Experimental Writing Assignment: A baseball writer writes about football

In the course of my work for another Internet writing outfit, sometimes I get strange emails. This usually happens when one of the assignment editors there mistakes me for someone else and asks me to do something for which I am not even a little qualified. For instance, I essentially stopped paying attention to football six years ago when my son was born. I got dumber then, and had only room in my brain for one sport with all the parenting I had to learn how to do. As such, I have vague ideas of who some of the players are, especially if they’re old, and I know the Vikings will break my heart at some point, but otherwise I’m pretty useless.

So yesterday, I received the following email from one of said editors:

“Dear contributor Mike Bates,

You have been assigned to write a Article on [redacted] called Heath Miller injury: Steelers expect tight end back at practice for the purpose of Demand.  It will be published at Early morning on 2013-09-17.

Take note of the following:


Please reply to this message if you have any questions or are unavailable to post this. As always, thanks for your contributions.

Assignment Desk Editor”

Now, that’s barely English, but I got the gist that this fellow wanted me to write an article. So I decided to, as getting paid for writing things is kind of a sweet deal. In the meantime, he realized his mistake and assigned it to the right person without telling me. So I have this article lying around that I can’t use. And then I figured, “hey, NotGraphs doesn’t have any standards!” Plus, with Cistulli doing French things in France with his wife (that sounded dirtier than I meant it), the bank is virtually unguarded. So this is what happens when a dumb baseball guy writes about football:

Heath Miller is a football player according to the Internet. He plays tight end, which is a position I used to like to throw to in the flat in Madden using the single-back formation. Apparently, he went to the University of Virrginia, which is a good school. He’s really well known among alumni like my friend Bill Parker for his having played there. Yep, everybody knows ol’ Heathy.

Sadly, he got hurt. I bet that sucked for him. People get hurt a lot in football on account of how they’re always hitting each other and falling on the ground.  I hope he graduated from the University of Virginia, because having a college degree is important. Especially if you’re going to play a sport where guys get hurt as much as they do in football.

Good news though! It sounds like he might be back soon, according to Ed Bouchette, who Twitter verifies works for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which is a real newspaper so you can trust it:

That sounds pretty good, especially the not having a cape part, since that would likely make him easier to tackle and would also increase the wind resistance that would keep him from running down the field fast and scoring a touchdown, which is the whole point of football. Also, I bet a cape would be really easy to get caught in the door of the phone booth. Ouch.

So, yes, ol’ Heathy Miller will be back soon. Unless he gets hurt again, which could happen really easily since football is a violent sport.

Sometimes people ask me why I write about baseball. As is now abundantly clear, I write about baseball because I can’t write about anything else. Nevertheless, I take solace in the fact that, even if none of you cares about this little experiment, I will still get paid. Viva baseball! Viva NotGraphs! Viva Capitalism!

YC Flip Real

/celebratory authorial bat-flip

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Mike Bates co-founded The Platoon Advantage, and has written for many other baseball websites, including NotGraphs (rest in peace) and The Score. Currently, he writes for MLB Daily Dish on SB Nation. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBatesSBN.

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Pittsburgh area physicians
Pittsburgh area physicians

Heath Miller isn’t as good at hitting home runs as Cespedes. The thought process behind this comment was pretty limited.


pretty limited, but quite unlimited notwithstanding.