Dateline Miami ~ A Thousand Computers Died Here On Monday Night Television

Look, I’m like you. Mightily impressed with the mathematical genius of Nate Silver’s political numbers, Moneyball’s baseball projections, and how the nation just crunched the stats to come up with the perfect match-up for College Football’s National Championship. Nate was 100% right in calling the 2102 presidential elections, and the Moneyball strategy paid off brilliantly for their California baseball team.

But wouldn’t you know it — hitting a trifecta was a little too much to count on. And so the Quants of America really blew the Football’s National Championship game. By more than 20 bloody points…!

The blue-humming computer banks had spun out a perfect set of algorithms in deciding Notre Dame and Alabama were the “two best in the country.” Match them and you’ve got a perfectly definitive contest. Only the boys in Vegas immediately bit down on their cigars with a sneer. “Are these computer nerds crazy???” The boys instantly made Notre Dame 10 point underdogs.

What! The only undefeated team in the country an underdog? By 10 computer-defying points? It turns out the boys in Vegas understood what the PHD Quants refused to — that real people with real gridiron experience know how to talk any million-dollar computer to its senses.

Turns out the smack-mouth Vegas hotshots were wrong too, but only by how MUCH they had projected Notre Dame was going to lose. Indeed. there’s still a lot to be said for the astonishing calculating precision of algorithms. But the next time the nation makes a big call — sports, elections, economy, Supreme Court Justice — damn if it won’t still be a good idea to consult a few foul-mouthed , cigar-chomping pros along with our impeccably groomed Mr Spocks…..

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