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:
- Concussion watch: ESPN’s list of injuries in the NFL.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University announced that 87 out of 91 former NFL players who donated their brains for testing after their deaths tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
- The 2007 Patriots have the highest Elo rating of any team in the history of the NFL.
- Significant Digit: 5 x 5. Carli Lloyd’s hat trick in Sunday’s U.S. women’s national team win over Haiti makes her the fifth American with five international hat tricks.
How can the 2007 Patriots be the best NFL team ever when they didn’t even win the Super Bowl?
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