Gimme Schalter

By Ty Schalter

The latest thoughts, hottest takes, and coolest work of Ty Schalter, a professional writer & talker (@FiveThirtyEight, @ThreeOutPod). Lots of sports, geeky stuff, social commentary and more.

The latest thoughts, hottest takes, and coolest work of Ty Schalter, a professional writer & talker (@FiveThirtyEight, @ThreeOutPod). Lots of sports, geeky stuff, social commentary and more.

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Writer's Block(s) | Gimme Schalter No. 42

I have so many Gimmes Schalter to write for you all, so many essays dying to get from my fingers to your inbox. I'm itching to write a follow-up to a FiveThirtyEight article that hasn't even run yet. Substack laid off 1/7th of their entire workforce. I was vo…


Hamish McKenzie is Right About Everything But Substack | Gimme Schalter No. 41

McKenzie focuses his emotions through the lens of Luke O'Neil, a writer he personally recruited to Substack. O'Neil's "Welcome to Hell World" newsletter would go on to be not just brilliant, but a big financial success. McKenzie describes O'Neil with journali…


I've Got A Super Bad Feeling About This | Gimme Schalter No. 40

"Why Are Police So Bad At Their Jobs?" by Alexander Sammon for The American ProspectThe neverending debate about "Defund the Police" misses the point entirely: that it's both an actual viable policy goal and a useful talking point for changing people's unders…


Cross Purposes: A Review Lost In Time | Gimme Schalter No. 39

[NOTE: This review contains early-game plot details of Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger, as well as discussion of the games' themes and storytelling choices throughout.][ALSO NOTE: If you dig this kind of stuff, I implore you to pre-order my friend Aidan Moher…


A Penny Arcade For My Thoughts | Gimme Schalter No. 38

A full-color comic like the ones in the Sunday paper, but created by and for video-game weirdoes like me. My hacked-up hand-me-down PC was not a "tiny god," but I was just as pissed that Mac users—MAC USERS!—would have exclusive dibs on the initial public dem…


In Defense of the NFL Draft | Gimme Schalter No. 37

"Let Me Tell You About Sir Matthew Hale," a Twitter thread by Ken ArmstrongArmstrong, a ProPublica reporter, says he researched Hale while co-writing a landmark piece of reporting on the victims of a serial rapist, which then became a book, which then became …


Gold Into Straw: Elon Musk's Attempt to Kill Twitter. | Gimme Schalter No. 36

The whale did fly once more againall tail and clear blue sky and grin."What is dead may never die!" cried all the birds who hoist it high. That whale had better not forgetits users haven't failed it yet.


Oops! All Everything Awesome | Gimme Schalter No. 35

Don't freak out! Gimme Schalter as you know it is staying free. But I'd like to offer more to those who want more, and my tendency to push myself to and beyond my limit means I haven't even been delivering the regular content you all agreed to pay $0 for. Suf…


The Value Of Nothing. | Gimme Schalter No. 34

Just about every flavor of professional writer balked at the pittance being offered by multimedia giant Ziff-Davis: newspaper journalists, fiction authors, screenwriters and feature-writing freelancers like me—who know that if you have a "portfolio" of writin…


I'm a BAD WRITER. | Gimme Schalter No. 33

The game's protagonist, Emily, has just lost her job. With a month's worth of savings to live on, she's decided to make a go of being a full-time author.With an RPG-style presentation and cozy background music, Emily's house—which she shares with her supporti…


Using Accuracy Against My Own Values | Gimme Schalter No. 32

Conservative politicians used to make loud appeals to the "silent majority," millions of theoretical Real Americans who surely would not agree with things like civil rights for Black people, reproductive rights, or gay marriage—no matter how many actual, real…


Solidarity. | Gimme Schalter No. 31

It's been amazing to watch outlet after outlet band together and fight against the corporate consolidation and private-equity vulturization of the digital-media industry. It's the only way the information and entertainment we depend on can be made by a divers…


The Old World Order | Gimme Schalter No. 30

Vladimir Putin is a fascist and a despot. He's a warmongerer and a colonizer. He persecutes ethnic and religious minorities. He imprisons anyone who speaks out against him; he kills his political enemies.And in a speech on Thursday, President Biden said plain…


Paradise Lost: A Tribute to Neil Bulson | Gimme Schalter No. 29

There’s only one proper way for Armchair Linebacker to die. Not to die, but to pass on from this world into the next. To be immolated in a blue-flame funeral pyre and reduced to sacred ash. To be placed on its longboat with treasured belongings, intoxicating …


Who Jacks The Jackasses? | Gimme Schalter No. 28

I had never seen anything like it: a combination of physical stunts, jokes, and skateboarding that transgressed all known boundaries for Things That Could Appear On TV.Years before YouTube and geological eras before TikTok, the quick-hit videos made by Big Br…


Tom Brady's Cold War On Football History | Gimme Schalter No. 27

Chad Pennington, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Jets to seven more divisional titles. Jay Fiedler, Gus Frerotte, and Ryan Tannehill picked up six more for the Dolphins. Trent Edwards, Kyle Orton, Tyrod Taylor and Josh Allen…


Free Expression Isn't Free | Gimme Schalter No. 26

I really wasn't going to write about Substack again.Not after their co-founders posted a high-minded essay on Wednesday, explaining that in order to rebuild society's trust in the media they have to cut six-figure checks to all its most prominent transphobes,…


The Internet Archive Is Not 'Legit' | Gimme Schalter No. 25

I hid the name of the professional animator who posted this viral Tweet (over 13,000 retweets and 47,000 likes as of this writing); I could tell she hadn't done it maliciously. And when I directly told her the book had been uploaded by some rando who also upl…


Self-Editing, And Trying To Stop | Gimme Schalter No. 24

In late 2012, I quit my dayjob to become a full-time NFL writer. I spent that offseason watching film and studying up, trying to raise my game and improve my credibility. After the 2013 season, the thought hit me: I'm a full-time writer now. I always wanted t…


Reaching An Infection Point | Gimme Schalter No. 23

A combination of rolling-off vaccine efficacy, winter weather forcing people indoors, and the arrival of the Omicron variant made "test positive today, stay home tomorrow" more or less useless. A team that had a few new positives one day might have seven new …