The football coach's obsession with icing the opposing team's kicker before important field goals embodies the two primary dispositions innate to football coaches: performative micromanaging and ignoring statistics. Last night, Cincinnati's Butch Jones indulged those compulsions at the worst possible time.
First, let's get this out of the way: icing the kicker isn't necessarily a stupid thing to do. Our resident quant discussed the issue not too long ago and decided it was useless to try to decide whether the tactic is always wrong or always right, because you'd need to presuppose a hypothetical world in which the football coach making the decision is the only football coach out there, and where established coaching tendencies don't affect the kicker's psychology. Few statistical studies suport it outright, but if you have timeouts to burn, it probably doesn't hurt to to use them making the kicker stand around, all things being equal.