Statistics tell the story…or do they? I’m an admitted stats geek. I love numbers. Always have. And I find that most of the time the basic statistics and many of the “advanced analytics” that we can easily retrieve these days are very telling. They reveal trends, tendencies and are a good measure of overall performance over time.
On the other hand, sometimes a game situation dictates that a player perform in a not-so-normal statistical way. For example, we’ve all heard that NFL quarterbacks pile up the numbers in passing when their teams trail much of the second half. There are instances where pitchers perform poorly, but if a reliever comes in behind them to retire the side and not allow inherited base runners to score, then the original pitcher escapes unscathed.
I find that often a good offense or a good defense inherently benefits individual performances on the other side of the same team. We hear of run support being mentioned with pitchers, both positively and negatively. A starting pitcher can have a great Earned Run Average, be statistically sound and still finish the season with a losing record. Why? Because in that pitchers’ starts, his offense is only scoring 2.5 runs per game. So his 3.25 ERA just isn’t getting the job done.
As much as I love statistics, I still say the “eye test” is the best measure. You can see the little things a player does that don’t necessarily show up in the box score. I’ve yet to find a statistic that properly measures heart, effort and timely play in the exact game situation.
There are simply not many things in sports as intense, exciting and ultimately absolute as overtime games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Think about it. In basketball, overtime is timed. In baseball, the home team is guaranteed an at bat. And now in football, both teams are practically guaranteed a possession. Yes…I know that there can still be a first possession touchdown in the NFL or the “walk off” in the bottom of the inning in baseball. But hockey can go multiple overtimes as they play for the ultimately winning goal. It can come just seconds into overtime…or sometimes the teams can play nearly another full game of three (or more) overtime periods. It’s edge of the seat, must-see sports viewing.
Tonight the Ducks held a 4-2 lead over the Blackhawks with two minutes remaining in the game. By pulling their goalie, the Blackhawks scored twice to force overtime. Then, as absolute as it gets, just 45 seconds into the overtime, the Ducks scored for the final victory of 5-4. Exciting hockey. But I don’t think anyone on either side expected it to end in the first minute of overtime.
And for the record, my second post didn’t take that long, now did it?
I’m actually not sure exactly what I will do with this space. It likely will be occupied with thoughts and ramblings related to sports. I am a Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fan and football season ticket holder. I am also a member of the Nighthawk Nation supporting athletics at the University of North Georgia. However, I am a fan of all sports – literally all sports.
Having been born and raised in Georgia, I am a lifelong Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Hawks fan. I’m an avid hockey fan, but have suffered through losing two NHL teams in my lifetime (Flames and Thrashers) and likely not to ever see another.
So hang on for the ride and we will see where it goes. Like forms of social media, I don’t get hung up on the number of followers. If you don’t like what I have to say, then it’s your choice not to listen. No offense taken.
Now the real challenge comes. What will be my second post?