I was/am a big fan of "Moneyball" the book, if only because it made the notion of statistical analysis in baseball so accessible and its value so easy to understand.
There's a lot more to the book than that, of course, starting with the idea that it's not really about stats -- it's about identifying and exploiting inefficiencies in a market, which has been a principle that I've built my career around, with the Daily Quickie and Quickish.com being the best examples.
I haven't seen the movie yet, but I love the curated coverage of the movie and the topic over at Quickish -- check out our "Moneyball" stream; there's some terrific stuff there.
I'm back in New York this weekend for the 4th "Blogs With Balls" conference -- I'm pushing for a name change, because it doesn't appropriately cover the breadth of the event -- and my panel is, on its face, about whether "Blogging is dead." But really, if I can pull it together as the moderator, it's about "Moneyball" -- where are the inefficiencies in sports media and how have they recently been exploited (and which are still there to exploit). Quickish will still be rolling all weekend.
*CFB Weekend: Some great games, led with a "Top 10 vs. Top 10" between Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, the winner of which will likely vault into my Top 5... LSU gets yet another chance to showcase itself against quality comp at West Virginia... Arkansas at Alabama is strong on paper, but Bama will showcase just how good it's D is in an easy win... Upset Watch: San Diego State over Michigan (but not Vandy over South Carolina).
*NFL Week 3:
(1) Will the concussion impact Vick? (Yes.)
(2) Can the Bills hang with the Pats? (No.)
(3) Will Cam Newton throw for 400+ yards? (No, but he'll win.)
(4) How bad will the Colts lose to the Steelers in Indy? (Very.)
5) Game of the Week: Falcons at Bucs.
*MLB Wild Card Watch: Nothing is more exciting than the idea that the Rays might come out of the weekend ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card standings. If that happens, I could see the Yankees tanking against the Rays to ensure their rival gets shut out of the playoffs.
(Tough break for Cardinals fans: The team did just enough to get hopes up -- with a 6-2 lead heading into the 9th yesterday, they could have entered the weekend just 1 GB the Braves -- only to screw it up and likely snuff out the improbable leapfrog. But you never know!)
*NBA Lockout: Does the decision to not start training camp and cancel some preseason games surprise anyone? BTW: I disagree with the notion that a shortened season would suck a la '99. Oh, the play on the court might be a little ragged, but I'd predict that TV ratings would be up over last season in a "sprint-season" scenario.
*College realignment: Big 12 axes Dan Beebe, and apparently all is right in the world? I'm still waiting for a good reason why "super-conferences" are such a terrible idea. Wouldn't 4 16-team leagues create a de facto playoff quarterfinal layer for the conference-title games, which could easily be followed by a seeded 4-team semifinal playoff, which would basically yield a "plus-one" title game? (I hate the "plus-one" idea, fwiw.)
Enjoy your weekend -- should be a fun one! Be sure to check out Quickish all day (and all weekend).