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28 Jul 2006

Happy Third Birthday to Football Outsiders

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. Three years later, there's a staff of over a dozen people, we've got a content deal with FOXSports.com, FO writers are appearing regularly in the New York Sun and occasionally in the New York Times, and we just released our second book. So, there's been some growth. Thanks to all of you, our readers, for making this possible.

Once again, 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. (If you want to see the best of the first two years of Football Outsiders, here's the first anniversary article, and here's the second anniversary article.) This year, in addition, we asked readers to nominate the best discussion threads in the three-year history of Football Outsiders -- not the best articles, but the best conversations spawned by them. You'll find those at the end.

Another news item for the day: with PFP 2006 now shipping, we thought our birthday was a good time to update the numbers on the site, so all the team stats pages (above, the pull-down menu "JUST THE STATS") have been updated to reflect the new DVOA v5.0 from the book. 1998 and 1999 numbers are also now up on the site for offense, defense, and special teams. 1997 numbers will come when I run the commentary, probably sometime in the next month.

Finally, we've done some format tweaking over the past couple weeks, which gives me a chance to thank the most important FO staffer that none of you ever see, technical design guy Benjy Rose. He's stuck with me since that day back in 2003 when I called him and said, "Hey, nobody seems to want these articles I wrote, could you help me design a website I could stick them on?" If you need design work, show your love for FO by contacting his company.

-- Aaron Schatz






*WARNING: After reading this article, you will never, ever be able to take the word "swagger" seriously again.









Posted by: admin on 28 Jul 2006

45 comments, Last at 11 Aug 2006, 8:45am by Kalyan


by Zac (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 3:03pm

Do I have spyware on my computer, or is that ContentLink thing a new way for you guys to make money?

by admin :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 3:07pm

The latter.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 3:20pm

#1: The latter.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 3:21pm

Ah, post 2 must have been made while I was perusing the ROBO-PUNTER thread.

May I be the first to say it's really annoying?

by Pats on the Potomac (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 4:03pm

Happy Anniversary to the best football analysis site around!

By the way, I've reactivated the free Football Outsiders readers league I ran last year:

League ID 215370
Password: blindside

First come, first served. Draft Sat. Aug 19, 8pm Eastern. Everyone who read this site is welcome.

by Jason Mulgrew (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 4:08pm

Those cartoons rock! By the way, I bought the PFP 2006 book today. Mulgrew likes it.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 4:32pm

What makes the irration Atlanta thread even greater is that it only lasted about three days and Sid joined in late with rejoinders to comments from the beginning. I guess sometimes you just have to get those things off your chest and Sid needs that closure.

by 72 (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 4:57pm

Ah, an other aniversary. congratulations on making it to three years. I really appreciate what you guys do an I actually trust your stats to be correct (yards? they mean nothing). I want these stats to be taken more seriously as they provide a better representation of the game, but, in spite of the trolls, I am glad of your partnership with Fox (boo hiss) as it will, hopefully teach a wide group of the fact that 12 yard on third and 13 is useless.

I thank you guys very much and keep up the good work.

Kyle West, Scotland

(ps: when can you give me the formula so I can work out my own personal DVOA?)

by dave whorton (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 6:23pm

happy birthday FO hands down the best football site on the web

by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 6:55pm

RE: 7

Damn straight!

Sometimes I don't see the threads until they've just about run their course, but I feel the need to chime in on a lot of the comments anyway.

by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 6:56pm

oh, and happy birthday Football Outsiders! Kudos to all of you, especially Aaron.

I've been a regular reader of this site since 2003, and I'm sure glad I have.

by Ruben (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 7:06pm

Happy anniversary, fellas. Thanks for making the only football site I check every day.

Also, regarding the hotlinks (or whatever they're called): I don't mind them much; they, like the epillepsy-inducing banners, are a TON less annoying than having to pay for an Insider-type membership. Great innovation, guys.

Everyone should take a minute to click one every few times you puruse the site; Aaron's daughter's college fund will thank you.

by iwiwus (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 7:11pm

The link to the TMQ article leads to the pizza article instead.

Other than that, big congrats. Manny happy returns and all that.

by Jerry (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 7:26pm

Happy Anniversary, congratulations, and thanks to TMQ for originally sending me here.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 7:48pm

Congratulations to the one site I absolutely must read for football commentary and analysis.

I can't wait for the new season!

by underthebus (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 7:58pm

Congrats! This is the best football website.

by underthebus (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 8:05pm

Man, these old threads are cracking me up.

by Sergio (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 8:09pm

Happy anniversary, guys. Only the beginning...

by lk6 (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 8:33pm


I'm full of regret for missing the robo-punter thread.

by Dirk Dugan (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 9:02pm

Just so you all know, I figured out how to use the spellcheckr on my computer now.

by Trolling for Concubine (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 9:10pm

On behalf of all my bretheren, I would like to congratulate FO on three years of excellence in the field of making me angry and indignant. You keep up the good work, and we will be right here to flame it!

by the K (not verified) :: Fri, 07/28/2006 - 11:31pm

Happy Birthday FO. In Dog Years, you can go out drinking tonight! First round on me!

by Lou (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 12:03am

Congrat FO, This is the best sports related site on the intarwebs.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 2:05pm

Congratulations to the smartest football website in the world!

Here's a question for all of us: how come we never set up an alternate audio commentary streaming podcast to replace the three stooges?

by James, London (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 2:47pm

I'd forgotten how painful the Atlanta thread was. My teeth are itching again.

Congratulations to all at FO and more of the same please.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 2:52pm

My favorite comic it the one with some guy telling jokes to Cowher.

Since this is the best of thread, I want to vote on the best comment over the past year. A couple months ago there was an article reporting that two of the Lions first round recievers might not even play...

"Then why didn't the Lions draft a receiver this year? Stupid Lions."

by perrin (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 2:54pm

Happy anniversary, and thank you for being the best football site. I've learned a ton, enjoyed it all the way, and look forward to the continued expansion and research. Congrats and thanks; you guys are awesome.

by Dan (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 4:46pm

I find the idea that this both your third birthday and your third anniversary to be deeply disturbing. What kind of sickos are involved in getting someone married on the day that they're born?

Other than that, good show, great site, &c., &c. And nice choices on the articles.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 4:54pm

Man, where did all those angry Atlanta fans go? I miss them.

by admin :: Sat, 07/29/2006 - 4:59pm

Yo, fixed the overtime pizza link.

by Andy (not verified) :: Sun, 07/30/2006 - 12:10pm

Happy b-day FO!!!! Been visiting every day since I discovered you during the Easterbrook exile.

Thanks for all the great, smart articles. And always remember, jets suck!

by JasonK (not verified) :: Mon, 07/31/2006 - 12:31am

Man, reading over some of the in-season articles and threads makes me realize how much I miss football.

And congrats on the anniversary. Keep the great work coming!

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 6:16pm


And, welcome back! Our long national nightmare is over, FO is back online!

by Jerry (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 6:22pm

And it's nice to see you've apparently survived the server migration. Welcome back.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 6:23pm

Yeah, little did FO know that the server was going to go on a bender to celebrate the third anniversary.

Congrats, as well!

by Rocco (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 7:15pm

Well, I went on a bender after the bar, so I can't blame the server for celebrating its birthday. :)

Congrats, and welcome back. I was going through withdrawal.

by geoff (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 7:24pm


Thank god the 2004 mock draft thread is longer than the 2005 thread, so my trade of Walter Jones for Cedric Benson can be lost in the sands of time...

by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 7:32pm

Congratulations, FO! I, too, was brought here by TMQ, and this site and PFT are my only "must check" sites at this point. Didn't realize how attached I was to this site 'til the server went down . . .

At least my copy of PFP '06 arrived, so I got by. ;-)

Best wishes for continued success. And bring back ROBO-PUNTER!!

by Joe Pisarcik Magnet (not verified) :: Wed, 08/02/2006 - 10:07pm



And, welcome back! Our long national nightmare is over, FO is back online!

:: Trogdor — 8/2/2006 @ 5:16 pm

Indeed. Between the server migration and my problems accessing Baseball Think Factory, I've been jonesin'.

by TomG (not verified) :: Thu, 08/03/2006 - 9:13am

Congrats! Seems like only yesterday that I first discovered a new way of staving off boredom at the end of a work day. Now you guys are the first thing I check every morning.

by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 08/03/2006 - 10:20pm

RE: 37

The Walter Jones and LDT trades will live down in RPMD history. :D

by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 08/03/2006 - 10:20pm

argh. I meant to say something else there. That didn't make much sense.

by Joe Pisarcik Magnet (not verified) :: Fri, 08/04/2006 - 12:20am

Jason Beattie has a Gil Thorp blog?

Cool, I can get my Marty Moon fix.

by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 08/08/2006 - 11:54pm

Speaking of Ron Mexico, check out the headline of the linked article.

by Kalyan (not verified) :: Fri, 08/11/2006 - 8:45am

Could not find the Superbowl preview on FOX. The link has gone bad. Can someone check on it please.