Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Blizzard

Clutch and Defense
The Daily Norseman writes on "The Myth of Jared Allen's Fourth Quarter Sack Production." I'll go even further and suggest that to a certain degree, when a defensive player gets certain stats is meaningless. I'm one of those philistines that hasn't entirely given up the concept of "clutch." But for defensive players, most statistics are based on reaction. They can't entirely control whether they make a play at a given moment or not; they react to what the offense is doing. If the offense runs the ball and you're a defensive end, you can't get a sack on that play. If you're a cornerback, you can't get an interception if the team throws the ball to the opposite side of the field. Defensive players can still play "clutch" in the fourth quarter, just as they can "choke" in the fourth quarter. However, that can't be determined by compilation numbers, which are dictated in large part by what the offense does.

The NBA season really, really matters
As the NBA season was winding down, I was following the battle for seeding in the Western Conference daily. At the time, I didn't even know how big a deal it actually was. Home teams are dominating the NBA playoffs. In three of the four second-round series, the top seed won the first two games at home (often convincingly), only to go lose the next two games on the road (often convincingly). Let us never again put for the pseudo-myth that the NBA doesn't matter until the playoffs. The NBA season determines playoff seeds, which determines home court advantage, which as a major impact on how playoff series play out.

Get arbitrarily offended at restaurants, get cheap food
Folks in Ohio are getting cheap pizza from Papa John's (Sports Illustrated). Could Subway make fun of Justin Morneau or something, then give us 33 cent footlong subs? Could Subway at least give me 33 cent subs to make up for my petty, insignificant grudge (a grudge that doesn't stop me from getting a couple of veggie subs each week, by the way)?

You all know this already, I'm sure...
But Fire Joe Morgan is a really fine site. I knew for a while they've been skewering bad sportswriting in just the fashion I like, but now that I follow baseball I'm really enjoying it.

I'll try do better next time.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:12 PM

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    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:56 AM

    stats are pretty unimportant. your own darren sharper with tremendous career stats is a fine illustration. yes, he makes a lot of money and has played in his fair share of pro bowls. but i don't remember him ever making a truly clutch play... though as a packer he shows up as the late safety on the 4th and 26 play and the TO miracle td in the 1999 playoffs--so he won a couple for the otherside. i know this has nothing to do with jared allen and his production.

    rk

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  3. "stats are pretty unimportant."

    I'll just stop at "I disagree 100%."

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with your point about stats in theory, but read the comments on that Daily Norsemen article. A reader points out that it's not a 4th quarter issue with Allen, it's the entire second half.

    Like the Norsemen article tried, you can dismiss one quarter if that's all it is. But a whole half, that's a little concerning.

    ReplyDelete