Andrew's Reviews > Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

Scorecasting by Tobias J. Moskowitz
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Jul 06, 11

Read from June 28 to July 04, 2011

Really interesting look inside the numbers at a number of common sports phenomena. Thoughts:

- The "Going For It" chapter was the best chapter and it was very early in the book. I was aware that most teams are too conservative on 4th down (and the book does a decent job of explaining why), but the story of the high school in Arkansas was fantastic. I would love to see them play!

- The Home Field Advantage discussion was the centerpiece of the book and well done, but a bit overkill in length.

- Other favorite chapters: The exploration of performance enhancing drugs along nationalities and the Cubs curse closer were solid. The latter was particularly funny. The round number obsession bit about .300 batting averages was almost unbelievable.

- Some of the basic stats things presented were a bit boring to me, but it is shocking that "gut instinct" seems to overrule common probability law in sports thought.

The book really hammered home the point that following conventional wisdom and embracing the herd mentality can lead to really inefficient/incorrect decision-making. Just by shocking the system, you can be successful, but going that route speaks to another one of the book's main themes: balancing loss aversion and the will to succeed.

Very enjoyable summer read for sports fans.
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