Allen Barra’s “Pro Foootball’s Cherished Myths” article in the 8/27/06 Wall Street Journal
Barra’s Wall Street Journal is the kind of thing I am trying to put at this Football Think Tank Web site. The subtitle is “Ten sweeping statements for which there is no statistical defense.” I had already mentioned Barra in the Think Tank for his book Football by the Numbers.
I cannot reprint the article here because the Journal owns it, not me.
It basically lists ten cliches that are often spouted by sports media people or others in pro football. One is the old saw about offense selling tickets and defense winning championships. In fact, says, Barra, some teams win with offense, some with defense, and some with special teams, as you would expect. Why would defense be special. The object of the game is to score more points than the other team. You can score in all three areas and you can stop the other team from scoring in all three areas. In any given game, the areas that will dominate will depend upon teh relative strengths and weaknesses of the two teams in each area.
Barra destroys the other nine cliches as well. He could have destroyed a hundred more if the Journal had given him the room.
I add that the guys who spout this bull get paid millions of dollars a year for their football “knowledge.” Who’s responsible for that? You if you watch them and don’t complain to their bosses.
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John T. Reed
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