Roland Beech of Aptos might be a fantasy football hobbyist's definition of a god.
Who else on the Internet tracks the efficiencies of NFL tight ends, touchdowns/yards allowed by position by all 31 teams and posts obscure data such as directional rushing charts?
Beech and his network of stats-bent friends do, and they've taken their passion of alternative NFL statistics to impressive and near-obsessive levels on a homemade Web site called TwoMinuteWarning.com (www.twominutewarning.com).
Now in its fourth season, Beech's site based in Santa Cruz County has been churning statistics not usually found in mainstream sources. While some visitors check which teams might have a competitive edge, most consume the information for their fantasy teams.
That makes Beech's site worth a look at this point in the NFL season when stats analysis is at a premium for hard-core fantasy owners. And even for those who aren't fantasy geeks, it's an interesting look at stats otherwise not listed in official NFL summaries.
Those were Beech's intentions from the beginning. Beech, who works for a Palo Alto company that develops content for the online gaming industry, said he was frustrated that official stats weren't telling the real story behind a game. The inclusion of nonplays such as quarterback kneel-downs, spikes and yardage involved during penalties were skewing the final numbers.
"All these errors can distort the stats we end up seeing," he said.
To remedy this, Beech rounded up a bunch of friends who were enlisted NFL fans and enlisted them to start charting games at a play-by-play level of detail. His stats posse has grown to 20 volunteers, "so it's seldom that anyone has to do more that one game per week, which in itself is time-consuming," Beech said.
Beech and his pals first took on drive-chart stats, down-by-down stats and play-by-play ratings, incorporating categories such as play-success rates and big-gain percentages to make their compilations original.
Directional rushing charts were designed to not only showcase the ground-game talents of teams, but also to try and gauge the play of individuals on the offensive line, Beech said.
"We feel we've really got most of the team stats nailed, and we've moved on since then to looking more at individual players," he said.
The crew's next goal is to track offensive linemen on a block-by-block level, defensive players for their tackle percentage and number of hits, running backs for their tackle breaking percentage and red zone and short-yardage efficiencies.
Beech said there are also plans to track XFL games.
"As we get more skilled at watching games, we hope to produce some mind-blowing content that can really bring to light some of the hidden aspects of football," Beech said.
The site is updated by Tuesday for the up-coming weekend's games. Listed are detailed matchup previews as well as player projections that cater to the fantasy football fan. Beech also customizes the content for other sites in exchange for exposure.
"They're very innovative...I haven't seen anything as good," said John Hansen, who produces FnatasyGuru.com, a premium fantasy football site based in Cologne, N.J. "It's good stuff. In fact, I use it for some of our reports."
Beech, 31, started loving stats the hard way. He's a 49er fan, but he grew up a Tampa Bay Buccaneers follower and suffered through their expansion-era futility.
"Part of my motivation for some of this stuff, I think, goes to the years where the Bucs were lousy, and I was trying to find some golden nugget of a positive amid the 3-31 final scores," Beech said.
That explains a lot.