Advanced NFL Stats' Win Probability is football's killer stat of the moment, for good reason. But while there's no reason to watch a graph instead of a game, there's an eloquence to Win Probability Graphs, especially during the game's most improbable moments.
Arsenal isn't just a soccer team, it's an expression of a philosophy about the sport. But Per Mertesacker, the quiet, constant and deceptively remarkable defender who is the team's best player, embodies a different and more practical philosophy simply by playing the way he does.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, currently overseeing the third prolonged labor dispute in less than 20 years, makes for an easy villain. But the awful paradoxes with which he has presented fans—a league that hurts its fans to grow its fan-base and foregoes games to increase revenue—have had an unusual effect: they've reminded fans, in the game's absence, of how much hockey is really worth.
ESPN's QBR may or may not take off as the next great advanced football metric. But the stat-heads who helped design the proprietary stat were very willing to explain its most controversial aspect, the much-debated (and confusingly named) "Clutch Index."
When it was launched late in 2011, ESPN's proprietary QBR passer rating was heralded as the rating that quantified the most complicated position in sports. Nothing could quite be or do that, but QBR has done a pretty solid job. So why has it more or less disappeared from ESPN and from the NFL discourse?