Unexpected outcomes

(Originally posted August 16, 2013)

Just a quick note on unexpected outcomes. The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the player’s union changed so that there are fewer offseason requirements for workouts. This was meant to give the players more rest and time off. Seems like a great idea especially considering how violent the NFL is and how long lasting many of the injuries are.

Now obviously correlation is not causation, and I wasn’t able to find statistics, but right at the beginning of training camp there were, according to NFL reporters, an inordinate amount of ACL injuries. The reporters, many of whom are former players, felt that part of this may have come from the players’ tendons not being warmed up enough to handle the stress of football since they had been away from it for longer than normal. In the second week, theses injuries seems to have wound down, which fits into the theory because they players now have had time to adjust.

Now there’s no real way to check the veracity of this since it is only one year and statistical outliers can occur at any time, but it is an interesting reminder to realize that good intentions can sometimes have unintended consequences.

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