Monday, October 17, 2005

Going for Two

There is a universal football strategy that I have never understood. This comes up a few times a year, at least. Let's say it is late in the game and you are down by 15. So you need two scores, plus a two point conversion after one of the scores.

When the trailing team scores the first touchdown, they always kick the extra point to stay down by 8, and never go for the two point conversion. The logic is that if they were to try the 2-point conversion and fail, the game would effectively be over because they would be behind by 9. But by kicking the extra point, they feel like they are definitely still in it and can still tie the game right up until the end.

The problem I have with this strategy is, why wait to find out whether you will be successful on the 2-point conversion? Better to try it right away, so you can adjust your strategy if you miss it. If you wait and miss it after the second touchdown, it will be too late to do anything about it.

At a higher level, it seems that human nature is to avoid hearing potentially bad news, but in reality it is probably better to get as much information as you can as soon as possible so you can make the best possible decision.

If this makes sense to anyone, please feel to agree or disagree in the comments.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Seva Alieva said...

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At 12:56 PM, Blogger BrianM said...

Does that really happen often? It seems like a no-brainer to go for two on the first try. Maybe they pray for a safety after the kickoff. Or maybe if the other team gets another TD and misses the extra kick? Both those arguments sounds kinda silly.


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