Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Press Release: Scorecasting by Tobias J. Moskowitz & L. Jon Wertheim

February 23rd, 2011

For Immediate Release:

Contact:  Tammy Blake, Crown  archetype Publicity

(212) 572.2542,









Equal parts Freakonomics, Moneyball, and “Mythbusters”,

This Book Will Forever Change Our Perspective on Sports



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

By Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon wertheim


Scorecasting is both scholarly and entertaining, a rare double. It gets beyond the clichéd narratives and tried-but-not-necessarily-true assumptions to reveal significant and fascinating truths about sports.”      —Bob Costas



For as often as sports are held up as a metaphor for life, the reverse is also true.

 Life explains sports.


The same human behavior and psychology that underscore our daily lives also applies to athletes, coaches and owners. Tiger Woods misses putts for the same reason your broker may have missed the Google IPO. Refs miss calls for the same reason some parents don’t inoculate their kids. Coaches punt on fourth down for the same reason patrons blindly order the Blue Plate Special at the corner diner.


SCORECASTING: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won”, by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim (Crown Archetype, On-Sale January 25, 2011) digs into the behavioral dynamics and then delivers readers from the sports clichés and misstatements that have dominated for decades. Leave your anecdotal evidence at the door. Emotion means little here. With a combination of first-rate analysis and first-rate storytelling, Moskowitz (a University of Chicago Booth School of Business finance professor) and Wertheim (a writer at Sports Illustrated), assess the most deeply-rooted “truisms” that haunt the games we love.  

Does defense truly win championships? Is there really such a thing as momentum in sports? Does icing the kicker work? Are the Chicago Cubs cursed? Can you really quantify the subjective aspects of sports, like officiating?


Moskowitz and Wertheim challenge all those sports clichés that we accept as articles of faith. Test the unconventional strategies. Reveal the hidden influences. Mine the relevant data. Moskowitz and Wertheim go beyond the numbers to explore the biases and brain functions that affect nearly every pitch, pass and penalty. SCORECASTING introduces readers to omnipresent game-changers like “hindsight bias”, “loss aversion”, “omission bias”, “ref bias” and our deepest desires to conform to the group.


SCORECASTING confirms what has long been assumed. Consider:

·               Officials are biased…but not for the reasons you think.


·               The key to long-term focus and creative play: job security.


·               Luck doesn’t make us smarter or dumber, only lucky or unlucky.


·               There’s no I in team, but there is one in elite player. You better have one or more if you want a title.


·               Using all four downs in football is still considered sports heresy. Wrongly, but everyone punts, right?


·               Tiger Woods is, in fact, mortal—and for reasons having nothing to do with Thanksgiving of 2009.



It also breaks new ground that is as controversial as it is statistical accurate, like:

·               Why the home field advantage really exists.


·               Why the first pick in the entire NFL draft is worth less than the first pick in the second round.


·               Why umpire-monitoring technology is wrecking home field advantage in baseball.


·               Why players and coaches are plagued by the compulsion to avoid losses at the expense of acquiring gains.


·               Why cold weather teams are no more likely to win at home when the weather is brutally cold, nor are warm. weather teams more likely to win at home when the temperature is awfully hot.


·               Why the strike zone on 3-0 pitches is 188 square inches larger than it is on 0-2 counts.


·               Why the Cubs are actually less unlucky than the average team in baseball.


·               Why momentum doesn’t exist in sports.



If we question the conventional wisdoms in sports and master the empirical data, we will have predictability where there was none before. The authors prove time and time again, that teams ignore data and human behavior at their own peril.


SCORECASTING will quite simply change the way we look at sports.



“I love this book. If I told you why, the NBA would fine me again.

What is most disappointing, if this book had been written years ago I could have

just handed it to the NBA rather than getting fined all those times!”

—Mark Cuban, owner Dallas Mavericks



 “The closest thing to Freakonomics I’ve seen since the original.”

—Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics 


About the Authors:

Tobias J. Moskowitz is the Fama Family Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is the winner of the 2007 Fischer Black Prize, which honors the top finance scholar in the world under the age of forty.


L. Jon Wertheim is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a recent Ferris Professor at Princeton, and the author of five books, including Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played.



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

Authors: Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim

Publisher: Crown Archetype
Format: Hardcover; 288 pages; Retail Price: $26.00

ISBN-13: 978-0-307-59179-1

Publication Date: January 25, 2011


To schedule your interview with Toby moskowitz and/or Jon wertheim please contact  Tammy Blake, Crown  Archetype Publicity (212) 572.2542, Tblake@Randomhouse.Com .


The Crown Publishing Group