Nobody denies the impact computers have had on the world, but could they someday replace an NFL head coach.
In one way, the apparent answer is yes.
Some Harvard students are studying the painfully boring, cliche-filled news conferences given by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to determine if it's reasonable to believe a simple computer could replace him when dealing with sports reporters.
Harry Chiel and Owen Prunskis, part of Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective, attempted to use word frequencies that Belichick uses in his postgame filibusters to teach a computer to produce similar speeches.
To begin, the students got help from a paper written back in 1948, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication," helped in approximating the use of letter and word frequencies for the salty coach.
For the next step, they went to the video archives and selected a sample of 45 postgame transcripts, made up of 27 wins and 18 losses, from the Patriots coach to create the language of Belichick.
With this in mind, the Harvard students were able to come up with a few strings of words that are pure gold for this vague, robotic cliche machine of a head coach.
Computer Generated Belichick Words:
• “a huge role in the win”
• “it was reinforced by Devin McCourty” (you could sub Devin McCourty with any player)
• “it came down to getting field position”
• “just not too much to say”
As you can see, for the most part, students from Harvard determined it is conceivable that the Patriots could indeed send a laptop computer to future news conferences. That laptop would be able to give Boston media those same "concise non-answers" to legitimate football questions.
All things considered, the fact that Belichick is a waste of reporters' time hasn't mattered on the field. He's helped coach the Pats to an impressive five Super Bowl appearances, and taken home three championships since 2000.
A computer definitely could not pull that off. At least not yet.
Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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