Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday sports blogging 

[] Peter King, noted sports journalist, interviewed in the WSJ:

What story did you most enjoy doing?

Probably spending a week inside the Green Bay Packers in 1995....[Then-head coach] Mike Holmgren allowed me unfettered access. You are involved in all of the coaching meetings.

I once had Holmgren call in two young players and tell them they could not keep their pet in their apartment in Green Bay. I asked him, "What pet?" He said, "It's come to my attention these two guys have a lion." It's true. They had a lion in their apartment. He told them they weren't going to be on the team on Monday if the lion was still in their apartment.

Who's your least favorite interview?

I don't speak to T.O. anymore. I just think that life's too short to talk to nine-year-olds too often....

[] In light of all the unending belief in and dispute about "clutch hitting" in baseball, the Sabrenomics blog takes a look at the question of "clutch pitching" ... and finds the same answer.

[] The Sports Economist makes the case that coaching ability declines with age...

Using NFL data from 1920-2004, we found strong evidence of improvements with age and then a gradual decline in performance that mimics (with a 10 year lag) the decline seen in athletic performance...
...and I was going to make about six different arguments against the idea -- then I thought, "Al Davis". Never mind.

[] Of course, to lose coaching ability one must have it in the first place. Pro Football alerts us to the fact that the amazing Dick Jauron, currently coach of the Buffalo Bills, with his career record of all of one winning season in 10 so far, is about to join the ranks of the Top 50 NFL coaches of all time in number of games coached.

Yes, he has coached more games than Vince Lombardi and this year is on course to attain longevity surpassing the likes of John Madden, John Robinson, Brian Billick, and Jimmy Johnson. And the question arises -- in the NFL's world of supposedly cutthroat competition, where even the merely "good" are ruthlessly cast aside -- how has this guy lasted? (I put my guess for a partial explanation in a comment.)