WELCOME TO MY AUTHOR PORTFOLIO
In case you haven’t heard, June 1 is National Flip a Coin Day If you missed it, you’ll just have to wait till next year and plan better. According to one website, “the origins of the holiday are inconsistent” whatever that means.
Maybe you think a coin flip is entirely random and the odds are exactly fifty-fifty that the result will be heads or tails. After all, the coin flip is the poster child for teaching probability and the idea of randomness. Toss a coin a thousand times and you should get very nearly 500 heads and 500 tails. Or if not, keep tossing till you get to ten thousand. The number of heads and tails should trend closer and closer to even the higher the number of tosses.
A researcher at Harvard found, however, that if the coin you are about to toss begins its journey as a heads, it is ever so slightly more likely to be a heads when it is flipped. And same for tails. So, the odds are really more like fifty-one to forty-nine instead of fifty fifty. So there’s another thing you learned in school that isn’t totally true.
The play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead opens with a coin toss contest, Rosencrantz winning 92 times in a row betting on heads each time. Guildenstern suggests there may be un- sub- or super-natural forces at work. Or, perhaps, cheating?
Which brings us to American football, which begins each game with a coin toss, a tradition that dates back to 1892. If a team wins the coin toss, are they more likely to win the game? Or more likely to lose the game?
We’ll focus on the Super Bowl. In the 2023 contest (Super Bowl LVII) the two teams that made it to the championship game are also the teams that had the highest number of coin toss wins during the regular season—the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles (tied at 14 apiece). In the Super Bowl, Kansas City won the toss and the game. Sounds like we’re on to something, doesn’t it?
In the previous 56 contests, though, things weren’t so clear. In those games, teams that won the coin toss went on to win the title 24 times but lost in 32. Before this year, teams that won the coin toss were on a nine year losing streak. The last time a team won both the coin toss and the game was the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII (two years later, they won the toss but lost—to the Patriots).
OTHER PUBLISHED STORIES... AND ESSAYS
How To Eat Right
How To Manage Your Money
How To Stay Healthy
The Fall Of Squirrel
Do-gooders Gotta Eat Too
Of Peas and Queues
Three O'clock in the Garden of Good and Evil
Mr. Blinkie To The Rescue
The Point System
Elements Of Success
She Spits to Conquer
The Tree Remembers
Christmas Time Is Here
What MLK Day Means To Me
Tarzan In Decline
Greatest Of All Time
The Last Hundred Days
Plight Of the Humble Bee
AWARDS AND HONORS
2017 Pushcart Prize nomination from Hawaii Pacific Review for The Last Hundred Days
2018 First Honorable Mention Short Story Division AWC contest
2018 Second Place Chattahoochee Valley Contest Short Story category
2019 First Place Flash Fiction Division AWC contest
2020 First Place Essay Streetlight Magazine
2020 Top ten finalist for The Opossum Prize
2020 Honorable Mention Stories That Need To Be Told Anthology
2020 First place Flash Fiction category in Seven Hills contest
2021 Second place Streetlight Magazine's Flash fiction contest
2021 Second place Seven Hills contest for flash fiction
2021 Second place Seven Hills contest for essay/memoir
2021 Third place Seven Hills contest for non-fiction
2022 First Place Seven Hills contest for flash fiction
"Life is a moderately good play with a poorly written third act."
"Writers aren't people exactly. Or, if they're any good, they're a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
...or just finished
God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut