Yesterday I went to a session where two papers tried to predict Olympic medal count and World Cup results.
Two thoughts. First Nate Silver over at 538.com has done a great job of predicting the presidential election, Olympic medals, and is trying to do so on the World Cup.
But Nate's audience is for the masses of sports fans. Which is an important audience, but what do Sports Economists want.
First thought. Both paper discussants urged the authors to think about why these type of predictions might be interesting to Economists. I think it shows an inherent danger in Sports Economics. We can't forget the Economics part if we want to make a contribution.
Second thought. How much should Sports Economists pay attention to the large internet community of people doing similar work. This was apparent in the baseball session I went to that the presenters hadn't paid much attention to the work of baseballprospectus or fan graphs. As Sports Economists we should also make sure we are relevant to the Sports fans.
Now off to discuss a paper on NASCAR!