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Sporting business != real world business
When I was a kid, I nearly obsessively enveloped the sports section of my daily Kitchener-Waterloo Record.

Regardless of if an article was about baseball, hockey, football, and even occasionally basketball (and this was north of the border prior to the era of Vince and his mighty Raptors), I would relish every word and number that was pressed onto the pages. I almost created an emotional attachment wih numbers like .282 (pretty solid, great if accompanied by power), 2.35 (decent GAA), 18.7 (reasonable NBA PPG average).

Still, there was one type of article that I just didn't understand the appeal of... the sports business article.

Now that I have a semi-real job with some responsibilities and engage in comparable sized negotiations with some regular frequency, I'm starting to appreciate those sorts of articles. My brain is now starting to recognize the importance of how negotiators create leverage and fight over their positions. Little things like disfunctional management squabbles, coaching changes, and player relations all seem to have added significance as I'm encountering their equvalents in the business world.

Although I'd never look to the existing sports world practices to come up with how to do my job (as sports establishments are way too dictatorial, disfuctional, and in many cases engage in too many sub-optimal practices), it is kinda neat watching how these sorts of off the field games unfold in the same sort of way that sporting events unfold.

Still, I keep on wanting to scream at athletes that they should dump their agents, spec out what they are willing to provide to teams/sponsors and run either sealed bids or online auctions for those services. Teams should build strong predictive models of player performance using the rich available statistical databases to optimize their lineups. Owners should look at player performance under different coaches to find out which coaches improve team performances and use those metrics for hiring. Football strategists should start using more game theory, dynamic programming, and monte carlo simulations to pick how often to run, pass, or onside kick the ball. All of these opportunities exist for teams to use common real-world techniques to more efficiently operate their businesses, yet they are too infrequently foregone in place of traditional strong-willed tactics.

Oh well.