Podcast Episode #5: David Sally (The Numbers Game)

These are the show notes for Episode #5 of the Soccermetrics Podcasts, with featured guest David Sally, co-author of The Numbers Game.  This episode was recorded on 7 November 2013 from the Atlanta office.

david_sally2013David Sally is a behavioral economist by training (Ph.D, University of Chicago) and a visiting professor at Tuck School of Management at Dartmouth College.  He and Cornell professor Chris Anderson founded the football analytics consultancy Anderson Sally and wrote The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong, published by Penguin Books.  This book creates a bridge between the football analytics subculture and the broader football world, addressing basic but compelling questions and challenging long-held assumptions about the game that many people “know to be true”.

TheNumbersGame_CoverDuring our conversation, David and I discussed the following topics:

  • How David came to follow — and embrace — the beautiful game
  • David’s partnership with Chris Anderson
  • The contributions of behavioral science to problems in football analytics
  • The surprising similarities of the Big Five European leagues
  • Short corners and short free-kicks
  • The problem with penalty shootouts
  • How do you measure a player’s heart?

Web links to relevant resources that we referenced in our conversation:

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As always, we welcome your feedback on the episode, whether on content or technical matters.  You can make your feedback in the comments section (recommended for content-related discussions) or by emailing [email protected] (recommended for technical issues).

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  • Oli Norwell

    Fascinating stuff, I’m going to try to find The Numbers Game on Audible. Thanks for the podcast.