Is This Anything (Sports Edition)?
NEW YORK — OK, I’m still buzzing a little bit from my appearance on “CBS Mornings” today. In case you missed it (which, I mean, of course you missed it; you didn’t build your DAY around me):
And, also, really nice story about me by Elisabeth Egan in The New York Times. I was able to talk a little bit about how much I hate hot takes and how much I love writing directly for you here on the newsletter.
And while we’re at it, here’s a very sweet review from Don Laible at WIBX.
Brilliant reader James threw out sort of an open-ended challenge — he challenged me to write about some statistics that intrigue me and write why. I’m going to turn that on its head a little bit and write something that I’ll call “Is this anything (sports edition)?” If you like it, we can make this a regular thing (and if you don’t like it, we can forget this ever happened).
A couple of years ago, Jerry Seinfeld wrote a book called, Is This Anything? The phrase is a common one among stand-up comedians. They will come up with a concept — or, not even a concept, but the germ of a concept or the germ of a germ of a concept — and ask a fellow comic: “Is this anything?” I’ve been lucky enough to be adjacent to a handful of such conversations (not that anyone asked me) and it’s very funny to see a comedian realize something is not very funny.
In any case, I saw this fact on the Twix-ter:
Most consecutive games without losing by more than 4 points in NFL history:
2021-23 Chiefs - 35 games
1940-42 Bears and 1965-67 Packers - 34 games
1920-22 Staleys/Bears and 2010-11 Packers - 33 games
That sounds super-impressive. But is it? The question before the jury: Is this anything? If you like this idea, you can send in your favorite stats, and I’ll pass judgment on whether that stat is impressive or not. We will be judging stats on the 10-point “Is this anything” scale, which I think looks something like this:
10 — Mind-blowing
8 — Awesome
5 — Interesting
3 — Meh
1 — Utterly misleading or of no interest whatsoever
So I’ll try a few today, and you can decide if you like it. Let’s start with the Chiefs one.
Case 1: Chiefs have gone 35 consecutive games without losing a game by more than four points — the longest such streak since the 1940-42 Bears.
Pros: It sounds impressive …
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