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Podcast: Nate Silver On The Power Of Elo
Hot Takedown

Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Sept. 22, 2015), Nate Silver joins for a special one-on-one discussion with Chadwick Matlin (Neil Paine and Kate Fagan are out of town). Nate and Chad talk about a Boston University report that raised an alarm about long-term brain injury in NFL players and what it says about sample size. Then, Nate offers a defense of Elo, the power rating we use at FiveThirtyEight to rank teams and athletes in nearly every sport. What is Elo? How does it work? Are the 2007 New England Patriots really the best NFL team of all time despite not winning the Super Bowl?

And to close out the show, a Significant Digit on a new accomplishment by U.S. soccer midfielder Carli Lloyd.

Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Below is a video excerpt and links to some of what we discussed on the show:


How can the 2007 Patriots be the best NFL team ever when they didn’t even win the Super Bowl?


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Chadwick Matlin is a deputy editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Allison McCann is a former visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

Sara Patterson is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast and video intern.

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