is clutch like an SUV is safe. (Helmet-knock: Sports Skeptic)
Locker-room "cancers" really are big problems.
This profile of 'Voros' McCracken, the brains behind the DIPS concept in baseball, is a great article, but somewhat depressing. (h/k - Tango)
Has human athletic performance peaked?
Evidenced Based Medicine (EBM) is the idea that for too long doctors have relied on their keen intuition and experience-informed judgment to diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments. In many ways, the medical professions see themselves as high priests of the art of medicine, a lot like how some football coaches see themselves as shamans of the mystical craft of football. It turns out that study after study finds that diagnoses are often more accurate when the doctors play the percentages, and not the percentages of conventional wisdom, but the real percentages dictated by statistics and probability. Here's a post by a doctor who sees the similarities between what we do here at Advanced NFL Stats and his profession. I could really re-title this site Evidenced Based Football. It's really the same idea. Of course, we're not saving lives around here. We're doing something far more important--analyzing grown men crashing into each other while wearing crash helmets and silly costumes.
Can a run defense be too good? Scaring your opponent into choosing a more optimal strategy mix is self-defeating.
This WSJ article lists which 2010 teams were 'most exciting.' It reminded me of a quick run-down that Peter Keating from ESPN asked me to do a couple months ago. Using the Excitement Index for each game's WP graphs, we can actually calculate which teams had the most exciting and least exciting seasons. The WSJ article isn't far off from the real answers. I'll do a full post on the topic soon.
Bill Polian thinks Ben Roethlisberger is up there with Manning and Brady. I'm not so sure. If Manning or Brady had the kind of defense BR has backing him up, they'd be nearly unbeatable.
Phil Birnbaum looks at the claim by the new book Sportscasting that the cause of home field advantage has to do with referee/official bias. I'm dubious. See my comments regarding the football claims in Phil's post. My own theory is that HFA is caused by the instinct to be less aggressive in unfamiliar environments.
How ridiculous is Aaron Rodgers' NFL passer rating? Ridiculously ridiculous.
The Packers might be the best 6-loss team ever. "No team in NFL history had ever before had a six-loss season with all six losses by four points or fewer." In fact, Green Bay has never trailed an opponent by more than 7 points all season, something done only three previous times in the past 70 years.
How unlikely is the Steelers' historical post-season success?
A comparison of college basketball's offensive and defensive success rates, similar to the same thing I did the other week. Boston College is all offense and no defense.
Sara Holladay's annual ranking of the accuracy of fantasy football projections. As you can tell, there is no one system/analyst that's any better than the others over multiple years or in multiple positions. This should tell you that it's overwhelmingly luck. Whatever you do, do not pay for fantasy football projections. You might as well visit a psychic. The free projections are just as good, and your own projections are probably not far off. We all have the same information available to us. Sara's annual rankings are indispensable.
Why should coaches be punished for challenging bad calls?