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We had plenty of downs and a time out and didn't want to run against their goal line people right there. I thought it was going to be a touchdown when I threw it.
ESPN The Magazine and unleashed our experts and an army of researchers to rate 122 teams on the strength of each franchise's analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data and how much its approach is predicated on analytics.
When Philly hired Sam Hinkie in May 2013, the team became a test case for the GM's plan: dump overvalued mediocrity, lose (a lot) with cheap role players and load up on picks.
"Analytics have been an important component of who we are since I walked in the door 15 years ago," says owner Mark Cuban, an early adopter of adjusted plus-minus.
Roland Beech, VP of basketball strategy and founder of 82games.com, was the NBA's first bench "stats coach" when Dallas won the 2011 title, and Cuban's faith in tech company Catapult, which gauges player workload to keep vets like Dirk Nowitzki healthy, is so strong he invested several million dollars in it just last year.
Moneyball is alive and well in Oakland, but since that seminal book was published in '03, the league has upped its investment in sabermetrics, closing the gap on Billy Beane. In 2009, GM Stan Bowman became one of the first NHL execs to hire an outside analytics firm -- half a decade before 2014's "Summer of Analytics" hit the ice.
Still, even after Oakland's brain drain -- Mets VP Paul De Podesta ("Peter Brand" in the movie) and Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi -- Beane continues to thrive with buy-in from manager Bob Melvin, whose teams have averaged 93 wins a season since '12 and ranked No. Now the Hawks, with two Stanley Cups in that span, are seen as pioneers in Corsi and Fenwick ratings, which value players by possessions, not points.