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Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won Hardcover – Jan 25 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (Jan. 25 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307591791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307591791
  • ASIN: 0307591794
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.8 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #356,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The closest thing to Freakonomics I've seen since the original. A rare combination of terrific storytelling and unconventional thinking. I love this book..." 
Steven D. Levitt, Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics

"I love this book. If I told you why, the NBA would fine me again."
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks

Scorecasting is both scholarly and entertaining, a rare double.  It gets beyond the cliched narratives and tried-but-not-necessarily-true assumptions to reveal significant and fascinating truths about sports.”
Bob Costas

"A counterintuitive, innovative, unexpected handbook for sports fans interested in the truths that underpin our favorite games. With their lively minds and prose, Moskowitz and Wertheim will change the way you think about and watch sports. Not just for stats nerds, Scorecasting enlightens and entertains. I wish I had thought of it!"
Jeremy Schaap, ESPN reporter, Author of Cinderella Man.
"(Sports + numbers) x great writing = winning formula.  A must read for all couch analysts."
Richard Thaler, Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, best-selling author of Nudge.

Scorecasting will change the way you watch sports, but don’t start reading it during a game; you’re liable to get lost in it and miss the action. I’m not giving anything away because you’ll want to read exactly how they arrived at their conclusions."
—Allen Barra, NJ Star Ledger

“Like Moneyball and Soccernomics before it, Scorecasting crunches the numbers to challenge notions that have been codified into conventional sports wisdom.”
Wired Magazine

Freakonomics meets Moneyball
The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

TOBIAS MOSKOWITZ is the Fama Family Chaired Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago.  He is the winner of the 2007 Fischer Black Prize, which honors the top finance scholar in the world under the age of 40.

is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a recent Ferris Professor at Princeton, and the author of five books, including Strokes of Genius:  Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played.
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ever wonder why it is often those little decisions and choices in the world of sports that make the all-important difference as to the outcome of the game? For someone like myself who has been an avid fan of professional football, baseball, and basketball for years, there are some proven strategies and game-changing plays out there that greatly increase a team's chances of winning on a more regular basis or improve the chances of the game being more competitive right up to the final whistle. Moskowitz and Wertheim investigate a number of these time-honored tactics as to their prevelancy and success in achieving their ultimate goals. The big question they ask repeatedly in their research is whether these assumptions are valid in their claims or if they even exist in the first place. Such potential influencing actions as whistle swallowing where refs put their whistles away and let the teams play, to single knock-out competition during playoffs, to certain players being more susceptible to using steroids, to the fourth-down play in the red zone,to what determines the resale price of a ticket, to the momentum swing caused by a blocked shot or punt, to the impact of home court advantage, to the advantage of fouling Shaquille O'Neal, to whether one should adopt a loss-averse attitude in the closing minutes of a game are covered here. The authors believe that the evidence in each of these areas shows, with rare exceptions such as a Belichick proclivity for gambling in impossible places on the field, that most of these game behaviours are statistically valid though at times hard to explain. Who, in their right mind, can explain why the price of a ticket to the Final Four increases fourteen-fold once it has been purchases?Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Well, Soccernomics was the first sports book to use the Freakonomics' model and come up a winner. Now Scorecasting does the same. Lots of food for thought about sports from why home field/court/ice advantage is so strong (and you'll be surprised exactly why that is so) to the reason the Chicago Cubs are cursed (and it's not due to a billy goat, black cat or Bartman).

L. Jon Wertheim is a terrific writer who has mainly written about tennis and basketball both in book form and for Sports illustrated. Although the book can get bogged down in stat analysis a bit (I did not love the pie charts or bar graphs), it's not really a stathead book. The chapters are pretty short and sweet so there's no time to get bored. You don't like one chapter, move on. They are more like little sports essays or vignettes.

The great thing is it makes you think and how many sports books let alone Web sites or blogs get you to do that?
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for any sports fan, or even a behavioral psychologist/data analyst/economist with a passing interest in them, since those three areas are constantly highlighted throughout the book. There's a multitude of sections, each one explaining a phenomenon of sports, or explaining it away, all with the use of in-depth, objective statistics. It's written at a level anyone can understand as well. The best section of the book deals with home-field advantage in sports, and it's truly fascinating to discover what drives it. Although baseball fans will probably derive the most enjoyment from this book, fans of all sports will get their fill from Scorecasting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Entertaining at best, uneven throughout. Seems like the authors had a good idea and outstretched it to fill a book. There are many more cases in sports to mine the data and see where it takes you, there is a whole industry around this, and bars the world over with fans eager to discuss the findings. My point: you can do it well (thorough analysis and great writing) or rush to publish a half-baked product. This one is close to the latter.
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Format: Paperback
Filled with lots of anecdotes but not much insight. Disappointing!
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