Saturday, May 17, 2008

Book Review: Dominance

I've wrestled with what kind of review I was going to do with Eddie Epstein's Dominance: The Best Seasons of Pro Football's Greatest Teams for the last couple days, and I've decided the only good resolution would be to re-read the book, take copious notes, and write a bunch of posts on it. Since (a) busy and (b) don't want to do that, that won't happen. So, you'll get what I write...

One of my biggest pet peeves in football statistics (and this has been true for 12-15+ years) is I HATE yardage statistics. They're useful in conjunction with points, but saying a team outgained a team 427-394 doesn't necessarily provide very much useful information. That's why I became a fan of FO's work (see here for some basic insights). But, FO's work wasn't available, and isn't available for the whole scope of pro football history, and won't be available going back many years for quite some time. So, you make do with what you have (similar story in college, a whole separate can of worms). But that doesn't mean I have to like it. GIGO. Far better to read FO's work. See also The Hidden Game of Football, which I'm making my way through in fits and starts. A decidedly lukewarm recommendation to fans of football statistical analysis, but only after you've read FO's stuff and Hidden Game, much in contrast to my expectations.

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