Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Detecting Failure

Success has a thousand fathers.  Failure is a bastard.  

Thats what my Father tells me, often as a joke.  But it's true.  Success catches the eye, draws attention, gets analysed.  All the sports books I read are about successes.  

Where are the books about failures?  There are just as many losers as winners in every sport.  Maybe even more losers.  

Its more important for prediction and betting to detect failure.  After all, when two teams try as hard as they can, the result can be determined by the random bounce of a football, or the millimeter difference in a shot going in or out.  

But when one team gives up?  When one team has consigned themselves to defeat and doesn't care if they lose?  Then the result is guaranteed.  

What are the predictors of failure?  The body-language of failure?  The facial expression of a person who is waiting to retire, waiting to sign with another team, a person who wants to screw over their coach no matter the personal cost?

Those would be more valuable than focusing on when players are motivated.  Motivation is easy to see but relatively worthless if you follow winners.  After all, nearly all winners are motivated so there is no real advantage.  Its more important to find teams that have quit even though the season is half way done.  Players who are just ready to graduate and leave football for good.  

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