Stat Girl for a Day
There are a great many things I geek out over. Shiny things, neon dresses, lipsticks, coffees, some Twitter junk, and, of course: lax. I had a fantastic time in the press box with Eamon McAnaney and Paul Carcaterra almost 2 weeks ago (they introduced themselves and my dry throat let me rasp out “I know! I’m a big fan!”, which I’m not positive they believed…), but what was I doing there? Simple. I had been tapped by the lovely man in the ESPN truck to take stats. How did that go?
In a word…eesh. I have what doctors and teachers who have given up on you call “extreme attention deficit”, which, combined with my nervousness at being in the booth boded badly. I assumed I’d be getting the very basic stats, i.e. goals and assists, saves, etc. WRONG. SO WRONG.
The timeline is as follows (obviously it’s not exact):
Pregame: ESPN guy takes me into the booth, tells me that I have nothing to be nervous about, it’ll just be basic stats, so just take it easy.
Gametime: I tell Stat Guy who won the face-off, feel super proud of myself, and stare out the window like a crazy person trying not to blink.
Zone out for LITERALLY 4 SECONDS. Miss a ground-ball and a penalty. I have no idea who the penalty was on. Craaaaaaaap.
Ok, I’m doing fine. Being reassured by an increasingly impatient Stat Guy. “You’re doing…fine. Don’t worry (Subtitle: Worry. This is terrible.)
Another penalty. I know who it’s on this time! Whoo! I announce it with pride, but quietly so I don’t come in over Paul and Eamon.
It turns out that I’m not talking over them no matter what, since we all have headsets and my quiet voice (Me? Quiet?! HAH. That was 100% the only time I’ve been told I’m too quiet) is completely inaudible to the Stat Guy, who missed my call. Dammit.
Zone out again. Woah, I still can’t believe Langtry is 37. He is unstoppable. (True story: He also helped me and the other PR girl stop the merch tent from tumbling onto us from the wind)- wait, what happened? Penalty on who?
“Sammie, what are the stats on use of the man-up advantage?” (or something like that) WHAT?! I have no idea. I rifle through my notes like maybe I wrote it down.
Of course I didn’t.
Wow. Stephen Peyser is GOOD. And Connor Martin has been scoring goals like crazy, I wonder if the Machine will make a comeback- wait was that a ground ball?
We compare notes at the end of the half: I have about 7 less GBs for one team (and 13 less for the other) than the official stat site that the other guys have been using, as well as a wildly incorrect stat for something like saves or shots on goal. Mercifully, Jim Brown enters the booth for an interview and they decide to go with the other stats guy for the rest of the game.
I breathe for the first time since the game started.
I may be many things, but a stat girl, I am not. I’ll cheer my butt off and can analyze up the wazoo, but taking stats in the moment is not for me. But MONSTROUS props to the people that are good at it. You are the real heroes. I am FAR too scattered to do that for a whil-hey, what’s that over there?
PS: If you have the chance, PLEASE check out an MLL game. The atmosphere is fun and warm, and the players are so great to their fans. Both teams were signing stuff for the kids for at least an hour after the game, and it is amazing to see these young fans talk right to these guys, who they IDOLIZE. So awesome.
Posted on 06/12/2012, in Me, Uncategorized and tagged connor martin, espn. eamon mcananey, face offs, fans, ground balls, jim brown, lacrosse, long island, long island lizards, major league lacrosse, MLL, ohio, ohio machine, paul carcaterra, players, stat girl, statistics, stats, stephen peyser. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.