So, you’re playing basketball, and you fire a pass to a teammate under the basket who lays it in. He is credited with two points and you get an assist. If basketball kept statistics the way football does, you and he would each be credited with two points. Ridiculous, right? So why IS it that football passing stats, at every level, are kept that way?
Your team is on the 20 yard line. The quarterback throws a pass that a receiver catches at the 30. He breaks two tackles, and runs the rest of the way to the end zone. Why in the world are both the quarterback and the receiver each credited with 80 yards*? Why does not the quarterback get 10 yards, and the receiver 70 yards? Not only would that be correct and be totally fair, but it would produce statistics that provide a much more accurate and realistic value of the real contribution of each offensive player.
Look at the difference in the value of a receiver who averages 15 yards AFTER the catch as opposed to the receiver who averages only two yards? Or the quarterback who who averages 15 ACTUAL yards per completion, as opposed to the qb who only averages five?
It may be a pipe dream that this could ever really change, but over time, if the real statistics were published along with the phony ones, and if broadcasters made more use of the real statistics, fans would get used to the accuracy and value they represent, and pay more attention to them, and less to the ridiculous totals now considered “official”.
*Not to mention that each is credited with the same touchdown.