Friday, February 04, 2005

Deconstructing those football stats

Carl Bialik, in his latest The Numbers Guy column at WSJ.com, provides a statistical peek inside the NFL at some of the measures teams use to evaluate players, but don't share with the public.

He also disassembles the silly stuff, like those studies that presume to measure how much lost productivity is the result of the game. Interesting note on that: John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which puts out such nonsense, "told me I was taking his study too seriously," Bialik reports.

Maybe. But here's the problem. Once a statistic gets in the paper, on the air or on a news Web site, it takes on a little bit of the credibility such sites try to project. I like fun like the next guy, but this kind of stuff really should be spiked.


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