Showing posts with label NFL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NFL. Show all posts

Monday, January 13, 2020

Endorsement Deals Help Elite Athletes in College Football



It's interesting that college football is having it's 150th anniversary and the NFL is having it's 100th anniversary in the same year.  Personally I believe that a rematch of Green Bay and Kansas City would be a fitting match up for the Super Bowl as they were the first two teams to meet in the big game.  

Heisman Winner Johnny Manziel


As I write this LSU and Clemson are playing for college football's national championship.  Many of these players in the game and many players not in the game hope to play or coach in the Super Bowl someday.  Recently the governor of California signed a law allowing college players to accept sponsorship deals while in college which is banned by the NCAA.

A recent ESPN documentary discusses the issue of players getting paid.  College coaches are now paid in the millions of dollars which is close to NFL coaches.  I personally believe that, ideally, the NFL and NBA should have a farm club system like the NHL and MLB.  The first two leagues mentioned in the last sentence get lots talent from college sports for free.  Using a farm club system would take a lot of the hypocrisy out of college sports.  

The players are supposed to be there to get an education.  While they are there they should have enough to live on but sponsorship deals would most likely go to the elite players while the average players would get the scraps.  

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Do NBA Coaches who didn’t play in the NBA fare the same as NFL Coaches?

Phil Jackson won 11 titles and did play.
In my last post I found that elite NFL coaches who did not play in the NFL fared better in the playoffs than those who did and also won more championships.  This week I thought I would look at NBA Coaches who did not play in the NBA compared to those who did.  Athlon.com produced lists of the top25 NFL and NBA coaches of all time.  In my last post I also looked at elite NFL coaches in the Super Bowl era.  

Athlon Top 25 Coaches
Played in NBA
Played in the NFL
No
Yes
No
Yes
Overall win%
0.610
0.588
0.629
0.628
Playoff
0.581
0.571
0.613
0.543
Reg Season
0.613
0.590
0.631
0.633
Champ/coach
3.571
2.056
2.180
2.430
total champ
25
37
24
34
Total Coaches
7
18
11
14

18 out of the 25 top NBA coaches played in the NBA compared to 14 of the 25 top NFL coaches.  Three of the seven who did not (like Red Auerbach) played before the NBA existed (it was created in 1946).  According to the table above NBA coaches who did not play won 1% more of their games than those who did where NFL coaches who did not play won 7% more of their playoff games and won.  NBA coaches on the list who did not play won 2.23% more of their regular season games.

These are coaches who were selected by Athlon.com on who they think are the best coaches.  Some were coaching in the 1940's and 50's.  As I did with the NFL coaches, I looked at modern NBA coaches whose careers spanned the modern era and who took their teams to the NBA finals from 1966 on to the present day.  The raw data I collected can be seen here.  It is summarized in the table below.

Top Modern Coaches
Played in NBA
Played in the NFL
No
Yes
No
Yes
Overall win%
0.548
0.579
0.592
0.585
Playoff
0.542
0.575
0.583
0.545
Reg Season
0.549
0.579
0.588
0.587
Champ/coach
1.667
1.517
1.420
0.910
total champ
25
44
41
21
Total Coaches
15
29
28
23

Like in the Athlon NBA list, there is a stronger presence of coaches who did play in the NBA than there is in the NFL.  29 out of 44 elite coaches had played in the NBA or 65.9% while 23 out of 51 NFL coaches or 45.1%.  This difference is statistically significant with a p-value of 0.045.  The coaches who played in the NBA had higher winning percentages in the regular season and the playoffs which is a different pattern than in the NFL.  The NBA coaches in the who did and did not play were roughly equal in the number of championships per coach.  Red Auerbach was included in the 15 coaches who did not play.  

There is a difference between the NFL and NBA in their elite coaches with a stronger preference for ones who did play in the NBA.  Among-st the elite coaches there were 9 out of the 44 who were African American in the NBA or 20.4% while in the NFL 4 out of the 51 or 7.8%.  This difference is not statistically significant while close to 70% of the players in both leagues are African American.


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Does playing in the NFL help a head coach? Not in the Playoffs.




Friday, January 4, 2019

Does playing in the NFL help a head coach? Not in the Playoffs.

Vince Lombardi never played in the NFL
NFL Playoff time is upon us.  While my Steelers won't be there there will be plenty of action.  How the coaches handle their personnel will go a long way to determine who wins.  Athlon sports produced a list of the top 25 NFL coaches of all time.  I notices that some of the top coaches on the list never, such as Vince Lombardi and Bill Belichik never played in the NFL while others such as Don Shula, Tom Landry, and Chuck Noll had.  I thought I would take a closer look at whether playing in the NFL was a predictor of their success.


EL Curly Lambeau played and coached the Packers at the same time
The Athlon list had 14 of the 25 coaches who had played in the NFL.  This includes Bill Parcells and John Madden who were drafted but never played a down for their teams.  Three of the early coaches, George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Steve Owen, and Guy Chamberlin, played for and coached their teams at the same time for at least part of their careers.  The coaches who played had a combined record (including playoffs) of 2,656 wins, 1,553 losses, and 110 ties with 34 championships for a winning percentage 62.8%.  The coaches who did not play had a combined record of 1,563 wins, 914 losses, and 30 ties with 24 championships for a winning percentage of 62.9%.



Coaching and playing for their teams was different in the early days than it is today. I looked at the wins and losses for coaches whose careers overlapped the Super Bowl era.  Championships won by Vince Lombardi and Paul Brown won before the Super Bowl Era are included.  This would be a really large list so it was limited to coaches from this era who were on the list or who had taken their teams to a Super Bowl.  This gives a list of 51 coaches, 28 who had not played and 23 who had.  The ones who had played have a combined record of 3,236 wins, 2291 losses, and 36 ties with 21 championships for a 58.5% winning percentage.  The ones who had not had a combined record of 3,512 wins, 2,419 losses and 41 ties with 41 championships for a 59.2% winning percentage.  



Coach Played in NFL
Y (N=23)
N (N=28)
Regular Season Winning %
58.7%
58.8%
Playoff Winning %
54.5%
58.3%
Overall Winning %
58.5%
59.2%
Championships
21
41
Championships per Coach
0.91
1.42

Breaking down these numbers by playoff and regular season games in the Super Bowl era, we see where not playing in the NFL makes a difference.  In the regular season, coaches who played had a winning percentage of 58.7% while those who did not had 58.8%, virtually no difference.  In the playoffs however coaches who played had a winning percentage of 54.5% while those who didn't had 58.3%.  This would explain the difference in championships won be these coaches with 41 won by those who did not play (1.42 championships per coach) versus those who did not (21 or 0.91 per coach).  



I can only speculate as to the reasons why elite coaches who did and did not play in the NFL differ on the playoffs on the playoff winning % and championships.  It could be that coaches who played can sympathize with what their players are going through come playoff time.  They might not push their players as hard in the playoffs.  The players have a lot of aches and pains in the playoffs.  

Another reason  could be that the adage "great players do not make great coaches" holds here.  Only a few of the player-coaches could be considered stars on their teams (like Mike Ditka) but they were good enough to make it to the NFL.  You can speculate as to other reasons (i.e. Concussions) for this difference.  You can see the full list of coaches in this post here.  

**Update**

The NFL just fired 5 of it's 7 African American head coaches. The Steelers Mike Tomlin and the Chargers Mike Lynn are now the only two left in the league.  In the data set used here there were four African American Coaches (7.8% of the total of 51 for the super bowl era).  Three of them did not play in the NFL, Mike Tomlin, Jim Caldwell, and Lovie Smith and one did, Tony Dungy.  All four coaches have a combined winning percentage of 59.7% with 2 championships.  They have a winning % 60.4% in the regular season and 47.8% in the playoffs.  Tomlin and Dungy were listed in the Athlon all time coaches list (8% of the 25).  

According to Dave Zirin at The Nation magazine, the number of African head coaches has never been nigher than 30% of the total head coaches in one year when they are 70% pf the players.  Would a different pattern emerge if I looked at coaches with this experience in the NBA, MLB or NHL?

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Friday, September 21, 2018

New Sports and Math Post On Darply and an Update on Trump's Approval Ratings

I have a new post on sports and statistics on the news site Darply. Featured prominently in this article is former Baltimore Ravens center John Urschel who retired from the NFL to pursue a PhD at MIT in Mathematics.  You can see another interview he recently gave on Amanpour and Company at the link below.  

John Urschel | Video | Amanpour: Walter Isaacson sits down with John Urschel, a rising star who walked away from a lucrative football career in the NFL to pursue a doctorate in mathematics at MIT.  

As a Steeler fan and a statistician I must say I'm glad he retired.

 

I also have an update on Trump's approval ratingsHis ratings have taken a 2%-3% dip in the events surrounding the convictions of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen and Sen John McCain's funeral.  It's worth noting but still not in Nixon territory for impeachment to happen.  Things have been hectic for me lately but I will begin work on my 8th anniversary post.

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