An Interview on Fantasy Sports and Being a Writer
I did an interview at a cool blog called Just Tap the Glass. I don’t really have much interesting stuff to say about myself, but the blog itself is awesome with some good discussions on game theory and social psychology. Check out the interview here and click around the site for some interesting reading.
Tell us a little about yourself, Jonathan. (Where are you from, your background, anything we might find interesting about you etc.).
I’m originally from a small town outside of Philly. I cover the Cowboys, so most people assume I live in Dallas, but I’m actually currently located in NYC. When I’m not watching or analyzing football, I like reading philosophy/theoretical physics.
What separates your fantasy football recommendations from that of other pundits is your background in Math and Statistics and its subsequent application in your work. You provide hard data instead of conjecture masquerading as analysis. Along with a few other disciplines, Statistics is one of the strongest tools available for interpreting the world around us. How were you first introduced to the field of applied mathematics and why did you stick around?
I was in a lot of advanced math courses throughout school. I finished the majority of my college coursework while in high school, and then I majored in Philosophy and Psych Stats in college. I wouldn’t say I “stuck around” as much as math just followed me as a pragmatic tool through which I can better understand the world and make accurate predictions.
When you’re not writing and crunching numbers, what do you enjoy doing?
I read a lot. I try to read non-sports stuff every night. I work hard on the numbers/writing all day, so I really want to get away from it at night. I also like eating out, which my girlfriend and I sadly do literally every day. There are too many great restaurants in NYC to eat at home.
You’re a regular contributor to a number of publications, including The NY Times, and were tapped to run a blog for The Dallas Cowboys. How did you land those gigs? Are you a full-time writer or do you have another occupation? Any advice for aspiring sports or business writers?
I just e-mailed them, to be honest. When you first start, no one is going to come to you. You have to e-mail editors all the time to show them what you can do, so that was a major part of my plan a couple years ago. I’m a writer, but I also do some investing to pay the bills.
Your books on fantasy football strategy were so good, I finished them within 48 hours of purchase. I’d like to think I’m a solid competitor in fantasy basketball and football—-doesn’t mean I’m not eager to learn more. Any new projects on the horizon?What’s next for you?
I will be taking a few months off in early 2014 to do nothing but write books. I plan to do at least two for next year, but maybe even three. A few other projects coming as well, so stay tuned.