The all encompassing "players of today vs players from the past" thread
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12-06-2010, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Originally Posted by
If you are implying again that this makes "newer faster better", this isn't true. The whole curve can be shifted upwards and an extreme outlier from an earlier time can still be better than any player today.
There are human limits that cannot be surpassed at any given time frame and even with training/equipment/nutrition etc. we can see from an example like the 100m records that the improvements are small and incremental over a long period of time in a mature sport.
So while those improvements might have the average shifted on the bell curve a bit higher, an extreme outlier (superstar player) on the original curve is still going to be ahead of say.. 95% of the current curve. Diminishing returns set in because as I said there are finite limits to human ability at any given time.
A super extreme outlier like a Gretzky/Orr/Lemieux for example might be soooo far along the original curve mapping human ability that they are in fact still out in front of the new curve simply because people that are that extremely outside normal ability are very rare and
to exist at any given time.
The fact that they show up occasionally at all is like winning the lottery.
Very important insight and frankly I really hope it doesn't go over people's heads.
If there's a larger talent pool today, and development is better, it makes sense that the ~100th best player would be better than the ~100th player when it was smaller and inferior. But when you're looking at a class of player that has a 1 in 100 million ability, the sample size is smaller and the randomness of when they were born becomes more of a factor and it's quite possible you could get two in the smaller talent pool and none in the larger talent pool.
Last edited by Derick*: 12-06-2010 at
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