Typically, at this time of year, writers seek the shelter and comfort of Top 10 lists or the best of the year or some such low hanging literary fruit. Well, Left Field will not, dear readers, stoop so low to insult your good intelligence with such prosaic drivel!
We're stronger than the temptation. We're mightier than the outstretched fruit. We're...well, you get the point. Instead, we will succumb to the cosmic lure of cipher contentment.
Ah, yes, we do have a weakness. You see, by day, Left Field crunches numbers, devouring spreadsheets and databases with the glee of Jim Valvano winning an NCAA men's basketball championship. We are a sucker for digitalia. And here's what the numbers tell us about 2007.
6 - Number of Top 10 Class 6A schools eventual class 5A state girls' volleyball champion, Crook County, defeated during the season, including all four semi-finalists at Oregon's top prep level.
44 - Professional Bowlers Association titles won by Walter Ray Williams. The 48-year old 17-time state and national horseshoe pitching champion has won two PBA tournaments so far this season.
60 - The number of quarterbacks who have started National Football League games in 2007.
6 - The number of buses any erstwhile Bend cyclist can leap if they are feeling nostalgic for Evel Knievel. Perhaps the reticent vehicles could be organized at any roundabout with overly obtuse art.
16 - Number of seasons Bob McCauley coached Sisters High School's football team. The principal won two state titles and his charges finished second in the class 4A the last two seasons.
8,460 - Rushing yards gained by Sisters' Cory McCaffrey during his high school career. That's more than two miles greater than the second best in Oregon high school history.
104 - Number of times Barry Bonds' name is mentioned in George Mitchell's report on steroid use in major league baseball.
105 - Number of times Jose Canseco's name is cited in the same report.
93,200,000 - The estimated number of viewers for Super Bowl XLI, won by the Indianapolis Colts, 29-17, over the Chicago Bears. The game was the second highest rated Super Bowl ever (1996, Dallas and Pittsburgh, 94.1 million) and the third highest rated television program in history.
99 - Number of years since the Chicago Cubs won a World Series. (and counting)
2 - Number of World Series titles won by the Boston Red Sox in the past four years.
0 - Number of World Series titles won by the Red Sox in the preceding 86 years.
3,873 - Points tallied by Summit High School in the Oregonian Cup, the OSAA's method of recognizing overall excellence by schools in academics, activities and athletics. Summit finished fifth in class 5A in the state.
2 - Highest rank achieved by the University of Oregon football team in 2007. The Ducks then lost quarterback Dennis Dixon, two of his backups and the final three games of the season to fall out of the top 25 rankings.
10 - Number of years colleague Bob Woodward composed an outdoors column for the Source Weekly. Gonna miss ya, Woodman!
3 - Titles won by the San Jose SaberCats in the Arena Football League in the last six seasons.
36 - Number of Florida State football players who did not play in the New Year's Eve Music City Bowl against Kentucky because of an academic cheating scandal, violations of team rules, injuries or other reasons.
21,300,000 - Dollars saved by Texas Rangers over the next three seasons when Alex Rodriquez opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees.
4 - Number of Grand Slam tennis events that now pay the same amount to the winner of the men's and women's singles finals. Wimbledon became the final compliant event this year.
253 - Years since 22 gentlemen found the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrew's, Scotland.
205 - Consecutive weeks Roger Federer has been ranked the number one male tennis player in the world, a record.
9 - PGA Player of the Year titles won by Tiger Woods, a record.
21 - Number of numbers retired by the Boston Celtics.
5 - Number of NBA teams without any retired numbers (Clippers, Raptors, Magic, Grizzlies, Bobcats).
3 - Number of networks broadcasting the season finale between the Patriots and the Giants.
2 - Number of networks broadcasting the AFL-NFL Championship Game (aka Super Bowl I) in 1967.
30 - Traditional journalism designation to end an article.
Happy New Year!