- Matthew Berry, Fantasy
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Every year, I write about 100 columns. Here's how they usually break down, with a special nod to the most recent 100.
• 28 are about baseball.
• 70 are about football.
• 2 are random, miscellaneous things I've been asked to write.
• No basketball columns. I'm sad about it, but I have no time left for fantasy hoops.
• 77 of them are funny or at least have attempted to be.
• 94 of them use lots of statistics and facts at their core.
• 85 of the 94 use jokes, slang and pop culture to disguise that fact.
• 6 of them involve crazy dating/girlfriend stories. I'm trying to cut down on those, both as a crutch and in my personal life.
• 23 of them involve my Twitter followers. You can follow me at @MatthewBerryTMR.
• 46 of them have a reference to me promoting something, usually ESPN-related. I'm a company man.
• 2 of them discuss my ex-father-in-law.
• 3 of them mention the ex-Mrs. Roto, but only in passing. I'll never say anything bad about her.
• 7 mention my dog, Macy. What can I say? Lost the wife, still have the dog. Dog gets more ink.
• 26 involve rankings of some sort.
• 95 of them have at least one joke or stat from my editor, Pierre Becquey, that's better than anything I come up with on my own.
• 12 of them I actually really like. I'm my harshest critic.
• 0 is the number of columns my haters like. Maybe I'm not my harshest critic.
• 100 of them will be read by my haters. God bless 'em, they keep the page views up.
• 1 of them uses a bunch of small sample sizes. You're reading it.
• 82 of them are written in a specific format, such as "10 lists of 10" or "Just Saying."
• For 88 of them, I try to get a photo of an attractive women in there.
• For 16 of them, I'm successful.
• 9 of them have a reference to "The Princess Bride," my favorite book and movie.
• 4 of them are more than 6,000 words.
• 100 of them get comments and e-mails from people who say that they loved it, who say it was phoned in and sucked, who have questions about something that was unclear, who wonder why I don't write more often, who wonder why I write at all, who want me to tell them how to get my job.
• 6 of them are for ESPN The Magazine.
• 59 of them have had a joke or section that I absolutely love cut out despite my protests.
• 37 of those 59 are found, in retrospect, to be the right call by my editors.
• None of them has the hate mail I get as the theme. I'm also trying to stop using that crutch. But in 2011? Watch out.
• 5 of them involve bold proclamations and crazy-man love for Kyle Blanks.
• 3 of them include apologies for the bold proclamations and crazy-man love of Kyle Blanks. By the way, sorry about Kyle Blanks. Make it four.
• 17 of them I actually enjoy writing. Writing is hard. It is lonely. It is a pain in the ass. As the great author Michael Connelly put it, writing is fighting. I never set out to be a writer. It was a necessary evil. I write because I have to, rarely because I choose to.
• 3 of them reference either the release of the Maxim Hot 100 or a Jewish High Holiday. They are closer than you think.
• 62 of them reveal some sort of personal anecdote, secret story or emotional part about me.
• 86 of them are self-indulgent.
• 14 of them are also self-indulgent, just hidden better.
• 100 of them I sweat, worry about, fiddle with, wish I had more time with and care about deeply.
None of those numbers tells the whole story, but combine them together, and you get a decent picture. The important part is that although I can't do a wacky dating story or something really stat-heavy or a really personal story every single time, I can parse these out and use one of each of those columns at a specific time. And if I choose the right specific time, the results can be pretty good.
Which brings us to a little something I like to call ...
Fun with split stats
Pitchers who excel at home and are available in at least 50 percent of leagues
Pitchers who excel on the road and are available in at least 25 percent of leagues
A selection of pitchers' stats from April and since May 1
A selection of hitters versus left-handed pitching
A selection of hitters versus right-handed pitching
A selection of hitters' Player Rater ratings
Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is also a fan of banana splits. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his cyberfriend