At this point of the season, Mavericks seems a long way off. It isn’t breaking and likely won’t be for a while. Nonetheless, if I want to be prepared for next season, I have to stay focused now. I had an MRI on my left shoulder and thankfully nothing is torn. I’m glad there are people that study this sort of thing, because when I look at the picture below I can’t tell what is going on. Heck, it took me a few seconds to even tell what perspective I was looking from. I’m on a regular PT routine now to get the shoulder back to 100% so that I can train without re-injuring it. On the breath holding side of things, I am making some progress. I set a new personal record of 2:39. I wasn’t planning on graphing out my progress here, but at the bequest of a
Tonight I finished the infographic I’ve been working on for the past seven weeks. Two versions of it actually, one for if Tony G. retires and one for if he comes back to play another year. They are fairly similar, but with subtle differences in the presentation in order to change the emphasis of the message. I suppose at some point I can put them up side by side to see if those subtleties are achieved. I’m actually a bit torn right now because I like the version for the retirement scenario better, but I’d rather get to see Tony play for another year. Like any project, once I finished the first 90%, I could start on the second 90%. There was a good bit of polishing to do but I’ve actually tried to do some of it as I went, mainly when I was stumped on something else. The
Done! Pretty much anyways. All of the major data for the infographic is now in place – I’m sure I’ll make a few final tweaks, but for the most part I’m pretty happy with it. Tonight I spent most of my time wrestling with a few ideas of how to present comparisons between Tony G. and the current crop of Tight Ends in the league. I started with the idea of normalizing per season, but realized that most athletes, Tony included, experience their top performance in the early half of their career.Also, many athletes, Tony excludes, get injured as they get older and start missing games or have to stop playing all together. I had a thought that I would project out the averages of each player into the future to predict when would be the soonest they could catch any of Tony’s current records. As I started working on
I’m going to start this by agreeing with a sympathy that I think most men hold: Valentine’s day is a bit of a silly holiday that is a big deal mostly because of backing from card & flower companies. That said, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to change it, so here is how I think about it. Valentine’s day is a sport. Like all sports the rules are basically arbitrary. They were decided before you started playing the game. In a way, you are confined by them, but that is part of what makes it fun. Within the confines of the rules of the game, you get to use your creativity, skill and dedication to help you achieve optimal results. Winning! Valentines Day is a sport. It is a sport that all men in relationships are automatically signed up to play on one night of every year.
Night 5 of the Tony Gonzalez infographic. Tonight I mainly spent time making tweaks to sections of the image I had already worked on. Some of it was nitpicking pixels, but a good bit was adding new information to charts that I already thought were packed. I’m really happy with the additional information I was able to get into a few of them tonight. I’d like to take a moment to talk about my thoughts on design iteration. As I design a data visualization I constantly ask myself five questions: What story am I trying to tell right here? Can I add any additional insight? What can I remove without sacrificing the story? Is the image easy to understand on its own? How can I make this awesome? Repeating this process tends to refine the image with each iteration. As elements are added the visualization becomes easier to understand but
I gave a talk last month at the San Francisco Quantified Self meetup about the time tracking project I’ve been doing over the past 6 years. I would say more, but I don’t want to steal my own thunder.
19 hours down – the infographic now measures 16″ wide by 85″ tall – meaning it is officially taller than Tony Gonzalez. I wrapped the section comparing Tony’s career to 9 other of the greatest tight ends ever to play in the NFL. Here is a sneak preview, see if you can guess who each of them is just from the caricature. At this point I feel there are two things left to do: Compare Tony’s early years to the best tight ends of 2012 – to show how long the likes of Gronkowski and Graham have to go before catching the records of #88. Dig through the rest of the stats I have on Tony’s career looking for random trivia. We could be looking at a completed project in 2-3 more weeks which puts us right around the Free Agency start date. I’m not sure anything significant will happen
Tonight I spent 4 hours trying to represent some of football’s famous tight ends as vector images. How did I do? Random Trvia: I went to High School with Kellen Winslow Jr. and had a chance to meet his dad one day while I was setting up hurdles for a track workout. They were on the field doing a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated and the photographer needed an extra hand with something. I got to hang out for a bit and they took a few photos of me with the HOFer. I’m now 15 hours into this project and experiencing a bit of scope creep – the project keeps getting bigger as I get more done. I have however decided that I’m going to wait to release the final project until Tony either a) has an official retirement ceremony b) announces he will play for one more year. The marketer
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
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. 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