Field goal kicking is a set of discrete events which are easily measurable; they are almost as easy to judge statistically as free throw shooting or pole vaulting. (Slightly more difficult, because more than one player is involved. Maybe it's Vinatieri's long snapper who is the clutch performer).

Let's consider a role-playing game, where 32 people each have their own "character" who is an NFL kicker. Each week you get to roll a die one to five times; any time the die comes up as anything other than a six (83% chance), you get three points.

In this game, with a completely random distribution, there will be one or more kickers whose performance looks like Vinatieri's. There will also be one or more kickers who seem to always miss their last kick. That's not due to anything more than the normal operation of random chance.

So, if I'm reading you correctly, you want to take the human aspect out of the equation altogether? It's all random? If Malcolm Gladwell was correct in the article I posted earlier, "choking" definitely exists. And the scientific explanation is that the choker begins to think more than usual rather than relying on instinct or muscle memory. He basically goes back to approaching the situation the same way he did when he first learned how to perform the act.

And the kicker is (no pun intended), if you've failed in a "clutch" situation before, there's a greater chance that you will begin to show signs of choking the next time a clutch situation occurs. You will overthink, overanalyze and rely less on instinct than you should.

Is that random? I mean, can dice and mathmatical equations really explain something that's more complex than randomness?

Again, couldn't it be that you're not starting with the correct theory? You're looking at it one way; whereas, there is another completely different, and legimate, way of looking at it that could produce different results.

So here's an interesting question about hot streaks for hitters (was thinking about this in the shower this morning...pitiful, I know). According to math, a hitter is no more likely to get a hit in his next at bat whether he's in a hot streak or a cold streak. However, is one player more likely than another player to get a hit in any situation? Here's where I'm going with this. Is Albert Pujols more likely to get a hit in a certain situation than Yadier Molina is? The answer is yes, correct?