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Have you no decency, Mr. Costas?

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Bob Costas shamed himself and NBC Sunday, using tragedy—and an NFL television broadcast—to promote his views on gun control:

NBC broadcaster Bob Costas used his halftime segment on “Sunday Night Football” to advocate for gun control following this weekend’s murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, causing an immediate debate on social media.

Have you no decency, Mr. Costas?

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Written by breckfield

December 3, 2012 at 8:44 am

Posted in football, media, politics

NFL: Saints Players Paid To Injure Opponents

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The NFL has determined that New Orleans Saints players were paid to injure their opponents:

The NFL announced Friday New Orleans Saints defensive players had received extra payment for attempting to intentionally injure opponents… The investigation showed payments were made for interceptions and fumble recoveries, but payments were also made when an opposing player was carried off the field or knocked out of the game.

This is disturbing, even for those of us who feel that the league office has occasionally been overzealous in its desire to prevent unnecessary roughness.

How could Sean Payton and his coaches possibly think that this was acceptable?

Written by breckfield

March 3, 2012 at 7:28 am

Posted in football, sports

Tagged with , , ,

Defense Wins Championships? Not So Fast, My Friend…

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Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim investigate the old football cliche that “defense wins championships” and find that the data does not quite support the legend:

Sifting through the numbers, we found that the answer is again no. In the regular season, playoffs, and championships, underdog teams are no more likely to win if they are good defenders than if they are good scorers…

Bottom line: Defense is no more important than offense. It’s not defense that wins championships. In virtually every sport, you need either a stellar offense or a stellar defense, and having both is even better.

If it’s not true, then why is it such a cliche? Moskowitz and Wertheim have an explanation for that:

If defense is no more critical to winning than offense is, why does everyone from Little League coaches to ESPN analysts extoll its importance? Well, no one needs to talk up the virtues of scoring. No one needs to create incentives for players to score more touchdowns. There’s a reason why fans exhort “De-fense, De-fense!” not “O-ffense, O-ffense!” Offense is fun. Offense is glamorous. Who gets the Nike shoe contracts and the other endorsements — the players who score or the defensive stoppers?

I highly recommend the authors’ book, Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won.

Written by breckfield

January 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

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