Sports Announcers & Hot Hand

It seems fairly common for sports announcers to contradict themselves. One minute, “Team X cannot catch a break,” and the next, “Everything is going their way.” During the first case, they were up by a sizable amount but a few chances in a row went bust. They were never at risk, but eventually, the other team just got exhausted trying to catch up and the game ended in a rout.

Basically, these are people who are believers in the Hot Hand Fallacy. Worse, they perpetuate it by extolling it to anyone who listens. It seems all over sports.

Successful teams or individuals often are described as always are even though they do sometimes lose. And those who are normally winners suffering a loss seems shocking even though over the course of a season it is more normal for even the best teams to lose from time to time. Teams are always trying to get better, so the mix of who is most competitive changes year to year. So, the advertisement thing to prevent financial gambling seems to apply to sports:

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

It applies over a season, between periods, and between plays.

From Sports Announcers & Hot Hand published December 17, 2017 at 11:45AM.

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