That's Not How That Works

NY Giants beat writer, Pat Leonard, sure has it out for the Giant's quarterback Eli Manning.  I'm guessing Pat is sitting at home writing how if only Eli Manning played better the Yankees would still be in the post season. It's Manning's mediocrity that sets the tone for all NY sports play. You think Stanton would have choked like that if Manning were more of an inspiration? 

Look, I'm sure Pat has his reasons. Perhaps Manning murdered Pat's entire family.  Unfortunately, the story hasn't made the news because the NY Daily News doesn't have any reporters left after firing all of them earlier this year.  If so, I send my deepest sympathies to Pat Leonard.

Now, I'm not usually motivated to come to the defense of millionaires, but Pat Leonard went too far last week when he wrote that the one constant for the Giants sucking is Eli Manning. Dude, that's not how science works.  In fact that's the opposite of how science works.  It must be all things are constant to test one variable at a time. When you want to test a hypothesis, in this case Eli Manning is the worst quarterback to ever play professional football, you have to create a repeatable situation where everything is constant but one thing.  So you'd have to have all the same players (which they don't) playing at the same time on the same field against the same players at the same time of day.  And once you can do that then you can trade out Eli for all sorts of quarterbacks and see how they play.  Now my loyal readers (AKA bots from Uzbekistan)  are saying to themselves, "Rachael that's never a thing."  Right if sports were just nothing but constants sports gambling would not be an industry.

I didn't learn this thing about the scientific method working in the Physics Department of one of the oldest Universities in the United States, who by the way has a god awful football team. No, I learned it in an American, public, middle school,  so it's not a complicated concept. Maybe Pat Leonard will retort with economists create models with multiple variables all the time. Yes, they do and they have a terrible track record of predicting the future, much like astrologers who also do a great deal of math and have failed at predicting the future.

Let's take the 2007 NFL season.  The Patriots were undefeated going into week 17.  They played the Giants at Giant Stadium on a Saturday night.  The Patriots won the game. Then approximately 4 weeks later the same two teams with the same two coaches, and the same two quarterbacks and well there were a lot of constants from the first game and the second game and yet the outcome was completely different.  Not just who won the game but how many total points were scored.  What changed?  I mean the quarterbacks were the same shouldn't the results have been the exact same?

Pat loves to bring up that Raiders game from last year when Geno Smith started at QB. Proof that a different QB would be better.  1) the Giants still lost. 2) The Giants still failed to score 30 points, 3) the Raiders were and still are terrible so who knows if it was Geno (who didn't sniff 300 yards passing either.)

Other teams and QBs. Sam Bradford and Case Keenum played well for the Vikings last year. Then they go to other NFL teams and now they suck.  Is it the QBs? Their new teams? A change in diet? Did someone put a curse on them? Eagles win games with Carson Wentz then they win games with   Nick Foles. This year Eagles lose games with Nick Foles then they lose games with Carson Wentz, (the Giants game notwithstanding because Eli Manning makes the Giants terrible.)

To illustrate the point in non sports terms: both Pat Leonard and I drink water.  The one constant is water.  And yet somehow he is a sports writer and I am not a sports writer. How is that possible?  WE BOTH DRINK WATER!  It's the one constant.

Finally, Pat Leonard, go ahead hate Eli Manning. Hate him because of the crimes he committed against your family (I'm guessing), or because he has a dopey face, or because he's 37 and should be taken out and shot like a race horse who has broken it's leg.  Hate him because they haven't had a winning season or because the only controversy he has created was that one time with that memorabilia lawsuit and that barely got any of you beat writers any clicks. His constant political correctness makes your job harder, especially when the team sucks and fans don't want to relive the misery by reading a recap of the game.  I get it.  So talk about him having lost the ability to play because that's your opinion but don't pretend you have any evidence to back any of that up.  He might actually be the reason but we'll never know for sure because there is not control group. There never is in team sports.  And yes, I sound a little like John Sterling, but that's probably because he also drinks water.