You can’t have it both ways

Last Friday, the blog Vegas Watch posted a piece calling out Football Outsiders for some seemingly outrageous basic math mistakes.  Apparently, Aaron Schatz did not like the post.

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Schatz’s response annoyed me.  The entire FO brand is all about smart statistical analysis.  So when you make so many outrageous basic statistical mistakes in one of your articles on a site like ESPN (behind a pay wall no less!) you’re going to get called out.  And I don’t even think Vegas Watch was being that big of an “asshole”.  Vegas Watch never said anything personal about the author, all of the criticism they delivered was entirely about the substance of the article and the editorial staff (or lack there of).  Sure it was smug, but that’s what they do.  As they say: “Vegas Watch: Blogging with an unearned smug sense of superiority.”  (Which, as it turns out, is from a tweet by former FO/current Grantland writer Bill Barnwell. Weird?)  So, FO doesn’t like it when people smugly call out their mistakes.

Well, I’ve tried to (tried to) point out some their mistakes in a non-smug manner.  For instance, I wrote about their flawed “findings” about place kickers.  I thought I was being polite, and I got this, what I would consider, smug response from Schatz:

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Well, you can’t have it both ways.  You can’t get all bent out of shape when someone smugly points out your mistakes on the one hand, and then smugly dismiss someone who politely points out your statistical errors.  You also can’t tout yourselves as using advanced statistical methods in the analysis of football, and then make silly, simple, basic, statistical mistakes in an article that is going to be read by an enormous number of readers .


Posted on December 22, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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