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Reminder: P-F-R Needs Your Help!

Posted by Neil on July 20, 2012

Another reminder for users in the Philly area -- we need people like you to come in and help us improve our sites!

If you're in the vicinity -- our HQ is located in the Mt. Airy section of northwest Philadelphia -- and can spare an hour next week to help us test out some PFR Play Index features (we'll even pay you $50 for your time), please email me with your name and a contact phone number.

Please remember testing will be done in Philadelphia only. Thanks in advance for your help!

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Wanted: Pro-Football-Reference Usability Testers

Posted by Neil on July 17, 2012

Attention readers in the Philly area -- we need users like you to come in and help us improve our sites!

If you're in the vicinity -- our HQ is located in the Mt. Airy section of northwest Philadelphia -- and can spare an hour next week to help us test out some PFR Play Index features (we'll even pay you $50 for your time), please email me your name and a contact phone number.

We are looking for 3 testers, so we may not be able to use everyone. Please remember testing will be done in Philadelphia only.

Thanks in advance for your help!

4 Comments | Posted in Announcement, expire21d, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Season Leaderboards

Posted by Neil on June 27, 2012

Want to know who led the league in various categories last season? Check out the 2011 leaderboard page.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com

PI Player Season Finder

Posted by Neil on June 21, 2012

Be sure to take a look at the Play Index Player Season Finder to search through player season stats spanning from 1920 to today for single seasons or combined seasons that match your criteria.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Features, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Widgets.Sports-Reference.com — repost

Posted by admin on June 14, 2012

We're proud to introduce Widgets.Sports-Reference.com, a central destination for those looking to embed updated S-R stat tables on their site or blog. The page linked above contains a way to build various widgets for Baseball, Hockey, Pro Football, and College Football. Watch the following video for an example of how to use the widgets:

As always, send us feedback about new widgets you'd like to see or any issues you encounter while using the widgets.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Widgets.Sports-Reference.com

Posted by Neil on June 8, 2012

We're proud to introduce Widgets.Sports-Reference.com, a central destination for those looking to embed updated S-R stat tables on their site or blog. The page linked above contains a way to build various widgets for Baseball, Hockey, Pro Football, and College Football. Watch the following video for an example of how to use the widgets:

As always, send us feedback about new widgets you'd like to see or any issues you encounter while using the widgets.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, CFB at Sports Reference, HowTo, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Widgets

Team Twitter Lists

Posted by Mike on June 4, 2012

In addition to the player Twitter accounts mentioned in the previous post, we've now introduced team Twitter lists for all teams, which you can view on our site or subscribe to on Twitter. The lists will be kept up-to-date as rosters change throughout the year and as we add more players so you won't miss a single scintillating Tweet.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Player Birthdays

Posted by Neil on June 1, 2012

Happy birthday to Paul Coffey, Brad Wilkerson, Derek Lowe, Nick Young, Santana Moss, Larry Centers, and all the other athletes born today -- and a friendly reminder that you can look up player birthdays at all of our pro sites:

Birthdays at Baseball Reference

Birthdays at Basketball Reference

Birthdays at Pro Football Reference

Birthdays at Hockey Reference

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com

NFL records after N games

Posted by Neil on May 30, 2012

Tangotiger asked me to do some research for him with regard to predicting end-of-season records from a team's current record. Since it took a little time to put together, I figured I'd post the complete findings here.

The table below is based on every NFL season from 1988-2012 -- it lists every "season start" that a team had over that span (i.e., 4-1 through 5 games, etc.), and the average end-of-season winning percentage (counting ties as half-wins) for teams that started that way. I also showed the number of wins per 16 games to make it a little more understandable than a raw winning percentage.

Enjoy:

4 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Data, General, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Approximate Value

Posted by Neil on May 22, 2012

We get a lot of questions about our Approximate Value system, so I thought it might be a good idea to re-run this explanatory post from December 2010...

Created by PFR founder Doug Drinen, the Approximate Value (AV) method is an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year (since 1950). The following links will help explain the theory behind the AV system:

Introductory Blog Posts:

  • Part I - this is where Doug explained, in very broad general terms, what his goal was in creating this metric, and what his strategy would be for building it.
  • Part II - this is where Doug explained, in fairly gruesome detail, how the system works for offensive players.
  • Parts III and IV were posted while Doug was fine-tuning the system for defensive players. He invited readers to give opinions on the results.
  • Here are a couple of examples of uses for the method. Studies like these would be hard to do without an AV-like method.

Doug's Brief AV Explanation:

"AV is not meant to be a be-all end-all metric. Football stat lines just do not come close to capturing all the contributions of a player the way they do in baseball and basketball. If one player is a 16 and another is a 14, we can't be very confident that the 16AV player actually had a better season than the 14AV player. But I am pretty confident that the collection of all players with 16AV played better, as an entire group, than the collection of all players with 14AV."

"Essentially, AV is a substitute for --- and a significant improvement upon, in my opinion --- metrics like 'number of seasons as a starter' or 'number of times making the pro bowl' or the like. You should think of it as being essentially like those two metrics, but with interpolation in between. That is, 'number of seasons as a starter' is a reasonable starting point if you're trying to measure, say, how good a particular draft class is, or what kind of player you can expect to get with the #13 pick in the draft. But obviously some starters are better than others. Starters on good teams are, as a group, better than starters on bad teams. Starting WRs who had lots of receiving yards are, as a group, better than starting WRs who did not have many receiving yards. Starters who made the pro bowl are, as a group, better than starters who didn't, and so on. And non-starters aren't worthless, so they get some points too."

Weighted Career Approximate Value

At the top of every player's PFR page, you will see "Weighted Career AV" and a ranking since 1950. This is Doug's way of balancing peak production against raw career totals; for each player, he computes the following weighted sum of seasonal AV scores:

100% of the player's best season, plus 95% of his 2nd-best season, plus 90% of his 3rd-best season, plus 85% of his 4th-best season, ....

And so on. You can read a more detailed explanation of this metric here.

(Note: "Weighted Career AV" should not be confused with "career AV", which is just the unweighted sum of a player's AV scores.)

Similar Players by AV

On a player's page, you may see a table marked "Similar Players". This uses a method Doug invented to find other players who were similar in terms of the quality and shape of their AV career arcs. You can read more about this process here and here.

Where to Find AV on the Site:

4 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com

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