Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Rational Loss for Bill Belichick

Chapter 2 of my favorite textbook has a box on David Romer's work on 4th down strategies in football. One fan of this work is Patriots' coach Bill Belichick, who recently applied Romer's analysis. Click here to learn more.

It did not work out well in this particular case, and Belichick is coming under some heat for his call. This does not mean Romer and Belichick are wrong. Some strategies that fail ex post might be optimal ex ante. Randomness is a fact of life, even if Patriots' fans do not fully appreciate it.