Understanding Recent Performance
I used to write a lot of football content, including work for one particular NFL team. The beat writers on that team used to ridicule me because…
A. They had no clue how stats work.
B. They had zero skin in the game, and thus no clear incentive to make sure they understood what they’re talking about.
C. I told them their views on momentum and hot streaks were flawed.
D. All of the above.
The answer is…D! All of the above. Thanks for playing.
Okay, that was really just a chance for me to take a shot at beat writers, for whom I mostly have no respect. Because they have little incentive to make sure what they’re saying is correct—and actually indirect motivation to write things they know are wrong because CLICKS!—most beat writers just aren’t incentivized to make accurate predictions, which in my view is the hallmark of true understanding.
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