Friday, November 20, 2009

Bill Simmons is a Patriots Fan (sport, entertainment)

That's pretty much the kindest way to put it after reading his brutally bad article today about the Patriots and the 4th down decision. Bill Simmons writes from the point of view of a sports fan. However, people tend to forget that fan is short for fanatic. A fanatic, defined in the dictionary, is "a person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause." That's just it. Fans are by definition unable to distance themselves from the game and look at the numbers objectively. Reading through his "breakdown" of the decision was unbearable. Many of his points and rationale were just off.

I get what Simmons is actually writing about in his article. The downfall of the Patriots' supposed dynasty. The coach is older. The defense can't grind out wins. The running game can't grind out wins. I don't have an opinion on whether the Pats are indeed "done", but to use the 4th down decision as the main example showing the Patriots' decline is just plain wrong.

In passing, he mentioned Mariano Rivera and how the Yankees felt about having him out there at the end. Well, it's great and all, because they won. Had the Yankees lost, we would have been hearing for quite a while in the sports media about Girardi overmanaging, and pitching CC on too little rest, and making Rivera get 2 inning saves too often. In the end, the public sees only results. The sausage and the hamburger, not the factory or the farm.

When one of my friends mentioned his frustration over trying to convince people of the numbers behind the call, he said, "I can't even convince Patriots fans. How in God's name can America not understand expected value is beyond me." My reply was along the lines of, "if America could understand expected value, you wouldn't have been making money playing online poker."

1 comment :

MakeItYellow said...

I would have to disagree with the article myself. An NFL 'dynasty' (for lack of a more descriptive term) is only done once the front office people and the coach are no longer in synergy with each other. Some franchises see cycles, some never have it, some are consistent for the life of their head coach.