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(The New York Times)   Nate Silver renders the Super Bowl worthless. Will no one stop this meddlesome mathematician?   (nytimes.com) divider line 79
    More: Unlikely, Super Bowl, defensive team, strength of schedule, Football Outsiders, Steve Weatherford, SRS, Drew Brees, old saying  
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4048 clicks; posted to Sports » on 31 Jan 2013 at 9:25 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-31 07:48:55 AM  
This is one more reason to root for the Ravens.
 
2013-01-31 09:00:24 AM  
I guess I can just watch Puppy Bowl then.
 
2013-01-31 09:31:18 AM  
He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?
 
2013-01-31 09:32:22 AM  

abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?


Don't forget Suggs was out too.
 
2013-01-31 09:33:29 AM  

abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?


Emotional factor is irrelevant.  It's the Super Bowl.  Nobody is holding back anything on either team.
 
2013-01-31 09:35:10 AM  
But what about murder stats? They don't count for anything?
 
2013-01-31 09:35:19 AM  
 
2013-01-31 09:35:48 AM  
Nate Silver predicted a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl three weeks ago.
 
2013-01-31 09:36:00 AM  

abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?


Ray Lewis, the team's heart and soul, in his last game ever, and it happens to be the Superbowl.

I'm hoping for a defensive performance that equals or exceeds that of the last Superbowl.  Oh, but this time we have an offense whose job is more than "give the defenders a few downs to rest".
 
2013-01-31 09:39:01 AM  

BigSnatch: Stick to baseball and politics, Mr. Silver


Pretty much anyone predicting playoff football games is going to be wrong at least 35-40% of the time.

/TFA is a waste, he's not doing analysis, just quoting other peoples'
 
2013-01-31 09:42:48 AM  
Nate Silver did not pick the Ravens or the 49ers to go to the Super Bowl. His guesses are just as valid as any other "expert" on ESPN that think X team will win because of Y being historically true (though anecdotal).
 
2013-01-31 09:44:44 AM  

abrannan: Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?


Peter King said it best about that topic.  Imagine yourself as a Baltimore Raven, in the game of your life.  If you need another football player to get you "up" for this game, you don't belong on the roster.  There are plenty of emotions to get you up for this game, coming from within.  RL is a non-factor.
 
2013-01-31 09:45:42 AM  
So does he like the Patriots or the Seahawks?

/that's enough, Nate Silver. Back to obscurity please for four more years.
 
2013-01-31 09:49:12 AM  

Yanks_RSJ: Nate Silver predicted a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl three weeks ago.


As did I after week 6 of the season. Being wrong doesn't invalidate an opinion, it's HOW wrong you were that casts doubt on your predictions.
 
2013-01-31 09:50:05 AM  
Yeah, I don't think Silver is right here.  He's also completely discounting that Kaep has played, what 10 games, and is the starting QB in the Super Bowl?  And this is after the Ravens defense has had two weeks to watch tapes of him running in GB and passing in Atlanta, and somehow he's going to beat them?  No farking way.

Ravens by 10, 31-21.
 
2013-01-31 09:50:25 AM  

GlobalStrategic MapleSyrup Reserve: Yanks_RSJ: Nate Silver predicted a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl three weeks ago.

As did I after week 6 of the season. Being wrong doesn't invalidate an opinion, it's HOW wrong you were that casts doubt on your future predictions.


FTFM
 
2013-01-31 09:52:40 AM  

GlobalStrategic MapleSyrup Reserve: Yanks_RSJ: Nate Silver predicted a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl three weeks ago.

As did I after week 6 of the season. Being wrong doesn't invalidate an opinion, it's HOW wrong you were that casts doubt on your predictions.


It doesn't invalidate his opinion, it does invalidate the idea that his predictions are infallible, as the headline suggests.
 
2013-01-31 09:54:44 AM  
I know I'm biased, but I believe Silver is ignoring that the Ravens defense was riddled with injuries all year. The two defenses would be much closer statisically had the Ravens been healthy all year.
 
2013-01-31 09:59:12 AM  
Wouldn't a better bet be an over-under on how much Pollard gets fined?
 
2013-01-31 09:59:31 AM  

ltdanman44: abrannan: Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?

Peter King said it best about that topic.  Imagine yourself as a Baltimore Raven, in the game of your life.  If you need another football player to get you "up" for this game, you don't belong on the roster.  There are plenty of emotions to get you up for this game, coming from within.  RL is a non-factor.


That should be true of any player in any game, given the short seasons.  As a player in the NFL, you should be going 100% in every game you play (even if the game is meaningless for your team, it still affects your personal numbers, and thus, your potential future income.  The point is how deep you can dig into reserves you didn't know existed, and what sort of team leader can get you into a mental state to do so.
 
2013-01-31 09:59:54 AM  

GAT_00: Yeah, I don't think Silver is right here.  He's also completely discounting that Kaep has played, what 10 games, and is the starting QB in the Super Bowl?  And this is after the Ravens defense has had two weeks to watch tapes of him running in GB and passing in Atlanta, and somehow he's going to beat them?  No farking way.

Ravens by 10, 31-21.


I've said it before, but Kaep hasn't exactly convinced me just yet.  He has dominated against teams with pisspoor defenses, and struggled against teams with pretty good Ds, including Seattle and St. Louis.  Yeah, yeah, Chicago, but they didn't have any tape on the guy, and the Bears defense has been overrated the past few seasons.  That said, if a team has the personnel to watch Kaep and a strong enough secondary to shut down the WRs or jam them up, then they have done well.  That's what the Seahawks and Rams were able to do: they bottled him up, kept an LB close by to keep him from running, and broke up the WR routes.  Then they watched his confusion.  Kaep still does a bit too much of the "first look not open?  RUN!" stuff, which works well against teams with decent secondaries but shiatty everything else (Packers, and yes, Matthews is overrated).

I do think the Ravens have the personnel to stump him.  Besides, Ray Lewis says they have Jesus on their side.
 
2013-01-31 10:01:49 AM  
That list of best defenses is supremely debatable nit lists the 2000 Ravens D as not even top 10. They allowed fewer points in an entire playoff run (16) than San Fran did in the first half of the game in Atlanta (17).
 
2013-01-31 10:02:25 AM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: I do think the Ravens have the personnel to stump him.  Besides, Ray Lewis says they have Jesus on their side.


I guess it comes down to who Jesus loves more, Lewis or Kaepernick.
 
2013-01-31 10:04:36 AM  
Not basing my prediction on anything but what I've seen of these two teams this year and what my gut tells me will happen based on who-knows-what, close game until Ravens suffer a key injury on offense and are deflated.  49ers win by 14 with one of those td's coming from their defense.
 
2013-01-31 10:05:14 AM  
This guy couldn't even accurately predict the Romney landslide.
 
2013-01-31 10:05:41 AM  
It can't be the Ultimate game, if they play it every year. Just saying.
 
2013-01-31 10:06:04 AM  
Does defense win SBs?  I don't know, the Pack did somehow beat Pittsburgh 2 years ago.

/then again, they actually decided to play defense in the playoffs as opposed to the rest of the time.
 
2013-01-31 10:10:41 AM  
I hope the Ravens win, but Lewis gets completely embarassed. So Ravens 35-32.
 
2013-01-31 10:11:36 AM  

pag1107: Not basing my prediction on anything but what I've seen of these two teams this year and what my gut tells me will happen based on who-knows-what, close game until Ravens suffer a key injury on offense and are deflated.  49ers win by 14 with one of those td's coming from their defense.


While the 49er's may win, if you think an injury to anyone BUT Flacco would affect this year's Ravens, you have not paid any real attention to them at all.

They have suffered and fought through a ton of injuries, and have solid backups at all skill positions on O.

Short of losing a tackle or Flacco, an offensive injury won't be a back-breaker. And even at Tackle, it's not shock but skill and experience that would be the let-down.

A defensive injury might be bigger, as there's a lack of depth due to the aforementioned injury bug. (Down a corner and a MLB).
 
2013-01-31 10:16:02 AM  

Yanks_RSJ: GlobalStrategic MapleSyrup Reserve: Yanks_RSJ: Nate Silver predicted a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl three weeks ago.

As did I after week 6 of the season. Being wrong doesn't invalidate an opinion, it's HOW wrong you were that casts doubt on your predictions.

It doesn't invalidate his opinion, it does invalidate the idea that his predictions are infallible, as the headline suggests.



t2.gstatic.com  The headline set mine off.

I grant him a lot of credit because he claims "punters win championships." If that's wrong I don't want to be right.
 
2013-01-31 10:16:49 AM  
Let's throw some other wrinkles into the equation.  The Ravens firing Cam Cameron, so, in theory only those games under Caldwell should be considered when looking at the Offense.  And since it's a new system, there isn't as much tape of the Caldwell/Ravens offense for the 49ers defense to study.  Kaep has been enjoying the sort of success new, reasonably talented QBs have typically enjoyed their first season, until the Defenses have the tape and time to analyze and pick apart their particulars.  So the Ravens are basically a mystery on both sides of the ball, playing short on D most of the season, and switching Offensive Coordinators late in the season, against a rookie quarterback with a whopping two post-season games under his belt.  The Ravens, as a team, have been to the playoffs the past five years (6 of the last 7).
 
2013-01-31 10:16:56 AM  
Probabilities in football with its short history of variables and limited amount of opportunities to "run the model" are not nearly as easy to predictable as things like baseball. If he can make a good show here then more power to him, but I imagine I'll be hearing in three years that "Nate Silver picked SF to win and they lost by 3 so RON PAUL gets the nomination".
 
2013-01-31 10:24:14 AM  
As a Giants fan, I'm a little stunned that the *1990* team was the one that was on the best-defenses-of-all-time chart, but the 1986 one wasn't even on the map -- where the LT-led linebacking corps was inarguably at its height.

But I suppose the 1986 team's secondary was average at best, despite having a profound front seven. Elvis Patterson wasn't nicknamed "toast" for nothing...
 
2013-01-31 10:26:53 AM  

Entertherat: As a Giants fan, I'm a little stunned that the *1990* team was the one that was on the best-defenses-of-all-time chart, but the 1986 one wasn't even on the map -- where the LT-led linebacking corps was inarguably at its height.

But I suppose the 1986 team's secondary was average at best, despite having a profound front seven. Elvis Patterson wasn't nicknamed "toast" for nothing...


No, I agree. That list seems out of whack.
 
2013-01-31 10:29:41 AM  

Entertherat: As a Giants fan, I'm a little stunned that the *1990* team was the one that was on the best-defenses-of-all-time chart, but the 1986 one wasn't even on the map -- where the LT-led linebacking corps was inarguably at its height.


The 1990 defense was far stingier, they allowed more than 21 points only once inubianmes, held teams to 10 or fewer eight times  and shut down the 49ers and Bills back-to-back to win the Super Bowl.
 
2013-01-31 10:30:27 AM  

Yanks_RSJ: inubianmes


in nineteen games.  Damn filter.
 
2013-01-31 10:33:10 AM  
I hope Ray Lewis commits an emotional murder just before kick off to raise his team's spirits.
 
2013-01-31 10:36:41 AM  

GlobalStrategic MapleSyrup Reserve: The headline set mine off.


Could be, mine may be malfunctioning this week due to Super Bowl overload at work.
 
2013-01-31 11:07:17 AM  

abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?



Yeah, because he is a statistician, not a psychic.
 
2013-01-31 11:09:57 AM  
Ray Lewis*
 
2013-01-31 11:24:52 AM  

ltdanman44: abrannan: Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?

Peter King said it best about that topic.  Imagine yourself as a Baltimore Raven, in the game of your life.  If you need another football player to get you "up" for this game, you don't belong on the roster.  There are plenty of emotions to get you up for this game, coming from within.  RL is a non-factor.


I concur; he may be a rallying point but they're in the Super Bowl for god's sake.

Going into the Patriots-Ravens game, some Ravens player was talking smack on Twitter (oooh!) and my Boston-sports-nut friend laughed at the Ravens for "poking the bear."  I told him that if the Patriots were holding back until someone tweeted something inartful to question their greatness, then what were they doing in the playoffs?  They give 100% because they're professionals, and to say that this smack-talk would be decisive is tacit confirmation that the Giants won because (in his own admission) they were gentlemen before last year's superbowl.  My friend disagreed, naturally, and has of course been silent on the matter of sports since the AFC championship, especially since the Celts aren't pulling their weight.

I guess he or they should have been paying less attention to football practice and more attention to Twitter if winning was really important.
 
2013-01-31 11:33:39 AM  

Deneb81: That list of best defenses is supremely debatable nit lists the 2000 Ravens D as not even top 10. They allowed fewer points in an entire playoff run (16) than San Fran did in the first half of the game in Atlanta (17).


While you can argue that the formula is suspect, the list is just the rankings generated by the formula, there is no debate about the list.

pag1107: Not basing my prediction on anything but what I've seen of these two teams this year and what my gut tells me will happen based on who-knows-what, close game until Ravens suffer a key injury on offense and are deflated.  49ers win by 14 with one of those td's coming from their defense.


Your gut has shiat for brains.

//Not saying you're wrong, I just really liked High Fidelity.
 
2013-01-31 11:43:00 AM  

abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?


Because normally a Super Bowl team isn't all that interested in winning. They need an emotional reason to win, because the Super Bowl doesn't even count when it comes to regular season records. Might as well be a preseason exhibition.

The Pro Bowl is where you see the stars truly shine.
 
2013-01-31 11:51:06 AM  
You can look to all the formulas, stats and prophetic animals you want, but it will probably come down to who can best capitalize on the other's farkups.
 
2013-01-31 11:52:07 AM  

Yanks_RSJ: GlobalStrategic MapleSyrup Reserve: The headline set mine off.

Could be, mine may be malfunctioning this week due to Super Bowl overload at work.


Understandable.

rufus-t-firefly: abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?

Because normally a Super Bowl team isn't all that interested in winning. They need an emotional reason to win, because the Super Bowl doesn't even count when it comes to regular season records. Might as well be a preseason exhibition.

The Pro Bowl is where you see the stars truly shine.


media.smithsonianmag.com
 
2013-01-31 12:01:02 PM  

roc6783: Deneb81: That list of best defenses is supremely debatable nit lists the 2000 Ravens D as not even top 10. They allowed fewer points in an entire playoff run (16) than San Fran did in the first half of the game in Atlanta (17).

While you can argue that the formula is suspect, the list is just the rankings generated by the formula, there is no debate about the list.

pag1107: Not basing my prediction on anything but what I've seen of these two teams this year and what my gut tells me will happen based on who-knows-what, close game until Ravens suffer a key injury on offense and are deflated.  49ers win by 14 with one of those td's coming from their defense.

Your gut has shiat for brains.

//Not saying you're wrong, I just really liked High Fidelity.


Yes, I thought it could be assumed that I questioned the methodology that created the list when I questioned the accuracy of the list.

You're being pedantic. Even for a Nate Silver/Statistics thread.
 
2013-01-31 12:07:02 PM  

rufus-t-firefly: abrannan: He looks at defenses over the year, and chooses the 49ers based on a better defense, but ignores the fact that Ray Lewis wasn't playing most of those games?  Doesn't factor in the emotional impact RL has on the team, and that he's retiring and he and the whole team want him to go out on top?

Because normally a Super Bowl team isn't all that interested in winning. They need an emotional reason to win, because the Super Bowl doesn't even count when it comes to regular season records. Might as well be a preseason exhibition.

The Pro Bowl is where you see the stars truly shine.


The place where a leader helps a team win the Super Bowl? In the film room, on the practice field, and in the locker room during the two weeks before hand.

While everyone on the field will be playing their asses off on Sunday, an emotional leader who resonates with the team can help players keep a focus on the game and not the spectacle. Players have gotten wrapped up in the party around the game before.

So it's not silly to say Ray's leadership and story can help. How much it helps is debatable but I'd say non-zero.
 
2013-01-31 12:14:07 PM  

BigSnatch: Stick to baseball and politics, Mr. Silver


Nate's analysis may be spot on, but even so, the fact the sample size is so small (there is only 1 super-bowl game, and only 16 games per team to get prior data), mixed with a huge variability in performance over those games, means the uncertainty is huge.

In lay terms - it's still pretty much a coin toss.
 
2013-01-31 12:19:23 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: Nate Silver predicted a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl three weeks ago.


BigSnatch: Stick to baseball and politics, Mr. Silver


I remember that. At the same time, he admitted that football's small sample size (in games, and # of plays) really makes his systems less accurate. Ignore him.
 
2013-01-31 12:21:01 PM  

thecpt: Does defense win SBs?  I don't know, the Pack did somehow beat Pittsburgh 2 years ago.

/then again, they actually decided to play defense in the playoffs as opposed to the rest of the time.


The 2010 Packers defense was actually pretty decent, particularly in the playoffs.
 
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