Amongst fans, there seem to be two primary schools of thought regarding statistics and football with a third group emerging.
- The first group can cite the yards per carry of their favorite running back and the completion percentage of their teams starting quarterback. This group often presents these numbers when discussing the merits of their favorite team or player.
- The second group rejects statistics out of hand, saying things like “statistics are meaningless” while directly contradicting themselves by adding, “the only numbers that matter are wins and losses.”
- The third group is perhaps the most interesting. They are the devotees of sites like Football Outsiders and Advanced NFL Stats. This group can reference their favorite team's DVOA and can appreciate the value of an in game win probability.
I count myself among the followers of Football Outsiders and would like to recruit some new members into the fold. With that said however, I also feel like I belong in the second group too – if you don't know what you're talking about, statistics are meaningless. Citing numbers without true understanding amounts to sound and fury.
If I go ahead with this project, I will be basing much of what I write from an online publication, hyperstat online, and I will organize my entries much like the online text is presented there. My examples will come out of the Eagles PDF Gamebooks published by the NFL. I will start with the most basic and will build from there.
I haven't posted much in some time because I've had trouble finding something original to say and so many of the other “daily chores” of BGN are so aptly handled by members of the community. This is something I feel like I can contribute and is also a subject that I myself want to learn more about. So, if you guys feel like this is something worthwhile, I'll get started on “Chapter 1” this weekend.