“Transform Your Trolley” in Limerick this weekend

first_imgNewsHealth“Transform Your Trolley” in Limerick this weekendBy Staff Reporter – January 25, 2019 851 Previous articleLISTEN: John Kiely speaks ahead of this weekends League OpenerNext articleWATCH: Johann van Graan on the end of a 10 week block and Pro14 game with the Dragons Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Advertisement Facebook Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites Linkedin WhatsApp Print Dr. Aileen McGloin, Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at safefood with Aoife Hearne, Dietician on Operation Transformation and Joel Mawhinney, Magician and Mentalist. Picture Andres PovedaAS part of safefood’s “Transform Your Trolley” campaign – which aims to help shoppers make healthier choices when food shopping – safefood will host an informative public event for media and the general public on Saturday, January 26 from 11.30am to 3.00pm at Parkway Shopping Centre, Dublin Road, Limerick, V94 PC3K (on the main walkway opposite Dunnes Stores).Research* commissioned by safefood found that more than a third (35%) of food and drink on special offer in Irish supermarkets are high in fat, sugar and salt. This number increased to more than half (56%) in convenience stores. To help people see for themselves how these special offers influence shopping habits, safefood will have two shopping trolleys on hand – one showing what consumers currently buy and the other showing what a healthy, balanced food shop looks like.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up A team of nutritionists will also be available to give practical healthy eating tips and to answer any questions people have on meal-planning and how to rebalance their food shop.* “What’s on offer? The types of food and drink on price promotion in retail outlets in the Republic of Ireland.” safefood/Ulster University 2019 TAGShealthLimerick City and CountyNews center_img Email RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick on Covid watch list Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Limerick Post Show | Careers & Health Sciences Event for TY Students TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Twitter Local backlash over Aer Lingus threatlast_img read more

LoanScorecard Hires New Managing Director of Capital Markets

first_imgHome / Featured / LoanScorecard Hires New Managing Director of Capital Markets Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily About Author: Rachel Williams Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago LoanScorecard announced that Gerald Casey has joined the company as Managing Director, Capital Markets.In this position, Casey will be responsible for identifying and pursuing LoanScorecard opportunities with originators, aggregators, and issuers of non-agency assets, as well as developing and executing strategies to maximize revenues of non-agency capital market participants and investors. He will report to Ben Wu, Executive Director of LoanScorecard.Casey brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry as a fixed income, residential whole loan trading and technology professional to LoanScorecard with over $60 billion UPB of non-agency whole loans acquired and managed to-date. Most recently, he held the position of Managing Director with Hudson Advisors/Lone Star Funds. In this position, he was responsible for residential non-performing whole loan acquisitions and he acquired, underwrote and directed the default servicing at Caliber Home Loans, a wholly-owned operating company of Lone Star Funds, on over $29 billion UPB for Lone Star Funds’ investors.Prior to Hudson Advisors/Lone Star Funds, Casey was a Portfolio Manager at Westport Capital Partners, an investment management company focused exclusively on opportunistic and distressed real estate investments. His career has also included senior trading, asset management and technology positions as a Principal at The Winter Group, a vertically integrated real estate investment management company, and as Director of Fixed Income Trading and Chief Technology Officer at Beacon Hill Asset Management, a hedge fund specializing in investing and trading mortgage-backed securities. Casey began his career in financial services providing technology solutions to Lipper Analytical Services, now Thomson Reuters Lipper, and Barron Funds.“LoanScorecard is committed to supporting capital and secondary market players as they expand their non-agency and portfolio offerings,” said Wu. “Adding a leader with Gerald’s experience will allow us to better serve our clients by providing strategic solutions that make their businesses more efficient and effective.”  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Featured, News, Technology Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago HOUSING LoanScoreCard mortgage 2017-10-23 rachelwilliamscenter_img October 23, 2017 1,079 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe Is Rise in Forbearance Volume Cause for Concern? 2 days ago Previous: First American Introduces New Valuation for Appraisal Process Next: Metro-West Appoints VP of Appraiser Advancement Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: HOUSING LoanScoreCard mortgage The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save LoanScorecard Hires New Managing Director of Capital Markets Rachel Williams attended Texas Christian University (TCU), where she graduated with Magna Cum Laude with a dual Bachelor of Arts in English and History. Williams is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, widely recognized as the nation’s most prestigious honor society. Subsequent to graduating from TCU, Williams joined the Five Star Institute as an editorial intern, advancing to staff writer, associate editor and is currently the editor in chief and head of corporate communications. She has over a decade of editorial experience with a primary focus on the U.S. residential mortgage industry and financial markets. Williams resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband. She can be reached at [email protected] last_img read more

World shares trampled in coronavirus panic, oil prices plunge

first_imgGlobal share markets tumbled on Monday as panicked investors fled to bonds to hedge the economic shock of the coronavirus, and oil plunged more than 20 percent after Saudi Arabia slashed its official selling price.Investors drove 30-year US bond yields beneath 1 percent as they wagered the Federal Reserve would be forced to cut interest rates by at least 75 basis points at its March 18 meeting, despite only just having delivered an emergency easing.The safe-haven yen surged across the board as emerging market currencies with exposure to oil, including the Russian rouble and Mexican peso, tumbled. Read also: Disappearing act: Market braces for volatile March after $2.4b vanishes in a weekThere were also worries that US oil producers that had issued a lot of debt would be made uneconomic by the price drop.Energy stocks took a beating and E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dived 4.89 percent to be limit down. EUROSTOXXX 50 futures fell 5.7 percent and FTSE futures 6.9 percent.Japan’s Nikkei fell 5.7 percent and Australia’s commodity-heavy market 5.9 percent.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 3.7 percent in its worst day since late 2015, while Shanghai blue chips dropped 2.2 percent.Not helping the mood was news North Korea had fired three projectiles off its eastern coast on Monday.“The scale of the collapse shows that any hopes of a temporary respite were in vain,” said Sean Callow, a senior FX strategist at Westpac. “The notion that overweight equities is the only real option in a world of super-low rates now seems to be from ‘The Time Before’.Read also: Coronavirus crash wipes $5 trillion off world stocks“US officials have barely moved beyond platitudes about ‘strong fundamentals’ so there is surely plenty more room for markets to price in major damage to the economy.”The number of people infected with the coronavirus topped 107,000 across the world as the outbreak reached more countries and caused more economic carnage.Italy’s markets are sure to come under fire after the government ordered a lockdown of large parts of the north of the country, including the financial capital Milan.“After a week when the stockpiling of bonds, credit protection and toilet paper became a thing, let’s hope we start to see some more clarity on the reaction,” said Martin Whetton, head of bond & rates strategy at CBA.“Dollar bloc central banks cut policy rates by 125 basis points, not as a way to stop a viral pandemic, but to stem a fear pandemic,” he added, while noting many had little scope to ease further.Bond bubbleA seismic shift saw markets fully price in an easing of 75 basis points from the Fed on March 18, while a cut to near zero was now seen as likely by April.The European Central Bank meets on Thursday and will be under intense pressure to act, but rates there are already deeply negative.“The onus is falling, perhaps inevitably on the actions of governments to abandon budget surpluses and reinvigorate the demand side of the economy,” said Whetton.Urgent action was clearly needed with data suggesting the global economy toppled into recession this quarter. Figures out from China over the weekend showed exports fell 17.2 percent in January-February, from a year earlier.Read also: Asian factories slammed as China’s PMI drops to record lowAnalysts at BofA Global Research estimated the latest sell-off had seen $9 trillion in global equity value vaporized in nine days, while the average 10-year yield in the developed world hit 16 basis points, the lowest in 120 years.“The clearest outcome of the exogenous COVID-19 shock is a collapse in bond yields, which once panic fades can induce huge rotation to ‘growth stocks’ and ‘bond proxies’ in equities,” they wrote in a client note.Yields on 10-year US Treasuries plunged to a once-unthinkable 0.48 percent, having halved in just three sessions.Yields on the 30-year long bond dived 35 basis points on Friday alone, the largest daily drop since the 1987 crash, and slid under 1 percent on Monday to reach 0.96 percent.The fall in yields and Fed rate expectations has pulled the rug out from under the dollar, sending it crashing to the largest weekly loss in four years.Read also: Bank Indonesia announces 5 measures to support rupiah amid market routThe dollar extended its slide in Asia to as far as 101.60 yen, depths not seen since late 2016. It was last down 3.1 percent at 101.97 in wild trade. The euro likewise shot to the highest in over 13 months at $1.1492.Gold jumped 1.6 percent to clear $1,700 per ounce and reach a fresh seven-year peak. Topics : Saudi Arabia had stunned markets with plans to raise its production significantly after the collapse of OPEC’s supply cut agreement with Russia, a grab for market share reminiscent of a drive in 2014 that sent prices down by about two thirds.Brent crude futures slid US$11.14 to $34.13 a barrel in chaotic trade, while US crude shed $10.58 to $30.70.“Today’s price action puts at risk the fiscal health of the vast majority of sovereign producers and budget cuts and increased debt loads are now looming in the event of a prolonged period of low prices,” warned Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.“For the most politically and economically fragile producer states, the reckoning could be severe.”last_img read more

Kompany does not travel for CSKA tie

first_img Heavy rain ruined an already worn surface but, after remedial work, UEFA passed it fit a fortnight ago. Speaking after the game at West Ham, Pellegrini said: “We don’t know what the condition of the pitch will be. “We hope that UEFA allowed them to play the game there because it is a good pitch.” Press Association Midfielder Jack Rodwell, who is reportedly fit again after overcoming his latest hamstring issue, has also not been included in the squad for the Group D fixture. Centre-back Martin Demichelis, who has not featured since being signed in August due to a knee injury, is close to fitness but the game comes too soon. Winger Jesus Navas, who was not involved at West Ham, has travelled for the crucial game. After defeat to Bayern Munich last time out, City’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages for the first time could hinge on their upcoming back-to-back matches against CSKA. The two sides are level on three points, three behind Bayern, after recording victories over Viktoria Plzen but losing to the reigning champions. Pellegrini, who took Villarreal to the semi-finals of the competition in 2006, is in confident mood. The Chilean told City Today: “I don’t think we are going to lose in Moscow. I suppose it happens – (and) also we can qualify – but we are not going to lose in Moscow.” There had been concerns over the state of the pitch at the Arena Khimki after CSKA moved their last home group match against Plzen to St Petersburg. Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has not travelled with the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow. The influential defender missed Saturday’s Barclays Premier League win at West Ham, and Belgium’s recent World Cup qualifiers, after suffering a thigh injury against Everton earlier this month. Manager Manuel Pellegrini said there was a possibility the 27-year-old could return to face the Russian champions this week, but he has now decided against the risk ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea. last_img read more

Tennis: Sharapova, Bouchard into French semis

first_imgMaria Sharapova and Genie Bouchard have staged comebacks to reach the semi-finals of the French Open.Spaniard Garbine Muguruza had Sharapova struggling, taking the first set 6-1, and pushing the Russian deep into the second before wilting.Sharapovaâ s experience and mental toughness came to the fore in a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 win to reach her fourth straight French Open semi-final.Sheâ ll play Bouchard, the Canadian 20-year-old, who fought back from a break down in the third set to beat another Spaniard, Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6, 2-6, 7-5.last_img read more

Cubs off to Tanzania for AFCON qualifiers

first_imgSome of the Cubs players at Entebbe Airport on Tuesday morning (photo by FUFA media)The Uganda U17 National team has flown out of the country this (Tuesday) morning aboard RwandaAir ahead of the AFCON Regional Qualifiers tournament.Peter Onen and his side will have a stopover in Kigali-Rwanda and from there, will connect to Tanzania where the qualifiers will take place starting this weekend.20 players who were selected by the technical committee were all present along with other officials.“We have been in camp for the last two weeks and the conditioning of the players, shape plus all the other components that are supposed to be put in the lads have been comfortably achieved, said the team’s head coach Peter Onen before the team departed.“We played five friendly matches, drawing one and winning the others and that gives us the confidence and readiness for what lies ahead of us.“Apart from South Sudan and Djibouti, who were not in the previous competition in Burundi, all other teams were there and we saw them play and know the tactics they always apply.Onen led the Cubs to a third place finish at the 2018 CECAFA U17 championship in Burundi, including a 4-1 win over Kenya in the third place playoff game.At the regional qualifiers, Uganda is in group B alongside Ethiopia, Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya.The Cub’s campaign gets underway on 12th August against Ethiopia followed with fixtures against South Sudan 5 days later (17th), Kenya on 19th and finally Djibouti on 22nd.The final squad of 20 players that will take part in Tanzania:Goal Keepers:Semwogere Daniel (UPDF JT FC), Oluka George (Buddo SS), Oyo Delton (KJSSS FC JT)Defenders:Ssekimbegga Kevin (Buddo SS), Kafumbe Joseph (Buddo SS), Kasozi Samson (Bright Stars FC JT,) Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa), John Rogers (Onduparaka FC JT), Juma Ibrahim (KCCA SA), Ekolot Ibrahim (Bright Stars FC JT)Midfielders:Ssekajja Davis (Bright Stars FC JT), Owane Yasin Abdul (Rock High School),  Mwaka Polycap (Football For Good Academy Gulu),Kakaire Thomas (SC Vipers JT), Alowo John Kokas (URA FC JT), Ngonde Elvis (KJSSS FC JT)Forwards:Iddi Abdul Wahid (Onduparaka FC JT), Asaba Ivan (SC Vipers JT), Yiga Najib (Kisozi Seed High School), Mukisa Owen (BUL FC JT)Uganda’s fixtures:Sunday, 12-08-2018Uganda vs EthiopiaFriday, 17-08-2018 South Sudan vs UgandaSunday, 19-08-2018 Kenya vs UgandaWednesday, 22-08-2018 Uganda vs DjiboutiComments Tags: AFCON U17 regional qualifiersPeter Onentopuganda cubslast_img read more

Work underway to replace ageing water mains in Inishowen

first_imgIrish Water has started work to replace ageing water pipes at Three Trees, Quigleys Point and the Cabry areas of Inishowen.The 5km long water mains run along the R238 regional road and L-1951-1 local road via Quigleys Point Village and will also extend into side roads to facilitate connections to existing water mains.It is understood that removing the existing old cast iron from the public water network and replacing them with new plastic pipes will reduce the risk of contamination. Meanwhile, it is hoped that replacing the ageing water mains and service connections will reduce the instances of bursts and water outages and will ensure a reliable supply of water to customers and local businesses in the area.These works will deliver cost savings by providing improved water network operation that will require less maintenance in the future.It is expected that initial section of pipe installation and temporary reinstatement works to Quigley’s Point will last for approximately nine weeks with works from Quigley’s point towards Redcastle to follow on from this for approximately eight weeks.A spokesperson for Irish Water said: Works have commenced and are progressing well. “The works may involve some short-term water shut offs and the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours notice prior to any planned water shutoffs.“Traffic management will be in place during this time. Local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times.“We understand that this type of work can be inconvenient and works crews will make every effort to minimise any disruption these necessary works may cause.“The contractor will be monitoring traffic build-up during peak times in the morning and evening and will switch to a manned stop/go control should there be an unacceptable build-up of traffic.”Work underway to replace ageing water mains in Inishowen was last modified: October 4th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tendulkar is professor of batting: Kirsten

first_imgIndia coach Gary Kirsten on Sunday paid rich tribute to Sachin Tendulkar for scoring a historic 50th Test ton in Centurion, describing him as professor of batting.Terming Tendulkar’s feat of scoring a half century of centuries as incredible, Kirsten credited his unmatched success to his sound technique, ability to play almost all the shots in the book and diligent preparedness.”It is an incredible feat. It must be a special one and he deserves it. He has the techniques to play almost all the shots in the book. He is the professor of batting,” Kirsten said, praising Tendulkar on becoming the first cricketer to score 50 Test tons here.”The key to his success is his approach to the game, his humility to learn and try to do better all the time. He diligently prepares for every match. For him, a Test match begins two days earlier, preparing for it. I am privileged to have associated with him for the last three years,” Kirsten said.”His success at the top level under the huge expectations in India is remarkable. It is quite different in India than other countries and the adulation he got there is amazing. At any time, Tendulkar will be surrounded by 300 people,” he said.Kirsten said despite the seniormost player in the team, Tendulkar was the one who spends most time at the nets and faces maximum number of balls.”He wants to face the maximum number of balls at the nets. You will not see him play a loose shot at the nets. He is focused all the time, he wants to do better all the time,” said Kirsten.advertisement”He has been phenomenal this year. I think he is playing better than ever. He is enjoying his cricket at present,” he said.The former South African opening batsman said despite his personal achievements, Tendulkar was a perfect team-man who wants to do his best for the team’s cause.”He is a perfect team-man and he always gives his best every time he goes out to a cricket field. He has been a huge motivational factor in the side in the past three years I have been associated with the team,” Kirsten said.About India staring defeat in the Test, Kirsten admitted South Africa are in a strong position.”We have a lot to work tomorrow. South Africa are in a strong position. But let us see what happens tomorrow. May be there is help from rain also,” he said.”But, the players have done well in the second innings.They have shown we can also play on equal terms. The strong batting display in the second innings will boost the confidence of the players in the series,” he added.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

First look: Varun looks sharp, Shraddha plays coy in ABCD 2

first_imgThe first look of ABCD 2 is here and boy do things look ready to take off!While Varun Dhawan sports stylishly short hair, Shraddha Kapoor plays his coy lady love. Apart from the two, the original dance master Prabhu Deva is also a part of the film.Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor in the newly released stills of ABCD 2. Photo: @utvfilmsVarun, as is obvious from the image, plays a waiter, while Shraddha plays a dancer. These pictures are hot off the racks of Filmistaan studio where the two were shooting.Varun Dhawan’s short hair do look stylish. Photo: @utvfilmslast_img read more

Kickers Are Forever

In football, there are constant power struggles, both on and off the field: players battling players, offenses battling defenses, the passing game battling the running game, coaches battling coaches, and new ways of thinking battling old ways of thinking. And then there are kickers. Battling no one but themselves and the goalposts, they come on the field in moments most mundane and most decisive. They take all the blame when they fail, and little of the credit when they succeed. Year in and year out, just a little bit at a time, they get better. And better. And better. Until the game is completely different, and no one even noticed that kickers were one of the main reasons why.If you’ve been reading my NFL column Skeptical Football this season, you may have noticed that I write a lot about kickers. This interest has been building for a few years as I’ve watched field goals drained from long range at an ever-increasing rate, culminating in 2013, when NFL kickers made more than 67 percent of the kicks they took from 50-plus yards, giving them a record 96 such makes. There has been a lot of speculation about how kickers suddenly became so good at the long kick, ranging from performance-enhancing drugs (there have been a few possible cases) to the kickers’ special “k-balls” to more kick-friendly stadiums.So prior to the 2014 season, I set out to try to see how recently this improvement had taken place, whether it had been gradual or sudden, and whether it was specific to very long kicks or reflected improvement in kicking accuracy as a whole.What I found fundamentally changed my understanding of the game of football.1And possibly offered insight into how competitive sports can conceal remarkable changes in human capability.The complete(ish) history of NFL kickingPro Football Reference has kicking data broken down by categories (0-19 yards, 20-29, 30-39, 40-59 and 50+ yards) back to 1961. With this we can see how field goal percentage has changed through the years for each range of distances:It doesn’t matter the distance; kicking has been on a steady upward climb. If we look back even further, we can see indicators that kicking has been on a similar trajectory for the entire history of the league.The oldest data that Pro Football Reference has available is from 1932, when the eight teams in the NFL made just six field goals (it’s unknown how many they attempted). That year, kickers missed 37 of 113 extra-point attempts, for a conversion rate of 67.3 percent. The following year, the league moved the goal posts up to the front of the end zone — which led to a whopping 36 made field goals, and a skyrocketing extra-point conversion rate of 79.3 percent. With the uprights at the front of the end zone, kickers missed only 30 of 145 extra points.For comparison, those 30 missed extra-point attempts (all with the goalposts at the front of the end zone) are more than the league’s 28 missed extra-point attempts (all coming from 10 yards further out) from 2011 to 2014 — on 4,939 attempts.In 1938-39, the first year we know the number of regular field goals attempted, NFL kickers made 93 of 235 field-goal tries (39.6 percent) to go with 347 of 422 extra points (82.2 percent). In the ’40s, teams made 40.0 percent of their field goal tries (we don’t know what distances they attempted) and 91.3 percent of their XPs. In the ’50s, those numbers rose to 48.2 percent of all field goals and 94.8 percent of XPs. The ’60s must have seemed like a golden era: Kickers made 56 percent of all field goals (breaking the 50 percent barrier for the first time) and 96.8 percent of their extra points.For comparison, since 2010, NFL kickers have made 61.9 percent of their field goal attempts — from more than 50 yards.In the 1960s, we start to get data on field goal attempts broken down by distance, allowing for the more complete picture above. In 1972, the NFL narrowed the hash marks from 18.5 yards from 40, which improved field goal percentages overall by reducing the number of attempts taken from awkward angles. And then in 1974, the league moved the goal posts to the back of the end zone — but as kick distances are recorded relative to the posts, the main effect of this move was a small (and temporary) decline in the extra-point conversion rate (which you can see in the top line of the chart above). Then we have data on the kicks’ exact distance, plus field and stadium type, after 1993.2This info is likely out there for older kicks as well, but it wasn’t in my data.So let’s combine everything we know: Extra-point attempts and distances prior to 1961, kicks by category from 1961 to 1993, the kicks’ exact distance after 1993, and the changing placement of goal posts and hash marks. Using this data, we can model the likely success of any kick.With those factors held constant, here’s a look at how good NFL kickers have been relative to their set of kicks in any given year3This is done using a binomial probit regression with all the variables, using “year taken” as a categorical variable (meaning it’s not treated like a number, so 1961, 1962 and 1963 may as well be “Joe,” “Bob” and “Nancy”). This is similar to how SRS determines how strong each team is relative to its competition.:When I showed this chart to a friend of mine who’s a philosophy Ph.D.,4Hi, Nate! he said: “It’s like the Hacker Gods got lazy and just set a constant Kicker Improvement parameter throughout the universe.” The great thing about this is that since the improvement in kicking has been almost perfectly linear, we can treat “year” as just another continuous variable, allowing us to generalize the model to any kick in any situation at any point in NFL history.Applying this year-based model to our kicking distance data, we can see just how predictable the improvement in kicking has actually been:The model may give teams too much credit in the early ’60s — an era for which we have a lot less data — but over the course of NFL history it does extremely well (it also predicts back to 1932, not shown). What’s amazing is that, while the model incorporates things like hashmark location and (more recently) field type, virtually all the work is handled by distance and year alone. Ultimately, it’s an extremely (virtually impossibly) accurate model considering how few variables it relies on.5So how accurate is this thing? To be honest, in all my years of building models, I’ve never seen anything like it. The model misses a typical year/distance group prediction by an average of just 2.5 percent. Note that a majority of those predictions involve only a couple hundred observations — at most. For comparison, the standard deviation for 250 observations of a 75 percent event is 2.7 percent. In other words, the model pretty much couldn’t have done any better even if it knew the exact probability of each kick!While there is possibly a smidge of overfitting (there usually is), the risk here is lower than usual, since the vast majority of each prediction is driven solely by year and distance. Here’s the regression output:I wish I could take credit for this, but it really just fell into place. Nerds, perk up: The z-value on “season” is 46.2! If every predictive relationship I looked for were that easy to find, life would be sweet.This isn’t just trivia, it has real-world implications, from tactical (how should you manage the clock knowing your opponent needs only moderate yardage to get into field goal range?) to organizational (maybe a good kicker is worth more than league minimum). And then there’s the big one.Fourth downIf you’re reading this site, there’s a good chance you scream at your television a lot when coaches sheepishly kick or punt instead of going for it on fourth down. This is particularly true in the “dead zone” between roughly the 25- and 40-yard lines, where punts accomplish little and field goals are supposedly too long to be good gambles.I’ve been a card-carrying member of Team Go-For-It since the ’90s. And we were right, back then. With ’90s-quality kickers, settling for field goals in the dead zone was practically criminal. As of 10 years ago — around when these should-we-go-for-it models rose to prominence — we were still right. But a lot has changed in 10 years. Field-goal kicking is now good enough that many previous calculations are outdated. Here’s a comparison between a field-goal kicking curve from 2004 vs. 2014:There’s no one universally agreed-upon system for when you should go for it on fourth down. But a very popular one is The New York Times’ 4th Down Bot, which is powered by models built by Brian Burke — founder of Advanced Football Analytics and a pioneer in the quantitative analysis of football. It calculates the expected value (either in points or win percentages) for every fourth-down play in the NFL, and tweets live results during games. Its 19,000-plus followers are treated to the bot’s particular emphasis on the many, many times coaches fail to go for it on fourth down when they should.A very helpful feature of the 4th Down Bot is that its game logs break down each fourth-down decision into its component parts. This means that we can see exactly what assumptions the bot is making about the success rate of each kick. Comparing those to my model, it looks to me like the bot’s kickers are approximately 2004-quality. (I asked Burke about this, and he agrees that the bot is probably at least a few years behind,6I don’t blame Burke or others for not updating their models based on the last few years. It’s good to be prudent and not assume that temporary shifts one way or the other will hold. Normally it is better to go with the weight of history rather than with recent trends. But in this case, the recent trends are backed by the weight of history. and says that its kicking assumptions are based on a fitted model of the most recent eight years of kicking data.7Here’s his full statement: “The bot is about 3-4 years behind the trends in FG accuracy, which have been improving at longer distances. It uses a kicking model fitted to the average of the recent 8-year period of data. AFA’s more advanced model for team clients is on the current ‘frontier’ of kick probabilities, and can be tuned for specific variables like kicker range, conditions, etc. Please keep in mind the bot is intended to be a good first-cut on the analysis and a demonstration of what is possible with real-time analytics. It’s not intended as the final analysis.”)But more importantly, these breakdowns allow us to essentially recalculate the bot’s recommendations given a different set of assumptions. And the improvement in kicking dramatically changes the calculus of whether to go for it on fourth down in the dead zone. The following table compares “Go or No” charts from the 4th Down Bot as it stands right now, versus how it would look with projected 2015 kickers8The exact values in the chart may differ slightly from the reports on the Times’ website because I had to reverse-engineer the bot’s decision-making process. But basically I’m assuming the model gets everything exactly right as far as expected value from various field locations, chances of converting a fourth-down attempt, etc., then recalculating the final expected value comparison using 2015 kickers.:Having better kickers makes a big difference, as you can see from the blue sea on the left versus the red sea on the right. (The 4th Down Bot’s complete “Go or No” table is on the Times’ website.)Getting these fourth-down calls wrong is potentially a big problem for the model. As a test case, I tried applying the 4th Down Bot’s model to a selection of the most relevant kicks from between 25 and 55 yards in 2013, then looked at what coaches actually did in those scenarios. I graded both against my kicking-adjusted results for 2013. While the updated version still concluded that coaches were too conservative (particularly on fourth-and-short), it found that coaches were (very slightly) making more correct decisions than the 4th Down Bot.The differences were small (coaches beat the bot by only a few points over the entire season), but even being just as successful as the bot would be a drastic result considering how absolutely terrible coaches’ go-for-it strategy has been for decades. In other words, maybe it’s not that NFL coaches were wrong, they were just ahead of their time!Time-traveling kickersHaving such an accurate model also allows us to see the overall impact kicking improvement has had on football. For example, we can calculate how kickers from different eras would have performed on a common set of attempts. In the following chart, we can see how many more or fewer points per game the typical team would have scored if kickers from a different era had taken its kicks (the red line is the actual points per game from field goals that year):The last time kickers were as big a part of the game as they are today, the league had to move the posts back! Since the rule change, the amount of scoring from field goals has increased by more than 2 points per game. A small part of the overall increase (the overall movement of the red line) is a result of taking more field goals, but most of it comes from the improvement in accuracy alone (the width of the “ribbon”).How does this compare to broader scoring trends? As a baseline for comparison, I’ve taken the average points scored in every NFL game since 1961, and then seen how much league scoring deviated from that at any given point in time (the “scoring anomaly”). Then I looked at how much of that anomaly was a result of kicking accuracy.9The scoring deviation on this chart is calculated relative to the average game over the period. The kicking accuracy is relative to the median kicker of the period.:Amid wild fluctuations in scoring, kicking has remained a steady, driving force.For all the talk of West Coast offenses, the invention of the pro formation, the wildcat, 5-wide sets, the rise of the pass-catching tight-end, Bill Walsh, the Greatest Show On Turf, and the general recognition that passing, passing and more passing is the best way to score in football, half the improvement in scoring in the past 50-plus years of NFL history has come solely from field-goal kickers kicking more accurately.10Side note, I’ve also looked at whether kicking improvement has been a result of kickers who are new to the league being better than older kickers, or of older kickers getting better themselves. The answer is both.The past half-century has seen an era of defensive innovation — running roughly from the mid-’60s to the mid-’70s — a chaotic scoring epoch with wild swings until the early ’90s, and then an era of offensive improvement. But the era of kickers is forever.Reuben Fischer-Baum contributed graphics.CORRECTION (Jan. 28, 2:22 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave the distances from which extra-point kicks were taken in 1933 and in recent years. Actual extra-point distances aren’t recorded. read more