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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, you can find an archive list at the bottom of this page.

Friday, December 9

Sports Stats

I’m not a fanatic for statistics in our professional sports, but stats are often a good way to determine an individual athlete’s true abilities. In basketball, we keep track of points scored, rebounds, assists, and steals. We can also look at percentages from 3-point range, free throws, and overall percentage of shots made. To evaluate a player’s defensive ability, we can track the percentages of shots made by the one defended as opposed to his percentage for the season. And in baseball, the most fanatic about stats of any of the professional sports, we can keep track of hitting, hitting in the clutch, extra-base hits, on-base percentage, and defensive errors. The pitchers are the only ones who are assigned a stat that isn’t very meaningful—wins and losses. A pitcher could give up ten runs and still get the win if his team scores eleven. Much more important are the stats about earned runs allowed, walks given, hit batsmen, and hitting percentages allowed. And then we come to professional football. One of the most misleading statistics about quarterbacks is the passing yardage. The totals don’t necessarily show how many yards are gained after the catch. What about that seldom used play where the quarterback takes two steps back and then flips the ball forward to the running back going through the line. It counts as a forward pass, but it's really little more than a long handoff. Let’s say the running back takes that little flip and goes ninety-nine yards. Which is more important? The little flip or the run? Obviously, the run. Another example is the 52-yard reception in overtime by Cardinal LaRod Stephens-Howling to beat the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. Kevin Kolb, the quarterback, gets credit for all 52 yards in his passing stats, when actually he threw only a two-yard screen pass to Howling, who took it the other fifty yards for the touchdown. Why not credit quarterbacks with only the yardage of the catch, not the yardage the receiver goes after the catch? That would be a much more reliable statistic about a quarterback’s true worth.

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Any comments? Write me at jertrav33@aol.com