Happy New Year; It’s Funny Where You Can Find Ideas; Things and Stuff; Baltimore Ravens Whiz Kid

Happy New Year; It’s Funny Where You Can Find Ideas; Things and Stuff; Baltimore Ravens Whiz Kid

This isn’t a formal resolution, per say, but I want to write and journal a bit more for myself this year. In turn, that means for you, whoever is reading.

Happy New Year. As I’ve been reminded so much on social media over the last two days, this is a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future, especially with a new decade starting. Or not until next year, depending on the fickleness of the person you ask.

We had a few friends over to our house for a brunch today and we had a great time. Jamie cooked a great meal and one of my tiny jobs was to go pick up the bagels. It’s funny where you can find ideas for potential future writing projects, and today that happened to be Goldberg’s New York Bagels…

On the newsstand near the front door was a publication aimed at 50-and-over people, but the cover story grabbed my attention. It was a short piece about a local waitress, now in her 70s, who is about to release her fourth book. If she can do it, maybe so can I.

I have several projects I want to work on this year, and I’ve had so many ideas over the last few years, but have more often than not analyzed myself into paralysis and ended up doing none or too few of them. That’s one of the things I want to change this year.

We’re going to spend the first few weeks of the year prioritizing what we want to accomplish in the next 12 to 36 months. And be deliberate about it. I have several book ideas, but don’t know which one to start on first. I also want to consider finding an agent, because I think a good one will help point me in the right direction. And possibly finally starting a side business that could generate regular monthly income.

I want to keep these sorts of posts short, and go to bed (4.5-month-old baby and all), so I’m going to wrap up quick with a few “things and stuff,” as my very close friends know I like to say…

1) Here’s the most recent story I published, on the Baltimore Ravens’ 25-year-old analytics whiz, Daniel Stern, a local kid who has the ear of head coach John Harbaugh during games. An excerpt:

During every game, the boy wonder sits in a chair right next to Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman in the weather-proof coaches’ level of the stadium. And like a play caller, Stern wears team-issued apparel and one of those big black Bose headsets with a direct line of communication down to the field to Harbaugh. The head coach always makes the final decisions, but Stern notably has Harbaugh’s ear, quickly and clearly relaying “the numbers”— the so-called win probabilities and risk-reward ratios of certain situations.

For years, Harbaugh has had a staffer in the booth in this role. At first, it was Matt Weiss, who is now the team’s running backs’ coach. Stern took over the job this season, and what he does informs some of Harbaugh’s key game-management decisions—including whether to go for it on fourth down, which has become one of the calling cards of this Lamar Jackson-led, “Big Truss”-infused team.

A fourth-down try, for instance, if it fails, gives the opposing team great field position of their own, and NFL coaches have traditionally hesitated to take the risk or make it simply on gut feel. But with careful, deliberate planning done throughout the week, very specific data provided by Stern on-the-fly on game day, and players like Jackson making things easier and also giving their own input, (As in, “Hell yeah, coach! Let’s go for it,” before a fourth-and-2 earlier this year against the Seattle Seahawks), the Ravens have noticeably bucked the conservative nature of their competition.

2) Currently reading: Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday.

3) Shout out to Howard Lindzon, who has sort of inspired me to write more regularly and in this style. If you don’t follow Howard’s writing and thoughts, I strongly consider you do here. He’s a fascinating investor, a brutally honest writer who publishes something every morning, and I recommend anyone consider his advice.

All the best,


P.S. If you’re interested in getting these posts directly from me when I publish them, send me an email at corey.mclaughlin@gmail.com and let me know.

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