Being an old sports writer – heavy emphasis on old and past tense – I have a thing about numbers and stats. I think they often – although not always – tell the real story.
Sticking with sports, for example, it seems that Colts nation is losing its mind over kicker Adam Vinatieri’s recent struggles. Yes, he’s missed two-thirds of his field goal attempts this year and three out of five extra points. But more importantly is the stat that, despite being perhaps the greatest field goal kicker of all time, he ranked a very average 17th last year in the NFL – only better than 15 kickers who attempted 10 or more field goals.
Numbers tell you things that words sometimes miss.
Another example is a story on the news the other morning that said 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans do not have friends in the opposite party.
Think about that for a second – more than half of those folks don’t rub elbows with others who don’t share their political mindset.
Is it any wonder we’re at each other’s throats so much?
Forget Washington – because I may not be the smartest guy in the room but I sure as hell know that good answers never come out of that place. Let’s just look right here at home. Between wind farms and zoning and all the rest, we have a county so deeply divided that where someone sticks a campaign sign becomes a big damn deal! Is that why we don’t have friends across the aisle? I mean, gosh, Democrats might have to talk slow and use smaller words when they talk to me, but I promise I won’t bite.
It’s been said before in this space and I’ll keep saying it, that the vast majority of problems we have in this country start right at home. And learning to be nice and respectful to everyone – regardless of their point of view – is something we need to get back to. Have we really become so egotistical that we can’t fathom someone not agreeing with what we think? I hope not.
Back to numbers.
Five! That’s how many awards columnists for your favorite Montgomery County daily won at this year’s Hoosier State Press Association contest! It’s also five more than any other newspaper in this here parts won.
Many, many heartfelt congrats to John Marlowe, Kenny Thompson and Ginger Claremohr!
More numbers.
The good folks at the Pew Research Center came out with some interesting numbers.
More Americans now get their news on social media than from printed newspapers. One in five adults say they get news on social media, and 43 percent say they get their news on Facebook. Yet, 57 percent say they expect the news they see on social media to be largely inaccurate.
How’s that again?
Last number for this week, because even though numbers tell the tale, they also put a lot of us to sleep, I did some math on mass shootings throughout the years in the U.S.
From the 1920s to 2009 there were 117 mass shootings. From 2010 to so far in 2019, there have been 115.
That’s 90 years against 9, for crying out loud. One hundred and seventeen shootings in 90 years – just a little more than one a year. In the last nine years, 115? That’s more than 12 a year, or one a month.
Yeah, we need to think a lot more about making friends with anyone who will have us.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.