Football Is a Numbers Game
Football Is a Numbers Game

Football Is a Numbers Game

Pro Football Focus and How a Data-Driven Approach Shook Up the Sport
By Matthew Coller


256 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, PDF

Cloth, $28.00 (CA $38.00) (US $28.00)

ISBN 9781637272183

Rights: WOR

Triumph Books (Oct 2023)


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In the 1980s, Neil Hornsby was one of very few National Football League fans in England. Never one to do anything casually, he began keeping hand-written score sheets of every game using his own tracking system. Soon he'd enlisted some fellow British super fans in his mission to take football information an extra layer deeper.

This was the beginning of Pro Football Focus, an analytics company that now supplies data to all 32 NFL teams and every major broadcasting corporation. PFF player grades appear on the screen during Sunday Night Football broadcasts, and PFF's pioneering research and analysis informs discussions at the highest level, from coaching to drafting to game-planning and player evaluation.

In Football Is a Numbers Game, Matthew Coller chronicles this improbable start-up tale with unprecedented access, exploring the company's origin as a band of obsessive outsiders, its pivotal acquisition by Cris Collinsworth, and its role in the proliferation of data in the NFL and professional sports.

Featuring a cast of memorable characters, this is a portrait of an unlikely business success as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the forces guiding modern NFL teams as they search for a competitive edge.

Author Biography

Matthew Coller is a former sports radio host in the Twin Cities who now covers the Minnesota Vikings for Purple Insider.