What Would You Say … I Do Here?

It takes a big man – and I’m speaking in terms of metaphors, not junk size – to admit when he needs help. You see, I’ll be taking a trip tomorrow to the very small town of Suring, WI for a family reunion. How small of a town is Suring, WI? Well, the image below is a recent one of the downtown area of Suring, WI.

I see they’ve installed a street light since my last visit.

I’m not worried about the town in and of itself, however. I’m worried more about the fact that a large portion of my family (father’s side) will be occupying this town at one time. Moreover, I’m worried about conversing with this group of people. Not to go all Doc Hollywood on you, but I live a different life than most of my kin. My day consists of things like public transit, sidewalks, smartphones, and black people. These are things to which my brethren are not very accustomed.

Though it may sound as if I’m making value judgments, I am not. I am merely trying to set the scene for what I will be dealing with tomorrow. I haven’t seen many of these people since my wedding and some even prior to that. As with any meeting of long lost family, there will be the normal barrage of questions pertaining to my life, of what it consists, and what I’m doing with it. My wife will not be joining me, though my parents should be able to vouch for her existence. I can talk about my home and my dogs, which will be just fine, but the conversation will eventually turn to my occupation. My day job, as it were, is fairly easy to explain. I fix computer systems for an insurance company. Boom. However, my parents will undoubtedly bring up my other venture, baseball writing, much of which appears on this very site. This is where the wicket gets sticky.

To most of my relatives, saying I write about baseball on the Internet sounds completely made up. I may as well say I am an underground astronaut or a unicorn rancher. Despite my numerous requests, I have still not received my NotGraphs business cards, so providing proof will be difficult. Assuming we can get past that, another set of questions will arise:

“Do you get to travel with a team?”
“What’s a clubhouse like?”
“Have you met Ted Williams?”

This is where I need help. I need to try and explain my position here at NotGraphs to a group of people unfamiliar with things like GIFs, Twitter, advanced statistics, blogs, irony, and the Internet in general. Since I am in a bit of a drought right now in the way of friends and positive influences, I turn to you, fair NotGraphs reader.

You’d be doing me a huge solid if you could provide a succinct, one-sentence answer explaining NotGraphs that can be understood by a more, let’s say rural, audience. Some of you will attempt to be clever (and will most certainly fail), but I know there are some out there who can assist me in my conundrum.

Help me, baseball nerds. You’re my only hope.




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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.


29 Responses to “What Would You Say … I Do Here?”

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  1. Zach Sanders says:

    “I write about baseball players and their underwhelming genitalia.”

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. “I compare the characteristics of various baseball players to different types of cheese.”

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. DD says:

    I write for a site that is not Fangraphs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Resolution says:

    “You know when the foreman steps out for a bit and most of the guys turn off their lathes, drill presses, or what have you*, and then just hang out and shoot the shit about life, the job, the industry, or whatever? I kinda do that about baseball in an extremely informal capacity.”

    *feel free to substitute whatever style of occupation fits best.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. scout1222 says:

    “…and then assign them amusingly apt nicknames.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. JoeyO says:

    “I write articles for a Baseball Website that is part encyclopedia, part Wall Street Journal like in its in-depth daily annalists, and part Mad Magazine for a bit of a lighter side – which is where I come in.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Person says:

    “I write about baseball, except for the actual sports part”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. olethros says:

    “I write letters to Santa Claus about baseball.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Illinois glass M. Michael Sheets says:

    “I comment on the meaningless of life in between Packer games. KUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHN”. The Kuhn part requires you to raise your High Life above your head as hold the U in a somehow off tune monotone.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. David says:

    You can tell them that you’re Amy Adams to Dave Cameron’s Clint Eastwood…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Fletch F. Fletch says:

    “I’m a Shepherd”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. ElJosharino says:

    I write stories and crack jokes about silly things that happen in baseball games.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ElJosharino says:

      And have an example ready. “In one game I noticed that some players were doing a funny handshake, so I made a short video of it and put the video on the website and pointed out how it’s a funny handshake because in every day life people don’t touch other people’s butts like that, and then I made jokes with the word butt and then some strangers who saw my video posted more butt jokes and talked about other funny handshakes.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Eric says:

    “You know those funny cat pictures that populate the internet? I make those, but about baseball.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Clark D says:

    Just bring your Scott Hatteberg bobblehead…it will either help answer questions or will distract relatives with the bobbing-head motion.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. MikeS says:

    I find that if you want to get out of this sort of conversation quickly, the best way is to reinforce the stereotype that the questioner already has.

    So maybe: “I sit in the basement, drink Mountain Dew, eat Bugles and stare at the computer too much.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. “I write for an Internet site where young men satisfy their fantasy needs.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Let me add that your obsessive concern for how you look to others will cause you to miss the opportunity to meet someone who has guns, Leinenkugel and ATVs, to wrangle an invite and to drunkenly shoot some shit up.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Choo says:

    I think you nailed it with unicorn rancher. Maybe go with underground unicorn rancher. Harden it up a bit. If they know anything about the underground unicorn industry, they will back the F off.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. NatsFan73 says:

    Tell them you’re just like Carrie Bradshaw, only for baseball

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NatsFan73 says:

      Or you can just say that you’re a blogger. Some of them will be at least passingly familiar with the interwebs, and will have heard the term. They won’t actually know what it means, but they will recognize that and at least at that point you’ll have placed the onus of looking silly back on them.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. NotGraphs is a daily literary baseball electronic magazine for the leisured gentleman.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Resolution says:

      I hope the conversation really goes like:

      Family member #1: ‘Yo David G. Temple, I know NotGraphs is the premiere daily literary baseball electronic magazine for leisured gentlemen and all that, but what do you do there specifically?

      David G. Temple: ….

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Uncle Remus says:

    I make jokes with funny named latino players

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. deadhead says:

    I feverishly masterbate whilst perusing the WARs of any Negro League Baseball players weighing in at over 200 lbs. I am not deemed important enough to have a corner office, in which to do this, but I do use the handicap stall at my local Barnes and Noble.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Karl says:

    Leo Durocher said “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” You are like a pastor helping the many learn more.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Bryz says:

    Change the subject to “So, are you a fan of New Glarus?”

    More seriously, say that you write about the humorous side of baseball. Players with funny names, goofy handshakes, assigning nicknames to players, etc. I think that would be easy to understand.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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