Hey, Who's That Football Writer Guy?

by Aaron Schatz

Hello, Atlantic blog readers. I would like to thank Ta-Nehisi Coates for giving me this platform to ramble on for the remainder of the week. Let us first ponder those immortal questions made famous by Admiral James Stockdale: "Who am I? Why am I here?"

I'm Aaron Schatz, better known as editor-in-chief at FootballOutsiders.com and NFL analyst for ESPN.com. For those who don't know, Football Outsiders is sort of the "intellectual" NFL analysis site on the Internets. Our main claim to fame is a bunch of advanced statistics that try to bring the "Moneyball" statistical analysis revolution to the gridiron. We break things down to success on individual plays and look at situational football. We also chart every NFL game to track items that aren't tracked in the standard play-by-play: play action, blitzing, defensive coverage, and some other things. We also have some guys who do film analysis, some fantasy football coverage, and college football analysis, although I'm strictly an NFL guy myself.

It seems like most of the political bloggers out there like to occasionally share their thoughts on their other interests besides just politics. Instapundit loves geeky tech stuff, Kevin Drum loves his cats, Matt Yglesias shares his thoughts on the NBA and indie rock, and so forth. We know that Ta-Nehisi likes NFL football, and since I happen to be a fan of the Atlantic blogs and Ta-Nehisi is a fan of Football Outsiders, we thought a week of guest blogging would be a fun alternative to something like, say, a single interview post where he asked me a couple of season preview questions. It also gives me a chance to tell everyone about our big preseason book, Football Outsiders Almanac 2010, which you can buy in standard or PDF-only formats.

I'll post a little bit about some of our more unconventional season predictions, and I'll make sure I write a little bit about Ta-Nehisi's beloved Cowboys. I also get to use this as a little platform for my cultural thoughts, which could be fun, although I plan to stick to FO's "No Politics" rule. For the most part, I would love to just answer questions that readers have about the NFL—questions about what we do at Football Outsiders, questions about your favorite team and its chances in 2010, or whatever. So ask away in the comments, and I'll pick the best questions and answer them in future blog posts this week.