Weekend Bullets for February 2-3

Posted on February 3, 2008 by


Last week I provided a column that was so weak I thought it was a good idea to provide links to people who had better insights.  The list of links led a couple of people to ask if I could post links on a regular basis.  So this weekend I thought I would give it a try.  Turns out that what Henry Abbott at TrueHoop does every day is not so easy.  He comes up with numerous links to basketball related stuff every morning.   I had trouble coming up with a far shorter list, and I had an entire week to think about it.  Nevertheless, I did come up with a few links to items I found interesting.  So without further introduction, here is the first (and perhaps last) weekend bullets for the WoW Journal.

— Carl Bialik – the Numbers Guy at the Wall Street Journal – wrote The Giants Defy the Numbers.  In this column is an interesting observation by Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders.  There have been plenty of comments in our discussion threads, saying that the Giants’ postseason run shows a major flaw in our DVOA formula. None of these comments, as far as I can tell, give any suggestions that would improve things.”

This comment is interesting because it highlights something I have observed also.  It’s one thing to say a particular method is incorrect.  It’s quite another to suggest an improvement and demonstrate that what is suggested actually makes things better.

MKE Bucks Diary has offered a collection of interesting columns in the spirit of The Wages of Wins.  Although each is quite interesting, the column identifying the most reliable stars was quite enlightening.  I wonder how many WoW readers can guess Mr. Consistency.

Two “ferocious” Knickerbockers

No one likes the JJ choice

Miserable end to bad Bucks month

Identifying the NBA’s Reliable Scorers

Which NBA stars are most reliable?

— More WoW inspired work.  The blog In the Shadows of the San Gabriels has two columns on college basketball, as well as a description of Win Score.  As Erich Doerr noted as well, the evaluation of Love and Mayo may be the story of the 2008 draft.

Why UCLA is lucky to have Kevin Love

Why O.J. Mayo is overrated

A description of Win Score, valuable for future posts

—Ben Guest has often commented in this forum. Turns out he has a blog of his own (which I only recently noticed).  There is much to recommend at Ben Guest’s Blog (which covers more than sports), but a good place to start reading is the following column on Kendrick Perkins.

Perk is Not a Beast

—Jeffry Standen —  the Sports Law Professor – a professor at Willamette University, explains why Boston might field dominant teams for quite some time in the future.

In Boston Forever?, Standen uses economic  theory – specifically the Rottenberg theroem – to make his point that sports leagues do not want parity and competitive balance.  By the way, Standen also wrote: Why Study Sports Law? which is an excellent column for aspiring sports law professors to read.

—Finally, Justin Wolfers wrote A Super Bowl Preview from the Freako Family for the Freakonomics blog.  Wolfers asked each of the contributors at Freakonomics to note who they were supporting in the Super Bowl, how they would bet, and most importantly, what they would be eating.  In the spirit of the Wolfers column, here are my answers:

Cheering for: The New York Giants.  My daughters like Peyton Manning.  So they are rooting for his brother.  In the interest of family harmony, and also because my Lions are nowhere near the Super Bowl, I will also root for the Giants.

If it were legal to bet, my $100 goes:  First of all, clearly they are paying this collection of professors better than I am getting paid.  $100 on the Super Bowl?  If I were to bet (not $100), I would bet on the Patriots.  Although (as the Bialik column noted) football is hard to predict, the Patriots have to be the favorites in this game.

Super Bowl menu: We will either order pizza or Mexican food.  Not sure which one yet.   I will say that the food is probably going to be the best part of the game. 

Wolfers also asked people to make a prediction for the game.  At Freakonomics you get something for guessing right.  Here we will play it differently.  If you guess right, we will all be impressed.  And I will go first.  I guess… Patriots 38 Giants 14

I am hoping for a much better game than my guess.  But I have a feeling that the halftime show might be the highlight of the evening.

– DJ

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