Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
A pork and beets watchman?
The writers of [Fire Joe Morgan] were never looking for their site to be influential, successful, or even read by anyone outside their close circle of friends. But they were way too good at what they did—and way, way too funny—for the site to stay undiscovered. Though the site is now dormant, the three statistically inclined baseball fans who wrote the majority of the posts are all now writers for NBC’s Parks and Recreation. I took a trip to the offices of that show, where Dave King (“dak”), Alan Yang (“Junior”), and Mike Schur (“Ken Tremendous”) filled me in on how FJM became an unexpected hit.
This is Part 1. Parts 2 and 3 will run later this week.
[Michael Schur]: My guy was kind of a character. He has a job. He’s a pension fund manager for an insurance company in Partridge, Kansas. Which is where Ortho “The Darkness” Stice is from in the book Infinite Jest, which is why I chose that. [Ed. note: Schur is a very big fan of the novel.] His company was a little shady, Fremulon is a little shady. It was always about to go bankrupt… I think in some weird way the persona was about Bill James. Because Bill James’s story of working as a night watchman or whatever in Kansas. That was sort of somewhere in my brain, I think as like, this weird dude, punching a clock in a weird cubicle somewhere, and also using it as an outlet to vent his frustrations. But now you can buy Fremulon mugs…
My wife and I took a trip, I think, to Buenos Aires. And we were in the airport… we were getting on the plane and a guy came up to me and said, “Hey, I just want to tell you that I’m a big fan.” And I was like, “Oh, thank you.” And he said, “Yeah, I read the site all the time.” And I was like, “You’re not talking about the TV show The Office?” And that was the first time my wife was like, “What the f—- is going on?”
Tomorrow: Fire Joe Morgan blows up.
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