Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Black Swan

Or, rather, a black Cardinal. To fill you in, the Atlanta Falcons are playing the Arizona Cardinals in the wild card around of the playoffs. All week, the pundits gave the Cardinals very little chance. According to them, the Cardinals just didn't have the talent - specifically in both aspects of the run game - to keep up with the Falcons. Though there was only a 2 point line, most "experts" picked the Falcons, and even more agreed that the Cardinals would have a tough time running the ball or stopping the run.

The second quarter just started, but so far, in case you haven't noticed, the Falcons are playing outside their mind. Specifically, the Cardinals are running the ball at will, with Edgerrin James tearing it up. On the flip side, the Falcons are having very little success running the football, and the Cardinals' defense is simply stuffing them.

How could so many people, who supposedly know so much, be so wrong about the way that this match up (especially the running match up) would play out?

Cool sports example of the type of prediction bias (or, rather, our inability to make even reasonably accurate predictions) that Taleb makes a focus in Black Swan. Very interesting to see it so plainly in something I follow.

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