Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

by Tobias Moskowitz, L. Jon Wertheim
3.4 69

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Scorecasting 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
Rob_Ballister More than 1 year ago
As both an engineer geek and a football fanatic, this book immediately appealed to me. It aims to tackle several sports myths using statistical analysis pulled from years of professional sports data, and while that sounds boring, it is truly anything but. The authors do an excellent job of using statistics to break down all types of sports myths. "Defense wins championships?" Maybe, maybe not. Punt on fourth and a mile? Not always. The Chicago Cubs are cursed? Troubled maybe, but probably not cursed. Each myth is discussed in detail, and set up using anecdotal evidence from across the major sports world. Then the analysis is described in layman's terms, and the results range from entertaining (yes, there is a home field advantage, but not for the reasons you think) to almost shocking (what do you mean don't EVER punt?). As an engineer, I am a numbers guy, but the book is written in such a way that any sports enthusiast will appreciate it, even if he or she never got past algebra. It's easy to understand and easy to retain, and I have already used the book to spark debates at work, in my carpool, and with my father (a fellow sports guy) over the phone. You might not agree with all the conclusions, but this book will certainly make an impression. Great gift for sports nuts, especially from football, basketball, soccer, and hockey. I am already looking forward to the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If a fan of stats, you will love it... if not a number fan, then its not for you. Very interesting read
AbbyWebb More than 1 year ago
Moskowitz and Wertheim presented, “Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won,” in a way that was very intriguing and eye opening to the reader. Despite the non-sequential manner of chapters, the statistics given were not too overwhelming. It wasn’t necessary to try and remember all of the statistical numbers and/or percentages either. This is because they provided a deep analysis, along with multiple examples that explained each scenario or rebutted a “rule.” Perhaps another reason for this is due to the fact that this book was published within the last five years and the examples used were up-to-date and still relevant in the world of sports. For example, it was shown that home team advantage certainly does exist, as most sports fans would conclude as well. Different reasons as to why this was probable were analyzed. These included whether it was due to the home crowd, the rigor of travel for away teams, the gentler schedule for home teams, or the unique home characteristics (including referees). A copious amount of diverse percentages were given to prove which factor prevailed. Many psychological phenomena were also pin pointed, as they were present in a number of illustrations. One of the remarkable aspects of this book included the way the authors answered a collective amount of underlying sports questions or myths. Just some of the topics included loss aversion in coaches and players, the competitiveness of sports, the importance of rounding numbers, the statement of, “There’s no I in team,” or “Having a hot hand,” and the luckiness behind being unlucky. The authors did a fantastic job at providing multiple statistical analyses with each myth and often multiple sports. While some chapters did seem rather lengthy and the main points were constantly being drilled in, the next advanced to introduce a brand new topic to consider. The charts and tables also provided good breaking points to stop and look at the data in a simpler way. However, some of the graphical depictions could have been organized in a better or clearer way. It took some time to analyze what exactly the graph or table was trying to portray. In the end, I can certainly say this book changed the way I think about sports. Particularly, the way referees and industries are viewed. It doesn’t only pertain to the sports talked about such as football, basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, and soccer, but really any sport you can think of. I would recommend this book to any sports fan or athlete out there. It would be a tough read if you are not familiar with the rules of football, baseball, or basketball, but no statistical background is necessary. It would also be a good read for anyone interested in how to think critically and analyze deeper into statistical data. Overall, the authors provided a great and entertaining read for the way overarching sports illusions were unfolded!
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