February 12, 2004

Please delete. I'm a tard.

posted by garfield to navel gazing at 04:09 PM - 46 comments


posted by 86 at 06:03 PM on February 12, 2004

Thats not fair to tards...

posted by StarFucker at 06:45 PM on February 12, 2004

nice, eh?

posted by garfield at 07:31 PM on February 12, 2004

Amusing way to self-identify garfield.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:21 PM on February 12, 2004

And lose WC's great response?

posted by justgary at 09:47 PM on February 12, 2004

good point justgary. If there's a way to preserve wc2k2's response, that would be cool.

posted by garfield at 09:52 PM on February 12, 2004

I could delete it and add WC's comments to the old post, but I wouldn't know how to make it authored by WC. Someone more involved in the code could. (rcade?) Regardless, its not a big deal. Its an excellent post and I missed it the first time. No harm no foul.

posted by justgary at 09:57 PM on February 12, 2004

Yeah, my comments just make that entire thread shine. So, if you're going to delete the post but preserve my comments for posterity, please, please include the following preface: "Yet another stupendous comment from the eternally brilliant, nattily-attired and terribly modest worldcup2002." Just leave it like that. Anything else would be too much.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:01 AM on February 13, 2004

Bah, you forgot humble.

posted by justgary at 01:09 AM on February 13, 2004

But seriously, folks, that really was a splendid article. Gave me new appreciation for MBAs. That guy de Podesta really looks smart. You know, if someone in the Euro soccer leagues (heck, any other sport) was really smart, they'd buy that system from him, or hire de Podesta to build a system for them. They'd be building a competitive advantage to last them at least 5 years. Look at the financial benefits alone: "Over the next four years we won 383 regular season games. The Yankees won 383 regular season games. But better for us, the Yankees spent over $433 million on player payroll and the A's spent about $134 million." Same results for a third of the investment.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:27 AM on February 13, 2004

cant uh, worldcup just cut and paste his post into the old thread?

posted by jerseygirl at 06:36 AM on February 13, 2004

No, my specialty is coming up with them in the first place. I don't do cut and paste, dahling.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:51 AM on February 13, 2004

My apologies. You should get a personal -Filter assistant. They can let you know when there are new posts, when someone is calling you out, if there's a potential interviewee.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:31 AM on February 13, 2004

I don't do cut and paste, dahling. Spoken like a MBA.

posted by garfield at 10:42 AM on February 13, 2004

Gave me new appreciation for MBAs. These guys sound nothing like the MBAs I've come in contact with. The ones I've worked with were unskilled, insincere, schmoozing, transparent bullies straight out of a Dilbert strip or Office Space. I'm glad to know there are some out there doing good work (or doing any work at all).

posted by dusted at 10:59 AM on February 13, 2004

i hate corporate life.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:06 AM on February 13, 2004

I have an MBA, dusted. Want to ge together for some capuccino and discuss your attitude?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:29 AM on February 13, 2004

dusted, that's why I said _new_ appreciation. My old appreciation was, well, not that appreciative. And see, bill"MBA"saysthis, I've met him, and let's just say he's a sweet, kind-hearted soul. And I'm sure he's not the only one. But, anyway, I was talking to my wife last nite about doing the same sorta thing that dePodesta did with the A's, for, say Liverpool. Hey, even if all I came up with was the actuarial tables (the probability and _value_ of certain events, factors, assets in determining particular outcomes) for a certain organization, I'd be sitting on a powerful competitive weapon. Now, dePodesta did more than stats-geek the system, he gradually re-engineered his entire organization, including its hiring practices and compensation/incentive programs (the assets are the people, who play, scout, hire, train, manage, etc.). If all I did was the stats, I'm expecting I'd come up with at least the philosophical thoughts and tactical decisions that would revolutionize player valuations, determining the right skills needed for my team, perhaps even down to team and formation selections for a specific match, etc. Now, I know there'll be people saying, MAN, this is so corporate big-business crap. (I hear you, j-girl!) Where's the romance? The sheer enjoyment? But, you know, when you're spending and making millions of dollars on guys chasing after a ball, you're IN BUSINESS. And I'd rather give my team that advantage, perhaps saving them operational costs (oh, the most unromantic of rationales) so they don't have to get in the Champs League every season just to survive. Not to be beholden to agents and crap players asking for nutso salaries. To be able to determine what incentives work best for the whole organization. I don't know. It's just the most excited I've ever really gotten about actuarial tables, Markov models and Bayesian inference. Outside of the sports connection, I'm not sure I wouldn't have just ignored the thing. And the whole organizational dynamics, leadership, change management thing. That's difficult messy stuff, folks. Regardless of if you do it in sports, business or your church. I'm just renewing my appreciation of these skills. Anyway, I'm thinking of taking classes in all of these topics. I don't need to spend 50K for an MBA. (hey, hey, that rhymes, what what) Just need to discover what skills are needed and take those classes or find the people who can help me with that (oh, bill ...).

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:42 AM on February 13, 2004

And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire .

posted by jerseygirl at 12:04 PM on February 13, 2004

See, the one MBA in the group wants to drink coffee and schmooze! And he's vaguely threatening me, the bully! I rest my case.

posted by dusted at 12:20 PM on February 13, 2004

Classic. Did you read my memo regarding the TPL report? And, um, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday. Um, yeah. (or something like that.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2004

wc2k2, your enthusiasm is infectious. I've got the old man hounding me to pick up a textbook again. But what to focus on? 'Direction, you might have been found.'

posted by garfield at 12:28 PM on February 13, 2004

Hi, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack but now I am off it and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.

posted by 86 at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2004

So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:40 PM on February 13, 2004

I went to see Office Space when it came out but missed the ending (last 20 minutes give or take) because the print burned through. Damn projectors! Enough to make you want to smoke some crack, eh? WC, I would look more at the material on the nathan.com site you linked to for some insights. Statistics are pretty straightforward if you can grok the math, I would just look at, say, the Stanford or Cal website for the textbooks used in their MBA classes.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:09 PM on February 13, 2004

i've been unemployed for 2 months now. Best two months of my life i can remember! Well, since college.

posted by StarFucker at 02:29 PM on February 13, 2004

OK, I am an MBA as well, and as happy as I am that you are excited to go back to school WC2K2, I don't think you will ever be able to "sabermetricize" association football. And that's its beauty: it is too much of a free-flowing art form to allow for it. Move from home, to first, to second, to third, and back to home again -- as if on a Fordist assembly line -- and one run is manufactured: this is the nature of offensive production in baseball, and why it lends itself to this type of statistical management. In football, on the other hand, there are few spatial constraints, relatively few statistics, almost zero positional specification (and thus more player interchangeability) -- this allows a freedom that makes the sport very artistic. Consider the nature of football viewership: it is very much about process -- you could spend 90 minutes to see only one goal, yet be entertained the whole time by furious dashes, precise through passes, and arching crosses. In baseball, on the other hand, there is more emphasis on outcome and very little room for creativity -- thus, the signature highlight of the sport is the home run. It is no accident that baseball was the sport that flourished in the United States at the same time that modern capitalism (and later scientific management) rose to prominence. I elaborate on this argument substantially in my book, but thought I would throw in my two cents at this point.

posted by smithers at 03:43 PM on February 13, 2004

(btw, dusted, I am hurt....)

posted by smithers at 03:45 PM on February 13, 2004

smithers, I'm with you all the way. All the reasons you listed are probably why soccer doesn't lend itself that well to quantification. And why it is so beautiful. However, there are still stats for the sport. I'm not pretending to be able to distil it all to a couple of formulas. (There are still people involved for goodness sake!) And I sure wouldn't want to lose the beautiful openness that allows for the possibility of something like this. I'm just wondering, however, if there isn't some "slackness" in the "system" (player valuations, player's suitability for a team's playing system, the success of one formation against another, etc.) that wouldn't allow for some improvement thanks to better understanding of the variables involved and their relationships. Hey, what's your book called? Link to it. I'm glad someone's already struggled with this question.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:07 PM on February 13, 2004

Sorry, smithers. My little rant up there came out harsher than I intended. :) I get bad flashbacks to my brief stint in the corporate world and I lash out...

posted by dusted at 04:11 PM on February 13, 2004

dusted: I'm just kidding....95% of what is said about MBAs is true....that's why I'm not trying to storm Bay Street. The only problem is that it scares so many other people away from going to learn about business, which perpetuates the same people learning the same ideas.... /my own rant about MBA WC2k2: shit, with writing like that, you should skip the actuarial tables and get into sportswriting! As for the book, ummm...it is still at the level of process rather than outcome. It *will* be called Revisioning Versus, and I hope to have some sort of deal for SpoFiers before it gets to the rest of the public.

posted by smithers at 04:31 PM on February 13, 2004

smithers, dude, thanks! Maybe that is my true calling. Other SpoFos have mentioned that, too. I should be a stogey-chewing Brit in a porkpie hat, braving the bitter cold as I scribble away on my notebook, reporting from the frontlines on the bitter muddy battle between two EPL teams. (OK, I'd rather be in the press box tapping away on my laptop. Or better still, doing text commentary like those blokes at the Guardian, or on soccernet.com.) OK, maybe I'll skip the MBA school and do the journalism thing. Or hey, I could just replace those annoying cocks on FoxSportsWorld's EPL show. Of course, I have a face made for radio. So ... ... where were we? Oh yeah. As for your thesis on the automation of sports, I'm sure this NYT article about the Mets use of biomechanics to enhance pitching success won't dissuade you. Computers are helping us become more like robots.

posted by worldcup2002 at 04:44 PM on February 13, 2004

agreed, and thanks for the link...I hadn't seen that article....

posted by smithers at 04:51 PM on February 13, 2004

WC, if you want to be a writer you need to lose all the freaking cliches and truisms. But you can replace the loony tunes that annoy me no end on FSW any time. In fact, we'd make a good team for it, so let's get an audition. I need a job anyway and then we can pull in SF for special commentary on occasion (as long as we remember the 7 second delay for bleeps).

posted by billsaysthis at 06:28 PM on February 13, 2004

Surely you jest, Sir Bill. Which of my cliches are freakin'? What, pray tell, are these truisms you speak of? Forsooth!

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:59 PM on February 13, 2004

posted by dusted at 07:20 PM on February 13, 2004

I'm going with dusted on this one.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:39 PM on February 13, 2004

As the Fooker says, "Huh?"

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:45 PM on February 13, 2004

It looks like he's beating the crap out of my name.

posted by dusted at 11:39 PM on February 13, 2004

PC Load Letter?! What the fuck does that mean?!

posted by NoMich at 12:53 AM on February 14, 2004

Catching up on this, is the consensus view that it should not be deleted, even if garfield is a tard? I'm confused. And may be, in fact, a tard.

posted by rcade at 07:48 AM on February 14, 2004

WC's cliches: "stogey-chewing Brit in a porkpie hat, braving the bitter cold as I scribble away on my notebook, reporting from the frontlines on the bitter muddy battle between two EPL teams."

posted by billsaysthis at 10:58 AM on February 14, 2004

It warms the cockles of my heart to have such an avid reader. Cheers and tiddlywinks.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:15 PM on February 14, 2004

You know, I'm thinking we have not nearly explored the vastness of garfield's tardness just yet and you all are letting this thread die. Come on, everybody jump in the water's nice and warm ;)

posted by billsaysthis at 08:02 PM on February 15, 2004

so does that mean everyone else is tardy?

posted by smithers at 10:33 PM on February 15, 2004

smithers, I think you hit it in one! SportsFilter: Where everyone is a tard!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:44 PM on February 15, 2004

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