Friday, February 22, 2008

Football Forecasters Think Too Much

clipped from
Each year, columnist Gregg Easterbrook keeps track of errant NFL predictions. He acknowledges in his introduction to this year’s column that he’s only reporting the worst
Full disclosure: Mr. Easterbrook picks on my print colleague Allen St. John for missing on most of his playoff picks
“Here’s the beauty of the Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate: You don’t need incredible insider information, you don’t need to spend hours in fevered contemplation, you don’t even need to know who’s playing,” Mr. Easterbrook wrote. “Simply always check-mark the team with the best record, or, if their records are equal, check-mark the home team.
I’ve written before about how this maxim applies to hurricane forecasts, to conflict scenarios and to political punditry. I
In a recent recap of forecaster accuracy, the Journal’s Justin Lahart noted that the top forecaster scored just 41 out of 100, and the average score was just 18.
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