Coaches, Super Bowl 56Posted: February 13, 2022
Vlad in Chico, CA writes:
Heels will you be doing a writeup on the Super Bowl coaches in advance of this year’s Big Game, as you did in the past?
We failed to make the time for a deep dive on Sean McVay of the Rams and Zac Taylor of the Bengals. We note that both coaches are younger than us: McVay is 35 and Taylor is 38. Younger coaches are becoming a phenomenon in the NFL. Taylor used to work for McVay, which is interesting. We can’t find an easy stat for how often former colleagues have coached against each other in the Super Bowl. Mina Kimes would probably know.
In Seth Wickersham’s It’s Better to Be Feared about the Belichick/Brady era Pats, we learn that Belichick gained from his frequent experience in Super Bowls:
With its overwrought introductions and halftime show, the Super Bowl was at least an hour longer than most games. The drawn-out nature of the game his the defensive line hardest, draining the pass rush in the fourth quarter. Belichick had robbed himself of the ability to rotate in fresh legs. He never repeated that mistake again, and he exploited it when opposing coaches committed the same error against him in future Super Bowls.
McVay has Super Bowl experience and is playing at home. Our prediction is the Rams will win decisively, beating the current line of -4, but we’re not betting on it. This is based on vibe speculation, not technical analysis, and here in LA it’s possible my viberead is tainted. We don’t have any information or indications that wouldn’t be priced in. There’s some evidence that homefield advantage can be underestimated systematically in sports betting, but it’s not strong enough to be significant.
Sports betting is not legal in California, although we’ll have an opportunity to change that on the 2022 ballot, if we pass the California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Act, which is sponsored by DraftKings. There may even be multiple sports betting propositions on the ballot. We believe the gains here for legalizing the incredibly popular activity of sports gambling and extracting revenue for the state would exceed the social cost in ruined lives from gambling addiction and coarsening of the pure spirit of sport, but we’ll see how the ballots shake out. This feels like a “don’t put law on people if it’s not in their hearts” situation.
Here’s hoping for a great game!