Bud Goode (pronounced "goody"), the father of pro football analysis, was a mathematician at heart who spent almost half a century collecting and analyzing football statistics. One sportswriter called him "a Hollywood press agent loose in a Twilight Zone of numbers."
In 1973, he predicted the winners in 75 percent of the NFL games played. He often said he wanted the inscription on his headstone to read: "Here lies Goode. He told the world about average yards per pass attempt." He died in 2010.
He may not have gotten his tombstone wish, but yards per pass attempt — today known as net yards per pass attempt, or NY/A — remains the most important stat in pro football.
Here’s everything you need to know about the metric to be an expert. Or at least impress your friends, family and coworkers.