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December 7, 2011

Sports Chart of the Day: When you want to emphasize rank, sort appropriately…please!


Dear Sports Chart of the Day,

I’ve been patient. I’ve added comments (which never seem to get posted/approved). And I’m frustrated. I love your blog, but you really need to make some simple changes to your charts.

You often post charts like the one below (from this blog post).  You often say things like you said in this post:

Here are the top 17 teams in the NFL based on points scored and points allowed and how many wins those teams would be expected to have based on those numbers (actual record in parentheses)

As a reader, it’s very clear that you are emphasizing top-to-bottom rank.  Those of us that live in the western part of the world have learned to read left to right.  You want us to look at the “top 17 teams”, yet the chart reads right to left.  Please, please start sorting your ranking charts in the appropriate order, descending in this case.  Trust me, this will improve your message.



  1. Good point Andy.

    Given that they're also responsible for this recent chart, I'm not sure how much I'd be holding my breath:

  2. Mark,

    I had the one you linked on my list of charts of their's to shred, but it's too easy of a target and lots of people have bashed it already.

    I wonder if they have ANYONE that reviews their charts. Well, I guess the answer is obvious.