Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

Front Cover
Three Rivers Press, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 278 pages
In Scorecasting, University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moskowitz teams up with veteran Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim to overturn some of the most cherished truisms of sports, and reveal the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and hockey games are played, won and lost.

Drawing from Moskowitz's original research, as well as studies from fellow economists such as bestselling author Richard Thaler, the authors look at: the influence home-field advantage has on the outcomes of games in all sports and why it exists; the surprising truth about the universally accepted axiom that defense wins championships; the subtle biases that umpires exhibit in calling balls and strikes in key situations; the unintended consequences of referees' tendencies in every sport to "swallow the whistle," and more.

Among the insights that Scorecasting reveals:
  • Why Tiger Woods is prone to the same mistake in high-pressure putting situations that you and I are
  • Why professional teams routinely overvalue draft picks
  • The myth of momentum or the "hot hand" in sports, and why so many fans, coaches, and broadcasters fervently subscribe to it
  • Why NFL coaches rarely go for a first down on fourth-down situations--even when their reluctance to do so reduces their chances of winning.
  • In an engaging narrative that takes us from the putting greens of Augusta to the grid iron of a small parochial high school in Arkansas, Scorecasting will forever change how you view the game, whatever your favorite sport might be.




    From the Hardcover edition.
     

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    LibraryThing Review

    User Review  - MartinBodek - LibraryThing

    Freakonomics x sports (here's the irony) steroids. This book was delicious for a stat-geek like me. Much of this stuff I had long suspected, but now I have a book to back me up. There's a Gladwellian ... Read full review

    LibraryThing Review

    User Review  - Brainannex - LibraryThing

    I am a fan of some sports but not all. However, if you are interested in any sport, this book is worth a look. After I got the gist of the book (a few chapters in) I admit I skipped to the sections ... Read full review

    Contents

    Introduction
    1
    Whistle Swallowing
    7
    Moore Jack 136137
    11
    University of Michigan basketball
    24
    Cincinnati Bengals 108
    27
    Abraham John 189
    40
    How Competitive Are Competitive Sports?
    59
    Basketball
    62
    Off the Chart
    173
    Nelson Sheffield
    175
    King Peter 51
    179
    Eckersley Dennis 242
    189
    How a Coin Toss Trumps All
    192
    Dorais Charlie Gus 47
    198
    Beckett Josh 120
    212
    The Myth of the Hot Hand
    215

    Yale football team 7980
    69
    Rafferty Kevin
    80
    Offense Wins Championships Too
    81
    Yao Ming 8687
    86
    Rounding First
    92
    Clinton Bill 175
    97
    Cochran Johnnie Jr
    106
    Cricket 112
    112
    Cuban Mark 13n 20
    130
    James LeBron 170217
    170
    Bezos Jeff 13
    223
    Knight Bob
    229
    Damned Statistics
    230
    Halladay Roy 231232
    231
    Baltimore Orioles
    234
    Sabol Steve 9
    240
    Epilogue
    253
    Baseball
    272
    Oakland As 5354
    277
    Copyright

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    About the author (2012)

    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.

    L. JON WERTHEIM
    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.

    For more information go to scorecasting.com


    From the Hardcover edition.

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