“This is Your Brain on Sports” is a new podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers explore the intersection of sports and human nature—what the world of sports has to teach us about who we are, what we care about and the forces that shape our behavior. In this week's episode, Wertheim and Sommers discuss the economic phenomenon of the winner's curse and why coming away as the highest bidder in the market for talent isn't always what it's cracked up to be, especially in the sports world.
In every sport, the first pick in the draft and the highest-paid player in free agency don't always become the best players of the class, and yet the teams that win the rights to those players are often celebrated at the time, when history tells us they are doomed to overpay their incoming talent. From the world of fantasy sports to the podium at the NFL draft, Wertheim and Sommers examine the many prominent examples of the winner's curse and why teams almost never get what they pay for.
Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and check back every week for a new episode.