Thursday, June 24, 2010
Updated: June 30, 1:23 PM ET
Fun with splits
By Matthew Berry
Every year, I write about 100 columns. Here's how they usually break down, with a special nod to the most recent 100.
• 28 are about baseball.
• 70 are about football.
• 2 are random, miscellaneous things I've been asked to write.
• No basketball columns. I'm sad about it, but I have no time left for fantasy hoops.
• 77 of them are funny or at least have attempted to be.
• 94 of them use lots of statistics and facts at their core.
• 85 of the 94 use jokes, slang and pop culture to disguise that fact.
• 6 of them involve crazy dating/girlfriend stories. I'm trying to cut down on those, both as a crutch and in my personal life.
• 23 of them involve my Twitter followers. You can follow me at @MatthewBerryTMR.
• 46 of them have a reference to me promoting something, usually ESPN-related. I'm a company man.
• 2 of them discuss my ex-father-in-law.
• 3 of them mention the ex-Mrs. Roto, but only in passing. I'll never say anything bad about her.
• 7 mention my dog, Macy. What can I say? Lost the wife, still have the dog. Dog gets more ink.
• 26 involve rankings of some sort.
• 95 of them have at least one joke or stat from my editor, Pierre Becquey, that's better than anything I come up with on my own.
• 12 of them I actually really like. I'm my harshest critic.
• 0 is the number of columns my haters like. Maybe I'm not my harshest critic.
• 100 of them will be read by my haters. God bless 'em, they keep the page views up.
• 1 of them uses a bunch of small sample sizes. You're reading it.
• 82 of them are written in a specific format, such as "10 lists of 10" or "Just Saying."
• For 88 of them, I try to get a photo of an attractive women in there.
• For 16 of them, I'm successful.
• 9 of them have a reference to "The Princess Bride," my favorite book and movie.
• 4 of them are more than 6,000 words.
• 100 of them get comments and e-mails from people who say that they loved it, who say it was phoned in and sucked, who have questions about something that was unclear, who wonder why I don't write more often, who wonder why I write at all, who want me to tell them how to get my job.
• 6 of them are for ESPN The Magazine.
• 59 of them have had a joke or section that I absolutely love cut out despite my protests.
• 37 of those 59 are found, in retrospect, to be the right call by my editors.
• None of them has the hate mail I get as the theme. I'm also trying to stop using that crutch. But in 2011? Watch out.
• 5 of them involve bold proclamations and crazy-man love for Kyle Blanks.
• 3 of them include apologies for the bold proclamations and crazy-man love of Kyle Blanks. By the way, sorry about Kyle Blanks. Make it four.
• 17 of them I actually enjoy writing. Writing is hard. It is lonely. It is a pain in the ass. As the great author Michael Connelly put it, writing is fighting. I never set out to be a writer. It was a necessary evil. I write because I have to, rarely because I choose to.
• 3 of them reference either the release of the Maxim Hot 100 or a Jewish High Holiday. They are closer than you think.
• 62 of them reveal some sort of personal anecdote, secret story or emotional part about me.
• 86 of them are self-indulgent.
• 14 of them are also self-indulgent, just hidden better.
• 100 of them I sweat, worry about, fiddle with, wish I had more time with and care about deeply.
None of those numbers tells the whole story, but combine them together, and you get a decent picture. The important part is that although I can't do a wacky dating story or something really stat-heavy or a really personal story every single time, I can parse these out and use one of each of those columns at a specific time. And if I choose the right specific time, the results can be pretty good.
Which brings us to a little something I like to call ...
Fun with split stats
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is also a fan of banana splits. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his cyberfriend