What About The Maturation Of Peter King? — Tommy Craggs — Apparently the only way to be mature is to humble yourself before somebody above you. Not that I have any experience with this, no, not at all.
Listening to the Whispers: Changes To RSP Quarterbacks and Running Backs — Matt Waldman — As someone who edited him for a number of years, I think one of Matt’s best traits is his ability to tell stories. Even though there wasn’t much actual change in his running back evaluations, the story alone was worth the click. Also: I have lately become obsessed with creating better systems in my life. When the best time is to shower, or whether I should eat before or after I do a little morning workout. The way Matt is double-checking his evaluations reminded me a lot of me double-checking my own self-evaluations.
Demystifying Kansas State: When, Why, and How are the Wildcats Good? — Ian Boyd — One of my favorite things to do is find somebody who is successful in a field who has no obvious reason for being as successful as they are. Then: figure out why. This piece does all the work for you.
The New CBA and the Youthification of NFL Rosters — Andrew Healy — The NFLPA is perpetually screwing itself over because it always puts the present ahead of the future. Now they’ve created a world where the cap dollars of the more junior members are exactly the reason that those players get to continue to play. (It often has little to do with performance because at the ends of the roster there are no real set indicators of performance.)
Freelancing Sucks — Drew Magary — Honestly, I kind of prefer freelancing sometimes. I’ve grown up in a world where I’ve never been offered health insurance, but I’ve also never had to work at an office. Never had to commute at 9 am. Freelancing can be excruciating if you don’t know what you’re doing, of course. If you don’t know when to say no, or you don’t know how to find leads for it. But I find I generally prefer the freedom.
The American People Gave Exactly 4,377 Fucks for Net Neutrality — T.C. Sottek — And yet, I’m still not optimistic that it even matters. Kinda feels like as long as some “people” in society have more influence and money than others, said “people” will continue to get their backs scratched more. All the angry people have left are message boards. Speaking of…
A little diversion
I wrote the Washington chapter in Football Outsiders Almanac 2014. This chapter has been acclaimed in some circles, and heavily criticized in others. The sheer amount of Twitter … I loathe using the term “haters,” let’s say “shade” even though that’s not much better … I received from it has been a little fascinating to me. At it’s core, the issue is one of target audience. Most FOA chapters seek a target audience with the fans of that team, and my target audience was more my demographic of people: fans of all teams who have more nerd in them than just football.
I am a bit of a stranger to controversy, so I wrote what I wrote on the message board I shared above: that I would gladly send a quarter — my estimation of each Almanac’s pay for my one chapter — to anyone who felt short-changed.
I received one reply, which was someone saying that it came off as very snarky. I suppose that’s just the way the internet works now … put scare-quotes on one thing and that equals snark. I probably should’ve known better there.
So, assuming somebody reads this … how would you have handled the situation? What would you have done differently? It’s weird as a writer to balance the dual roles of wanting to be understood by your audience and trying to avoid people who are going to yell at you just for the sake of yelling at you. In some ways, that’s the grandest irony of this chapter: it’s a chapter built off the internet vitriol towards Dan Snyder, and so the piece must create some of its own.
Missed the write-up section, still worth your time: An introduction to CAL, McDonald’s Franchisee: Company Told Me To Pay Employees Less, Thoughts on Completion Percentage by Position, The NFL’s Cambrian Explosion, Florida State’s Favorite Run Blitzes, Bankruptcy Court Plan Calls for AT&T to take over CSN Houston
Bleacher Report pieces this week:
On the interior of the Indianapolis offensive line.
On the running back depth chart for Jacksonville behind Toby Gerhart.
Other pieces this week:
Q&A on the Indianapolis Colts at Stampede Blue.
Want to submit something for my attention? Try rivers (dot) mccown (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you!