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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The NFL 

So, time to blog a bit on the NFL (although, to chime in on politics, I really was a bit surprised that O'Reilly was such a softy to President Bush. Oh well). Anyway, I keep hearing announcers--from the terrible, such as Kevin Harlan and Randy Cross, to the good-to-great, like MNF and the ESPN Sunday Night Crew ("You want to talk about blocking, let me show this....")--talk about whether or not a challenge decision is good decision or not. The weird thing about it is that they never, in analyzing whether or not challenging the play was a good decision, look at the probability the challenge will actually succeed. It's always a formula based on possible outcomes, as if each outcome (call upheld or call overturned) has 50% probability. So, they'll say, "well, this is a good challenge because if they succeed it will force 4th down," or "stupid challenge, if you succeed it's still 3rd and long, but if you lose you're out a timeout." But, if the call on the field in the latter situation is egregiously wrong to anyone watching on TV, then it's a good challenge b/c it will get overturned. If the former situation involves a call that was clearly right, then the challenge was stupid. The possible outcomes matter much, much less that, duh, whether the call on the field was right or not.

And, of course, it's pretty easy to tell if a call is correct or not after watching one replay, which takes about 15 seconds.

So, NFL announcers, cut the shit.
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