The Prime Time Quarterback

A few days ago I commented on the performance of NFL quarterbacks in the playoffs this season. The results were less than satisfying, since my data set only included 10 playoff games. Fortunately Yahoo! Sports reports complete playoff statistics for quarterbacks back to 2001. With this larger data set we …

Should NFL Blackouts be Banned?

In 2000, William Putsis and Subrata Sen asked in Applied Economics whether the 72 hour local TV blackout ban should be abolished. While much has changed in the NFL television broadcasting market over the last few years – NFL Sunday Ticket and the new NFL Network – the need for …

The Greatness of Emeka Okafor

The Charlotte Bobcats won 26 games last year. After 41 games this season the Bobcats have won 14 contests. So the team is on pace to win about as many games as it did last year. If we look at the individual players, though, we do see one instance of …

The Timberwolves Change Coaches

Yesterday the Minnesota Timberwolves fired their head coach, Dwane Casey. Currently Minnesota has a record of 20-20, which apparently is not what the general manager – Kevin McHale – expected. Before I get to the quality of this decision, let me just comment on the team Casey was charged with …

Prime Time Performance in the NFL

The myth of the prime-time performer is one of the stories we tell in The Wages of Wins. Specifically, we find that in the NBA, players do not systematically play better in the playoffs. This finding is based on a study of regular season and post-season per-minute Win Score. Our …

NBA Power Rankings

Who is the best team in the NBA? One could look at the standings, but this is too simple and frankly doesn’t offer much room for discussion. Various writers – such as Steve Kerr , Tony Mejia, and Marc Stein – offer team rankings that argue that various teams are …

The Pacers End the Harrington Project

Last summer the Indiana Pacers signed (via a sign-and-trade with the Hawks) Al Harrington to a four year, $35.3 million contract. At the time, a few people thought this would vault the Pacers into contention. Those who looked at Harrington’s career Wins Produced reached a different conclusion, which one can …

Minnesota Public Radio Tackles College Sports

Yesterday Andrew Zimbalist (fellow sports economist), Russell Adams (sports writer for the Wall Street Journal) and I were guests on the Midmorning Show (hosted by Keri Miller) on Minnesota Public Radio. The topic of our conversation was “Coaches and Compensation” (if you follow the previous link you can listen). This …

Is Joe Dumars Learning From Isiah Thomas?

The New York Knicks in 2005-06 were expensive failures. Given a very large budget, Isiah Thomas went into the market and purchased every scorer he could lay his hands upon. His team of expensive scorers, though, could not win [as previously noted HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE]. This …

NCAA Exploitation

On Labor Day I posted a column entitled “Labor Day Thoughts”, which focused on how the NCAA exploits college athletes. On November 16th – at the Sports Economist – I posted a column entitled “The Purpose of College Athletics” which questioned the argument NCAA president Myles Brand offered that the …