5 min read

Crunching QBs to Crunching Numbers: The Value is Yours

Photo Credit: BC Lions

NFL training camps are well underway. Simple headlines and five-second highlights are rapidly moving ADPs and encouraging new bets to be placed. There’s an endless stream of football content out there.

With all of these options at your fingertips, I know there’s one main question that you need to know the answer to: what can you expect to get from me? Since my value proposition is derived from my uncommon path to this point, I’ll jump in there.

First of all, I grew up in the game. My dad was an NFL and later CFL linebacker from the late 80s through the mid 90s, and while he never pushed football on me, he was always there to feed my curiosity as I gravitated towards it. Once I was in football’s orbit, it never let me go, eventually dropping me in Moscow, Idaho, where I was an NCAA Division I defensive lineman for the University of Idaho Vandals from 2010 to 2014. At UI I was a team captain my final two seasons and won the Coaches Award in each of my last three seasons across two different staffs. After finishing up there, I played professionally, getting four years and change in the Canadian Football League, predominantly with the BC Lions. Put frankly, I’ve lived it.

Having played just under a decade of high-level football and a preceding prep career, I’ve done countless hours of film study, and while I am credentialed there, film isn’t where the value of my football experience comes from. Anybody can teach themselves to grind film with enough focus and patience. The real value brought by my football experience comes from the people I interacted with on a daily basis, in particular vets and coaches. Pieces are always moving on a football team, and this meant that I got to be around numerous football lifers and even a few Hall of Famers, each with their own philosophy of the game, each having an impression on my own view of the game. While a big part of it, this alone is not what sets me apart.

While at UI, I was a double business major on track to finish my degree before my eligibility was up. Looking to add something else to my repertoire, a professor of mine suggested a Statistics minor, which sounded intriguing. Intrigue turned into flat out fascination by way of an Econometrics course: one of the first classes I took for my minor. The idea that we could quantify complex real world problems such that they could be better understood was invigorating. At its core, my fascination was driven by the same competitiveness that drove my pursuit of football. I wanted to be able to find edges and inefficiencies that other people couldn’t.

After I finished my undergrad and moved on from UI, making a professional roster was my whole focus. All athletes, whether we like to admit it or not, know we have a shelf life, and in the back of my head I knew that when that day came, I wanted to get into something involving analytics. That’s why while preparing for my 5th CFL season, I started my Master of Science in Business Analytics at Arizona State University.

As it would happen, I got released following camp that year, never to be picked back up. Transitioning out of the game is tough, especially when it is not of your own volition, and I am glad that I had this program to dig into. It presented me with challenges that stimulated me, expanding on what I’d previously learned in a major way. My biggest takeaway from this program was the ability to test and communicate using big data in ways that scale.

So what can you expect to get from me?

You can expect analysis driven by the game but based on empirical data. I’ll use my knowledge (and data from Sports Info Solutions and TruMedia) to explore ideas that have been floating around football meeting rooms in search of edges yet to be found and understood. I’ll leverage my unique viewpoint to interpret the data to give you actionable insights. Most importantly, I’ll always put my best foot forward and will look for ways to grow to better serve you.

The biggest unlock for you though will be plugging the experience and perspective above into the group we have at The 33rd Team. Football is the ultimate team game, and the lineup being built here is the type of lineup that will be greater than the sum of its parts. We have some star players, and I’m looking forward to playing my role alongside them. Having such a well-rounded team that will be able to play off of each other’s strengths, I truly believe we can create something special. If I’m right, in the long run, it is you that will be the winner.