Statistics versus observational analysis. Many prefer one over the other and to varying degrees. Those who are way into the latter are referred to as “old school” — the type of people who usually hate change. The type of person I will always strive not to be. The others are often referred to as nerds or geeks, but even those terms are out-dated. With the internet age, there are so many classifications of people that calling someone a “nerd” is more meaningless than the connotation of the label being “not cool.” In other words, being into statistics and sports these days is cool.
However, there are those who have such a great love for sports and statistics that they marry the two without considering other relationships. A life-example of this would be a jerk friend running off to wed a significant other and forgetting about friends and family.
What I’m trying to say is statistics and observational analysis can, and should, go hand and hand. This is the type of person I am, but one who very slightly favors observation and our inherit ability to know things in the Malcolm Gladwell “Blink!” kind of way. I believe in statistics. I believe in advanced statistics. I believe they should be used along with other methods to tell a story, but definitely not used by themselves to tell the entire story.
Dave Berri and his cohort Martin Schmidt, however, are economists. Berri is an economics professor at Southern Utah University and writes the popular Wages or Wins Journal, and Schmidt is an economics professor at William and Mary. Understandably, they are way into statistics. If Berri could program a computer/robot using data from the history of man to properly raise his child without him needing to be there to see it happen, I believe he would. Okay, that’s going too far.
Berri and Schmidt, have a lot of very interesting things to say about managerial and coaching decision-making in sports, which includes several interesting arguable observations about the NBA. Their new book, “Stumbling On Wins,” which has been described as a “MoneyBall” of sorts that expands way past baseball, provides a lot of fodder for the great debate (stat heads v. non-stat heads v. in-betweens) and a unique perspective that should greatly interest the well-rounded sports fan.
Okay, if you’ve made it to the end of this post then great, you have a chance to win a copy of “Stumbling On Wins” or, as the title promises, another piece of Wizards swag. I’m more than halfway through the book and intend on writing a full review (and perhaps a Q&A with Mr. Berri himself) in the future. But until then, click the link below and answer the questions for a chance to win a copy of the book or a piece of Wizards swag/flair/whatever … I don’t know exactly what it will be yet, but it will be something you’ll want … if you’re a Wizards fan.
The deadline for answering the questions for a chance to win a copy of “Stumbling on Wins” by Dave Berri and Martin Schmidt is Saturday April 24th at 11:00 am.
All those who answer all questions correctly will be entered into a pool from which two will be selected to win copies of the book. Should no one get all answers right, I will select from all those who get the least amount of answers wrong … contingent upon how many people miss how many questions.
There will also be a consolation prize to be chosen from anyone who answers all the questions (correctly or not). The two book winners will not be eligible for the consolation prize.
Oh, also, I will not charge you for shipping … but you must live in the continental United States.