February 2, 2013

Are running quarterbacks more likely to get hurt?

From Slate:
The Running Men 
Are mobile quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick more injury-prone than pocket passers? 
By Omar Bashir and Chris Oates 
This year’s Super Bowl matchup shows you don’t need a particular type of quarterback to win in the NFL. The Ravens’ Joe Flacco has 38 rushing yards this season. The 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick ran for 56 yards on a single touchdown gallop against the Packers a few weeks ago. But in the long term, when you’re building a franchise, which kind of signal-caller is the better bet? 
Conventional wisdom says a runner is more likely to get hurt than a stay-in-the-pocket statue. Just ask Joe Flacco, who told the assembled press on Wednesday that “quarterbacks like [Kaepernick] are eventually going to have to become mostly pocket passers to survive in this league.” 
... But is this correct—are mobile quarterbacks like Kaepernick, Michael Vick, and RGIII, more prone to getting hurt than conventional passers such as Flacco, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady?  
... We tried to shed some light on the injury question by collecting quarterback injury data and applying some basic statistical tests. 
Finally, we ensured that each of the four total ways of separating “mobile” passers from the rest yielded a reasonable set of names. For instance, when mobility is defined by four or more rushes per start over a regular-season career, nine of 82 players in the dataset qualify: Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, Vince Young, Daunte Culpepper, David Garrard, Quincy Carter, Colt McCoy, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow. (Kaepernick would also qualify under the four-rushes-per-start criterion.) 
As you’ll see in the chart below, regardless of how we sliced the data, there was no statistically significant difference in injury rates between mobile and conventional quarterbacks. Quarterbacks of both types tend to lose 11 to 14 percent of their starts to injury. Even without counting the thus-far injury-free Kaepernick, three of the four tests produced a lower injury rate for mobile quarterbacks. The gap, though, is small enough that a statistician would call it zero.

A few things:

First: What Flacco says is literally true: "quarterbacks like [Kaepernick] are eventually going to have to become mostly pocket passers to survive in this league.” 

Running backs can get stronger into their mid-20s: e.g., Adrian Peterson just had his best year at age 27. But running quarterbacks generally don't succeed by lowering their shoulder and running over linebackers, they succeed through being elusive, like Kaepernick. Elusiveness is mostly a matter of foot speed, cutting ability, and instinct. Most players come into the NFL about as elusive as they'll ever be. Aging and injuries, large and small, take their toll rapidly in the NFL. 

Whether or not running quarterbacks suffer more major injuries doesn't really matter. Just about everybody in football except, maybe placekickers, gets progressively dinged up, and thus their elusiveness erodes with age. 

If a quarterback comes into the NFL as an outstanding runner, he might be able to be fairly effective as a starting QB immediately even if he hasn't learned how to be an NFL-quality passer. But, if he doesn't learn how to pass, he's not going to be starting in his mid-30s.

Second, there's always a lot of excitement around the idea that running quarterbacks are going to revolutionize the NFL Real Soon Now. They make for great highlight clips and they're the simplest players to win with in football video games. My son told me that when his friends forced him to play Madden, he'd always just pick Michael Vick and have him run around with the ball.

Similarly, the easiest way to win in Pop Warner football for little boys is to snap the ball to the best athlete and let him do whatever he wants with it. One man heroics work less, however, as you ascend the pyramid of training. At the highest level (the NFL), collaboration among specialists tends to produce better results than having an all-around athlete do his own thing.

Third, here's a baseball analogy to a young running quarterback: Say, a very fast first baseman wins Rookie of the Year at age 24 by leading the league with 15 triples (versus only five homers), stealing 60 bases, and getting to grounders in the hole between first and second base better than any other first baseman in the league. (Why is somebody that fast playing first base? Let's say, he can't play other infield positions because he's lefthanded and he can't play the outfield because he's terrible at judging flyballs.)

If your friend says, "He's going to revolutionize the first base position, turn it into a speed position!"

You'd reply: "He was fun as a rookie, but to have a good, long MLB career at first base, he's going to have to develop homerun power, because he's not going to get faster as the years go by. It's not hard to come up with a slow first baseman who hits 25 homers year after year and thus contributes more overall than this guy does, especially in a few years when he's hitting only six triples per year instead of 15."

Exciting young running quarterbacks are kind of like that: they naturally get worse at running, so they'd better get better at passing.

Fourth, as a running quarterback's running skills decline with age, defenses can concentrate more on stopping his passing, so, unless his passing improves, the effectiveness of his passing will also get worse as his rushing declines.

Fifth, all else being equal, it's better for a quarterback to be a good runner than not a good runner, just as all else being equal, it's good for a first baseman to be good at fielding and baserunning. But the Venn diagram intersection of NFL-Quality Passer and NFL-Quality Rusher is not large.

Sixth, all else being equal, the player who gets hit more often is going to get hurt more often. But, things are seldom equal. 

Seventh, much of the confusion surrounding this topic is due to it being closely linked to questions of race, which lowers collective IQs by 20 points: "Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, Vince Young, Daunte Culpepper, David Garrard, Quincy Carter, Colt McCoy, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow. (Kaepernick would also qualify under the four-rushes-per-start criterion.)" 

So, the study shows seven black running QBs, one biracial (Kaepernick), and two whites. I would imagine that pocket passers would be skewed at least as heavily in the opposite racial direction.

Much of the talk about running quarterbacks getting injured more is excuse-making and misdirection for the quarterback position in the NFL remaining white-dominated. (Notice that blacks aren't underrepresented at quarterback in the NFL relative to their share of the national population, they just aren't over-represented like at most other positions. In today's mental climate, black monopolies at cornerback or running back don't need explanation -- that's just the way it is, and, hey, why are you even noticing? -- but white domination at quarterback does require rationalizations.)

What seems to be happening is that, per capita, black quarterbacks are more likely to start in the NFL before they've become NFL quality passers, because their, on average, more dangerous running ability makes them more effective at a young age. But, the percentage of college quarterbacks of any race who mature into elite NFL passers is quite small. So, as young black running QB starters slow down with age, they lose the skill that made them effective without being an NFL quality passer, so they tend to flame out in spectacular fashions.

So, to explain phenomenon such as why Vince Young was on the cover of Madden NFL 08 but is now a backup, the running QBs gets hurt more party line gets propounded.

In contrast, a young slow white quarterback who isn't ready yet to be an NFL pocket passer is more likely stuck on the bench or the taxi squad. And if he fails to develop into an NFL-quality passer, he quickly moves into the rewarding world of insurance sales without much muss or fuss.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yet another niche white people once dominated is slipping through their grasp.

Thus the panic that blacks are taking over the premier sports position will elicit a strong response from white people to try and bury it.

not a hacker said...

the rewarding world of insurance sales

commercial real estate.

Anonymous said...

What's this "Read more >>" crap?!?

Blecch.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Flacco has a point as guys who learned to throw wiser like mcnair, mcnabb and steve young had long careers vs. the flash that was Vince Young or vick. One thing that we dont have enough data yet on is if size matters for a running QB's injury issue. Cam Newton, Kaepernick, Tebow and Rothlisberger are mobile guys but also large and dont shy from contact. RG3, Vick, Dennis Dixon and other scramblers are smaller, so the hits can break them down faster.

Roger Staubach was known as roger the dodger for his scrambling ability, but no one brings up how he played at a high level, and ran, up to age 39, retiring after a pro bowl season.

Marlowe said...

Only if they hold scissors.

elvisd said...

Since we're on the topic of black quarterbacks, anybody care to give their assessment of Warren Moon? He was quite the journeyman.

countenance said...

Another factor is that defenses haven't figured out a way to stop these cutesey little pop gun offenses that you "need" these running QBs to orchestrate.

Steve Sailer said...

I think Warren Moon would be a good example of a black college QB not getting a fair break from the NFL in the draft in the late 1970s. He was a famous Rose Bowl-winning college QB, but NFL people wanted him to switch positions, so he went to Canada and just dominated for years, then went to the NFL and was a good, but not great, QB for many years.

But that was a long time ago.

airtommy said...

Moon was a good QB, though a coward in his later years, at least. But in the black community and among liberal white football fans, Warren Moon is one of the all-time greats. His induction to the Hall of Fame diminished that institution's stature in my eyes.

Marlowe said...

It can be manly in insurance.

ironrailsironweights said...

Insurance sales is just about the least rewarding fake "job" out there. Life insurance, at least. The failure rate is absurdly high, well in excess of 90%, and many of the few survivors just barely scrape by.
Case in point: at the start of 2010 I began as an agent in a large field office of one the biggest and best-known life insurance companies. The branch manager typically hired a group of new agents at the start of each month and sent them through training together. There were 27 new agents in my class of January 2010. When I left the company six months later - having made zero money despite spending hundreds of dollars on company publicity events - only two people were still remaining from the class of 27.

While the company provided extensive product training, new agents were left to their own devices in trying to attract customers. All the company would do is constantly exhort us to sell to people we knew - so-called "relationship marketing," a term which still nauseates me. Names and numbers for people who contacted the company in search of insurance were given only to experienced agents. Us new agents were required to submit a list of 200 people we knew, and contact all of them.

I recall paying $75 for three six-hour shifts at a company kiosk in a local shopping mall. The idea was that I'd be able to get prospects stopping by the kiosk and hopefully would be able to convert some of their inquiries into sales and commissions. It did not work for me, or for any other new agents, as people don't come to shopping malls to buy life insurance.

Out of desperation, I turned to a couple "paid lead" services, companies which collect information from people clicking on Internet ads for life insurance and sell this information to agents. Each lead would typically cost between $10 and $20. It probably should go without saying that these services were completely fraudulent. They would sell each prospective customer's information to as many desperate-for-business agents as possible. The vast majority of times I tried calling the prospective customers I'd be voicemailed. On the rare occasions I'd get someone on the line, I'd be told - usually not in a polite manner - that I was the tenth or twentieth or even thirtieth agent who'd called in the last hour and please take me off your telemarketing list thank you very much.

The managers at this big life insurance company were worse than useless. All they would do is harangue you about selling to your "natural market" (i.e. people you know) and constantly drop veiled threats about quotas. They knew full well that the vast majority of new agents would go right through the revolving door and saw no point in trying to give any useful assistance. None of them struck me as particularly intelligent or having much awareness of how the world really works [Note: just because someone knows you doesn't mean that he or she will buy life insurance from you. In fact, because the application and underwriting process often involves disclosing sensitive medical and financial information, many people prefer dealing with strangers.]

The last straw came for me after I spent $400 I couldn't afford for a booth at a country fair, and got zero customer inquiries. At a meeting the next day I told my manager that the fair had been a complete bust and that I was very disappointed. She looked right at me and said "I don't care."

That was my cue to leave.


Peter

Anonymous said...

Maybe, maybe not. Running quarterbacks tend to be black, and blacks have tougher bones.

Anonymous said...

the panic that blacks are taking over the premier sports position


Oh? Is Kaepernick "black" now? I guess if Benjamin Jealous can be black, we all can be black.

Mr Lomez said...

The major objection to this article is that it doesn't consider career longevity. That "mobile" QB's might have a harder time staying in the league because of injury is dismissed in a single sentence: "If this were true, we’d expect them to sustain more injuries while in the league, and they don’t."

This is disingenuous at best. Since the "study" only counts injuries that force QB's to miss games, it neglects the accumulation of dings and bruises, which, over a multi-year span, can be as damaging as the worst ACL tear. Steve's right, eventually these minor injuries negate whatever speed advantage a mobile QB once had, and he's eventually forced to rely on his arm. More often that not, mobile QB's are lacking in that regard.

Any serious observer can ignore actual injury history, and instead look at how many times QB's are hit. As a general rule, the human body, depending on its size, can only withstand so many violent collisions. If catastrophic injury doesn't bite first, attrition eventually will, and running QB's, almost certainly, take more hits per snap than their pocket passing counterparts.

Anonymous said...

"Oh? Is Kaepernick "black" now?"

He looks kind of Moroccan, doesn't he? He's got a Middle Eastern nose. His hair is cropped in every picture, so I have no idea if it would be straight or woolly when grown out.

DaveinHackesack said...

I remember the hit that ended Steve Young's career - I think it was a cornerback blitzing from Steve's blindside that just leveled him. Frank Gifford said something about how the corner was only 5'9" so Young should be able to shake it off, and then when they came back from the commercial break, he was still in a fetal position on the ground.

That hit happened on a drop-back play, but it was the cumulative effect of the concussions he suffered - some (most?) on running plays, that shortened his career by 2 or 3 years.

Anonymous said...

@ first comment

"Thus the panic that blacks are taking over the premier sports position"

Who cares if blacks take over every position in the no fun league? NFL is on the way out.

Steve Sailer said...

Likewise, Joe Theismann was moderately mobile even late in his career, but he never saw Laurence Taylor coming.

DaveinHackensack said...

Peter,

A former NFL quarterback that goes into sales - insurance or otherwise - isn't going to have an experience like yours. When I was a financial wholesaler, i called on a few former NFL players who became stock brokers - two in NJ, including a former Giants QB, and a former Giants guard, and one in Fresno, CA, whose name I forget. All were doing quite well.

I actually went on a sales call with the former QB, to help him sell a 401k plan to one of his business owner clients. The business owner was like putty in the QB's hands - like a little boy talking to his favorite player. I was there to lay out the details, but the QB closed that sale walking in the room.

DaveinHackensack said...

Theismann's compound fracture might have been the most gruesome NFL injury ever caught on film.

Anonymous said...

The first poster is being a prisoner of the moment, I have been hearing that refrain since the late 80's to early 90's, and it still hasn't come to pass. These things are cyclical, people think it's going to happen about every 8-10 yrs. and then it fades, and then reemerges. About a decade ago you heard it, with McNabb, Vick, and Culpepper and now only one of those guys is still playing and he can't stay healthy. Pat White had huge success in college, was drafted high in the second round to be a "wildcat" QB with Miami and is now toiling in minor league baseball or football, he has tried both.

Vince Young is out of the NFL and broke and has more career interceptions than Aaron Rodgers does despite having 125 FEWER TD passes, and the fact that Rodgers hardly played his first 3 years in the NFL and is younger than Young by six months. The dominant QBs in the league since Young and Elway have been chronologically: Favre, Warner, Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers. Only Rodgers is mobile out of all them, and he mostly uses it only in short yardage situations or QB runs inside the 10 yard line. Kaepernick looks like he has a future, but he is atypical physically, he is built a lot like John Elway, tall, strong, and having a big time arm. Griffin by contrast has already had two major knee surgeries by the end of his rookie year, one in college, one now in the NFL.

Andrew Luck who isn't mentioned in the article, ran for quite a few yards his rookie year and is physically much more like Kaepernick than Griffin or Wilson is, but because he is white and went to Stanford people assume he isn't athletic. However his 40 yard dash time was 4.67, not much slower than Cam Newton's 4.59. Luck has a very Elway like physique and is a classic pocket QB when throwing. Luck's standing broad jump at the combine was better than Griffin's by 4 inches despite the later's track and field background. Despite not having a good offensive line or any semblance of a rushing attack unlike Griffin his rookie year Luck stayed healthy all season. Luck also ran for 5 touchdowns while doing so. Long story short, mobile QB's don't generally last in the NFL unless they are physically big and strong like Elway and Kaepernick or if they are normal sized, possess massively powerful legs like Steve Young did. Griffin by contrast just had some major knee reconstruction, and is looking at a 9-10 month rehabilitation minimum, meaning he is unlikely to play in the season opener next year.

Anonymous said...

Has the Obama/Kaepernick parallel been mentioned anywhere? - White girl knocked up by absent black father, child then raised by traditional white couple and then becomes extremely successful. I would think HBD denialists would love the nurture over nature implications.

Deckin said...

Up until his back injury (two Super Bowl rings by then), Joe Montana was also known as a mobile, could run at any minute quarterback. I hear he had an OK career.

Anonymous said...

"Oh? Is Kaepernick "black" now?"

He looks kind of Moroccan, doesn't he?


I had the same thought: his skin tone features remind me a lot of the North African Berbers I've known. Still, he could be a mulatto and the Berbers themselves probably have a genetic profile somewhere between sub-Saharans and Europeans.

Anonymous said...

Insurance sales is just about the least rewarding fake "job" out there. Life insurance, at least. The failure rate is absurdly high, well in excess of 90%, and many of the few survivors just barely scrape by.

Why is the insurance business still set up that way? Why hasn't it modernized? It seems very old-fashioned with its reliance on individual traveling salesmen.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I don't get the 20-point IQ sacrifice comment. We don't know if QB's of any race - even the Throwin' Samoan - are race-typical. There's an intelligence filter to play the position at all, plus selection factors for career and social prospects for athletes in any sport.

Anonymous said...

How about some comments on the President's fake turkey shoot.

Marlowe said...

Peter: The last straw came for me after I spent $400 I couldn't afford for a booth at a country fair, and got zero customer inquiries. At a meeting the next day I told my manager that the fair had been a complete bust and that I was very disappointed. She looked right at me and said "I don't care."

The Glengarry leads are for closers only.

So's coffee.

Move to Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

He is a HOFer

DaveinHackensack said...

"Why is the insurance business still set up that way?"

Because it's profitable that way -- not for the vast majority of insurance salesmen, as Peter's comment illustrates, but for the insurance companies. They don't need new recruits a living to be profitable; they just them to sell policies to a few friends & family members before they wash out. The small percentage who become successful agents are gravy.

Anonymous said...

Guys, if Michael Vick had been white and convicted of shocking dogs to death, he would be untouchable and homeless by now.

As it is he plays for the Eagles and has delayed the homeless part for ten years.

Truth said...

"Has the Obama/Kaepernick parallel been mentioned anywhere? - White girl knocked up by absent black father,"

No parallel, Kapernick had an absent white mother also.

Anonymous said...

Because it's profitable that way -- not for the vast majority of insurance salesmen, as Peter's comment illustrates, but for the insurance companies. They don't need new recruits a living to be profitable; they just them to sell policies to a few friends & family members before they wash out. The small percentage who become successful agents are gravy.

Right, but other businesses used to be set up that way also. It's an old-fashioned biz model. But those businesses changed. Why hasn't insurance?

Anonymous said...

No parallel, Kapernick had an absent white mother also.

In a way so did Obama. Didn't she drop him off on the grandparents?

ironrailsironweights said...

Why is the insurance business still set up that way?

Because it's profitable that way -- not for the vast majority of insurance salesmen, as Peter's comment illustrates, but for the insurance companies. They don't need new recruits a living to be profitable; they just them to sell policies to a few friends & family members before they wash out. The small percentage who become successful agents are gravy.

Most life insurance companies put new agents on a form of probation. For instance, at the very large, very well-known company where I worked, you were on probationary status - and could not collect any commissions - until you sold six life insurance policies. You had to reach that level within 90 days after getting licensed and trained or you'd be out. If indeed you were one of the very, very few new agents able to sell six policies by the deadline, you would collect the commissions on those policies once you came off probation.

If you sold, say, three or four policies but were not able to reach the 6-policy quota within 90 days, you'd have to leave the company* and you would not be able to get any commissions on the three or four policies you did sell. What the company hoped for, quite cynically indeed, is that a new agent would sell a few policies to family and friends, would be able to sell no further policies and have to leave ... and then the company would never have to pay any commissions on those policies.

There is, perhaps, the faintest glimmer of hope. Over the past few months this company has contacted me five times trying to recruit me as an agent. I don't believe the people making the contacts know that I had been with the company three years ago (trust me, I let them know, in no uncertain language). The company's also been running ads on Craigslist entitled "IMMEDIATE HIRE!" It may be that the company's had to resort to these aggressive recruiting tactics because people are finally catching on that an agent "job" is really no job at all. I can only hope so.

* = in practice, most agents leave shortly before reaching the 90-day limit, rather than waiting to be fired.

Peter

Clutch cargo cult said...

The first baseman analogy doesn't hold because even if such a player was able to maintain that production it wouldn't beat the opposing first baseman who will hit .300+, hit 30-40 hrs, and drive in 100-120 rbis. It's a run producing position, the match up wouldn't work.

Maguro said...

Yeah, Stanley Ann Dunham was not exactly one of those mothers who sacrifices everything for her baby boy, was she?

Anonymous said...

OT, but Kaepernick's looks are quite interesting.

I've read his mother was white, his father black, but other than his kinky hair he looks Southern Italian, Greek or even Lebanese/Syrian. He has an Italian, not a black-looking nose, thin Caucasian lips, Mediterranean olive skin.

In short, hat on, he doesn't look black at all.

Anonymous said...

Assistant Village Idiot - I don't get the 20-point IQ sacrifice comment.

I took that as a reference to the people discussing the matter, they get 20 points dumber.

Anonymous said...

Luck is an incredible athlete and took a team that was a total loser last year to the playoffs, yet the media doesn't want to talk about him--he plays for a Midwestern team in flyover country and....OMG, he's white!!!!!

Much as Russell and Rg3 are talents, I'd bet on Luck having the more successful career.

As for Kappy, he's got a really good arm and with Harbaugh as his coach, he'll have no trouble becoming one of the league's best.

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing a national sports talk show after the Steelers black,long-time back-up Charlie Batch had a fairly good game filling in for injured Rothlesberger.

The black co-host complained with the air of complete righteousness without even a hint of any doubt about why there seemed to be so few black back-up QB's.

The white co-host did not push back on this at all and, in honesty, it took me a few minutes to come up with the obvious rebuttal myself: that perhaps the black host is looking at the wrong football positions for evidence of non-racial-proportionality.

But I think Steve is right: race talk does lower everybody's IQ at least 10 points in PC America.

ironrailsironweights said...

Right, but other businesses used to be set up that way also. It's an old-fashioned biz model. But those businesses changed. Why hasn't insurance?

Part of the reason is that most people would only buy term life insurance if it were possible to buy life insurance online. It makes sense, as in many cases you can buy a very high amount of coverage at an affordable price.

While insurers don't mind selling term life, the real money is to be made in selling much-more-expensive whole life. The problem, from the insurers' perspective, is that not too many people are eager to buy whole life: compared to term you pay much higher premiums for much less coverage, the promise of lifetime coverage doesn't mean much as most elderly people have few if any life insurance needs, and even some cursory research will show that the buildup of cash value rarely amounts to much.

In order to get people to buy whole life, the insurance companies employ legions of straight-commission agents to put on the hard sell. Anything other than face-to-face sales tactics would result in very very few sales of whole life.

Peter

Anonymous said...

In a way so did Obama. Didn't she drop him off on the grandparents?

Eh. I'd say having him attend high school in Hawaii as opposed to Indonesia was a prudent choice.

Anonymous said...

Why is the insurance business still set up that way? Why hasn't it modernized? It seems very old-fashioned with its reliance on individual traveling salesmen.

Because the most profitable life insurance policies, with its infinite variations, must be "sold" to people. It requires explanation and soft people skills.

ben tillman said...

I think Warren Moon would be a good example of a black college QB not getting a fair break from the NFL in the draft in the late 1970s.

It's pretty funny that Charlie Ward playing 11 years in the NBA after being told he was too short for the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Most life insurance companies put new agents on a form of probation. For instance, at the very large, very well-known company where I worked, you were on probationary status - and could not collect any commissions - until you sold six life insurance policies. You had to reach that level within 90 days after getting licensed and trained or you'd be out. If indeed you were one of the very, very few new agents able to sell six policies by the deadline, you would collect the commissions on those policies once you came off probation.

Why is it set up like sketchy multi-level-marketing schemes, which are for low-end consumer products like nutrition supplements, skin care products, etc., when insurance is an important thing?

Anonymous said...

While insurers don't mind selling term life, the real money is to be made in selling much-more-expensive whole life. The problem, from the insurers' perspective, is that not too many people are eager to buy whole life: compared to term you pay much higher premiums for much less coverage, the promise of lifetime coverage doesn't mean much as most elderly people have few if any life insurance needs, and even some cursory research will show that the buildup of cash value rarely amounts to much.

I've heard that Warren Buffet's fortune is actually built on insurance companies, rather than picking stocks. Insurance companies apparently generate lots of cash.

Steve Sailer said...

"He looks kind of Moroccan, doesn't he?"

Kaepernick's white birth mother has an Italian surname, so maybe it's not surprising that he looks kind of North African, that geographically being in-between Southern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

Or, there's the issue of first generation biracial people tend to be more variable in how they look. Anthropologist Henry Harpending likes to point out that a group tends to develop a "type" after a number of generations of endogamy. African-Americans whose all white ancestors were several generations in the past tend to have the African-American type

The biracial kid from a small town in Oregon who set the decathlon record last year looks kind of South Asian. Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers is unusual looking, too.

Anonymous said...

In order to get people to buy whole life, the insurance companies employ legions of straight-commission agents to put on the hard sell. Anything other than face-to-face sales tactics would result in very very few sales of whole life.

One of the biggest insurance companies in the world, Munich Re, apparently rewards its top sellers with orgies:

"German insurer Munich Re held orgy for salesmen"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13454160

"One of the biggest insurance companies in the world held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of prostitutes.

Munich Re is the world's biggest re-insurer - in other words, the company acts as an insurance company for other insurance companies.

One of its divisions, Ergo, told the BBC that the party had taken place to reward salesmen in 2007.

A spokesman said the people who organised it had since left.

The gathering was held at a thermal baths in the Hungarian capital Budapest as a reward to particularly successful salesmen."

Anonymous said...

Because the most profitable life insurance policies, with its infinite variations, must be "sold" to people. It requires explanation and soft people skills.

Yes, but savings accounts aren't marketed via field agents trawling neighborhoods. Other financial products aren't sold via traveling salesmen. I don't think brokers do cold calling much anymore.

Anonymous said...

"Has the Obama/Kaepernick parallel been mentioned anywhere? - White girl knocked up by absent black father"


Judging by Kaepernicks skin color and facial features, his "black" father was probably at least three quarters white, if he was "black" at all. He looks more like some sort of Berber/white.

Say what you will about Obama (I know, I know) he's the rare "African-American" who actually is half African.

Anonymous said...

Roger Staubach was a 27 year old rookie and therefore probably took less of a beating in his younger years. Steve Young probably fits into the same category, since he was on the bench in the Montana years.

Anonymous said...

There is a baby picture of Kaepernick on this site. His hair doesn't seem to be kinky there.

Derek Brown said...

You guys are talking about two different levels of insurance. Buffet's fortune (well part of it he's pretty diversified) came from insuring trusts like family farms and businesses. That's why he is such a staunch death tax supporter. I sat through alot of these meetings for my grandfather's business. I assure you no one was making a cold call. It was all set up through his investment manager's office. Part of the reason why I imagine selling life insurance at lower levels sucks is because most of the high dollar premiums are basically farmed out by their investment managers. Plus no one really wants to think about dieing so I'm sure that works against you too.

I wish you guys wouldn't do this with Andrew Luck. He got a ton of attention while his team was still active. His team is no longer alive in the playoffs hence no one is covering him. Kind of like how the media stopped covering Peyton manning now that his team is eliminated. The difference is Luck doesn't own like 300 Papa Johns so you still see a lot more of manning.

ironrailsironweights said...

My guess is that Kaepernick's father is himself racially mixed and quite light, though he identifies as black.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

Because the most profitable life insurance policies, with its infinite variations, must be "sold" to people. It requires explanation and soft people skills.

It's really not a matter of complexity. Universal life and variable life can be complicated, but those are relatively small components of the life insurance mix. Whole life and especially term life are quite easy to understand. Certainly much easier than car insurance, which of course can be bought entirely online.

A financial writer - I believe Suze Orman, but I'm not positive - has that life insurance is not something you buy, but something that is sold to you. That's the real reason behind the industry's seemingly obsolete sales methods. Almost all purchases of products and services begin with customers approaching sellers. Life insurance turns that on its head, as its transactions normally involve agents soliciting people who haven't expressed any interesting in buying life insurance. Agents do not sell, but rather solicit.

What has happened over the decades is that the number of life insurance companies (3,000+ in the United States) has grown to far more than could be sustained if there were a more traditional sales model, in other words if the companies didn't solicit via agents but instead waited for prospective customers to approach the companies. One popular, only slightly exaggerated saying you'll hear in the industry is that no one ever gets up in the morning and says "Gee, I think I'll buy some life insurance today."

All this means that life insurance companies must incessantly solicit for business, and furthermore, using straight-commission agents is the only practical way of doing so. If they had to use salaried salespeople the costs would be way too high. As much as I loathe the current system, there is almost no chance that it will change. Yes, with enough capital an entrepreneur could start a company selling life insurance online with an ironclad no-salesman-will-call guarantee, but it probably wouldn't make many sales, and almost all of the sales it did make would be term life rather than the more profitable variations.

Peter

DaveinHackensack said...

"I've heard that Warren Buffet's fortune is actually built on insurance companies, rather than picking stocks. Insurance companies apparently generate lots of cash."

It's not just that insurance companies generate lots of cash but that, unlike most businesses, they get their cash years before they incur the bulk of their expenses (paying out claims). So there's a float that can be invested. Buffett's conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, owns a number of insurance (and reinsurance) companies.

Stock picking played a bigger role in Berkshire early on, but Buffett has done better in recent years through special deals: e.g., when Goldman Sachs was on the ropes in '08, and needed cash as well as Buffett's imprimatur, he got a nice preferred stock deal out of them. And then Goldman and other Berkshire holdings (GE, BofA, etc.) were bailed out by Uncle Sam.

Buffett has also done well by being a unique deep-pocketed buyer who will acquire family-owned companies and not strip them, like a PE firm might; so Berkshire is the buyer of choice for family-owned companies.

OSS said...

Right, but other businesses used to be set up that way also. It's an old-fashioned biz model. But those businesses changed. Why hasn't insurance?

Insurance regulations are set at the state level, so even national insurance companies have sub companies for each state they do business in. It's not that attractive to develop a better business model for a smaller market, so it stagnates with what we've got.

There was some noise about allowing interstate insurance in Obamacare, but I don't think that it made it into the final bill.

The auto industry is similar with its franchises protected at the state level.

I've heard that Warren Buffet's fortune is actually built on insurance companies, rather than picking stocks. Insurance companies apparently generate lots of cash.

It is. Collecting on a life insurance policy is also tax free, which Mr. Buffett is in no hurry to change like he is with the estate tax.

stari_momak said...

"and the Berbers themselves probably have a genetic profile somewhere between sub-Saharans and Europeans."

Actual Berber Berbers are white.

Peter the Shark said...

Notice that blacks aren't underrepresented at quarterback in the NFL relative to their share of the national population,

The relative comparison should probably be the total population of people playing football in high school. I suspect blacks represent a higher percentage of "football playing high schoolers" at any given time than they do of the total population. That suggests whites may actually be overrepresented at QB (which doesn't surprise me). It also suggests Mexican Americans are even more underrepresented in the NFL than the national population would suggest, since Mexicans skew younger.

Anonymous said...

It also suggests Mexican Americans are even more underrepresented in the NFL than the national population would suggest, since Mexicans skew younger.

Don't forget, though, that their dropout rate skews higher.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be turning into a life assurance thread.

In the UK, the financial regulator has just banned commissions on life assurance investment sales. You're supposed to pay an upfront fee for financial advice.

The saying is "life assurance is sold, not bought".

It's generally thought that lots of salesmen ('Independent Financial Advisers') will go out of business. In the current economic climate, who's got maybe $1,000 to spare paying for advice that they may not take? Only the wealthy.

(One company is basically cheating - just rebranding its "commission" as "advice fee". Be interesting to see what the regulator does.)


Anonymous said...

Kaepernick scored a 38 on the Wonderlic.

http://qbscores.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/top-ten-nfl-qb-wonderlic-scores-2011/

Here's Russell Wilson's ancestory.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/celeb/wilsonrussell.htm

He had a grandfather that was president of a HBCU and an uncle that was head football coach(he has a wikipedia entry) at a HBCU.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Merritt

I'm not going to google for the picture again, but he went to a pretty much all white university prep school.

Wilson scored a 28 on the Wonderlick... RG3 scored a 24... Cam Newton a 21.

FWG said...

If running QBs are only just as likely to get hurt or even less likely to get hurt as pocket passers, could it be due to the type of hits each take? Pocket passers get blind-sided more often, while running QBs can often see hits coming and can brace themselves. They aren't in as prone a position as the pocket passer who gets obliterated as he readies to throw. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hackensack Dave said "Buffett has also done well by being a unique deep-pocketed buyer who will acquire family-owned companies and not strip them, like a PE firm might; so Berkshire is the buyer of choice for family-owned companies."

"Barbarians at the Gate" was written a long time ago Dave. The inability/unwillingness of people to learn what PE firms actually do irritates me. The constant references to Romney as a "Wall Streeter" is an example. There is an enormous difference between buying and operating companies on the one hand, and merely financing transactions on the other hand.

Very few PE firms "strip" a company for the simple reason that very few companies are more valuable "stripped" than they are operated well. What PE firms do quite often to formerly family-owned businesses is upgrade the management which often means the former owners get fired. There is a whole subset of the PE industry focused on deals in this range (middle market, or lower-middle market) and one thing that makes them attractive to buyers is "if this business can earn $20mm/year with this idiot running it, imagine what we could do with it". Google around for top-performing "middle market buyout" firms and you'll see this is the basic business model for most of them. Because it works. Right now every large pool of capital from university endowments to enormous public pensions to sovereign wealth funds is trying to invest in "middle market buyouts".

To the extent a large publicly-traded company is more valuable minus some or all its parts, you can be certain those companies have their own internal strategy and M&A people weighing the sale of these parts - usually called "non-core assets" even if they are sort of core. If the internal people haven't thought up the sale, you can be sure that a legion of investment bankers call regularly to encourage such sales, that way they can generate fees on the transaction.

As to Buffet being the "buyer of choice" for family-owned firms, its an interesting assertion that is not backed up by a single fact. Hundreds of transactions take place in this $10-50mm EBITDA segment every year in the US alone and Berkshire is never at the table. Any PE professional that focuses on mid-mkt deals would tell you the same thing.

Dan Kurt said...

re: " Steve Sailer said...
Likewise, Joe Theismann was moderately mobile even late in his career, but he never saw Laurence Taylor coming."

If I remember correctly, the play was a Flea Flicker. Here the ranch is bet on the charging linemen, line backers, and possibly charging defensive back biting on the offensive back who was given the ball continuing to run with it. When the defense fails to commit to the run for whatever reason, design or accident, the Quarterback who now has the ball finds himself often with no time to acquire a receiver, set up and throw. Even worse the quarterback may find he has to try and run, scramble without planned blocking to help him. When the flea flicker works it is a great gadget or trick play. When it doesn't it is often a guaranteed loss of yards and a real hazard to the quarterback as Joe Theismann discovered.

Dan Kurt

ironrailsironweights said...

Part of the reason why I imagine selling life insurance at lower levels sucks is because most of the high dollar premiums are basically farmed out by their investment managers. Plus no one really wants to think about dieing so I'm sure that works against you too.

Those definitely are factors. People regard buying even an inexpensive term policy as a major life-changing decision that requires careful thought and often a long discussion with family members. I'd say that in the vast majority of cases people will buy a $100/month cell phone plan with far less deliberation than they'll buy a $20/month term life policy. The fact that the life insurance policy can be cancelled at any time with no further liability is meaningless to most buyers, and if you as the salesman try to emphasize that point to a prospective customer it's a guarantee that you won't be making the sale.

Another big obstacle is that many people get life insurance as a fringe benefit at their jobs. Coverage is usually expressed as a multiple of annual salary and group underwriting keeps premiums very low. Granted, people with lower-paying jobs aren't likely to have this type of benefit, but they're not prime candidates for life insurance at all.

Sales managers tell agents that it's still easy to sell to people with work-based life insurance, all you have to do is point out that if they leave their jobs they lose their insurance. In real life that isn't true, of course. People who already have adequate coverage are rarely interested in buying policies regardless of the fact that the existing coverage is tied into their jobs. In any event, if you have life insurance coverage through your job and leave the job, you can elect to continue coverage at a rate less than getting a new policy of comparable amount.

Peter

DCThrowback said...

Of interest, perhaps: Colin Kaepernick's Wonderlic score was 37. Flacco's: 27.

Now, I take it w/ a grain of salt since I beposition players like QB QBs have a lot to gain from an impressive score. If I were an agent of a QB, I would ensure he sees at least 10 of those test versions before he sits for his formal one.

(The Bills JP Losman scored a 17 his first time, took it again and scored a 31. That worked out well for them, obviously. He was a known rockhead.)

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Maguro:

Yeah, Stanley Ann Dunham was not exactly one of those mothers who sacrifices everything for her baby boy, was she?


Yet, by most accepted metrics, he has been an astounding success. Not sure of there is a lesson there, though.

Anonymous said...

Steve, nothing on the AA referee for the Super Bowl? http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/29/nfl-changes-may-bring-affirmative-action-super-bow/

Anonymous said...

It's not just that insurance companies generate lots of cash but that, unlike most businesses, they get their cash years before they incur the bulk of their expenses (paying out claims).


There's also the handy fact that people are required by law in many cases (auto insurance, much homeowners insurance) to purchase what you are selling. What a racket!

Anonymous said...

That picture of Baby Kaepernick deserves a second look.

Whiskey said...

HBD suggests that since talents/abilities are not evenly distributed through different populations, you'll see specialization and concentration. Thus, All-Black or nearly so, Safeties, Corners, RB, WR, DE, DT, etc. With Whites a smattering in mainly Offensive Line and QB, and of course kicker (basically selecting for middle class i.e. mainly White families due to intense training/coaching from Junior High onwards).

The Rooney Rule is being overhauled, a few teams are very unhappy that no Black coaches at all were hired this last go-round (particularly unhappy are the Steelers). With great press coverage too.

Funny, everyone "knows" White guys are simply not fast and tall enough even at the NFL level to compete really at the Safety, CB, and WR position. But no one will say that Black guys lack that essential nerdiness to come up with new offensive schemes in particular and teach it and demand effective execution of the same. Who were the most sought after coaches this season: Oregon's Kelley, and anyone associated with retiring Chris Ault's Pistol Offense. Since everyone in the NFL has the same caliber of players mostly, you either spend tons to get a Manning or whatever, or you get a coach who can come up with a wrinkle that gives you a two-year window for winning before defenses adjust. And really, how nerdy is that?

Can anyone imagine Romeo Crennel, or Hank Edwards, or Lovey Smith, or Mike Singletary, being the author of innovative, or decisive, offensive schemes?

MQ said...

I think that we are at the beginning of a true sea change for mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, and it's driven by the successful adaptation of option offenses to the NFL. See the 49ers and the Redskins this season. People who compare this to past predictions that mobile quarterbacks would take over are missing what's so unique about this year. In the past, those fancy stats were generated off scrambling and weren't translating into wins. This year, we have two essentially rookie quarterbacks -- RGIII and Kaepernick -- leading their teams much further than expected (including to the Super Bowl) off a new option offense that goes far beyond just scrambling in the way it integrates a running QB into the full range of the offense. The option allows the threat of the running QB to open up space for running backs and receivers both. See how Kaepernick beat Atlanta by handing off to Gore, who used running lanes opened up by the option threat.

This isn't a race thing either. Johnny Maziel is going to burn things up as an option QB in the NFL.

Of course you need to be a great drop back passer and a great passer on the run to be great in the NFL, there is no such thing as a 'running QB' in the NFL if by that you mean someone who survives only or even mainly on his legs. But coaches are figuring out whole new ways to integrate QB running skills into the offense.

pat said...

How much longer will we have professional boxing?

Only until the publication of the study that plots the decline in IQ as a function of punches received.

Such a study is more or less inevitable. Denzel Washington gave valuable anecdotal evidence when he reported that after doing his own boxing scenes in "The Hurricane" he felt his IQ slipping. He found he couldn't remember his lines anymore. Too many blows to the head.

How much longer will we have pro football?

Just as long as Kathleen Sibelius wishes. If there is a good study that connects football experience with lower IQ or other mental deficits she may decide to just pull the plug on the whole sport. She is responsible for controlling the expenses of Obamacare. If we can require people to wear motorcycle helmets what keeps us from outlawing people wearing football helmets? The government is just looking out for the people's best interests.

It is already clear that football contributes to to all sorts of skeletal and joint injuries. Since the taxpayers eventually get stuck with almost all medical bills under Obamacare, she gains unprecedented and virtually unlimited authority.

Does anyone know if she's going to watch the Superbowl this afternoon?

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"White guys are simply not fast and tall enough even at the NFL level to compete really at the Safety, CB, and WR position. "

White guys are way under-utilized at the receiver positions... there are a lot of good white receivers out there... but the middling ones probably get pulled faster or quit faster than black players.

There are actually a few white guys at safety but I've never been overly impressed with their play. I can't even think of a team with a white CB though.

Anonymous said...

"The option allows the threat of the running QB to open up space for running backs and receivers both."

I wonder if we get to the point where defenses just commit to hitting the QB without worrying about a penalty everytime the read option is ran.

pat said...

Normally about this point in a discussion thread I write about my personal experiences in the occupation under discussion. But not this time. I never sold life insurance.

There's a lesson there.

I certainly held many commission sales jobs. I sold pots and pans door to door, for example. Or rather I tried to sell them. I think I only sold one set in many weeks of trying. I didn't waste my time however. I learned some useful truths about commission sales.

Later I got roped into a group of young guys who were recruited to sell life insurance. But I asked a few questions and quickly buggered out. I didn't need another lesson in exploitation. The rule I adopted was simple - if they are too eager to hire you, beware.

Pots and pans and life insurance both employ a two stage sales effort. The model is to sell your lousy sales job opportunity to naive lads who then waste their time trying to sell your product.

I'm afraid I can't muster much sympathy for ironrailsironweights. Why didn't he catch on to the scam sooner?

As it happens I have a whole life policy. Such financial instruments have their place but their benefits are not immediately obvious to someone just browsing the web. They need to be sold by somebody - but that somebody will not be me. I'm no where near tough enough. As they say, "No man needs endurance like the man who sells insurance".

Albertosaurus




ironrailsironweights said...

How much longer will we have professional boxing?
Only until the publication of the study that plots the decline in IQ as a function of punches received.
Such a study is more or less inevitable.


Boxing can get away with being dangerous because it's become a fringe sport with a small cult following and mostly unknown athletes. Not enough people who are in positions of power care enough about boxing to get motivated to impose restrictions. It would be as if there were a sudden surge in fatal crashes among ski jumpers or off-road truck racers.

Peter

jody said...

"Whether or not running quarterbacks suffer more major injuries doesn't really matter."

ask any washington redskins fan how he feels about that statement. it's just a fact of life, they get hurt more, it shortens their careers, and they become steadily less effective over time. if they don't evolve into throwers, they're out of the league by 30.

you can watch the guys who will successfully make the transition change over a 3 to 4 year time period usually. they come into the league running, and slowly scale that back until by year 4 or 5 they don't run much anymore.

roethlisberger, rodgers, and schaub use to run more. ryan fitzpatrick was a better runner than a thrower when he came in, now he mainly throws. jake locker is probably a better runner than a thrower, he better make the transition or he'll be out, just like anybody else.

best slow but steady transition ever was probably donovan mcnabb. although, it may have been more out of pressure than choice, as andy reid did him no favors, and routinely put the entire offense on mcnabb. most calls were pass plays, few calls were run plays. mcnabb peaked in the superbowl year where the entire offense was mainly going through his arm.

he's underrated and underappreciated for that, and over his long career with the eagles, he handled the heckling of the philadelphia fans, the worst fans in america, with relative composure.

jody said...

steve young was a bust, by the way, and was traded away by the team that drafted him, where he sat on the bench for a couple years behind joe montana. during that time he soaked up less damage than a regular starter would have.

because he's white, steve young's first 2 years would have him run out of the league today. if it was 2013 instead of 1987, he'd never have played again. the bias against white players at every position has arrived at quarterback as well.

this was never more clear than when christian ponder went down and joe webb was called up for the vikings, and received universal warm praise and very high scouting remarks from every television analyst - only to go out and put in perhaps the single worst quarterbacking performance i've seen in over 30 years of watching the NFL. before the game tony dungy even declared, incredulously, that joe webb gave the vikings "a better chance to win". when he played though, it was hard to believe this guy was on an NFL roster. easily dozens of players not in the NFL could have performed better.

as with any other position today, they just look at the guy and if he's black, he's automatically better. no actual scouting occurs anymore on lots of NFL teams.

jody said...

"Yet another niche white people once dominated is slipping through their grasp."

don't worry, if there are white quarterbacks who can run, the NFL will do everything in it's power to make sure they are not allowed to play, and are run out of the league.

the coordinated, sustained sports media campaign to bash tim tebow and force him out of the NFL is unlike anything i've ever seen. it reached the point of comedy after mark sanchez demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was incompetent, putting in perhaps the worst single play in NFL history, the instant classic "run into my own lineman's ass and fumble the football for a touchdown." i certainly don't think tim tebow would become one of the best starters in the league or anything like that if he was allowed to play, but i know for sure, he would NEVER run into his own lineman's ass and fumble the ball for a touchdown.

a few weeks later sanchez single handedly lost the game against the weak titans, by throwing 3 interceptions and then, again, fumbling the game away. he played so badly that rex ryan was forced to bench him...for greg mcelroy. yep. they deliberately skipped over tebow, who had won a playoff game just the season before, for a guy who went out there and got sacked 11 times. they should have just called him greg sackleroy after that. and he got a concussion too. i'm pretty sure tim tebow never got sacked 11 times in one game.

when tebow came into the league, i had to hear over and over that read/option, the offense he ran in the SEC, would not work in the NFL. it was a gimmick and would never fly here. what a difference 2 years make. now there are 4 quarterbacks running a read/option offense. wonder what the difference is. hmmm. not sure. can't figure it out. why were they allowed to run read/option but tebow wasn't.

lo and behold, now there is a new target for them to destroy. john manziel, who merely won the heisman as a redshirt freshman, set the SEC record for yards throwing and passing, breaking cam newton's record, and then, went on to set the ALL-TIME record for rushing yards in a bowl game, again, against an SEC opponent.

but when it comes time for the NFL, i guarantee the chorus of voices will be deafening, the shrieking and screaming and pounding of fists will be overwhelming, that "john manziel can't play!" and "john manziel will HAVE to change positions" and "john manziel can't throw in the NFL, let alone run!"

one of the first things they'll do is say he's too small, even though he's the exact same size as michael vick and russell wilson and pat white. then they'll say he's too slow. no matter what his combine measurements are (and they'll be decent). then they'll say he can't throw, then they'll just start making up pure BS.

i'd bet all the money i have in the world that this is exactly what will happen. the NFL doesn't want running white quarterbacks, period. heck, the NFL doesn't want white coaches!

Truth said...

"I wish you guys wouldn't do this with Andrew Luck. He got a ton of attention while his team was still active. His team is no longer alive in the playoffs hence no one is covering him."

"Shut-up you Anti-White sellout!"

-LOL

jody said...

"Steve, nothing on the AA referee for the Super Bowl?"

if it's jerome boger, then yes it's an AA pick. he's pretty bad. mike carey did the superbowl in 2008 but he's pretty good.

"Funny, everyone "knows" White guys are simply not fast and tall enough even at the NFL level to compete really at the Safety, CB, and WR position."

uh, not tall enough? pretty sure they're just as tall, not only that, these aren't height positions.

"Can anyone imagine Romeo Crennel, or Hank Edwards, or Lovey Smith, or Mike Singletary, being the author of innovative, or decisive, offensive schemes?"

i've posted before about the preposterousness of mike singletary, who is clearly not up to the job, being the head coach of the 49ers, in a city with thousands and thousands of east asians with graduate degrees from cal and stanford. they're supposed to pretend that the rooney rule coaches are the best, smartest, most capable, most organized people available for the position.

"Thus, All-Black or nearly so, Safeties, Corners, RB, WR, DE, DT"

well you end up with the situation where if you're white, you have to be one of the best players in the league at your position, just to be allowed to play a position you're "not supposed" to play or even, i would say, a position you're straight up just not permitted to play period. otherwise how do you explain jared allen almost breaking the single season sacks record, then JJ watt coming in the very next year and making his own run at the record, when so few white players are even playing tackle and end. paul kruger leads the ravens in sacks and he's not even allowed to start! luke keuchly lead the league in tackles as a rookie, only after the starter in front of him got injured.

only an overwhelming talent even gets a look now. all other white guys, "you can't play".

this year the steelers had a lot of injuries late in the season at corner and safety, and ended up having to resort to using a guy from the practice squad at corner in real games. josh victorian. there's no way on earth anybody could convince me that there is not one single white athlete in america who could outplay that guy. he sucked and could barely perform. i bet there are over a dozen guys not even in the NFL who could have played corner better than him. the ironclad "64 out of 64" starting cornerbacks rule in the NFL, year after year, would be a slam dunk lawsuit in any other industry.

jody said...

"How much longer will we have professional boxing?"

according to boxrec, the number of boxing matches is increasing. year after year, decade after decade. it has been on the rise since the 1960s. for most of the 1970s there were about 9000 pro boxing matches per year. in the last couple years, the number of pro boxing matches was over 20,000.

average number of pro boxing matches per year, on average, looks about like this:
1960s 8000
1970s 9000
1980s 12000
1990s 14000
2000s 18000
2010s 20000

matches per decade
1960s 96,000
1970s 98,000
1980s 127,000
1990s 138,000
2000s 181,000

so pro boxing is more than twice as popular now as it was during the "golden era" that can "never be matched". boxing is going nowhere. it's more popular now than ever.

the peak year is 2011 with about 21,000 matches. not sure the 2012 total.

Anonymous said...

What PE firms do quite often to formerly family-owned businesses is upgrade the management which often means the former owners get fired. There is a whole subset of the PE industry focused on deals in this range (middle market, or lower-middle market) and one thing that makes them attractive to buyers is "if this business can earn $20mm/year with this idiot running it, imagine what we could do with it".

Right, but PE firms are run by bean counter types who don't actually develop new products or improve the products of the companies they takeover, and wouldn't know how even if they wanted to. R&D also tends to suffer since that's rarely justifiable going by bean counter metrics.

DaveinHackensack said...

Anonymous,

"As to Buffet being the "buyer of choice" for family-owned firms, its an interesting assertion that is not backed up by a single fact."

Here's a fact for you. The Pritzker Family sold a 60% stake of its $7 billion per year Marmon Group to Berkshire Hathaway in '07. Was Buffett "at the table" with a gaggle of PE firms competing for the business? No. The Pritzkers went to Byron Trott, an investment banker in Goldman Sachs's Chicago office, and asked him to approach Buffett about a deal. No one else had a shot at that deal.

Another fact for you: a year before, the Wertheimer family in Israel sold an 80% stake in their Iscar metalworking company to Berkshire for $5 billion. The Wertheimers contacted Buffett directly; again, no competition for Buffett from private equity buyers, who never got a shot at this deal.

Does Buffet still buy in the "$10-50mm EBITDA segment"? I don't know. He probably did in the past (See's Candies in the 1970s?). But it's a fact that he's the buyer of choice for profitable, family-owned firms such as the two examples I've mentioned above.

E.Rekshun said...

Two years ago, I made the mistake of calling an AARP 800 number to inquire about life insurance. I've been getting an endless stream of unsolicited mailings, two or three times per week, ever since.

Anonymous said...

Jody, Schaub was always a pocket passer. He only ever ran to avoid getting sacked.

DaveinHackensack said...

Speaking of Stanley Ann Dunham: Steve, you've written about her and about Lena Dunham - have you looked into how closely they are related?

Anonymous said...

Lol at the conspiracy against white people. You know the largest demographic in the US with the highest net worth.

Tebow was just a marketing flash that if anything benefited a great deal from being a white Christian. He was drafted in the first round when other teams had him slated for the fourth to the sixth round. So there was no conspiracy and Rex Ryan does not sound like a weak kneed liberal.

As far as WR goes, whites have shown they can not do much there. The only niche whites have is the shifty slot receiver with good hands. Jordy Nelson is fast for a white guy but he is on the same team as Clay HgH Mathews so go figure.

Anonymous said...

Lol at the conspiracy against white people. You know the largest demographic in the US with the highest net worth


Ha, ha. Because it's just ludicrous to think that anybody might target the biggest demographic in the US with the highest net worth!

Now go and bust a gut at the notion that robbers might rob banks.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Re: boxing, Latinos watch it. That's my hypothesis for the still-profitable numbers.

Re: Tebow, I agree with jody that he is apparently on the league's radar in a bad way. But no question his stats show a problem connecting with receivers. I'd be interested in jody's response to this.

It seems clear though that the Cathedral has finally got its claws in the NFL. Last night they showed a clip of some 9-yo girl who's burning up some peewee league somewhere. She was in the skybox with Goodell. He's a lawyer, after all. Lawyer-mentalities actually believe their ridiculous constructs. The owners should get rid of him before he ruins the league but then, they put him there. Actually, the entire game needs to change. Or just replace it with rugby.

Anonymous said...

What kinda weaklings are running quarterbacks if they whine about getting hurt? Football is a rough game in a perfect country, so man up and shuddup already. Damn commie pussies.

Mohammed Chang said...

Your baseball analogy reminds me of Craig Biggio, who was a rather unique player.

He came into the big leagues as a catcher, and was later moved to second base to try and retain his speed. He did put up a pair of 20 stolen base seasons as a catcher, and then went on to have five seasons with over 30 stolen bases (50 and 47 being the high water marks) as a second baseman in his mid-twenties and early thirties.

He's widely considered one of the few clean players of his era (unlike his longtime teammate Jeff Bagwell) and there was a lot of frustration expressed that he wasn't elected to the hall of fame, perhaps because of writers boycotting the entire class as a kind of protest. He'll most likely get in next year, and will almost assuredly at some point. I don't believe any player that garnered as large a percentage of the vote in his first time on the ballot (68.2% versus the needed 75%) has failed to eventually go on and gain election.

Anonymous said...

Re: MQ,

I disagree, Griffin looks like he is going to be injury prone, with as I said before, 2 major knee surgeries in 4 years. Russell Wilson is more like a typical pocket QB with mobility. Do you think guys like Kaepernick grow on trees even today? no more than they did in the 1980's with Elway, which is the best comparison with Kaepernick I could come up with. BTW, both guys were baseball phenoms, specifically pitching ones who turned to football. When you say mobile QB's weren't winning in the past, Culpepper, McNabb, and Vick all made the playoffs in 2004, and the NFC title that year featured two black QB's, but in the next few years the trend collapsed. I am also convinced that the option read offense from the college ranks is merely a fad. I find it difficult to imagine the pro game adopting basically a glorified option attack from 50's college football. It is simply too simplistic to succeed in the NFL. Pro sports are faddish, just like every other human endeavor, it will be easy to counteract after a few seasons.

Anonymous said...

Re insurance, I imagine the following happens quite a lot, allowing the insurance cos to avoid payouts altogether, or delay them to collect more interest on their investments:

"90,000 New Yorkers share $665m windfall in unclaimed life insurance payments - but there's still $1 BILLION up for grabs

Over $665 million of unpaid insurance money is shared by beneficiaries who didn't know they were entitled to it
Regulators are forcing life insurers to improve how they handle claims and track down friends or relatives who are due unclaimed proceeds"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2273432/Over-1-BILLION-remains-unclaimed-life-insurance-benefits-unexpected-windfall-90-000-people.html

RonMexico said...

Kaepernick played well, but the white QB won. The successful formula for 46/47 SBs. Or to be fairer, black QBs are 1/4 in the SB.

Dan Kurt said...

re: "it [the Read Option] will be easy to counteract after a few seasons. ANON 2/4/13, 4:04 PM

You don't have to wait. The Ravins were using the necessary defense during Sunday's game on occasion. Here it is: Defensive End and Outside Linebacker audible to each other which one has the Quarterback. Strong Safety keeps close enough to get the Halfback or Quarterback should a pulling Guard make his block. But this is the key: Quarterback must be hit hard should he hand off by the one keying on him. The Quarterback in effect gets hit hard anytime the Read Option is run. Either if he hands off or if he runs. The result is he gets hit hard or is tackled hard. The effect is a battered Quarterback, a frightened Quarterback, a Quarterback who thinks twice about running the Read Option.

By next season every team will have the counter play worked out.

Dan Kurt