10 Mar 2014
Two good columns from this weekend summarizing the problems of last weekend's Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. To be honest, it's gotten a bit stale, especially when it comes to sports that are not basketball. Our own Bill Connelly takes a look at the problems on the Football Analytics panel and, once again, the almost complete absence of discussion of college football, America's third (or possibly second) favorite sport. Kyle Wagner at Deadspin has a more general discussion of the conference as a whole, and how the panels have almost no good new material any more.
Regarding the issue of the panel moderators being terrible, by the way, I've had a few people suggest to me that this is a problem of ESPN trying to promote their own people. It isn't. The issue is the Sloan students picking the wrong ESPN people as moderators -- people known for their public profile, not their knowledge of analytics. If they wanted to make me the moderator of the football panel, I'm an ESPN-affiliated person too. Bill Barnwell or Robert Mays could have moderated the football panel, and they're ESPN-affiliated folks. Jonah Keri or Dan Szymborski, in baseball, are also ESPN affiliated. And many of us, despite being "stats guys," have the media training required to moderate a panel at a conference. Bill and Robert's podcast has plenty of listeners. They know what they're doing. And again, I'm tooting my own horn here, but I was professionally on the radio for five years before I did this.
Heck, you can even get an ESPN TV person who would know what he was talking about. Tony Reali moderated a panel last year and was really, really good.
1 comment, Last at 11 Mar 2014, 4:44pm by PatsFan
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?