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Penalty Harm: Behind the scenes

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Pay no attention to the stat behind the curtain. Wait. No. Come on in.

Hello everyone! I’d like to welcome all the Buffalo Bills stat nerds like me. And welcome the—whatever the opposite of that is I guess too. Seriously though, what follows is intended for everyone. As many of you undoubtedly have learned by now, I like to look at pretty much everything with an analytical eye. Nowhere is this more evident than me inventing a brand new stat out of thin air. For penalties. Even I’m not sure what I was thinking on that one.

Anyway, if there’s one thing I hate in equal proportion to how much I love analytics it’s the tendency for us data nerds to hide the behind-the-scenes stuff. Sometimes it’s to avoid scrutiny. Sometimes it’s to protect an idea from being stolen. But ultimately it’s always damaging to the audience. Protecting your data process like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind his curtain makes it harder to engage in dialogue and easier to misconstrue the conclusion.

So to help avoid that, I made this video trip through the penalty-harm process. If I can help demystify analytics even just a little bit, I’ll consider this a victory.