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More 'Stats Geeks' Talk About Colts Running Game And Bill Polian's Recent Angry Rant

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Mike Chappell, on 1070 The Fan on 5/3/2011:

We've all said the running game has primary been an issue because of the offensive line. I've never believed that when you have two first round draft picks, Donald Brown and Joseph Addai, that all of a sudden these guys quit knowing how to run the football.

Apparently, per Bill Polian's own definition, I guess Mike Chappell is a 'stat geek' whose opinion is 'off base.'

Speaking of a true 'stat geek,' and the man Bill Polian was directly speaking about when he criticizied fans who 'deal only in statistics,' Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders used Twitter to rip into Polian after I informed him of Bill's comments aimed directly at him and Football Outsiders:

Yes, yes, we all know Peyton Manning is simply propped up by the threat of the Colts' KILLER RUN ATTACK.

Polian attacks stats but stats actually show he's RIGHT. "run in the red zone, which we do very effectively" IND 7th run DVOA in red zone

The Colts' problem is that running on first down almost never leads to an advantageous second down situation. (29th in DVOA running on 1st)

Also: Polian says "I'm criticizing people who, make no bones about it, who deal only in statistics."

Here's my favorite Tweet from Schatz:

Bill, when you actually find one of those people who deals only in statistics, would you let me know about it? Because they don't exist.

For folks trying to make excuses, saying Polian is only talking about 'dumb people' who make up negative stats, Aaron stated:

Nope, he's not thinking of fan stats. [Polian is] thinking of Football Outsiders. We've talked about it at the Sloan Conference.

We don't always agree with some of the stats analysis Aaron and the folks at FO do, but we do think what they do overall is outstanding. And when an angry grouch like Bill Polian unnecessarily takes a shot at them, criticizing them for doing nothing more than their job, we get embarrassed that said grouch is employed by our favorite football team.

I've made this clear to many of you, and in some cases a few of you don't agree, but I am an Indianapolis Colts fan, not a Bill Polian fan. Bill Polian is not bigger or more important than the Colts. The Colts won before Bill Polian, and they will win after he leaves. Thus, while he did great things as a head of all football operations from 1998-2010, his actions and his antics, especially when it comes to his treatment of fans, are not above criticism.

If you personally think otherwise, you will not like this blog.

I don't expect to win over the Polian apologists, people who defend and cheer this kind of behavior. What I find humorous about these people is they currently praise Bill for acting like a Bob Knight wannabe to Football Outsiders, and then six months from now they'll happily post a stat linked from FO highlighting something positive about the Colts. Maybe even a positive stat about the running game. Basically, anything negative about the Colts and Polian is 'wrong' and should be 'called out,' and anything positive is 'right.'

That's not being a Colts fan, in my book. Attacking anyone who writes anything negative, or praising someone when they act like a jerk (in this case, Polian) is against everything being a Colts fan is all about.