Why are We Still Reading the Box Scores?

This after­noon I have been look­ing for non-business exam­ples of graph­i­cal pre­sen­ta­tion of data. Particularly I’ve been look­ing for good exam­ples of sports sta­tis­tics pre­sent­ed as sum­ma­ry graphs. The base­ball equiv­a­lent of a week­ly sales trend by region graph, if you will. 

I am under­whelmed. There are a cou­ple of sites out there doing his­tor­i­cal graph­ing. Including (not recent­ly updat­ed) Baseball Graphs. But the major sports sites (ESPN, and the league offi­cial sites.) Still rely on the tra­di­tion­al text and numer­i­cal “box score” that I first learned to read sit­ting with my dad at the break­fast table. There’s a nice exam­ple with expla­na­tion of a base­ball box score on wikipedia for those of you not lucky enough to have grown up with base­ball for breakfast.

Check out this ESPN report on theColorado/Boston game (21.oct.07) Other than the addi­tion the cute team logo icon next to the game high­lights, it looks pret­ty much the way it did in the morn­ing paper. Why?

My best guess… We learned to fol­low the game via text and num­bers pre­sent­ed in the box score for­mat. It serves it pur­pose well and we know how to read it. We don’t want to learn to read some oth­er (visu­al) language.