Thu, 5 November 2015
This week, we go back into the AFA Podcast archives to revisit an interview with Virgil Carter, the man many consider to be the founding father of advanced football statistics.
On the episode, Dave, Brian Burke and Virgil look back at Virgil’s playing days when he was suiting up at quarterback for the Bears while studying for his MBA at Northwestern in the off-season. It was there at Northwestern that he published his first paper, Operations Research on Football. That paper introduced the idea of expected point value based on game situation, an idea that is still at the core of advanced football analysis. Virgil also talks about what it was like to play under head coach Paul Brown, and why if it weren’t for him, Bill Walsh might have never needed to create his “West Coast” passing offense.
If you want to learn more about Virgil and his fascinating career both on and off the field, check out the following links:
-Sports Illustrated article from October, 1972: “Handy Pair of Brainy Bengals”
-Virgil’s graduate research paper: Operations Research on Football
-Pro-Football-Reference Player Page: Virgil Carter