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      09-11-2021, 10:23 PM   #1
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The problem with sports in this era

I think this can apply to all sports but I approach this more from an NBA angle.

I'll preface this by saying, I'm a statistics and analytics guy. I work in the field, and truly understand its value in optimizing things.

That being said.... Analytics are killing sports.

Everything is viewed from an analytics angle, and as a result things sports are now optimized leveraging those analytics. It's why the NBA is full of 3 point shots and the mid-range game is absent. Analytics has found that the most efficient shots are 3 pointers and shots at the rim.

What makes sports exciting is the randomness of it, the hero ball, the emotion, the drama. That is literally all being sucked away into something that's now simply a clinical personification of a math equation.

In an attempt to perfect the sport, we're slowly losing the excitement that's derived from imperfection. We're losing the human quality of it.

What do you all think? Is my head up my ass or do you all feel similarly?
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      09-11-2021, 10:37 PM   #2
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No, it started when the NBA and NFL players had to get political. Took all the joy out of the game.
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      09-11-2021, 11:09 PM   #3
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NHL rocks, its my passion. Its all about team effort and none of what you mention. 100% excitement...who cares about individual efforts, the professionals do not.

Its all about raising lord Stanley in June- period!!!
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      09-11-2021, 11:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleleaf1773 View Post
NHL rocks, its my passion. Its all about team effort and none of what you mention. 100% excitement...who cares about individual efforts, the professionals do not.

Its all about raising lord Stanley in June- period!!!
Tbh I don't follow the NHL so I can't speak to that. My issue is mostly with the NBA.
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      09-12-2021, 03:09 PM   #5
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I think MLB is the worst offender....launch angle, exit velocity, dramatic defensive shifts, lack of base stealing, lack of working the count, over-thought pitcher on hitter matchups. Just off the top of my head....
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      09-13-2021, 11:14 AM   #6
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I would beg to differ. but 1st i cant blame sports analysis for making decisions based on science and facts. When millions of dollars are on the line, you want every edge you can get. I think the one thing that ruined sports is Money. It all boils down to Money. From super contracts, to new stadiums, to new marketing, its all about money.

Example 1) Sports organizations/owners/investors wanting to "protect their product" by introducing rules to take away the physicality and randomness of the game. This means the star player is less likely to get hurt because everything is now a foul. (cough cough Tom Brady, cough cough Lebron, cough cough Neymar)

Example 2) Super contracts make it tough for any other team to compete. If you have the money to bring in the best talent every year and consistently put out super teams, how can smaller teams/clubs compete? Yes every now and then a minnow makes a good run, but from a results standpoint the team with the better/more expensive players win more often. Look at all the past dynasties (cough cough Man City, Chel$ea, PSG, Real, Barca, Bayern cough cough NYY, LAD, SFG, BRS, Cough cough LAL, GSW, BC)


Example 4) Because the players are being paid so much now, they are less likely to take risks such as playing for their national team or in tournaments that aren't deemed the best tournament.


Example 3) Lastly its ruining the youth aspect as well. Its becoming increasingly more expensive to play a sport in the US. This shuts out a lot of kids who's families don't have a lot of money to buy all the equipment, to drive them to the game, to pay for injuries should they happen, to be able to take off work and help out, to contact coaches and schedule recruiters to come see their kid play. You either have the wealthy who are more likely to play sports, and the underprivileged, who are less likely to play sports nowadays. Not to mention now all the toxic parents that feel their uncoordinated little billy or suzy needs to play over the talented jason or amanda because they donate more money to the team.

Yeah i feel it all boils down to Money and its driving force to acquire more of it. But again i get it. The more money you make the better equipment you can buy, the more money you make the better talent you can acquire, the more money you make the more people you can reach through marketing, the more money you make the quality of everything just raises.
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      09-13-2021, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G3min1 View Post
I would beg to differ. but 1st i cant blame sports analysis for making decisions based on science and facts. When millions of dollars are on the line, you want every edge you can get. I think the one thing that ruined sports is Money. It all boils down to Money. From super contracts, to new stadiums, to new marketing, its all about money.

Example 1) Sports organizations/owners/investors wanting to "protect their product" by introducing rules to take away the physicality and randomness of the game. This means the star player is less likely to get hurt because everything is now a foul. (cough cough Tom Brady, cough cough Lebron, cough cough Neymar)

Example 2) Super contracts make it tough for any other team to compete. If you have the money to bring in the best talent every year and consistently put out super teams, how can smaller teams/clubs compete? Yes every now and then a minnow makes a good run, but from a results standpoint the team with the better/more expensive players win more often. Look at all the past dynasties (cough cough Man City, Chel$ea, PSG, Real, Barca, Bayern cough cough NYY, LAD, SFG, BRS, Cough cough LAL, GSW, BC)


Example 4) Because the players are being paid so much now, they are less likely to take risks such as playing for their national team or in tournaments that aren't deemed the best tournament.


Example 3) Lastly its ruining the youth aspect as well. Its becoming increasingly more expensive to play a sport in the US. This shuts out a lot of kids who's families don't have a lot of money to buy all the equipment, to drive them to the game, to pay for injuries should they happen, to be able to take off work and help out, to contact coaches and schedule recruiters to come see their kid play. You either have the wealthy who are more likely to play sports, and the underprivileged, who are less likely to play sports nowadays. Not to mention now all the toxic parents that feel their uncoordinated little billy or suzy needs to play over the talented jason or amanda because they donate more money to the team.

Yeah i feel it all boils down to Money and its driving force to acquire more of it. But again i get it. The more money you make the better equipment you can buy, the more money you make the better talent you can acquire, the more money you make the more people you can reach through marketing, the more money you make the quality of everything just raises.
You should get that cough checked out

Also 3 comes before 4.


Jokes aside, I don't disagree with you. That's another angle to consider and impacts the overall operations of the sport. The analytics that I'm talking about directly impact the action that's happening during gameplay.

There's a lot of things that are ruining sports - money, as you say, might be one of them. Lack of emotion is another (and that's actively discouraged through the handing out of technical fouls for things like slapping the backboard or just showing too much emotion in general... remember when Mutombo's famous finger wave was outlawed?). Analytics turning the game into a math equation and minimizing the randomness of it is another.
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      09-13-2021, 11:48 AM   #8
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I don't know that we have THAT much to gripe about, guys.
  • The US Open was superb, with unexpected champions from both men's and women's sides.
  • This week's NFL action was exciting and unpredictable (lots of rookies making plays, Browns vs. Chiefs!!).
  • McLaren finished 1-2 in Italian Grand Prix - who saw that coming!?

Players expressing political opinions?
I'm all for it! That only adds to the excitement, and provides additional insight into their personalities.
Why would anyone take issue with folks exercising their 1st amendment rights!?


Cheer up, it's all good.
Always look on the bright side of life!

a
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      09-13-2021, 02:23 PM   #9
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im on the other side of this. Analytics has brought us a lot of great things recently. Plays that were thought too high risk in the past, have now shown to also have a high reward that makes that risk worth it.

For football, going for it on 4th, going for 2, more passing, etc. has led to more offense and more scoring, which is always fun.

Basketball, more 3 pointers and driving to the paint. Baseball, more homeruns and scoring.

The thing that is getting old in sports for me is the ticky tack fouls. And the flopping. Basketball is almost unwatchable due to the excessive fouling and guys more willing to flop than play through the foul. Its why olympic basketball was more fun imo.

As for youth sports, football in particular, I wouldnt say the cost of equipment is driving kids away, but more so the danger. Which is fine because we are getting some of the best of the best athletes starting at young ages and playing against higher overall competition at young ages, leading to some phenomenal players coming out of high school/college.
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      09-13-2021, 02:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchGuy View Post
im on the other side of this. Analytics has brought us a lot of great things recently. Plays that were thought too high risk in the past, have now shown to also have a high reward that makes that risk worth it.

For football, going for it on 4th, going for 2, more passing, etc. has led to more offense and more scoring, which is always fun.

Basketball, more 3 pointers and driving to the paint. Baseball, more homeruns and scoring.

The thing that is getting old in sports for me is the ticky tack fouls. And the flopping. Basketball is almost unwatchable due to the excessive fouling and guys more willing to flop than play through the foul. Its why olympic basketball was more fun imo.
Yeah the flopping and foul calling is a BIG problem. And now the addition of challenges in the NBA is REALLY slowing the game down.

For me more 3 pointers isn't exciting. I feel like the game was more dynamic in the past where roles were much more clear cut. We're seeing a homogenization taking place in the NBA where roles are blurred. You still have variation in talent level, but slowly every position's game is becoming the same - shoot 3's or shoot close to the basket.

One of the most exciting things to see (for me at least) is when 2 superstars are going at it in the heat of a game, trading baskets, one-upping each other. But analytics removes that scenario unless it happens within the construct of efficiency - which it typically does not. Does it still happen to some extent? sure, but analytics is quickly eroding that as well.

It's the randomness that generates excitement. Think about this at the most elemental level possible - I don't know if this shot is going to go in or not. That uncertainty generates anticipation for the result and ultimately excitement. In theory, analytics attempts to remove the uncertainty by optimizing the path towards the result (the result being a made basket worth the most points).

It turns the game from an emotional, physical exhibition of competition into a clinical exercise of mathematics.
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