Real Football Versus Numbers

April 13th, 2021

New level of idiocy.

Joe really does try to keep an open mind about the stats crowd. But just when Joe is developing a modicum of trust in their sorcery, reality hits Joe in the face like a boat oar.

For those who don’t follow the numbers crowd, there is something called a “Sloan Conference” where the calculator crowd gathers annually to pat each other on the back about how smart they are and how they are making sports smarter ruining sports.

The geeks have absolutely destroyed baseball beyond recognition. The Joe typing here finally threw in the towel on the sport last year, which crushes Joe’s very soul. The aggravation watching the game and the assault on the senses was just too much. We all have a breaking point.

Joe does not follow the non-basketball association but from what Joe reads and hears, the nerds have done a helluva number on that outfit, too. But for Joe, that’s sort of out of sight, out of mind.

In some ways, the attempted hijacking of football by the numbers crowd has actually seemed to help the game a little. Fewer and fewer coaches punt. More go for it on third- or fourth-and-short. That makes for a more entertaining game.

Unlike baseball and basketball, the spreadsheeters have not (yet) wholesale changed/ruined football, though they continue to try.

So what is Joe getting at? Well, this is so embarrassing for a thinking fan. For the spreadsheeters’ sake, Joe hopes this conference was run by Norm Sloan coming back from the dead to hand out this shameful Alpha Award.

So let Joe get this straight: The geeks believe trading for a wide receiver that lifted the Cardinals from last place to third place in the NFC West, and raised their record by three games (but no playoff appearance), was much bigger/important/impactful/significant than the Bucs signing a quarterback who single-handedly turned around a moribund franchise and won a Super Bowl in his first season, with practice time nearly eliminated by The Sickness?

Joe is confident the geeks will have a twisted, made-up number to prove Hopkins had a bigger impact than Brady. But Joe has something much more tangible: It’s called a Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Carry on, nerds.

22 Responses to “Real Football Versus Numbers”

  1. SufferingSince76 Says:

    I care not about what the eggheads say. They are out of their league.

  2. Cobraboy Says:

    Hear, hear…

    Is there a stat for getting punched in the mouth and driven into the ground by an opponent?

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    No stats can really measure Brady’s effect on our team.
    He has completely changed the culture here in Tampa.

  4. SteveK Says:

    Great piece, Joe!

    I envision you hollering “Nerds!”, just like “Ogre” of RoN, followed up with “get off my lawn!, I drive a dodge stratus!”

  5. SteveK Says:

    The Chris Archer trade should’ve won in 2019 and the Tom Brady signing should’ve won in 2020.

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    yeah thats BS….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  7. DoooshLaRue Says:


    I’ll take Booger for the win in the belching contest.

  8. Gofortheface30 Says:

    I don’t think the nerds changed basketball as much as Steph Curry has. I love Steph curry and while I’ll always be a 90s guy when it comes to basketball – Steph really is mesmerizing to watch when he’s on. Only one problem – go to any LA fitness, any outdoor court. You have A-Holes shooting from 35ft now. Everyone wants to be Steph curry, and I mean EVERYBODY. You see it in the NBA, nothing but 3s and it’s ruined the game. Only one person should be allowed to play like Steph curry and that’s Steph curry

  9. Buc50 Says:

    I agree on the Steph Curry effect but even more damaging is allowing zone defenses. It killed low post play so all you have are jump shooters.

  10. Says:

    Cynthia Freelund was probably their special guest analyst…

  11. Joe Says:

    Cynthia Freelund was probably their special guest analyst…

    Bucs have the No. 32 secondary. LOL Those guys are still p!ssed about that. 🙂

    “What’s up Cheetah?”

  12. Old Patriots fan, new Bucs fan Says:

    My guess is that there is an analysis that says because the Bucs were a darn good team before Brady (which they were) the needle did not move that much when he was added. I suspect the true reason for this snub to the Bucs is that the MIT crew has not gotten over Brady leaving New England.

  13. Swampbuc Says:

    It’s pretty simple – Bucs dodged a bullet by having the geeks anoint Newk and the Cardinals. Who wants their moronic endorsement?

    How hilarious to be a fly on the wall at that conference, though. Joe maybe you should send in a secret agent next year to report on what they actually drink at those things?!

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yawn! Um……scoreboard!

  15. sauron's eye Says:

    The NFL is the best sports league by about 1000%. There is no parity in those other sports. What could be worse than be a fan of a bad basketball team that can never get 3 stars on the team to make a playoff run?

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    Joe, the way you wrote that opening sentence, sounds like you may have actually been on the receiving end of a oar slap. I hate it when that happens!

  17. D-Rome Says:

    The geeks have absolutely destroyed baseball beyond recognition. The Joe typing here finally threw in the towel on the sport last year, which crushes Joe’s very soul. The aggravation watching the game and the assault on the senses was just too much.

    Agreed Joe and I blame the Rays. They have been the trendsetters for the past 13 years or so. I threw in the towel the moment Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell in the World Series. Quite literally at that very moment. I turned off the TV because I knew what would happen. I won’t come back until baseball bans the shift.

  18. UKbuccaneer Says:

    Is this the Joe that thinks sacks are a reliable indicator of defensive performance? And is that the same Joe as the one who doesn’t believe in leadership?

  19. Snook Says:

    Baseball was ruined by analytics because MLB doesn’t have revenue sharing or a salary cap so the small market teams turned to it in order to compete.

    As for Hopkins, I’m sure they went by receptions. Which is an overrated stat now.

  20. Joe Says:

    Agreed Joe and I blame the Rays.

    A’s actually.

    To be clear, analytics, or advanced stats, have been around baseball for decades. Joe saw with his own eyes Whitey Herzog doing fly ball charts. This was in the mid-80s. At the time, this was considered revolutionary.

    And Herzog was fully hungup on righty-lefty matchups. Obsessively so (citing numbers). So much so he lost a World Series because of this (1985 Game 6, innings 8 & 9 for evidence).

    Sad thing is, people have taken analytics to obscene levels in baseball, where they actually justify strikeouts or hitting into a shift as opposed to hitting to the opposite field or — God help them! — bunting down the line to move a runner into scoring position.

    Joe had enough. And it is beyond depressing.

  21. D-Rome Says:

    A’s actually.

    You’re absolutely correct on all points. I only meant in the the past 10+ years. The Rays took what the A’s did and went even further.

    I’m all for forward thinking when it comes to analytics. For instance in football there are many more situations when going for it on 4th down makes sense than what you typically see every Sunday. Going for it more on 4th is a positive change to the game. I’d hate to see analytics get to the point where statistically it makes more sense to throw deep on every possession (or something nutty like that).

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    “transaction” likely refers specifically to a trade.

    Brady was signed as a free agent…