Ben's Grandpa walks silently to the center of the room and gently places a soapbox on the floor. Slowly, with care and considerable wincing, he steps up on top of it; with a slight scrape and a few creaks, the sun-faded pine protests feebly. Clearing his throat, he begins to deliver his speech...
Gabe is out of control. Over the course of this week, he and his Corsiatti/Statzi brethren have embarked on a crusade against all that is righteous. Suggesting that my eyes deceive me is one thing, but to tell me I can't trust my gut is an insult to both my gut (which is only confused by lactose and certain roughage) and my knowledge of the human soul. Their assumptions are ridiculous; to discount heart and determination in favor of time-tested metrics loses sight of what really matters. I cringe when they tell me a team is "lucky"...what do they know about luck? It's just unmeasurable heart. When it comes to informed opinions, I prefer my gut, which weaves reliable tales of how good of a leader Chris Drury is (I question his leadership when the team is doing poorly, for instance), or how older players always provide proper tutelage to their younger players (nothing was more important to the Blackhawks' drive to the Cup than the careful guidance of Patrick Kane's mentor, John Madden), and how a team is obviously uninspired because they've lost their last four games. Whereas stats take a person to a cold, heartless place where players are machines with inflexible potential and results, my gut brings us to sound assumptions that would never steer us to erroneous conclusions about a player's personality or a team's psyche. Gabe's recent exploits were a clear attack on the emotions of hockey fans, who never spread rumors without ample evidence, or vilify a player for failing to live up to excessively high expectations. Such things are outrageous, the kinds of things I'd expect out of the Corsiatti and their shameless, robot rhetoric.
dank dookie articles:
Monday: Who has the best PP in the League?
Grandpa's Analysis: Let's see, Vancouver Canucks have the highest PP percentage at over 24%. That was easy. Look at the scoreboard, Gabe, that's the only thing that matters.
Monday: Leafs early-season projection
GA: Gloat, gloat, gloat. I match that prediction with my prediction that the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders were going to have growing pains this year. Nobody saw that coming, and that puts me up 2 to 1 on the "master."
Tuesday: The League of Extraordinary Statisticians: Recording Bias
GA: Home is where the heart is. See what I did there?
Wednesday: The luck involved in scoring
GA: I like pie charts, but get uneasy around rainbows. Which makes me about as ready to digest this information as I would be for learning Don Cherry's coaching record in 1979-80.
Wednesday: I don't read any statistical analyses. The game isn't played on paper.
GA: Well, the title was promising.
Wednesday: "The Sharks Penalty-Kill will be a question mark for the people who predict these things..."
GA: Any hockey analyst worth their salt will compose a cheesy metaphor about the Sharks' talent melting in the San Jose sun during the playoffs. It comes with the warm weather and pastels.
Thursday: Point Shares and Holistic Metrics
GA: Wow, the stat geeks are multiplying. I guess it's only a matter of time, since there are so many basements and computers in the world.
Friday: Frequently Asked Questions #13: The False Dichotomy between "Stats" and "Watching the Game"
GA: The problem, you see, is that the Corsiatti, when they do watch the game, watch for the wrong things, a residual effect for their terrible way of looking at the game. My way, on the other hand, is right. Why, you ask?...well...how do I put this...well, it's becau...um...I can tell you for sure that the way they do it is wrong. So that's a start.
Saturday: What Drives Power-Play Success?
GA: Heart and determination. Man, I'm so tired of answering these kinds of questions.
And no, you cannot have my soapbox. I earned it; you stats folks will just poison people's minds.