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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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DOES FATIGUE MAKE COWARDS OF US ALL?

The Case of NBA Back-to-Back Games and NFL Bye Weeks

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all” is a famous anonymous quote popularized by the late, great Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The idea, of course, is that if you are tired you cannot perform at peak performance level. In this chapter we use the following two types of game situations to show that fatigue does indeed have a significantly deleterious impact on team performance:

  • NBA teams that play back-to-back games perform significantly worse than expected during the second game of the back-to-back and perform even worse when they play a fourth game in five nights.
  • The week after an NFL team has a bye or an open date they perform significantly ...

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