The term 'Moneyball' is colloquially used as a means of using statistics to value players rather than the insider wisdom of coaches, scouts, journalists and managers to field a team. As they say the numbers never lie and if you know anything about baseball is that there is a lot of statistics to measure performance.
It got me thinking about the NRL, too often we pick players for state of origin or for a representative match based on form (which is in most cases over hyped) or popularity by the fact that they have the 'experience'. I strongly agree that by taking an analytical approach to selecting players a competitive and successful team can be created.
Not only on selecting teams for big games, but fielding a team for week to week competition. Many teams seem to rely heavily on a superstar like Benji Marshall or a Big 3 like Melbourne to spark the offence and win tight games.
But when push comes to shove and these players get either injured, or play in representative games the teams seem to stall without the star in the line-up.
Which brings me to my point about my team in the NRL, the Penrith Panthers, I'm the first to admit they don't have any 'superstars' but across the board we have a solid team of players who perform every week.
This season though we were tipped to win the wooden spoon, the award no team wants to win, but approaching mid-way through the season and we sit 9th on the table. Not a bad spot for the run to the finals.
Though injury has struck Penrith, as has most teams what gives Penrith the advantage is that we have a depth of solid players in reserve grade ready to fill the gaps, while others moan and complain about an injury toll and filter around the bottom of the table, Penrith plug the holes and continued a surge of 4 wins out of 6 games.
A Bible verse I remembered that is similar to this is 1 Corinthians 12 verse 12 "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ". This shows that a team cannot all be one type of player, but rather a collection of different styles to form one team.
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is an under-graduate student.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html