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Freakonomics and the NFL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patsfan13, Feb 17, 2012.

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  1. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So some of us get frustrated when BB trades down and gets an extra pick here and there instead of getting out binkey. Then we look at the roster and see that not all of those stockpiled picks make the team, and that makes us crazy and think perhaps BB is crazy.

    Caught this video on the NFL network on the value of draft picks is the 3rd DE statistically a lot better than the 4th or 5th... seems it may not matter. IOW there is a lot of luck involved.


    Food for thought as we approach another draft and see BB trade down:

    NFL Videos: Football Freakonomics: Draft Luck


    and the paper they refer to in this piece:

    The Loser's Curse: Overconfidence vs. Market Efficiency in the National Football League Draft | Berkeley.edu PDF


    Yale School of Management


    Call me crazy but I'm guessing BB and E Adams are sorta familiar with this stuff, maybe even talked to the authors... ;)
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  2. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr Rookie

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    Here let me sum up this study that probably six figures worth of salaries were wasted on: Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's a very interesting piece that unfortunately will be ignored by the masses due to its length and highly technical jargon. The loud volume of 'you have to use that pick', 'trading down is bad', 'you need playmakers', and the 20:20 cherry picking hindsight of 'look who they could have drafted, he's an idiot!' will drown out any statistical evidence that the draft is such a crapshoot that more picks is better than fewer picks.

    And yes, my guess is that Belichick and Adams are already familiar with it, just like when BB called a very surprised Cal-Berkeley professor named David Romer about an analysis he had done regarding the probabilities and expected outcome of going for it on 4th down back in 2005.
  4. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since the draft statistical best guess, the path to success lies in having more picks. This is exactly what we have seen in the Pats drafts. It is the anthesis of trading multiple picks to move up.


    I think this approach has kept the team consistently competitive and avoided the feast or famine results of many other franchises.
  5. robbomango

    robbomango Rookie

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    Great post,

    The losers curse seems like a great read for fans interested in the drafting process, looks worth getting threw the economic geek speak at 1st glance imo. Definitely won't have mass appeal, to jmt's point.

    Amusing video summarising the probability of an ugly truth:p
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  6. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Thanks for the articles PF13.

    Honestly, I don't understand why pats fans are annoyed or angry when we trade down. For example.

    This year's #1 = This year's #2 + next year's #1.

    We have a FREE #2 every year. This is partly how we're able to sustain this dominance for a long time. What BB is doing is not a secret. Also, it's not to our advantage to make this aware to other teams. Who cares? The less they know, the better for us. They'll be more willing to trade with us (because they have to) and they won't have their egos bruised.
  7. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Without any doubt BB and Ernie are familiar with this study.

    OT: I found this interesting...

    "their findings about the market for football players could extend to other labor markets where organizations select talent, such as CEOs and new graduates, whose future performance also can be difficult to predict. “In our judgment, there is little reason to think that the market for CEOs is more efficient than the market for football players. Perhaps innovative boards of directors should start looking for the next Tom Brady (pick number 199) as CEO rather than this year’s hot young prospect"

    As an investor, an MBA guy and former corporate exec, I could not agree more regarding the over value that Board's of Directors place in "name" CEOs and the inherent lack of "value" that their lavish compensation packages represent to the company and its stockholders
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  8. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have read that BB has roster values for each position roster spot, wonder how ROI analysis like this is incorporated into the cap/roster management equation.


    BTW for folks reading this you can get the jist of the argument just from the 3 min vid at nfl.com.
  9. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Any doubts that BB had read this paper are dispelled here...

    "While we do not elaborate this finding since it is not the focus the paper, it is clear that teams giving up a second-round pick next year for a third-round pick this year are displaying highly impatient behavior. Though it is not possible to say whether this behavior reflects the preferences of the owners or the employees (general manger and coach) who make the choices (or both), it is a significant arbitrage opportunity for teams with a longer-term perspective."

    Paper published in 2006. BB has been working this arbitrage strategy with "impatient" teams since.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  10. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan Rookie

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    Someone should send this to felger so he doesnt sound like such a moron come draft time, then again it might be too challenging a concept for felger to grasp.
  11. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    That's my point. Let him talk out of his ass. Let everyone think that they're taking advantage of the Patriots Organization.
  12. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    ;)

    Yup, one of the advantages conferred by the stability and continuity of the Patriots management team. The can cut deals with GM and coaches who have to win 'today' because their jobs are at risk......

    Of course B Kraft and now Jonathan buy in and makes this sort of style possible. When B Kraft is interviewed he frequently talks about the importance of stability.

    The way BB runs the football operation is reflective of this philosophy.
  13. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Too many big words for someone like Felger to ever process.
  14. robbomango

    robbomango Rookie

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    I can see BB grinning behind closed doors as teams froth at the mouth trading up. He probably wishes it was never written given his secretive nature. What study:confused2:
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  15. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Rookie

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    Yeah, Freakonomics has been pretty good debunking accepted myths through statistical research and their last SB podcast, though nothing new for seasoned and well-read football fans, took the "defense wins championships," "icing the kicker," and "home field advantage" to task or put it into better context while presenting them in such a manner that it's more palatable for the average Joe.

    On Massey and Thaler, there was a AP business article that addressed the issue and study.

    Massey and Thaler I suspect were even discussed here on Patsfans and received brief mentions:

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england...reiss-pats-sit-down-cromartie.html#post811108
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