A heads up: Jeff Pearlman has graciously agreed to be interviewed for TSF. I’ll have that interview up in the next day or two.
<>Two items of note from the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated:
<>1) Sally Jenkins has a terrific story about the Carlisle Indian School, the extraordinary institution for Native Americans that produced Jim Thorpe and, according to Jenkins’ title: “The Team that Invented Football.” Though Jenkins doesn’t use the phrase, Carlisle’s coach, the legendary Pop Warner, applied Moneyball principles nearly a century before that term entered popular parlance. Faced with a small student population and saddled with overwhelming resource constraints, the leverage that Warner found was the incredible speed and adaptability of his charges, which he parlayed into football’s first vertically-oriented offensive attack. Jenkins explains that, under Warner’s tutelage, “Carlisle mastered an astounding array of trick plays – reverses, end arounds, flea-flickers – and forward passes.” In carrying out such innovations in order to compensate for the fact that Carlisle’s team was giving up more than thirty pounds per player to the elite football schools, like Army and Harvard, Warner and Carlisle “transformed a plodding, brutal college sport into the fact intricate game we know today.”