Saturday, March 31, 2007

Stats & trivia

I've always found statistics and trivia fascinating. As a kid growing up in central Ohio, I often found myself immersed a bit too long in the Vital Statistics and Sports sections of the Columbus Dispatch. When I didn't make the cut in my 6th grade class in parallel bars for an upcoming gymnastics meet, they asked me if I would help out as a scorekeeper.

As a teenager, my trusty clipboard was at my bedside ready to record or jot down the latest stats. This included the Top 10 Countdown from American Top 40 and volunteering to keep score at softball games when my team didn't play. When the Cincinnati Reds weren't on TV, I used to listen to the game on radio (with Marty Brennamen and Joe Nuxhall), keep my own box score and then look up the actual box score in next day's paper and to see how accurate I was. Or wasn't.

In high school, I was a huge fan of a local quiz show, "In The Know". It was the equivalent in the U.K. as "University Challenge" and in the U.S. as "College Bowl". All of the local high schools had teams. Lisa was a member of our high school team. I wanted so much to be on the team, but lacked the nerve to try out. I developed huge crushes on some of the geeky male stars, not because they were good looking, but at how fast and accurate these guys were with their answers. Last weekend, we saw "Starter for 10", a film about a first-year student's dream to make the University Challenge team, which is the main reason why we wanted to see this movie.

It didn't end there. When I first moved to San Francisco, I was a scorekeeper at Fourth of July tournaments for the church I played basketball with on Saturdays. I kept score and helped manage an Asian men's softball team. As a player, I was often given the scorebook to help keep score when the manager couldn't.

Keeping score and tracking statistics was my way of staying involved, especially after I couldn't make it as a participant. It's like taking notes in lecture, only that I'm retaining information that interests me. This is likely the reason why I have such an excellent memory.

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