Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coming Soon: Luchametrics

By El Chupacabra

All the numbers said the United States should have lost to Spain in South Africa on Wednesday. But Bob Bradley’s boys beat the statisticians, which raises an interesting question.
What role, if any, should statistics, and especially the sort of sophisticated statistical tools used for years in some American sports (see Baseball) play in our enjoyment and understanding of the beautiful game?

A recent post at The Offside suggests that more stats would make the beautiful game more appealing to American sports fans. And as this article from the Wall Street Journal shows, the big clubs are now using sophisticated statistical categories and sophisticated metrics to analyze player and team performance.

My esteemed comrade El Luchador and I obviously couldn’t care less whether football is made more appealing to the average American sports fan, a cretin whose intake of Bud Light and other “premium” beers has left him overweight, underliterate, provincial, with a sexual prowess lying somewhere between a Galapagos Tortoise and an 80-year-old Shriner in a diaper.

However, we are interested in what the numbers teach us about what we think we know from watching the beautiful game every spare moment of our lives. And most of all, we are interested in assisting our brothers and sisters who reside in less oppressive countries where betting is legal. We hope to increase profits for those who bet on the beautiful game. (A $10 bet on the U.S. to win v Spain paid more than $100).

El Chupacabra is currently working on a project which he hopes will do for football what Bill James and Sabermetrics did for Baseball, and he has been asked by his eminence El Luchador to crunch the numbers and report back regularly to his many readers on what he learns. As Chupa uncovers objective knowledge about the beautiful game, he will report it here first. Check back often to learn the results of this Sisyphean effort.

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