What do you call a fifth-round rookie WR with real expectations? Tajae Sharpe, and there may not be another player like him in NFL history. Tennessee's poor history of developing wideouts has led to a rare opportunity that Sharpe can seize this season.
31 Jul 2007
On July 30, 2003, we opened up Football Outsiders to the world by announcing our presence on Boston Sports Media Watch. We had 738 visitors that day and didn't reach 700 visitors in a day again until mid-October. The staff originally consisted of me and a few college buddies, and the only regular columns were the DVOA ratings and Scramble for the Ball.
Well, here we are four years and three books later. Last year, Football Outsiders ran a dozen columns on a regular weekly basis. FO writers now appear in a wide variety of locations, both in print (New York Times, New York Sun, ESPN the Magazine), and online (FOXSports.com, Rotoworld, AOL Fanhouse, ProFootballTalk.com). Once again, we thank our readers for making this possible.
As I do every year in honor of our birthday, I've put together a list of some of our best articles as well as a few of Jason Beattie's best cartoons. This list is a bit incomplete, because it doesn't include any of the FOX exclusive columns (Quick Reads, MDS Report, Manic Monday, Rundown, and the DVOA commentary). However, FOX's archives are sort of non-existent right now, so there's not much we can do. We have all these articles and plan to get them up on FO as archives some point in the future.
Our birthday is also an opportunity to congratulate some contest winners. Let's start with the New Writers Contest. We received a bunch of entries from FO readers who wanted to become part of the staff and contribute to Pro Football Prospectus 2008. We whittled it down to ten finalists, and then whittled that down to three new writers. Say goodbye to any "east coast bias" at Football Outsiders and say hello to:
That's right, folks: FO is now international. Sean McCormick has written for us before; if you have Pro Football Prospectus 2006, you will see his name on the Jets and Raiders chapters. Stuart Fraser is known as "Ilanin" on the discussion threads. Ben Riley is known as Peter Parker's clone and will be played by Elijah Wood in "Football Outsiders: The Motion Picture."
Along with being assigned PFP 08 chapters, Riley will also be taking over The Week in Quotes; McCormick and Fraser don't have specific columns during the season, but they'll be contributing to Audibles and perhaps in some other places. We also set aside a couple of writers who will be on the "practice squad" in case of emergency -- for example, if a writer has to drop out next spring because of increased work at his day job or something -- and a couple of writers who did good research and may write stats articles in the future. Thanks to everyone who applied.
Two other new writers are not connected to the contest. First, Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle will be contributing to next year's book, making him the third San Francisco-based addition to PFP 08, not to mention our first actual full-time journalist contributor (well, not counting Will Carroll). Second, Brian Fremeau will be doing his Fremeau Efficiency Ratings for FO on a regular basis. This will be our first stats-based college football column, launching with a preseason preview and then running weekly beginning with the first BCS ratings in mid-October.
We also have to announce our winner for the 2007 "Old Faces in New Places" free agency contest: Joe Putnam of Bellefonte, PA. He won a free copy of PFP 07 as well as a free download of the KUBIAK spreadsheet. Our two second place winners each get a Football Outsiders t-shirt: Juan Carlos Rodriguez of Monterrey, Mexico and Tim Shipman of San Francisco. All three readers were actually tied, correctly guessing the new homes of six players and correctly guessing three Washington cap casualties. The tiebreaker was the most accurate picks for players who were not unrestricted free agents. Joe Putman got three of these players correct: Drew Bledsoe retiring, Randy Moss getting traded to New England, and Jake Plummer being traded to Tampa Bay. His other correct picks were Eric Johnson in New Orleans, Ahman Green in Houston, and Leonard Davis in Dallas.
While we're at it, some housecleaning notes:
-- Aaron Schatz
THE BEST OF FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS, YEAR FOUR
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
FOX BLOG POSTS
TOO DEEP ZONE
CONFESSIONS OF A FOOTBALL JUNKIE
EVERY PLAY COUNTS
25 comments, Last at 07 Aug 2007, 2:26am by NYCowboy