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4th and 2. Belicheck was right to go for it.    Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
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Joel
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PostPosted: Wed, 11.18.09 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume the goal is simply to win the game, and throw out extra considerations like upsetting your defense, or drawing undo media criticism, etc.

those of you who are saying you have to have a "feel for the game," are right in a way. you need those hunches, and nuanced understandings of the flow of the game. however, all those feelings and hunches and incalculables can ever do is change how likely you think the following three things are at that point in the game(i.e. including timeouts, flow of the game, your gut reaction, etc):

1) probability that, at that point in the game, the pats offense can gain 2+ yards in one play
2) probability that, at that point in the game, the colts offense can get a td from 30 yds out in 2 minutes with a timeout and a 2minute warning.
3) probability that, at that point in the game, the colts offense can get a td from ~70 yds out in 2 minutes with a timeout and a 2minute warning.

it is very reasonable to argue and disagree about what those numbers will be, because arriving at them purely mathematically would be a mistake. however, once you decide what you think the odds of those three things are (and, I suppose, the odds that you'll get off a decent punt), there is no point in trying to argue with the math that ensues.

Try it out. if you tell ajax what your gut-feeling, nuanced, un-mathematically calculated odds are on those 3 (or 4) things, I bet you he will gladly tell you what your own personal odds are for winning if you punt vs if you go for it.
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xaja



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Wed, 11.18.09 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monster (has yellow fever) (has yellow fever) wrote:

Does the defense resent Belichick not trusting them enough to stop, or at least slow down the colts in the last 2 minutes? Seems like going for it that close to your own endzone on 4th down is a real sign of distrust toward your defense.


They might resent him if they concluded that distrust was the only reason Belichick went for it. However, one could also argue that Bill had monumental trust in his D b/c if they fail to convert he knows the D will have to stop them. I don't care enough to make this argument but it is a valid counter.

However, I would like to discuss a coaching point you bring up. Should a coach worry about damaging his players egos if winning the game is on the line? Sports are not all about winning, but winning is the goal when you are on the field. Coaches have to make decisions that give "the team" the best chance at winning. Obviously, I have concluded that the team achievement outweighs the egos of the players (see countless times i have pulled or cut lousy ultimate players), but is that wrong?
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Monster



Joined: 06 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Wed, 11.18.09 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joel wrote:
ok, for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume the goal is simply to win the game...


I think Joel's quote is interesting, because Belichick might not have just been thinking about that game, but the larger AFC rankings, home playoffs, etc. In that regard, he's playing from behind, and might have thought the more dangerous call was merited.

Ajax brings up a good point, which is whether or not to damage a player's ego if the game is on the line. Again, there are many variables to be considered, such as the importance of the game, the strength of the relationships involved, the strength of the egos, the overall psychology of the team, etc.

In Belichick's case, his players seem to be willing to do anything for him (given his past success) and the team psychology of the Patriots under Belichick has always been unified and strong. Also, while this being an important game, it's still the regular season, and the Pats still control their division. So I think Belichick's wouldn't be frowned upon by his players for his balls out call.

In ultimate, this is more touchy, because it isn't professional, and the hierarchy for most teams is woefully inadequate, or skewed towards friendship/egos looking to position themselves/ or like purposes (winning versus "having fun"). I put having fun in quotes for all you fucking hippie losers who like to "have fun" on the ultimate field. Wink

I would agree with ajax that team achievement on the field outweighs players' egos, but with ultimate, you also have to worry about what happens off the field. Because it isn't a professional sport, cash does not create a definitive hierarchy, and thus, being too driven to win often times undermines ones ability to win, because within a limited talent pool such as Fayetteville, it's seemingly impossible to field a "truly driven, disciplined, win-at-nearly-all-costs" type of team. This creates more of a inner political game that must be played alongside the real game of ultimate.

For a more complete summary of this material look for Nick Welch-Bolen's new book: Not only Surviving, but Thriving in Fayetteville's Ultimate Scene due out on Amazon this holiday season. If you pre-order today, we'll also include Winning Winter and Summer Leagues without being Despised like a Perry. Order Today!
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xaja



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu, 11.19.09 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we are plugging our books stay tuned for my new prints.

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Bolen Exposed: How his league strategy is a two-faced version of Perry prowess.
The lies and tactics of a Bolen outlined in detail.
Full Fayetteville Draft Bible
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How past captains failed at the draft and on the field
In depth strategy and statistics.
O & D playbooks with diagrams

Santa's gonna need a bigger sack to handle these chestnuts.
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BOOBY SAUCE



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Thu, 11.19.09 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

he still should have punted in that situation and i have all the numbers to prove it


43941368173790187480432074987171079187179015791871071570+179817015+157+1051+0157150+1501+51+511716+054084798417141498140141914014714414


see its so obvious

BoB
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auxarc



Joined: 13 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu, 11.19.09 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really could have used chapter two of Bolen Exposed this past summer.
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xaja



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu, 11.19.09 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BOOBY SAUCE wrote:
he still should have punted in that situation and i have all the numbers to prove it


43941368173790187480432074987171079187179015791871071570+179817015+157+1051+0157150+1501+51+511716+054084798417141498140141914014714414


see its so obvious

BoB


For someone who is extremely open minded when it come to drugs, sex, and religion you are uncharacteristically obtuse when it comes to football.
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Elvin



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PostPosted: Thu, 11.19.09 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like thats ok though. Im pretty liberal when it comes to most things in life, but I am completely conservative with football. I wish it would have stopped progressing in the 30's. I want to see one pass every 40 plays or so and I want all linemen to be missing at least 3 teeth.
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BOOBY SAUCE



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Fri, 11.20.09 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading and studying your plethora of #"s i think goin for it on 4th can be a good idea and good strategy.
I just thought that at that juncture, so late in the game (a game they were winning) he should have punted. Seems he was too worried about losing.
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Jacob



Joined: 13 May 2003
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PostPosted: Fri, 11.20.09 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmonsnflpicks/091120
Comparing the play to a 2-point conversion seems plausible.
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Steven



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PostPosted: Fri, 11.20.09 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simmons' most compelling argument against "Inane Angle No. 1: "Statistically, it was the right move"" was that the play call was bad, not that the call to go for it was bad.
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JHess



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PostPosted: Sat, 11.21.09 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ajax is correct, completely, about the math. The probability calculations, the ordinality of countably infinite sets, and Nick's new book. However, what you fail to take into account are the unmeasurables in sports: momentum, risk-benefit, team confidence, fan support, etc. If we look at the math, always go for it on fourth down. But you got to consider the situation which is why Bellichick screwed up.
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Steven



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PostPosted: Sat, 11.21.09 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cmon hess...this point has already been made. all of the 'unmeasurables' just affect the math, they are not independent of it.
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JHess



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PostPosted: Sat, 11.21.09 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're completely independent of it because they can not be described mathematically, making them unmeasurable.
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Ari
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Tdogg



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PostPosted: Sat, 11.21.09 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you guys want to debate Bellichick's decision, then that's fine, but I wouldn't recommend challenging a mathematician and a physicist, respectively, on their modeling abilities.

The unmeasureables that Hess is referring to are all part of the stochastic error term attached to the end of the equation. There are a countably infinite number of variables that might have an affect on whether or not a team is able to get a first down. Literally anything--be it wind speed or crowd noise or Bellichick's ulterior motives or even what the lineman ate for lunch--can be included in the equation and may indeed have some effect, but its simply not tractable to attempt to measure everything.

So what we do instead is ask, all else equal (i.e. holding most things constant), are teams are better off, on average, going for it on fourth down? David Romer used a massive data set and widely accepted scientific methodology and found that yes, under most circumstances, teams are, on average, better off going for it. As such, Bellichick made a rational decision with the odds in his favor. Sometimes, however, the stochastic error causes unexpected results.
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