— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) September 11, 2016
Every once-in-a-while I will rant on the concepts and ideas behind what numbers suggest in a series called Behind the Numbers, as a tip of the hat to the website that brought me into hockey analytics: Behind the Net.
It does not take long for Hockey Twitter to complete one full rotation on its typical life-cycle of subjects. The same debates come up on shot quality, grit and leadership, eye-test versus numbers, and how statistics should be used in player evaluation again and again.
These debates often come to an impasse. Sometimes they even deviate into ad hominem and red herrings. There are parties guilty on both sides, as one would (and should) expect there to be “assholes” in every demographic.
But why is the prerogative for being nice always on the “stats guys”? Why are the “analytics guys” the only ones needing to change their ways to make things better? Why is it that only one side is discussed to be less cordial than the other?
Why does this hypocrisy exist?
I have a theory on this.