Your knowledge of the lack of evidence does rely on Gidén though. Other than that, your point is valid of course.
As above, and again it is valid to assume that there is no evidence, until evidence is presented. I have never seen evidence that unicorns exist, and I am justified in assuming that there is no such evidence until it is presented. I am not justified in assuming that something exists just because I haven't spent a great deal of time looking for it without finding it.

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Gidén explicitly calling it a "myth" and "definitely a hoax" makes a charitable reading rather difficult in this case, don't you think?
Yes, I already addressed the hoax aspect, that there is not sufficient evidence to state that it is a hoax.

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I agree the levels of trust are not equal, that's in fact what I wrote: a claim that comes with revisable reference is more trustworthy. It's just my pragmatism goes a bit further than yours.
Or my skepticism goes a bit further than yours...

I don't think you can characterize a claim that comes without any references to be trustworthy at all, even if you say that it's trustworthiness is at a low level. You can assess its plausibility, based on what you already know, but I don't think trustworthy is the right word to be using.

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07-28-2014, 12:20 PM
  #343
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Or perhaps from some old-timer who for the purposes of ego & self aggrandizement may have made up this entire tale, guzzling Rocket Fuel or not.
Or perhaps even from some old timer who honestly remembered it happening that way. Human memory is a demonstrably fallible thing, and some things that we (think we) remember clearly from long ago did not actually happen the way we remember them. Indeed researchers in the field suggest that we don't really "remember" at all, that each time we recall something it's actually more like we're reconstructing the memory anew. So error creeps in.

This is why, for example, we can't take the claims of William Fleet Robertson, Chick Murray and Richard Smith about inventing the rules of hockey (based on rugby) at face value. They provide nothing but uncorroborated memories many years later. Now if these stories lined up with the facts we do have about that time period, they could be considered reliable. But in fact they do not, so we have to reject them.

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07-28-2014, 12:29 PM
  #344
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I've mentioned this a few times on here, but this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Rob-Neyers-Boo.../dp/B001O9CB7G

Is one of my all-time favorite baseball books, and I'd love to see a similar text for hockey (it might be in the wheelhouse for a few of our regulars).

The premise of the book is that Neyer takes baseball legends and looks to see the facts. For instance, if in a biography a pitcher says "we had a brawl that day, and he never got a hit off of me after that", Neyer would (1) look for evidence to pin down the date of the brawl, and (2) look at the batter vs. pitcher matchup for games after that date. He looked at the famous (Babe Ruth's "called shot") and the less famous (did Greg Maddux groove a pitch in a blowout game so that the batter would be fooled in the next crucial matchup with Maddux?).

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07-28-2014, 12:33 PM
  #345
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How so? It lists a location (as in a city), a year and seven teams, and a winner.
For the record, it also gives the month and on top of that another detail: Sweden and Russia were invited and wanted to participate, but the proposed rules (numbers of players per team) didn't suit them, so they turned the invitation down over this controversy. Not that this is a proof, but it's a really curious case.

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No, because I've looked for evidence myself and have found none. None of the sources I have found that put the claim forward provide any evidence or even references for it.
So you have read the 1975 publication or at least the part written by Dunér?

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I have never seen evidence that unicorns exist, and I am justified in assuming that there is no such evidence until it is presented.
Talking of unequal levels, I'm sure you agree the claim "there were flocks of unicorns sighted in Switzerland anno 1913" and "in February 1913 there was a European Bandy Championship at Davos" don't come with the same level of dubiousness, even if both are given without further reference.

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I don't think you can characterize a claim that comes without any references to be trustworthy at all, even if you say that it's trustworthiness is at a low level. You can assess its plausibility, based on what you already know, but I don't think trustworthy is the right word to be using.
Fair enough, but that's a question of words in my eyes.

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07-28-2014, 12:33 PM
  #346
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The premise of the book is that Neyer takes baseball legends and looks to see the facts. For instance, if in a biography a pitcher says "we had a brawl that day, and he never got a hit off of me after that", Neyer would (1) look for evidence to pin down the date of the brawl, and (2) look at the batter vs. pitcher matchup for games after that date. He looked at the famous (Babe Ruth's "called shot") and the less famous (did Greg Maddux groove a pitch in a blowout game so that the batter would be fooled in the next crucial matchup with Maddux?.
Eric Zweig is essentially hockey's mythbuster. He's looked at Cyclone Taylor's backwards goal, that sort of thing. You're right that it would be great to have an equivalent tome for hockey.

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07-28-2014, 12:37 PM
  #347
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Talking of unequal levels, I'm sure you agree the claim "there were flocks of unicorns sighted in Switzerland anno 1913" and "there was a European Bandy Championship in Davos in February 1913" don't come with the same level of dubiousness, even if both are given without further reference.
Sagan's statement about evidence is applicable. And this is what I mean by plausibility. The latter claim is much more plausible that the former. But both are still rejected until sufficient evidence is presented. It's just that the former claim will require a much higher standard of evidence in order to be believed, due to its implausibility. For the latter, newspaper reports would probably be sufficient. For the former, I would need something more than that.

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07-28-2014, 01:09 PM
  #348
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
The latter claim is much more plausible that the former. But both are still rejected until sufficient evidence is presented.
I'd argue that in a non-scientific context a degree of plausibility is usually enough. Of course, once you look deeper into a subject it's not sufficient anymore. For example the people who organized the 100 year anniversary match should have done that for sure.

More arguments & counter-arguments welcome. Just don't expect further replies from me today and tomorrow. Since Killion had to mention Imperial Stout I'm headed to the pub now. Hope I don't encounter Carl Sagan's unicorns when it gets late.

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07-28-2014, 01:33 PM
  #349
Iain Fyffe
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
I'd argue that in a non-scientific context a degree of plausibility is usually enough.
Do you mean enough to be accepted as probably true? I certainly don't agree if it's something you're going to pass off as true yourself, repeating the claim to others. People can believe whatever they like, but when it comes to perpetuating claims there has to be a standard. This is how ideas without any evidence (so far as we know) propagate and become popular, even if they're not true.

Now, you might say that we're just discussing hockey and bandy history, in the grand scheme of things they're unimportant, so does it really matter if we apply relatively rigorous skepticism to it? I think it does matter, we here obviously consider it an important subject and as such we should care whether the things we believe about it are true.

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07-28-2014, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
...Since Killion had to mention Imperial Stout I'm headed to the pub now. Hope I don't encounter Carl Sagan's unicorns when it gets late.
.... or Witches & Hobgoblins as you make way home past the Graveyard like Robbie Burns' Tam O'Shanter huh? Ya, good luck there Theo. Have one for me.

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