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2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Review

By hagrin - Posted on 02 March 2013

Well, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference has officially jumped the shark.

While I have attended the conference in the past, this was the first year that I have watched the webcast and to say I was disappointed would be the understatement of the year so far. Let's go into why the Sloan Conference isn't a "must go" destination for the sports analytics person anymore.

The webcast is an inexpensive $21 and it is relatively a well run webcast. However, you could see that the webcast wasn't nearly that popular as only about 30-50 people ever were in the webchat portion of the stream at any one time. Quickly, it became apparent to me why that was the case. The webcast only showed you the Grand Ballroom where almost all of the "paid advertisement" segments were delivered. Whether it was the SAP Big Data hour long advertisement or if it was a panel member dropping the 3 major PepsiCo brand names, a good chunk of the Grand Ballroom presentations were totally useless to the true sports "geek" or analytics "geek".

As a corollary to the above complaint, I was shocked at how little discussion there was ... about actual analytics. Too much of the panel's discussion was focused on opinions or broad-stroke analysis. Even in the best panel of the conference, the Predictive Sports Betting panel, specific information was nowhere to be found and was extremely broad based. Therefore the conclusion I came up with for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference going forward is this -

There is no longer a need to attend this conference if you are seeking actual information. There are better, free sources for analytic information on the Internet and the only value the conference provides is networking.

As an analytics person, you'll learn more learning Luke Winn's weekly Power Rankings column. You'll learn more by reading the blog entries at KenPom. You'll grasp more about data by perusing on a daily basis. You'll learn more reading the Football Outsiders articles.

The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference has gone corporate. It has outlived its real usefulness and the spirit of the event has drastically been altered. Do yourself a favor - spend your money and your time supporting those in the analytics field that actually offer you insight and real analytic information as opposed to hour long opinion-fests.

Best Super Bowl Commercial

By hagrin - Posted on 04 February 2007

99% of the world thinks he's a no talent, money grubbing, poor, white trash excuse for a human being, but Mr. Kevin Federline stole the Super Bowl commercial competition with his Nationwide advertisement tonight. Self-deprecating humor always works best and he pulls it off to perfection.

Rose Bowl - USC v. Texas

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

I'm writing this post during the halftime of this year's Rose Bowl which finds Texas up by 6 points, 16-10. My impressions of the game so far:

  • Reggie Bush's lateral may lose the game for the Trojans. It killed all momentum that the Trojans had and could have put Texas down 14 early in the game. The first thought that went through my head was that "he's trying to be Randy Moss". His 1st half yardage is impressive, but putting the ball on the ground needlessly when you have your opponent on the ropes is a huge mistake.
  • The USC defense seems unable to solo tackle Vince Young or tackle him on first contact. I would look for more draw plays and options from Texas in the second half, especially if they still have a lead.

Terrell Owens Has Suspension Upheld - Will Not Play this Year

By hagrin - Posted on 04 August 2006

In a bit of a surprise (especially after the public sentiment the last few days), the arbitrator in the Terrell Owens case has upheld the 4 game suspension of T.O. and their right to deactivate him after the suspension is over. Therefore, T.O. will not be playing again this year.

Bet you he's super happy with his agent now ...

However, one school of thought is that T.O. will win in the long run with this decision. At the end of the year, the Easgles are going to cut T.O. making him an unrestricted free agent who doesn't have to clear waivers, no team owes him money, etc. Therefore, he wi