The Hidden Game of Football Hardcover – Sep 1988
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The part I found most interesting was the chapter on quarterbacks and the conventional NFL QB rating system and why it is flawed. From there the authors go into a lengthy process of building a better rating system, which more accurately reflects who the most efficient passers in the NFL are.
You would think being written by a bunch of statisticians, this book would be dull, but it is far from it! It is lively and humorous throughout, and is very easy to read. Also, most of the heavy statistics are relegated to notes, so if you are not interested in that sort of thing you can skip it easily.
All told this is an outstanding book to read if you are interested in learning the "Nitty-gritty" behind football statistics.
Go for it on 4th and 1 on the opponents 6 yard line with 2 minutes to go and down by 3, or kick a field goal? The answwers may surprise you. Using complex but very logical data and mathematical equations, the "right" decision may not be so right mathematically.
The authors also look at players at all positions and how to statistically evaluate talent, measure immeasureables, gut check assumptions, even evaluate for the Hall of Fame. Moneyball, before Moneyball was written. A reminder, too, that we couch coaches are missing and probably misinterpreting a lot of information - and the pros use these methods as part of their scouting and game planning. A good book for the thinking football fan!
Aside from their humor and keen insights, I especially enjoy the historical perspectives of football discussing how game play has influenced the rules which has, in turn, has effected the popular style of play.