Innovation Session: Tony Gonzalez Infographic Part 2

Another night of work completed (11 hours so far) on what will surely be the best infographic about an NFL player I have ever made.

Tonight I spend a lot of time looking at stats about other NFL Tight Ends.

I wanted to find the best way to show how much of a stand out career Tony has had compared to many of the legendary Tight Ends; Ditka, Winslow, Sharpe & Newsome among others.

I also wanted to compare him to today’s best Tight Ends (Graham, Gronkowski, Finley, etc.) to show just how much work they would have ahead of them if they wanted to catch his records. Hint: They have a long way to go.

The Tight End position is an interesting one because of the dual blocking & receiving responsibilities – I’m learning a lot about the history and evolution of the role as I dig through the stats. That is one of the joys of digging into a new set of data – learning the context around it and how the two combine to tell a story.

I’ll probably be finishing up next week. In the meantime, here is another preview – this is the chart showing yards receiving per year.


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And this is the Tony G icon I am working on. Pretty stoked it actually looks like a human despite the simplicity.

 Tony-dunking

Surf Mavericks: Update 1

Last Sunday the Mavericks Invitational ran – which means tens of thousands of people pay attention to the break for a day. For most, the invitational and wave are so tightly bound that they don’t realize you can go there on other days.

I decided not to go on Sunday because the idea of watching a surf contest from a parking lot seemed a bit crazy. After a rogue wave washed up the beach a few years ago, new policy it that the beach and bluffs must be closed during the invitational for safety reasons. Policy ruins everything good.

About 16 hours later the wave was still breaking, and access to the beach was back open. I decided to go watch it for a bit.

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Like any good surfer, I got there just before sunrise. There was just enough swell that it was breaking, but it was right in front of the rocks so no one was out. This did give me a good chance to get to know what is under the water a bit. I watched the boils and got a good idea of where most of the rocks are – there are a lot more than  I thought.

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After a few hours, I drove up north to Ocean Beach, which was a solid double overhead. Wish I was in shape for that.


Shoulder: Working – but still not 100%

Breath Holding: 2:01

Days to Go: 342

Innovation Session: Tony Gonzalez Infographic Part 1

My idea for this week’s session was to look at some stats about Tony Gonzalez.

I originally thought I would be coming up with something like a ‘5 reasons why Tony Gonzalez shouldn’t retire’ post – but after thinking about it I realized that data wasn’t the issue here. Tony doesn’t need convincing that he still has it, or that the Falcons are so close – his decision, whatever it will be, is driven by personal reasons. I respect that and don’t want data to add needless pressure.

So, already knee deep in data about the career of Tony Gonzalez, I decided to honor his career by creating an infographic.

I am about 7 hours in and it is looking sweet – I will likely have to finish it this weekend though – so look for the final product next week.

In the mean time, here is a sneak preview…

tony-gonzalez-infographic-preview