Posts filed under “Sports”
Last week, I was in Seattle for an event sponsored by the CFA Institute. The trip was booked long before any of us knew the Seahawks were going to defend their championship title in Super Bowl XLIX. Following the Seahawks’ amazing comeback in the NFC Championship versus the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 18, the city was electric.
Given that, I rethought the presentation I was planning to make. Originally, it was named, “Valuation, Volatility, and Behavioral Factors,” but during that weekend, I retitled it: “Play Football Like the Seahawks, But Invest Like the Packers.”
The thesis was that Green Bay had a methodical statistical approach. It is a team of grinders, marching down field with two- and three-yard runs. They protect the ball, try to avoid turnovers. No razzle-dazzle, just fundamental football, blocking and tackling. In investing terms, they made high-probability trades, slowly accumulating gains, withde minimis risk of loss.
Seattle on the other hand, looked like the Harlem Globetrotters of football. Plenty of misdirection, and lots of trick plays: A touchdown on a fake field goal (credit holder Jon Ryan’s 19-yard pass to tackle Garry Gilliam). An onside-kick recovery that was bobbled by Packers tight end Brandon Bostick bounced into the hands of Seattle’s Chris Matthews (a former Foot Locker employee) at midfield. After a Marshawn Lynch 24-yard run for a touchdown, Seattle made a two-point conversion. Finally, a 48-yard Hail Mary pass from Russell Wilson to Luke Willson gave Seattle the lead. A Green Bay field goal sent the game into overtime. In OT, Seattle used just six plays to march 87 yards downfield. A 35-yard Wilson to Jermaine Kearse pass — yet another Hail Mary pass — won the game.
Lots of low probability plays that all came up roses for the defending champs allowed them a trip back to the Super Bowl. And therein lay the problem. You can sometimes be too clever, try too hard to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
“All models are wrong; some are useful.” – George E. P. Box The quote above comes from George Box. He was a brilliant statistician and professor, who thought long and hard about the use and misuse of statistics. I was reminded of Box this weekend while watching the thrilling World Cup final between…Read More
Cool interactive graphic: Click for an interactive Source: Businessweek
Yesterday’s loss, as painful as it was to watch, was really a thing of beauty. As overmatched as the US team was, they managed to make it into overtime where they finally succumbed to the superior Belgium team. Despite the mismatch, regulation time ended in a tie. There were opportunities and possibilities of an upset….Read More