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Extended Audio Sample Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won Audiobook, by Tobias Moskowitz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 5 3.48 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tobias Moskowitz, L. Jon Wertheim Narrator: Zach McLarty Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9780307877680
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In Scorecasting, University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moskowitz teams up with veteran Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim to overturn some of the most cherished truisms of sports and reveal the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and hockey games are played, won, and lost.

Drawing from Moskowitz’s original research, as well as studies from fellow economists such as New York Times bestselling author Richard Thaler, the authors look at the influence home-field advantage has on the outcomes of games in all sports and why it exists; the surprising truth about the universally accepted axiom that defense wins championships;  the subtle biases that umpires exhibit in calling balls and strikes in key situations; the unintended consequences of referees’ tendencies in every sport to “swallow the whistle”; and more.

Among the insights that Scorecasting reveals are:

• Why Tiger Woods is prone to the same mistake in high-pressure putting situations that you and I are

• Why professional teams routinely overvalue draft pick

• The myth of momentum or the “hot hand” in sports, and why so many fans, coaches, and broadcasters fervently subscribe to it

• Why NFL coaches rarely go for a first down on fourth-down situations—even when their reluctance to do so reduces their chances of winning

In an engaging narrative that takes us from the putting greens of Augusta to the grid iron of a small parochial high school in Arkansas, Scorecasting will forever change how you view the game, whatever your favorite sport might be.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The closest thing to Freakonomics I’ve seen since the original. A rare combination of terrific storytelling and unconventional thinking.”

    Steven D. Levitt, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Freakonomics

  • The closest thing to Freakonomics I've seen since the original. A rare combination of terrific storytelling and unconventional thinking. I love this book... Steven D. Levitt, Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
  • I love this book. If I told you why, the NBA would fine me again. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks
  • Scorecasting is both scholarly and entertaining, a rare double.  It gets beyond the cliched narratives and tried-but-not-necessarily-true assumptions to reveal significant and fascinating truths about sports. Bob Costas
  • A counterintuitive, innovative, unexpected handbook for sports fans interested in the truths that underpin our favorite games. With their lively minds and prose, Moskowitz and Wertheim will change the way you think about and watch sports. Not just for stats nerds, Scorecasting enlightens and entertains. I wish I had thought of it! Jeremy Schaap, ESPN reporter, Author of Cinderella Man.
  • (Sports + numbers) x great writing = winning formula.  A must read for all couch analysts. Richard Thaler, Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, best-selling author of Nudge.
  • Scorecasting will change the way you watch sports, but don’t start reading it during a game; you’re liable to get lost in it and miss the action. I’m not giving anything away because you’ll want to read exactly how they arrived at their conclusions. Allen Barra, NJ Star Ledger
  • Freakonomics meets Moneyball The Wall Street Journal
  • Like Moneyball and Soccernomics before it, Scorecasting crunches the numbers to challenge notions that have been codified into conventional sports wisdom. Wired Magazine
  • Scorecasting is both scholarly and entertaining, a rare double. It gets beyond the cliched narratives and tried-but-not-necessarily—true assumptions to reveal significant and fascinating truths about sports.”

    Bob Costas, NBC sportscaster

  • Freakonomics meets Moneyball.

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Like Moneyball and Soccernomics before it, Scorecasting crunches the numbers to challenge notions that have been codified into conventional sports wisdom.”

    Wired 

  • Scorecasting will change the way you watch sports, but don’t start reading it during a game; you’re liable to get lost in it and miss the action. I’m not giving anything away because you’ll want to read exactly how they arrived at their conclusions.”

    NJ Star Ledger

  • “With their lively minds and prose, Moskowitz and Wertheim will change the way you think about and watch sports. Not just for stats nerds, Scorecasting enlightens and entertains.”

    Jeremy Schaap, ESPN reporter, author of Cinderella Man

  • “A must read for all couch analysts.”

    Richard Thaler, professor of behavioral science and economics, author of Nudge

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Davehbo | 2/18/2014

    " Very mildly interesting. Excerpts in Sports Illustrated were the best parts. Didn't even finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 2/12/2014

    " Outstanding. Persuasive and entertaining. It prompts a great deal of thought and will provoke debate among passionate fans. Two slight quarrels: the selection of variables used to test the author's hypotheses is often not well enough supported and the conclusions drawn from such narrowly selected data ought not be as grand as presented. ...and the authors are much less familiar with hockey than with the other major sports. In the material on home field (ice/court) advantage, no mention was made of significant line matching and substitution timing advantages a hockey team has playing at home. However, the insights created by the research presented were utterly fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neha Pareek | 2/10/2014

    " A little heavy on the numbers and stats at times, but overall, a very interesting read. If you like sports, and you enjoyed "Freakonomics," you'd probably like it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Vogel | 2/9/2014

    " If you are into sports a lot and math/economics a little bit, you'll enjoy this book. It occasionally went on a little bit too long in the name of thoroughness, but the insights were worthy, and the conclusions novel. Determining where home field advantage comes from and figuring out why the Cubs keep losing were two of my favorite sections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennie | 2/6/2014

    " If you have interests in the mathematics of probabilty and in sports, you should definitely read this book. Personally, I follow both college and pro football intensely, college basketball sporadically, and find major league baseball to be the televised equivalent of a test pattern. This book is divided fairly evenly among those three sports, with a little hockey and soccer thrown in now and then. I found the football portions fascinating, the basketball sections interesting (mostly as validation of the football examples) and the rest a little dull. I don't think that is the fault of the book, but more a reflection of my own tastes. I do think statistics and probability are fun subjects. It was enlightening to read how home vs. away games, human nature, coin-flips, officiating and generally followed standard practices truly affect scores, wins and losses. I also loved the section toward the end about the NFL draft. While I can't say the book was a riveting read, I can tell you that it is much more interesting than the average statistical report, and very easy to understand. It did keep my interest from start to finish, although I did have to make myself hash through a few portions solely devoted to baseball, soccer or hockey. Fortunately, those portions were not lengthy, so it wasn't that difficult. I do feel that I will watch the upcoming football season armed with some new knowledge that will enhance my enjoyment of the game. The endnotes state that a sequel may be forthcoming, which will include some other factors that influence (or, contrary to popular belief, do NOT influence) sports, wins, and final scores. I definitely will be looking out for it. I have a feeling that I'll see the influence of reading this book as I watch sports in the future, and may even go back and read it again. While not a life-changing experience, I do feel I have an expanded perspective. It will be interesting to see how it affects my enjoyment of the upcoming football season. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 2/6/2014

    " This is an excellent book for any sports fan and becomes even better if you enjoy stats and numbers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 2/2/2014

    " This is Freakonomics for sports fans. Very interesting going into details of why the home team wins more games than the visiting team and other little tidbits about sports. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan Burt | 1/24/2014

    " An interesting commentary on the psychology of sports and why some teams often go for the short glory rather than long term winning. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Garrett Peters | 1/18/2014

    " It was kind of like a watered-down Freakonomics. But the worst part were the false dilemmas scattered throughout the book in an attempt to supposedly teach you something about reality (or sports, in this case). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Martinez | 1/16/2014

    " Freakonomics for the sports enthusiast. Fun read, although light on the statistics and conclusions. In short, referees are the "cause" of homefield advantage...mostly. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Miltenberg | 12/21/2013

    " Didn't get much new here, largely seemed to be retreads "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lincoln | 12/10/2013

    " Probably I rated it higher than it should be. Weak on the chapter about "buying titles" and some pitching insights. Too many assumptions. Scope of the book was far too large. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Pike | 11/26/2013

    " It's Freakonomics for sports nerds like me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 11/5/2013

    " Sports + Statistical Analysis = Geek heaven for me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 9/20/2013

    " This was a really cool book. If you like sports, check it out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 4/3/2013

    " This book gives sports myths the "Freakonomics" treatment. I loved the ideas and observations. I hope some of my sport loving brother-in-laws read it so I can discuss the ideas with someone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krishna | 3/30/2013

    " If you follow this kind of thing, you won't learn much new from this book. But it'd be interesting if you don't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/19/2013

    " I read only the NFL parts. Debunks myths like defense wins championships, etc. Heavy on statistics. Verdict: worthwhile read for sports fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 12/14/2012

    " The application of statistics to various nagging sports questions. Really fascinating stuff! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joel | 8/24/2012

    " Freakonomics for sports, but actually pretty boring. Some interesting ideas, but a lot of their theories just seemed like common sense to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 12/6/2011

    " really interesting. went on a little too much about home field/court advantage but otherwise really interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Perry | 5/24/2011

    " The book really answers some interesting questions. Sometimes their leap from a few statistics to conclusion is a little too large but overall a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 5/21/2011

    " Excellent read for the sports fan who enjoys questioning conventional wisdom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 5/16/2011

    " Sports + Statistical Analysis = Geek heaven for me! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Davehbo | 5/11/2011

    " Very mildly interesting. Excerpts in Sports Illustrated were the best parts. Didn't even finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 5/7/2011

    " Overall good, but I am getting lost with the football descriptions... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek | 5/5/2011

    " Although the numbers running left me a little blurry eyed in places, overall the book was an excellent look into how statistics prove or disprove many long time myths in sports. It doesn't matter which sport you like, this book should be part of your sports library. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 5/5/2011

    " Didn't get much new here, largely seemed to be retreads "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 5/5/2011

    " Interesting. Some parts more interesting than others. Heavily slanted towards professional sports while I am more a college fan, so that decreased my enjoyment a little. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 4/28/2011

    " Worth reading if only for the chapters about the Cubs and referees being the reason for home-field advantage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 4/19/2011

    " Good topics, well written and somewhat informative. A good idea that might need better topics to tackle and stop basing most of the theories on NBA free throw shooting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/14/2011

    " I read only the NFL parts. Debunks myths like defense wins championships, etc. Heavy on statistics. Verdict: worthwhile read for sports fans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan | 3/26/2011

    " It's like Freakonomics for sports fans... I love sports stats and so this was right up my alley. "

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About the Author
TOBIAS MOSKOWITZ is the Fama Family Chaired Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago.  He is the winner of the 2007 Fischer Black Prize, which honors the top finance scholar in the world under the age of 40.

L. JON WERTHEIM
is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a recent Ferris Professor at Princeton, and the author of five books, including Strokes of Genius:  Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played.
 
For more information go to scorecasting.com
About the Narrator

Zach McLarty is an actor, director, and audiobook narrator. Among his book readings are The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss and The War to End All Wars by Russell Freedman.