There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
When I saw that the authors of Pro Football Prospectus 2005 were going to be a doing a reading, I braced for the worst, much like a spindly punter about to make his first career tackle on a return. My fears were not allayed when I saw that the writers were all from a Web site called FootballOutsiders.com. I figured that the event would be little more than a snoozefest with a couple of pigskin pundits, complete with inscrutable charts and spreadsheets. Luckily, Aaron Schatz (pictured), along with the rest of the Outsiders, learned more than a love of statistics from Bill James, the father of Sabermetrics. James not only used weird stats to more accurately view the game of baseball but also infused his work with his own lighthearted, humorous personality. Despite its egghead title, the Prospectus is full of funny asides. Sure, it has all the requisite charts and graphs, too, but the well-written text makes the book a complete package. Die-hard fans will appreciate references to Ron Mexico, Michael Vick’s mack alias. They’ll nod in agreement when Eli Manning is compared to Billy Joe Tolliver multiple times. Heck, even casual fans will grin when the authors use a Charlie–from–Flowers for Algernon analogy to describe the waning career of quarterback Kurt Warner. I also suspect that these schlubby Nostradamuses will be more inclined than, say, Jonathan Safran Foer to bitch about Danny Snyder while you knock back a few cold ones together. Schatz and Wilson speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (David Dunlap Jr.)