I got the idea for this book from Mark’s previous post on it. I liked it for all the reasons he liked it. Sports is often defined by statistics. We determine who goes to the Hall of Fame in the various sports with objective, measurable data playing a huge role. As a huge sports fan, I know a lot of the cliches that surround our favorite past-times and the unexplainable but undeniable forces that go along with it as well (like home-field advantage, momentum, or the curse of the Cubs). Turns out that none of these items are all that unexplainable after all.
And that’s what was so interesting about this book. I felt like a lot of what I knew about sports was turned on its ear. I’m now going to have to fight spouting facts to other sports fans when they start declaring that Dwight Howard is a more effective shot blocker than Tim Duncan.
I was an altogether enjoyable book to read as a sports fan. I even found myself laugh out loud at Barnes and Nobles when I read that the attendance at Wrigley Field is affected more by beer prices than it is by the Cubs’ winning percentage. The book also confirmed my strategy at Black Jack, though I’m not ready to bet our house downpayment on it 🙂