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This poll vote open to debate

By Mike DiMauro

Publication: The Day

Published September 27. 2013 4:00AM

This just in: There is no such thing as a scientific poll in sports. Think of all your top 10s, top 15s and top 25s. They do not pass the straight face test for objectivity because voters bring conflicting opinions. That's a good thing.

Everyone's personal experience is different. Where we live, what we've seen. That's called being human. And so all those experiences become part of the stew. Poll results create some banter. Better than arguing politics.

Still, though, voters need to exercise some degree of responsibility, lest they make the rest of us look like we're dumber than the one-out bunt.

Take, for example, this week's New Haven Register state high school football media poll. Let's leave it here: It doesn't appear some of my colleagues will be tackling the Times Sunday Crossword anytime soon.

Last Friday night, North Haven took down top-ranked Xavier, 42-28. That's, like, monolithic, 22-time defending state champion, big, bad Xavier. Pretty impressive. I didn't have North Haven in my previous Top 15 poll. But then, a two-touchdown victory is rather declarative. And so I did what common sense suggests: I voted North Haven ahead of Xavier.

The poll, however, shows Xavier still ahead of North Haven.

Hence, I ask: What is it about 42-28 some people didn't understand?

And we wonder why the rest of humanity thinks people in the media are dopes. There are times they're not wrong.

How can we possibly justify voting a team that lost by two touchdowns in front of the team that just beat them by two touchdowns?

Once again: I understand our personal experiences and opinions will shape how we vote. But this is idiotic. This suggests that a few people believe their own theories bear more relevance than what just happened on the field.

I don't care what would happen if they played 10 times.

They played the other night. North Haven won.

I don't care if North Haven wasn't in your previous top 15.

North Haven deserves to be there now.

Ahead of Xavier.

"Using the pretzel logic of some voters, they would discredit Truman winning the 1948 election because Dewey was leading in their exit polls," The Day's Ned Griffen said the other day. Ned is the Dalai Lama of state high school football. He conducts the state coaches' poll, which we run in The Day and on theday.com.

"Or they wouldn't vote N.C. State over Houston in the final '83 college basketball poll because the former was ranked 16th prior to the tourney and the latter was No. 1," Ned said.

He's right.

And frankly, it's hard enough to vote in this poll without showing how much you don't know. I watch the Eastern Connecticut Conference. I don't see other teams across Connecticut much. I vote in the media poll to give the teams at this end of the state some representation. They need it.

But do I know that Ansonia is better than New Canaan?

How would I possibly know that?

Fortunately, we have Ned on staff here. He sees everyone. So I ask him. And then at the end of the season after watching the state playoffs, I have a better idea.

I hope everyone who votes is talking to other people from around the state to be as educated as possible. My guess is that voters are too parochial and protective of their little fiefdoms. Doesn't really make the rest of us look terribly competent.

Bottom line here: We need to try harder. I understand there are only a zillion more pressing matters in the world. But if we're going to participate in something, we do it right or don't do it at all. Our opinions are based on our personal experiences. But there's a whole other world out there beyond our personal experiences. And when our opinions get in the way to comprehending a two-touchdown victory, we have a problem.

Let's not screw it up this week.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.

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