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Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won | [L. Jon Wertheim, Tobias Moskowitz]

Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

Drawing from Moskowitz's original research, as well as studies from fellow economists such as bestselling author Richard Thaler, the authors look at: the influence home-field advantage has on the outcomes of games in all sports and why it exists; the surprising truth about the universally accepted axiom that defense wins championships; the subtle biases that umpires exhibit in calling balls and strikes in key situations; the unintended consequences of referees' tendencies in every sport to "swallow the whistle," and more.
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Publisher's Summary

In Scorecasting, University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moskowitz teams up with veteran Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim to overturn some of the most cherished truisms of sports, and reveal the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and hockey games are played, won and lost.

Drawing from Moskowitz's original research, as well as studies from fellow economists such as bestselling author Richard Thaler, the authors look at: the influence home-field advantage has on the outcomes of games in all sports and why it exists; the surprising truth about the universally accepted axiom that defense wins championships; the subtle biases that umpires exhibit in calling balls and strikes in key situations; the unintended consequences of referees' tendencies in every sport to "swallow the whistle," and more.

Among the insights that Scorecasting reveals:

  • Why Tiger Woods is prone to the same mistake in high-pressure putting situations that you and I are
  • Why professional teams routinely overvalue draft picks
  • The myth of momentum or the "hot hand" in sports, and why so many fans, coaches, and broadcasters fervently subscribe to it
  • Why NFL coaches rarely go for a first down on fourth-down situations--even when their reluctance to do so reduces their chances of winning.

In an engaging narrative that takes us from the putting greens of Augusta to the grid iron of a small parochial high school in Arkansas, Scorecasting will forever change how you view the game, whatever your favorite sport might be.

©2011 L. Jon Wertheim and Tobias Moskowitz (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The closest thing to Freakonomics I've seen since the original. A rare combination of terrific storytelling and unconventional thinking. I love this book..." (Steven D. Levitt, Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (97 )
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    steve kearny, NJ, United States 10-11-11
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "9 out of 10 people will like this!"

    Being a sports fan and a "stats-guy" I absolutely loved this book. I found it to be extremely interesting and will definitely recommend this title to others!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joe ROCHESTER, NY, United States 08-23-11
    joe ROCHESTER, NY, United States 08-23-11
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    "Decent"

    This is the rare occasion where I might reccomend the real book over the audio version. The book is a bit numbers and tables heavy and would be easier to see those in print rather than hear them recited. Other than that the book was pretty good. It covers a variety of sports and topics. Some parts were a bit dry, but overall would reccomend it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Curtin, Australia 09-25-12
    Don Curtin, Australia 09-25-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Statistical Nirvana"
    What did you love best about Scorecasting?

    I love sports and statistics this was a perfect storm!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the book goes to the true value of particular trends in a range of sports


    Have you listened to any of Zach McLarty’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A good read


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Moneyball


    Any additional comments?

    Book was strong on Baseball and NFL but struggled a little when it went into other sports. Got a little dry after a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Farmington, Utah, United States 06-30-12
    Nick Farmington, Utah, United States 06-30-12 Member Since 2009
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    "What really goes on during the game!"

    Great insight into the hidden world of sports! I would recommend if you like sports!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Orchard Park, New York, United States 12-09-11
    Michael Orchard Park, New York, United States 12-09-11
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    "A must for any avid sports fan!"
    What made the experience of listening to Scorecasting the most enjoyable?

    I watch sports a lot! To get some analysis that makes a sports argument backed up by facts without the emotions makes for great sports bar argument fodder!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Scorecasting?

    The section around the source of home field advantage in the various sports. Great stuff!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The no call in the Giants-Pats Super Bowl versus Serena being called for a foot fault. Making that connection to drive home a much deeper point about officiating was memorable and showed that the bias of officials transcends multiple, very different sports.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A thought provoking book. Not very emotional or moving to me.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I could get flash cards to summarize the arguments and bring them with me to a bar with my buddies. Great topics to debate and great insights to cause you to find other drivers behind the outcome of the sporting events of your life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L New York, NY, United States 07-21-11
    L New York, NY, United States 07-21-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Freakonomics for people who like sports"

    fun and interesting. deals with things you think you know, like the home field advantage

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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