Raheem Finds Another Stats HaterApril 18th, 2011
One of the more entertaining off-field moments of the 2010 Bucs season was Raheem Morris telling St. Pete Times columnist Gary Shelton that “stats are for losers” and then immediately following up telling Shelton he can worry about stats while the head coach worried about winning.
It was a great slap back at Shelton and the other scribes in the press room. But then Raheem proceeded to overuse the “stats are for losers” line in a big way.
History shows other coaches have used the phrase “stats are for losers,” including Bill Belicheat, so Raheem’s hardly alone.
Simms was asked about a stat I had in this column recently, quoting Mel Kiper saying Blaine Gabbert had completed 44 percent of his throws on third down at Missouri last fall, while Andrew Luck was 71 percent on third down at Stanford. The inference being, of course, that not only was Luck a better prospect but also, seemingly, better on the most important down, which some might take to mean he’s a better clutch player. If you’re 27 percentage points better on third down, it’s a brick in the wall (to me, anyway) that you’re a better quarterback than the much-lesser guy on third down. A brick in the wall, I might add — not incontrovertible proof.
This, apparently, made Simms go volcanic for some reason. I’ll leave the emphasis the way The Big Lead wrote it for the rest of Simms’ quote about third-down efficiency for quarterbacks: “That means nothing. I could not care less. My face gets red thinking about that stat. WHO CARES! Well get him out of there on third down! Keep him in on first and second down! You’re not drafting his college coach or his college team. You’re drafting Blaine Gabbert. These numbers … why do I need numbers? … Believe what your eye tells you. I have never looked at one quarterback ever on tape through all the years and then when it’s done, I have never even thought, ‘What were his numbers?’ I never have. It has never even crossed my mind.”
Wow. The anger. What makes a man go off on statistics?
Joe applauds Simms, and him going off the deep end is well understood by Joe. Nice to a see a big shot fired at the stats crowd.
All the endless stats jammed down fans’ throats by TV executives, computer geeks and talking heads trying to fill time and impress people has gone off the deep end in professional baseball and in the NFL.
Enough already. Sure many stats are relevant and interesting. Yeah, Joe gets that lots of people love fantasy football and its interest has exploded league popularity, but the whole numbers jibberish has gotten out of hand.