Mr. J.V. Presogna
Presogna Productions

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A Little History

If the only things that you could do are the things that are taught to you, then there would never be anything new under the sun.

The proverbial "they" have been trying to copy me for a very long time, but you cannot steal what you do not understand.

In 1985, I developed True Worth Studies after several months of research. True Worth has been an active trademark every year since 1985, and it has been on the internet since 2003. This is attached to True Worth Systems (the 13 indices I use) and the simple statement of True Worth in conjunction with sports, primarily football, but also other sports as well.

True Worth is not an idea. My trademark is an identification or a label, not an idea.

The several ideas which gave rise to this examination of athletic performance are derived from another item I developed, called the Principle of Mathematical Context, which states that your solution is governed by your context.

For example, the context of the Pythagorean Theorem is 2-dimensional space. It is not just the square of 2 sides which add up to the square of the hypotenuse. It is any 2-dimensional frame, such as circles, triangles and the like. It is about areas that fit together.

Yet, if we change the context to 3-dimensions, nothing works. The cube fails, the sphere fails, and so does the tetrahedron and other physical objects. It is about volume, not area.

Therefore, with the Principle of Mathematical Context and my deep knowledge of sports, I took a look at many years of professional football using the scientific method, including a control group and the general concept of trying to gain accurate data to use.

To actually tell the history, I can start with Jeff Sagarin. In the early 1980s, he came out with his ranking system for sports, assigning a number to each team and providing for home field advantage. He is fairly well known and his rankings appear in publications and on the internet.

I did not like his rankings, because of two reasons. First, no single number can describe a team which is made up of components and has individual matchups every game. It is more complicated than that. Second, as a former coach of teenagers who took over a team that had gone 0-20 in 2 years and brought them to a tie for second place at 5-4-1 the first year I coached, I thought very little of statistics. I had someone keep statistics for my team, but it was for the kids, not me. I also was the first to film games in the instructional league where I coached. It was about learning how to play football.

In 1985, after this Sagarin thing, and seeing people try to copy the guy, I decided to investigate something else --- statistics themselves.

I did a mathematical study and I developed what I have said is the Principle of Mathematical Context. Using this principle, I spent 7 months pouring over NFL statistics, using a control group and the scientific method, looking for provable relationships. Notice, I did not have some vague idea called "worth." I was looking to see what real players did, and how the things added up for those good players, as opposed to ordinary players.

At the end of that time, using my principle, I developed or discovered 13 methods of examination, the indices that point to success.

I needed a name to call my company. I thought about football terms, like MVP and Touchdown, and what have you. Then, I noticed True Value Hardware, which had filed for trademark of the term in 1932. I liked that approach, getting your money's worth at True Value.

I decided the synonym of True Worth should be mine, and I took it.

You get your money's worth at True Worth Reports.

This was in 1985, 4 years before Jerry Jones took over the Cowboys.

That's how long ago this was.

The context of True Worth is provable relationships, something you cannot gain from pre-conceived notions, but rather from the examination of the process.

For example, there is no prototype quarterback. Your pre-conceived notion of a quarterback is too subjective, but True Worth can tell you they all have one thing in common, separate from any prototype or stereotype. They score, running or passing or by special teams, and the best of them do it at a 45% or better rate.

I used to pass out pamphlets back in the 1980s and 1990s, and what was said in those pamphlets has been repeated, but none of those things were said before I printed those pamphlets. That, of course, is what people try to copy, without understanding what I do. You could not say what I say unless you did all of the research and the work and looked at the results.

Basically, True Worth explains how football works.

It is not about statistics. They are dependent upon opportunity, coaching philosophy, whether you are ahead or behind in a game, or how much time is left.

It is not about ranking teams. No single number exists to rank a team. There is a profile to which all of the best teams adhere, but no single number can identify a team. True Worth can rank components, such as offense, defense, special teams, or even players, because football is all about matchups and these items must be matched up for analysis, but no ranking of a team is made.

It is not about predicting wins and losses. Four scenarios exist every game. Both teams show up, neither team shows up, Team A shows up and the other does not, Team B shows up and the other does not. Those things cannot be controlled in any way, so predicting has a top limit of probability.

True Worth allows you to build the best team possible with the players you have, and it is invaluable in putting together a game plan, allowing you to "see" what cannot be seen in game films or statistics, by showing the matchups, advantages and vulnerabilities of the opponents.

For the fans, you can rank players, I suppose. Few coaches care about player rankings, but there can be a genuine ranking, just so you understand there are "brackets" of players, not individually ranked people who are separated by small amounts.

The work I have is protected by trade secrets law. Yes, it is copyrightable and patentable, and even the published results are protected, since they are not statistics that anyone can gain by watching a game. You have to know my equations to know the results, so the publications are protected bits of information. My publication is a review of the NFL or the NCAA. I am a reporter, in other words.

In 1994, when I sued the NFL for antitrust under Title 15, I claimed you could not do business without the blessing of the NFL. The NFL bent over backward in court stating they recognized the legitimacy of my business, my trade secrets and my trademark, and that they welcomed anyone to review the NFL. I have continued to review the NFL, and other sports, since losing that case, and I still have the True Worth Studies information on my website. Like the NY Times, I claim freedom of the press with my unique reviews.

Needless to say, I get searches to my web site looking for things I originated, such as strength of schedule without wins and losses and point spreads.

It is amazing that this continues, because they try to repeat what I say, without knowing what I do.


True Worth Studies came to be in 1985. It is the examination of athletic performance. Statistics, however, are not what True Worth Studies are all about. This may be confusing to some people, but statistics are meaningless in and of themselves. Only the relationships of the field results can ever be shown to have any real meaning. The field results themselves, such as yardage, or attempts, or even points, are nothing.

This concept can be applied to any set of statistics, whether in athletics, in manufacturing, or in some other field. Unless you can show a provable relationship exists between any sets of statistics, then the statistics are essentially meaningless numbers. Few players and coaches understand this. True Worth Studies, however, indeed prove to you that the bare statistics of any event mean very little, if anything, when the event is examined for provable relationships.

When I started out in 1985, I started with football. I learned very quickly that you should never have any pre-conceived notions about anything, especially an athletic event, or the performance at any position in such an athletic event. I once thought the prototype quarterback was someone like Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts. Now, while Unitas grades quite well in True Worth Studies, it should be stated he is not the prototype quarterback. In football, there is no prototype quarterback. That pre-conceived notion is worthless when examining the sport of football.

True Worth Studies were applied to basketball also, but nothing came out of basketball as clearly as came out in football. In football, there are numerous provable relationships that are confirmed every year. In basketball, not one relationship was proved to exist among any sets of statistics. Football, however, is a compartmentalized sport, which means that it is much easier to review. Football has eleven positions on offense, and eleven positions on defense, all with specific jobs and roles. Basketball, on the other hand, has five positions, but they all essentially do the same things on the court, and they all play both offense and defense in the game. Basketball is not compartmentalized.

True Worth Studies intends to look at baseball, which is compartmentalized to a degree and may be able to be examined in the same way that football is examined. But, the work on baseball is purely preliminary, without the full testing of football.

Scroll down for a discussion on the evaluation of football.

For an example of preliminary work on baseball click here.

No other sports will be reviewed, since no other sports seem to have the same qualities. Hockey is a lot like basketball, or even soccer. Only team sports will be reviewed by True Worth Studies, so golf or bowling or any individual sport will not be covered in the same way.

Keep in mind, the principle of True Worth Studies states that there must be a provable relationship. Individual sports rarely present enough items to even examine on a superficial level. Therefore, even if there is an individual sport which might present enough items for examination, True Worth Studies will most likely stay with team sports.

The essence of True Worth Studies is team sports and the existence of provable relationships on the field of play.


In the sport of football, this concept is easy to explain. Statistics are meaningless in and of themselves. They are highly dependent upon opportunity, situation, and circumstances, team philosophy, and strategy.

In other words, a coach may help determine if a team is a passing team or a running team because of his philosophy. How a team plays in any game is also influenced by the score, whether a team is ahead or behind, how much a team is ahead or behind, and how much time there is left in the game. All of these things dictate strategy, and statistics are simply a product of that strategy.

In and of themselves, the statistics tell you very little, if anything. Sometimes, statistics hide a fact that is completely the opposite from the statistical picture presented in the box score. In other words, some statistics are actually lies, appearing as a mirage of numbers.

Football, in reality, is all about matchups, how players play against each other, how teams match up an offense against a defense, and how the teams actually perform on the field during those matchups.

Yards gained and points scored are simply more statistics. The final score is all that counts, but points themselves are relative in football. The offense that gains the most yards is not necessarily the best offense, because yards are a product of opportunity. If your defense consistently places your offense in good field position, you have less of an opportunity to gain a lot of yards. The points scored may also be a product of the defense, or even the special teams.

Therefore, you must view football as offense, defense, and special teams, and view all three separately. No single number can be used to describe a team, because that single number can never define those matchups.

The final test is legitimacy, but it is also the most complicated. The strength of one's schedule has nothing to do with the record of wins and losses. The strength of schedule is about matching up your rushing offense against a rush defense, or your passing offense against a pass defense, and the other way around. That is what determines your strength of schedule. If you face teams weak on rush defense, your team should run the ball better. If you face teams strong on rush defense, your team may have trouble running the ball.

Nobody should care about who gains the most yards, because it is relative to the opponent that you play against on that particular day.

Finally, True Worth Studies can help you answer some questions, whereas it becomes a tool for any coach. It can help you understand what you cannot readily see with your own eyes, and it can help you prepare a better game plan to help your team win. It is not really about saying who the best player is, because that is subjective. The True Worth Studies analyze performance, not ability. Performance on game day is all any coach really cares about in football.

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