Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Question: Why the NFL rule that allows teams to BYOB?

May 13, 2015

Of course, in this case, BYOB means Bring Your Own Balls

Yesterday, I posed the question: Why didn’t the NFL take the deflategate opportunity to ditch its wacky rule that allows each team to bring & use it’s own balls.


My argument, simply stated: The rule is nuts.

MLB pitchers don’t bring their own balls.

NBA shooters don’t call for their favorite balls when they step to the line.

The NFL rule is what nuns call an occasion to sin.

Put mere mortals in those situations, and guess what they’re gonna do.

You got it: SIN.

So, eliminate the temptation, right?

I got curious and searched for some background on the BYOB rule …


Moving the goalposts … literally.

January 26, 2015

Did you watch the Pro Bowl yesterday?

Probably not … but if you did, you probably scratched your head and asked: “What’s up with the goalposts?”

Answer: The NFL is testing narrower goalposts (think, Arena football) and hilking extra points from the 15 yard line.


Why the change?

Bottom line : kickers have gotten too good and taken too much of the uncertainty out of field goals (and extra points).

Here are some interesting stats …


Vindication for the CFP selection committee (and Rev. Bayes)

January 13, 2015

Hooray.  Bucks 42, Ducks 20

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee took a lot of heat when they seeded OSU in the tourney.

Well, last nite’s game vindicated the committee.

Also vindicated was Rev. Thomas Bayes.

You know, the guy who developed Bayes’ Theorem.

Here’s what I mean …


In my Strategic Business Analytics course we cover Bayesian Inference … applications of Bayes’ Theorem … how to statistically adjust your so-called “prior beliefs” when you get new evidence.

Even I admit that sometimes the subject can get a bit dry …

So let’s bring it to life…


Controversy in the NFL play-offs … What would Zeus say?

January 6, 2015

No, we’re not talking about the defensive pass interference penalty flag that was picked up without explanation in the Cowboys-Lions game.

Everybody is all over that one.  So, we’ll pass.

What caught my eye was a piece in SBNation headlined: “Lions fans should be a bit mad at the referees for what happened as they tried to seal a win. They should be just as mad at their coach, though.”


The situation:

Late in the game, the Lions had a fourth-and-1 on the Dallas 46.

At first, they lined up to go for it. But they didn’t.

Instead, the Lion’s punter shanked a 10-yarder …

Retrospectively, a bad call, for sure.

But, coach Caldwell was just going with coaches’ conventional wisdom.

Leading to a broader question: how often is NFL coaches’ conventional wisdom right (or wrong)?

I’ve got something on that …


There’s already one big winner in the College Football Playoffs …

December 16, 2014

AdAge ran an article asking “Is the College Football Playoff the Next Super Bowl?”

Answer: Maybe … and maybe not.

The article had a couple of interesting tidbit’s about the CFP’s economics.

ESPN bought exclusive broadcast rights for 12 years of the semi-final games and national championship game as part of a 12-year media rights deal announced in 2012 that reportedly cost $7.3 billion.

Now, that’s big business!



Buried deep in the article was an incidental piece of info that caught my eye … a sure-fire winner.


Here’s a way to end the collegiate bowl controversies … really.

December 9, 2014

The obvious became apparent to me … really!

The answer: just go back to the future.

Stay with me on this one …




Let’s connect a couple of dots from the post-selection chit-chat and whining …


Sportswriter say: Advanced analytics can save the Redskins … oh, really

December 3, 2014

We’re working through predictive analytics in class these days.

So, my eyes are open for articles on the subject.

Predictive analytics.

You know, the stuff that Moneyball got rolling in baseball … and Target popularized by identifying pregnant women before the women knew they were expecting.

Let’s set the stage.

The Washington Redskins have been having (another) rough season.



Veteran sportswriter Tony Kornheiser says advanced analytics could save the Redskins…


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