Roundup 11/16/2013

People will overpay to control their own payoffs. "The average participant is willing to sacrifice 8% to 15% of expected asset-earnings to retain control." This is consistent with the notion that teams that trade away too much to move up in the draft.

Using tracking cameras to analyze drives to the hoop in the NBA.

Keith takes Nantz and Simms to task for their misunderstanding of when to go for 2. This situation is not uncommon--I mean that teams should go for 2 earlier rather than later because of the value of information, not that announcers don't understand what they're talking about. (Although that happens plenty.) Here's an example from just a couple weeks ago:

Keith is also right to catch Simms and Nantz recommending for the trailing team to do the conservative thing to 'keep it a game'. Sure, the networks prefer this because people stay tuned in, but that doesn't make it the right strategy. I've said for years that modern coaching strategy when behind is largely about delaying elimination until the latest possible point in the game, hoping for a miracle along the way, and not about maximizing their chance of winning.

NFL player quits football because of his changing 'worldview'. I applaud people for pursuing their own dreams and convictions, but if Noam Chomsky and the Dalai Lama are your inspirations--well, good luck with that. Helmet-knock: MR.

"Unless you’re trying to dismiss something that you don’t really understand." On resistance to analytics in the NHL. H/k-Tango.

I'm sorry, but I'm entirely unconvinced by this post claiming that we're overselling the ability of analytics to guide on-field decisions. I've never read or heard anyone claim (except maybe myself years ago, who I disown) that because the league-average WP model says one option has a higher value than other then the conversation is over. Local factors matter, but they're often used as an excuse for some to dismiss something they don't really understand (see above). If local factors are so important and coaches are good at considering them, then why do they always happen to point in the direction of 1920s-era convention? If we're incorporating local considerations honestly, shouldn't they point in the unconventional direction at least half the time?

One of the few ways football is simpler than baseball is that football teams do not have to pay for the development of rookie non-free agents.

Benford's Law in the NFL.

The least important aspect of data science might surprise you.

ESPN is launching a new show and is looking for new hosts. Also, Pittsburgh's feelings toward their starting QB isn't aren't what you think.

I think Ed's onto something here. Welcome to the party.

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9 Responses to “Roundup 11/16/2013”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, in defense of Deadspin, they are not very handy with numbers or math. Their editorial line seems strongly to favour paying college athletes. A simple exercise in multiplication shows that paying even a meagre stipend to JUST the football team players would financially cripple every single school in Div I.
    The M.O. of Deadspin seems to be forcing liberal ideology into sports no matter what the cost. They'd much rather tell you how the world (of sports) ought to be rather than look at and measure how the world (of sports) is. That, and the stupid GIFs constantly flashing everywhere makes the site nearly unreadable.


  2. Bones says:

    Bummed you took a shot at Chomsky.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Haha, I'd say as far as 'anarchist' political philosophy, Paul Feyerabend is probably a better choice to re-model you life after...


  4. Anonymous says:

    I think that article makes a few excellent points. One should not apply league wide results from past situations to individual teams. Analytics conclude that the jaguars will have 40% chance to get the first down, and the denver broncos will also have a 40% chance to get the first down.

    but they left out the most egregious omission of the analytics crowd, the lack of confidence intervals on GWP.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with bones, the bizarre dig at Chomsky seems like you probably don't know a sizeable chunk of your audience too well

  6. SportsGuy says:

    I'd be bummed if Brian *didn't* take a shot at Chomsky. Few public "intellectuals" deserve it more.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It would certainly seem that most of the 'audience' will either not care or enjoy the deserved dig at Chomsky. It only takes a small exposure to his 'work' to have a manufactured dislike for it (and him).


  8. Brian Burke says:

    Chomsky hates sports leagues. Says they're just training grounds for tribalism and jingoism. If you take Chomsky seriously, why are you watching the NFL?

    J-It worked. You made me look up your wacky Feyerberg...whatever...something guy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Chomsky is still pissed that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton... It could not possibly be that organized sports are safe outlets for tribalism and jingoism? Hell, the only time the Greeks stopped making war on one another was to play sports.

    Feyerabend is pretty interesting - was an officer in the army for National Socialist Germany and fought on the Ostfront against the Communist Soviets. He certainly earned the right to be an anarchist. Although he did diverge sharply from his mentor Popper, he still maintained his philosophy as Positivist. His book, "Farewell to Reason" is a big-ass logical proof with various evidence posited along the way. He did seem to consider himself a 'scientific philosopher' in that sense - he wanted to present testable hyphotheses and evidence. So, while he is some sort of anarchist, his work is largely devoid of the nausiating 'down with Amerikkka' and 'anti-(everything you could possibly enjoy)' PC bullshit that most tend to associate with the word. And again, he fought for the Dark Side against the Dark Side (and was permanently crippled by wounds recieved fighting the Bolsheviks) so he has more than earned the right to hate all authority all the time.


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