Monday, November 23, 2015's Football Freakanomics

EDIT: All of this content appears to have been removed from If anyone has any luck finding it, please email me at

The NFL and the statistics folks over at Freakonomics got together and made some...learning modules? Let's call them learning modules. They are interactive websites that teach users about very specific questions related to football (like home field advantage, instances when football player statistics don't tell the whole story about a player/team, whether or not firing a head coach improves a failing team, the effects of player injury on team success, etc.) and then answer these questions via statistics.

Most of the modules include interactive tables, data, and videos (featuring the authors of Freakanomics) in order to delve into the issue at hand.

For example:

The Home Field Advantage: This module features a video, as well as a interesting interactive map that illustrates data about the exact sleep lost experienced by teams that travel from one coast to another and the teams that have to travel the most during seasons. This module uses data to demonstrate that home field advantage does exist, but it also describes all of the factors that may cause home-field advantage (player sleep quality/stadium noise/etc.). This opens up a discussion of multivariate statistics and co-variates.

How to use in your class: Engaging examples of real life questions that can be answered via data collection and analysis.