The Analytical Versus Emotional Approach

It never ceases to amaze me at how often individuals, businesses, and football organizations make decisions based on emotion and with no or limited insight.  A team tells itself, we must draft a Quarterback because we don’t have one, then selecting one by force that prevents the organization from making positive strides.  You will never get that pick back once it is made.  I am not going to mince words; emotional decisions are a feminine trait.  It is why estrogen is linked and tied to emotional swings.  It takes some fortitude to make smart decisions based on analysis and sound logic without worrying about what the fans think.  Scouts are guilty as well; there are some scouts would rather not make a call on a player out of fear for their job and would rather pass the buck to management. There are also some very intelligent scouts that have the ability to handle a structure that would give them leverage to do what they do best. Organizations can do things to empower their scouts and use their limited time resources more efficiently.

Whether you use a draft pick to take a QB should rely on logic, data, and risk analysis.   A more full approach would be to ask the right questions.  What is the likelihood success of Quarterback A?  If it is only about a 20% success rate, would I want to put my job on the line with those odds?  What if Quarterback B was 80%+ likely to be successful?  We do not have to go any further back than the 2012 draft to see teams making decisions based on an emotional approach and without proper risk analysis.  Maybe there aren’t any QBs that have a good probability of success in a particular draft… if you need a QB, are you still going to select one or are you going to use your draft picks to get the best overall return for your organization so that you can win over the long haul?  The QB decision should include a full analysis of all the available QB options; it should not neglect a QB that may be incorrectly evaluated using other approaches.  There are organizations that insist on being a drunk driver… oh, they may get home sometimes, but if they make a habit out of it, they are not going to get very far and may do a lot of damage along the way.

The key to the analytical approach is that it is quantifiable, measurable, and thus can be improved upon over the course of time.  Any other decision is a blind decision, increased risk for failure, not measurable, and thus not manageable.  It is not based on logic, but rather on emotion or “gut instinct”; a handful of practices, an experience with the player, an interview or two… in other words, a limited view of the overall scope.  Football is a great game, for it relies on teamwork and the objective couldn’t be any more black or white.  Did you win the last game of the season?  Are you measuring so that you can manage?  If that answer is no, then you are making a habit of getting drunk and trying to drive home.


  1. […] New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith finally got back on the field after returning from an ankle injury. The quote in my Preseason Week 2 Notes says it all. QB Geno Smith threw three interceptions and accounted for a safety by running through the back of the endzone. To top that off, QB Mark Sanchez entered the game in the 4th quarter behind a backup offensive line and injured his right shoulder. The New York Jets is an organization in disarray, and the only way out of that is to take a long term analytical approach. […]

  2. […] 7 or the record breaking performance against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. The key is using an analytical approach, not an emotional approach is to understand the upside, potential, or lack of it for a Quarterback and to understand […]

  3. […] As noted in a previous article, a QB pressure costs a Quarterback 25% or more on his QB Rating. With the New York Giants keeping the path of least resistance to pressure at OT, Manning was harassed, beaten, and threw a league high 27 interceptions. His Quarterback Rating in 2013 fell to 69.4 from 87.2 in 2012. This is a consequence of an emotional decision. […]