Why We Love Sports Analytics and Richard Sherman

Photo by John Todd via The Stanford Daily

I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get.” – Richard Sherman

The Stanford Sports Analytics Club loves Richard Sherman. He’s famous for his on-the-field play and his legendary trash talk, but he’s not always recognized for his work off-the-field as a student of the game. In an interview with NBC Sports, Sherman said, “My tape study and my meticulous attention to detail are what make me a good ball player.”

Like Sherman, the Stanford Sports Analytics Club strives to uncover competitive advantages through a detailed, analytical approach to sports. We believe this approach offers players and teams a more objective way of assessing their strengths and correcting their weaknesses. Becoming a better player or team requires accurately understanding strengths and weaknesses.

Starting this year the Stanford Sports Analytics Club will be maintaining a robust blog presence featuring different projects being worked on within the club. On campus we will be offering weekly workshops to help students develop their quantitative analysis skills. We will also be hosting expert guest speakers to provide a deeper understanding of how sports analytics is actually practiced. Last year we hosted Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie.

Our purpose in starting this club is to ultimately build a strong sports analytics community here at Stanford. It seems only natural that an environment with a top athletics program as well as an excellent engineering school be a fertile ground for sports research. In the process of achieving this goal, our club’s focus will be on the following two main objectives. First, we will connect students with similar interests by facilitating collaboration on projects. Second, we will provide the resources students need to get their projects off the ground. This blog will be a platform for promoting their work.

Overall though, we just really want to learn more about the sports we love. Is Sherman really the best corner in the game? Is Crabtree really a sorry receiver? Let’s be clear. We don’t have all the answers to such pressing questions, but we’re eager to try to figure them out.