Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You Know What...I Should Do Something with My Love of Stats

It began years ago when I first learned about a little thing called "Microsoft Excel."  There was a spreadsheet...then another...then another....

Actually it began even before that.  I used to grab a deck of cards, and sit on the couch with a hat about ten feet away when I was a kid.  I would throw the cards towards the hat and log which ones went in and which ones didn't.  For whatever reason compiling the data and seeing which suits and which numbers "won" was fascinating to me.

Fast forward or rewind (I really don't remember) a couple years and you have me playing with Hot Wheels cars.  I had the tracks and the little contraption that allows you to release two simultaneously.  I would gather up sixty-four of my favorite cars (you can see where this is going) and have massive tournaments to see which was the fastest.

THEN I learned about Excel and the wonders it could do for me.  I would keep lists of literally everything.  My favorite movies, how well I performed in video games, and most importantly various aspects of my favorite sports teams.  There was a summer in which I was too old to go to any nearby summer camps and too young to work, so I busied myself in front of my computer spending hours a day on Excel.

When I started posting frequently on various message boards and interacting with other fans, the data I had compiled came in handy when I needed something concrete to back up or reinforce my arguments.  Oftentimes I would engage in a debate, then go fiddle around with the data to see which side was right (or at least most accurate).  I realized I could share these with even more people when I started blogging, and my good friend Phil of BBG floated the idea of writing a weekly statistics-based column which birthed Vulgar Statistics.

Vulgar Statistics has been great for several reasons.  For one it gave me a consistent outlet for the things I was doing anyways, and it added another dimension to BBG.  It also enabled me to reach more people since Phil's traffic tends to be an order of magnitude higher than mine.  In writing that column I've gotten feedback from fans, other bloggers, those that have their own websites, and even Sabres employee Kevin Snow.

With that has come the realization that "perhaps there can be something more to this than me simply spending hours on spreadsheets for the benefit of a small group of people."  I don't really know what steps to take to make that a reality, but there are a few that seem pretty obvious.  First and foremost is continuing to hold myself to a high standard for BBG both in terms of content and creativity.  I have also applied for a temporary statistics analyst position with ESPN which has led to me creating a statistics/media centric resume.  It's emptier than I'd like at the moment, but I hope to take over the statistics duties for the inline hockey league that I play in during the summer. 

And finally, in acknowledging this strength and interest of mine and throwing it out there, hopefully those in higher positions with more knowledge can lend me a few helping hands.

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