Selective endpoints and the using statistics to tell your story
I tweeted earlier today expressing sketicism about an article I read on the Regressing section of Deadspin about west coast football teams travelling to the east coast. I thought that when I had some time tonight, I’d downlaod the data and explore the question myself, but it looks like Mike Lopez (@statsbylopez) beat me to it. And my skepticism may have been warranted.
“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”-Mark Twain
There was an interesting post at sportsinsights.com earlier today, which looked at the performances of West Coast NFL teams based on game location. The authors hypothesize that “NFL West Coast teams traveling east suffer declines in performance.”
It’s an interesting idea, and, if true, could make the NFL re-think scheduling, which often requires teams to travel thousands of miles on consecutive weekends. Moreover, I liked how the authors looked at team performance against the spread, in contrast to this article at Advanced NFL Stats, which simply looked at team performance, and thus was not able to account for difference’s in the abilities between teams on different coasts.
The topic was interesting enough that it was look at by more than 12,000 viewers (as of 4:52, Friday) when linked by Deadspin.
Further, the results of the Sports Insights study are interesting…
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