Monday, September 05, 2011

Book Review: NFL Record & Fact Book 2011

Another year, another edition of the NFL Record & Fact Book. See my review of the 2009 edition for a basic description of what the book is.

To release this year's edition at the normal time around the start of preseason, the NFL had to print the R&FB based on rosters as of the day before the lockout, plus the draft picks. Thus, all the free agency moves after the lockout that are in Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 are not included.

I've only skimmed the 2010 edition for changes, but these are the changes I've seen:
1. The rundown on overtime procedures seems to have been removed.
2. There's a list of the number of active players permitted in a game over time (going back to 1925), plus the numbers for player movement in the free agency era.
3. The cover in the past has featured the image of a Super Bowl-winning player. This year's cover instead as the 32 team shields.
4. Most game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 1970 has been added.

By now I'm in the habit of buying it every season. It's a useful reference to have nearby when I'm watching games and sometimes if I need to look up a particular item or two when writing something. On balance, though, if you're only looking for current information, you can find pretty much everything in the Record & Fact Book online, either on or P-F-R.

UPDATE (9/05/11 1913 CT): Item #2 wasn't removed, just moved to a new section and with an entry added to the table of contents.
UPDATE #2 (9/07/11 2207 CT): Item #1 wasn't removed, just moved to a new section. Jon Zimmer (@NFLHistory on twitter) also noted most GW drives by QB has been added. Note, though, their numbers don't match those listed by P-F-R based on Scott Kacsmar's research (see parts one, two, and three), whose numbers are transparent enough I have some trust in them. For example, John Elway is listed as having 40 (p.310), while P-F-R has him with 35 fourth-quarter comebacks and 46 game-winning drives. Maybe there's a methodology issue involved.

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