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View Poll Results: Do you AGREE with Belichick's 4th down attempt?
Yes 344 64.06%
No 193 35.94%
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:33 PM   #751
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

I truely don't understand how people ragged on Del Rio's decision to kneel at the 1. I mean you **** up that kick ~ 1% of the time. Does your opponent come back and score a TD with 1:50 left or whatever more then 1% of the time? **** yes you ****ing stupid mother ****er.

"BUT YOU WERE LOSING THE GAME" just plz die
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:38 PM   #752
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

does it seem like consensus of the media and public at large is slowly changing on this?
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:39 PM   #753
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNoodleMan View Post
If you are down 15, then score and go for 2 and miss the information gain for the opposing team is more significant than it is for you.
What does this even mean? The main thing that you can do with the increased information is speed up your tempo, maybe onside kick if you know you need two more scores rather than try and force a defensive stop, stuff like that which is 100% under the control of the offense. What can the defense do, play more or less of a prevent defense?
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:45 PM   #754
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by SL__72 View Post
Someone had a good post about this earlier. Most people are really risk averse. Going for it makes one play really important. If you punt the eventual outcome will be decided over a number of less important plays. That is a lot easier for people to stomach, even if the EV is lower.
This was the e-mail I just sent him. Sound good? Any holes?

When you punt, you "risk" losing the game 99% of the time. In other words, you will only win the game on the actual punt about 1% of the time (i'm factoring in here fumbles or some other wacky play). When you go for it, you only risk losing the game 40% of the time. The other 60% of the time you win the game. In other words, at the end of those two actual plays (not taking into account further plays yet), when you punted, 99% of the time your in a position where you can lose the game. When you went for it, 40% of the time you are in a position that you will lose the game.

Now, factoring in what happens after each individual play, you ACTUALLY lose the game 30% of the time when you punt and you ACTUALLY lose the game 21% of the time when you go for it . So, the risk is greater when you punt.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:49 PM   #755
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Goodie View Post
This was the e-mail I just sent him. Sound good? Any holes?

When you punt, you "risk" losing the game 99% of the time. In other words, you will only win the game on the actual punt about 1% of the time (i'm factoring in here fumbles or some other wacky play). When you go for it, you only risk losing the game 40% of the time. The other 60% of the time you win the game. In other words, at the end of those two actual plays (not taking into account further plays yet), when you punted, 99% of the time your in a position where you can lose the game. When you went for it, 40% of the time you are in a position that you will lose the game.

Now, factoring in what happens after each individual play, you ACTUALLY lose the game 30% of the time when you punt and you ACTUALLY lose the game 21% of the time when you go for it . So, the risk is greater when you punt.
wat?
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:50 PM   #756
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Dudd View Post
This would require a much more substantive model to figure out, maybe something like a monte carlo model to chain together tons of randomly generated drive outcomes to see how exactly it all works out. That would require a ton of work though, whereas the down by two touchdowns late situation is easy to understand and conceptualize.
The method I have seen is to use dynamic programming to start with 1 possession remaining, then work backwards - all the way to say 20 possession remaining. Then that gives you the 2 pt conversion chart.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:54 PM   #757
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

The trailing team can only speed up their tempo so much. If they're down its assumed they're going at the fastest pace they can realistically use.

When the leading team has the ball they've got 2 choices:
1)conservatively run the ball and take a guaranteed amount of time off the clock
2) take the chance of passing for a first down while risking potential incomplete passes that will stop the clock.

The change in the actions of the leading team are going to change more than the actions of the trailing team.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:56 PM   #758
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Above all, though, the essence of Mr. Belichick's "crime" may be something simpler than all this: His decision went against the natural instincts of all human beings when they're forced to make high-stakes decisions. In a recent study, researchers from Duke and UCLA found that when faced with a decision involving risk, people have an overwhelming tendency to make the supposedly safe choice—to err on the side of caution—even though doing so may lead to worse results.

By studying thousands of hands of blackjack played by random people, the researchers found that when they strayed from the "book" or the optimal strategy, those players who did something aggressive were more successful than those who did something passive.

In fact, the subjects made four times as many passive mistakes as they did aggressive ones. And these passive mistakes—holding on a 16 when the dealer has a king showing, for example—were more costly: They cost $2 for every $1 won, versus $1.50 for every $1 won on aggressive mistakes.

Why do people embrace caution? "It's because of the regret that people face when they take an action and it doesn't turn out well for them," says Bruce Carlin of UCLA's Anderson School of Management, who worked on the study.

At issue, it seems, is the very idea of what constitutes gambling. If going for it gave the Patriots a statistically better chance of winning—and if aggressive deviations are often better than passive ones—then the gamble would have been to punt, even though that was the seemingly safe play.



I guess that just comes down to the person. Are you the type of person that would do something you know to be statistically better, but is scarier, if everything is on the line?

Let's put it this way. Everyone that knows how to play blackjack knows you hit 16 when the dealer is showing a 10. Everyone that knows how to play blackjack hits in that situation when they have a $10 bet on the table. The question is, would they do it when they have a $10,000 bet on the table because, while it obviously gives you the best chance of winning, it's still scary as heck to do.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:58 PM   #759
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by TomCollins View Post
There are many poker forums out there, though. People who have read more 2+2 books than average poker players tend to be more intellectually curious, more logically oriented, and just more intelligent. People who aren't simply won't get the books, and will stop reading very quickly.
I already acknowledged this. At the same time, don't forget that 2+2 books are also somewhat dumbed down and while bookishness is correlated with intelligence, the strength of this correlation is somewhat overstated. Intelligence and wisdom are also correlated with having less time to spend time posting on internet forums. On the whole, I'm definitely impressed by the intellect and wisdom of several posters on this site, but there are a lot of posters here, so that should be expected even given a random sample. There are a lot of wise and intelligent people in this world, even though we can't always appreciate what they have to offer. Furthermore, possession of certain types of wisdom tends to restrain people from sharing that wisdom with others, so there's a slight tendency for any communication medium to be flooded with certain forms of anti-wisdom.


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The average person in the world is even dumber than your average Joe Morgan-type pundit, as well. I work day in and day out with people who would by all measures be considered top 10% of intelligence of the world. And it never stops to amaze me how incredibly dumb they can be.
Do you consider yourself much smarter than those people? Are there ever moments when you're being incredibly dumb?


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Now, I'm sure you don't understand why it has to do with logic or reason, because you don't bother to read any of it.
When you say "logic" what do you mean? Most of you seem to use the term logic to refer to rhetoric employed by your side in a way that aligns closely with your emotional inclination that is indistinguishable from correct reasoning. Of course this sort of rhetoric has no actual correspondence to real logic - the rigorous, mathematical kind that is demonstrably correct. Each time the rigor of their "logic" is questioned, they argue that such rigor is not necessary.


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Even people who have different conclusions, such as Suzzer, once they get past the initial akwardness, at least apply logic and reason to their conclusions, and occasionally will reverse stances once they find a flaw in the line of thinking. I'm not surprised you don't get it, because you don't try. You are the Joe Morgan of that forum. Stick by conventional wisdom, make a big wall of text, and be done with it.
This is a very strange perception of what I write there. My general way of thinking about politics is somewhat unacceptable in contemporary America (those who understand it probably feel that communicating it to others is either too difficult or futile, which is fine since they are apolitical). I happen to apply the process mainly to anarcho-capitalism to show that some of your beliefs are incompatible with moral rejection of the status quo.

On the contrary, your approach to politics is nearly the same as that of the average American interested in politics, only you lack the anchors that bring your beliefs close to the mainstream. There's something wrong with this world (read: you don't like something in your life), it's someone else's fault (read: not your fault), this someone or something can theoretically be removed (read: your moral outrage is justfied and serves a purpose) after which the world would be better (read: you want to think that your beliefs are about positive things). This "blame the mainstream" attitude is a prominent aspect of the mainstream politics itself.


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Yes, you are right that people like to be smarter than the experts. There are also some people who prefer to take a contrary position just for the sake of it as well. But all the people that think they are smarter than Bellichick in this case are using the line "no other coaches would go for that, no way he could be right!"
It doesn't matter what line they are using. People like to see experts fail. Politics forum posters who think they are smarter than economists, scientists or politicians, also appeal strongly to conventional wisdom and rhetoric (freedom, rights, indebtedness, market, voluntary, violence, theft, resource surplus, etc) to justify their position. Whatever aspect of conventional wisdom appears to support their beliefs is never questioned.


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It's the natural human instinct to shun anyone who is different than the norm, or challenges conventional wisdom.
It's natural to shun anyone who is different from themselves. This is why people refuse to accept expert opinion. There's no reason to bring "conventional wisdom" into this - people don't like it when their judgment or intuition is challenged by others. It's just that the average person's intuition is what we call conventional wisdom. And they can be louder when their bias is confirmed by others. It's people's refusal to consider the possibility that others, such as experts, may have thought more about the problem and arrived at an answer contrary to their natural inclination, that leads to this reaction.

This is classical epistemological arrogance - people thinking that they know what's right, when they have no reason to do so. This is true of politics forum posters who think their intuition and logic guided to the "correct" solution, true of casual fans who think they can tell when those coaches are wrong and true of people here, etc. Despite all objective evidence to the contrary, people cling to this belief in their own personal superiority largely for reasons of emotional comfort.

Which reminds me of Asimov's Corollary to Clarke's First Law:

When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion -- the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RonMexico's Cliff Notes of Phone Booth's post
Your typical owner is way way way way way smarter than people ITT (because they used mad skillz to own huge business and couldn't have possibly luckboxed), and they know the numbers from every angle, but they choose to not execute those plays and win more games at the risk of becoming unpopular.
I'm disappointed by the lack of humor in this attempt. Either way, luckboxing is irrelevant here. If you take a group of homeless people and a group of successful businessmen, the latter would have on average been luckier than the former. They would also perform better at nearly any test of cognitive ability.

Furthermore, most of the "luckboxing" in business involves being given opportunities to learn and develop important skills, which are now part of who they are. It doesn't matter if you became smart through hard work, genetics or lucky circumstances. This isn't to say that some people can't get rich without developing advanced cognitive abilities, but this is rarer than commonly supposed.

And no, owners would rather that coaches execute perfectly. They'd also want perfect athletic specimen with perfect football skills who are also model citizens at every position. It turns out that you can't have everything in life and you prioritize accordingly.


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Originally Posted by Goodie View Post
My God is it hard to get people to understand this. I had a half hour conversation with my brother last night and he refuses to fully grasp the concept here. The crazy thing is that he's read the Advanced NFL Stats breakdown and doesn't dispute any of the numbers.

His argument is that it's a risk/reward scenerio. He's saying that it's riskier to go for it so it just depends on how much risk you are willing to take on. My counter was "riskier from what perspective". To me, if the risk is losing the game, it's clearly riskier to punt.

Anyone else run into this with anyone?
Most people's minds work in such a way that the part of their mind that understands math is largely disconnected from the part of their mind that evalutes decisions. In a more analytical sense, I'd say that most people subconsciously perceive the impact of a failure to be greater than the impact on the probability of winning the game itself. This is generally true in real life under most circumstances. If the company you own fails in some way, it may not just affect the bottom line - you may lose key employees, lower morale, lose reputation, social status, affect your marriage, relationships with kids, etc. Because risk in a social or business setting is such a nebulous and dangerous thing that needs to be managed delicately, it's hard for people to imagine that in some cases like a football in-game situation, there's a strong basis for strict quantification and its ignorance can lead to subpar decisions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SL__72 View Post
If there is some in-game thing that greatly changes the odds, is there anyone on the planet better suited to make that call than Belichick?
This is a key point. The numbers have to be quite clearly against Belichick's decision for this to be a genuine controversy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SL__72 View Post
Someone had a good post about this earlier. Most people are really risk averse. Going for it makes one play really important. If you punt the eventual outcome will be decided over a number of less important plays. That is a lot easier for people to stomach, even if the EV is lower.
Furthermore "slow and steady" is a very good heuristic for humans because so much in life requires persistence over a long period of time - taking little risk at each step allows one to fully commit to the endeavor and mentally prepare for further steps without having to deal with the anxiety of immediate failure, which diverts mental energy from the endeavor. Regret avoidance is also important because a lot of resources are spent second-guessing yourself and others. This sort of morale management, both at the personal level and at the team level is intuitive enough for many people to extend it to situations that aren't necessarily analogous. Like manufacturing a run in baseball. Leaving a poker table after reaching a predetermined goal. Most people's grasp of math isn't nearly good enough for them to correctly apply mathematical principles to override their intuition - and let's face it, we only notice other people's failures in this regard, not our own. Furthermore, it's common for people who abandon well-accepted heuristics to pick up even worse heuristics, because what causes us to abandon them isn't mathematics, but rather our impatience and other vices.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:00 PM   #760
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by | Burton | View Post
[i]The question is, would they do it when they have a $10,000 bet on the table because, while it obviously gives you the best chance of winning, it's still scary as heck to do.
It's wrong to do it if your bankroll isn't so large that $10,000 isn't a scary amount of money for you.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:10 PM   #761
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Can you guys imagine what it would be like if it wasn't Belichick that was involved?

Like, say Jim Zorn or Eric Mangini(with hypothetical 60% conversion offenses) did this, can you imagine the media backlash? Especially considering half the people defending the play are doing it only from the standpoint of OMGZ YOU CANT QUESTION BB, like Gruden last night.

It would be a bloodbath.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:11 PM   #762
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by splashpot View Post
It's wrong to do it if your bankroll isn't so large that $10,000 isn't a scary amount of money for you.
Well if you already have 10k in the circle, the casino isn't letting you cancel the hand, so bankroll considerations are already out the window. Football is already like that, you've already committed to playing the game, so now figure out how best you can win it.

Last edited by Dudd; 11-17-2009 at 04:12 PM. Reason: holy double negatives batman, I'm not even sure I understand what I quoted
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:15 PM   #763
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Triple negative imo
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:26 PM   #764
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Yea, my bad. You're right. But if you don't have the roll, you shouldn't be taking the bet in the first place, even if it is +ev.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:34 PM   #765
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by ctyri View Post
Bold is exactly right, but then wrong conclusion.

Waiting is probably the smarter strategy since you'll have more info when you actually need to go for 2 or not. What happens if a safety somehow occurs due to a bad punt snap after you failed on a 2-pt conversion that left you down 9? Now you're down 7, whereas if you waited to go for it, you'd now be down 6 and don't even need a 2-pt conversion if you score.
So I agree if the decision is earlier, but once you get to like 4 minutes left, the odds of a safety are extremely unlikely, and the most important decision is whether to onside kick (needing two scores) or to kick deep (needing 1 score).
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #766
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

jesus christ phone booth, learn the 5 sentence post imo.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:12 PM   #767
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

good stuff, although they use the espn article probabilities instead of advancednflstats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjOHJHTKSOQ

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does it seem like consensus of the media and public at large is slowly changing on this?
the tide is turning. a lot has changed since 1995. we won't have to wait another 14 years
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:40 PM   #768
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

FO comes around, as expected

Quote:
The important factor that the cacophony of responses seems to be missing is that you can't judge Belichick's decision by the fact that it didn't work. As we've mentioned more than once in these pages, you cannot judge decisions by their outcome. You have to consider the process that goes into them, and then decide whether they're right or wrong at the moment they're made.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:43 PM   #769
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

too late
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:10 PM   #770
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Lapoker,
FWIW that was written yesterday on a piece they did for ESPN insider. However the article was absurd it was basically "There are a lot of variables it might be good it might be bad, but we aren't going to do real analysis to figure it out"
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:28 PM   #771
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by GREEAR10 View Post
I truely don't understand how people ragged on Del Rio's decision to kneel at the 1. I mean you **** up that kick ~ 1% of the time. Does your opponent come back and score a TD with 1:50 left or whatever more then 1% of the time? **** yes you ****ing stupid mother ****er.

"BUT YOU WERE LOSING THE GAME" just plz die
they talked some at mnf halftime. tom jackson doesn't believe in not scoring a td when you have the chance. he feels the same way about letting a team score
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:44 PM   #772
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Mister Havisham View Post
they talked some at mnf halftime. tom jackson doesn't believe in not scoring a td when you have the chance. he feels the same way about letting a team score
Which is insane because there are obvious situations where it is clearly better to have the other team score (where your win percentage is > 0%) than to stop them (where your win % becomes 0).
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:45 PM   #773
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Originally Posted by Mister Havisham View Post
they talked some at mnf halftime. tom jackson doesn't believe in not scoring a td when you have the chance. he feels the same way about letting a team score
Players are probably the worst people to ask about these things. They are almost conditioned not to think logically or strategically about the game.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:49 PM   #774
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

Wizenhunt agreed with the call.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:08 PM   #775
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Re: Do you agree with Belichick's 4th down attempt?

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Wizenhunt agreed with the call.
but silly wizenhunt didn't go for it on 4th and 2 in his own game near midfield with the score tied IIRC
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