Thursday, October 22, 2009

football analysis

This attempt at logic, from a blog that is too bad to bother linking, pains me on so many levels...:
If A equals B and B equals C, then A must be equal C. The Transitive Theory. We've all seen it. It makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, the sports world tends to abuse the general concept behind it.

Take the 2009 Denver Broncos. As we all know, during the off-season, the Broncos left everyone feeling that new coach Josh McDaniels was in over his head. The biggest factor leading to that common conclusion was the trade that sent Jay Cutler to Chicago.
So, using the transitive theory, you would conclude that the Cutler trade was a good idea. The Broncos traded Jay Cutler. The Broncos are better than anyone expected. Therefore, the Jay Cutler trade was a good idea.
However there are some other good statistical football sites I've discovered recently. AdvancedNFLStats in particular. In just the last week they've addressed onside kicks, resilience of particular statistics to QB changes, and irrational punt vs field goal play calling. Tons of good stuff.

Fifth Down, the NYTimes NFL blog, of course is good journalism and that is enough to make it worth reading (it's amazing how much reading amateur blogs and typical shouting-really-fast sports journalism makes you appreciate the writing from places like NYT.) Less nerdy though.

And Cold Hard Football Facts is entertaining. More on the list-lots-of-cherry-picked-numbers end of the spectrum than the insightful-big-picture-analysis end, but hey that's fun too.