Feb 06, 2006 – For Immediate Release

Football Shrink’s Mental Performance Index Hits Grand Slam with Colts Victory, Now 4-1 Against Spread in Super Bowl

Miami, FL. — February 6, 2007 — Dr. John F. Murray, a licensed clinical and sport performance psychologist (aka the “Football Shrink,” and the “Freud of Football” by the Washington Post) correctly forecast that the Indianapolis Colts would soundly defeat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. As predicted, the Colts were better in all seven categories on the MPI and won by 2 touchdowns. The MPI has now defeated the official spread in the last 4 out of 5 Super Bowl games. This is very impressive evidence of the accuracy of the system and the need to include mental factors in scoring as well as football training.

Last week Murray was interviewed extensively to say that the oddsmakers had the right team, but that they did not go far enough. He declared that the Colts should soundly defeat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and he was right. The inventor of the Mental Performance Index(TM) (MPI(TM)), Dr. John F. Murray, who works with NFL players and has used the index throughout the last five NFL seasons to quantify the degree to which a team performs to perfection, has now beaten the official spread 4 of the past 5 years.

The complimentary Super Bowl numerology by “The Football Shrink,” is posted on his website: Indianapolis won the game 29-17 on the scoreboard, and on the MPI they also won .525 to .480 on the total score. The Colts performed better than than the Bears in all six other categories as well.

The Colts were stellar in pressure defensive situations where they posted a .700 to .547 advantage over the Bears. They also held the advantage on offense (.512 to .462), special teams (.543 to .487), defense (.540 to .490), pressure offense (.559 to .275) and total pressure (.611 to .442).

Indianapolis so decisively outperformed Chicago, as expected on the MPI forecast before the game, that even this final score underestimated the degree of domination by the Colts. It was a game that the Colts could have easily won by 3 or 4 touchdowns.

The 45-year-old Ph.D. licensed sport/performance psychologist in Palm Beach assigns points on each play throughout the playoffs for “focused execution,” “pressure management,” and “reduction of mental errors,” and game totals range from .000 to 1.000 (perfection).

“Scoring at .600 is excellent,” said Murray. The Colts’ .547 average throughout the playoffs, before the Super Bow, was very impressive.

As NFL coach Herman Edwards once said, “On every play somebody screws up.” Many good football coaches encourage their teams to place their focus on one play at a time. The MPI measures how well a team does this. Its power comes from the number of plays in a game (approximately 150) and the inclusion of mental factors in the scoring. While the MPI scores almost always predict to game outcome, the scores show which teams are performing better, in precisely which specific areas, and regardless of which team won. This gives coaches great insight before their upcoming games. They are able to more clearly see not only how their own team is performing, but to anticipate the fine differences, strengths and weaknesses of their oppoents in a scoring system that standardizes performance like a baseball batting average.

The MPI accurately forecast the blowout upset win by Tampa Bay over Oakland four years ago (in Arizona Republic), and forecast “extremely close games” the next two years, beating the official spread each of the first 3 years it was used and broadcast in the national media. Last year, in its 4th public use, the MPI accurately forecast that Seattle would perform better on offense and defense and worse on special teams than the Pittsburgh Steelers. The MPI indeed showed that Seattle would perform better, but for the first time in the 4 Super Bowls, the lower performing team on the MPI won the game primarily due to three rare big plays that altered the outcome. There was also some heavy criticism about the referees. This shows that sometimes even the best data available will occasionally not predict outcome … even while predicting to performance as the MPI has done each of the previous four years. Since the Colts won by more than the official spread of 7.5 points, the MPI forecast has beaten the official spread 4 of the first 5 years.

The MPI has been featured by ESPN The Magazine (December, 2002) and Murray has appeared on hundreds of radio and television stations to discuss the MPI and sport psychology. Last year, Dr. Murray discussed the MPI on ESPN Canada, ABC television in West Palm Beach and CBS television in Sacramento. Previous appearances include Westwood One national radio, ESPN Radio affiliates (e.g., Dallas, TX and Blacksburg, VA), Ron Jacober’s award winning “Sports on Sunday Morning” on KMOX in St. Louis, Mo., numerous radio programs in Canada, and Bloomberg Radio. He made multiple media appearances leading up to the game this year and his system was featured in the Los Angels Times and on the front page of the Palm Beach Daily News, among many others.

Murray provides lectures, mental coaching, and sport psychology services to athletes and teams in many sports and he has worked with NFL players. He authored “Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game,” endorsed by Lindsay Davenport, and Vincent Spadea credited Murray for helping him overcome the longest losing streak in tennis history. Dr. Murray just returned from the Australian Open where he was the official coach of Vincent Spadea who got his first win in eight years of this tournament.

Dr. Murray is available for interviews.

John F. Murray, PhD
Licensed Sport Psychologist
340 Royal Poinciana Way Suite 339J
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Telephone: 561-596-9898

Dr. John F. Murray is a sports psychologist and clinical psychologist providing sports psychology and counseling services based in Palm Beach, Florida.