Some Sporting Predictions
If you read this blog with any regularity (or even if you don’t), you know that I’m a pretty rabid sports fan.
As in, a lot of sports.
I play golf these days; am still a mountain biker when I’m not on an airplane; played basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and golf in high school (and ran cross country); and I still wish I could have been George Plimpton (I did meet him once at a bar in NY…really nice guy) so I could live out my Walter Mitty sports fantasy.
I read Michael Lewis’ Moneyball with great fascination, learning about the Oakland A’s using player performance stats to build a competitive baseball franchise in a smaller market than the Yanks or the Red Sox.
Of course, the blending of data analytics and virtual sports didn’t end with baseball.
NFL players are now using their experiences playing Electronic Arts’ Madden football franchise to learn new moves off the field via their big screen TVs, only to implement them later on the field.
And a survey conducted by the University of Oregon of more than 15,000 NFL fans found that those who play Madden’s virtual football regularly were found to have a 60% higher football IQ than the average football fan.
In light of the coming SuperBowl championship between the New Orleans “Who Dat” Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, Scott Laningham and I thought we’d get into the spirit of the season and pursue the intersection of sports and data analytics in a podcast interview with an old friend of mine, Gibby McCaleb, chief operating officer of sports forecasting firm, AccuScore.
AccuScore feeds sports predictions to the likes of Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Sports, and others, and though we’re both fans of the Dallas Cowboys (along with Scott), we put our disappointment and biases aside long enough to talk about AccuScore’s prediction model and the opportunities and challenges presented by sports forecasting.
This was a fun one, and Gibby even gave us a sneak preview into AccuScore’s call on this year’s big game!