The two players that came up most consistently in the overrated column for draft positions have been DeShaun Watson and Kyler Murray. Murray had a bit of the rookie blues last season with an above-average interception rate and a below-average TD rate. I would expect some improvement from the rookie QB, but not a 6th round draft choice gamble. I see a similar outlook for DeShaun Watson. Much like Murray he has the feet to get you some added yards and rushing TD's, but he also lost his top receiver in the offseason and doesn't have great numbers.
I ran several models and the two names that came up time and time again were Kirk Cousins and Gardner Minshew. They take care of the ball, are above-average in TD's thrown and all averaged 230+ yards passing. I'll take a 4 TD to 1 INT rate any day of the week. If you're looking for a steady rate of return these might be your guys to grab late in the draft. I am talking like round 14 or later and have starter potential.
As you prepare to make your wish list for a 2020 fantasy football team let's take a look back at 2019. What do the stats tell us? I used Tableau to help tell that story.
I definitely found some surprises. To start off with I only included players with at least 50 rushing attempts to remove WR's, but I also removed QB's from the equation. I wanted strictly running backs with 50+ rushing attempts. You can thumb through the various charts below to understand what franchises gave the most touches to their RB's. Touches are defined as rushing and receiving in this example.
You saw a bunch of playoff teams leading the way in running back touches. This, I am guessing, would be from leading in the game and running out the clock. The number of total yards had strong correlation with total touches, but two teams stuck out to me a bit down the line. Carolina and Cleveland turned in high yardage relative to their total touches.
Of the top three touch teams (New England, Dallas and San Francisco) they take very different approaches. San Francisco seemed to rely on a distribute across a few backs, which isn't particularly optimal for drafting in fantasy while New England ran a 2-for-1 style with Sony Michel leading the way in their stable. However, Dallas leaned heavily on Zeke Elliott way more than any of the other leaders. With our outliers of Carolina and Cleveland the Panthers unsurprisingly leaned heavily on Christian McCaffrey and Cleveland with Nick Chubbs making their model more similar to Dallas.
Another weird item I saw was Tennessee's high dependency on running over passing. Even though they're 15th in RB touches they are in 6th place for rushing attempts. This shows their workhorse of Derrick Henry isn't much of a factor in the passing game, nor is his backup Dion Lewis.
I won't go much deeper into the data, but have fun sorting through it to find gems.
As many of you know my entire career has been spent in tourism and sports. I've gone into how you can help these industries today. If you're someone that is still collecting regular checks and care to have these things once restrictions are removed you should take ownership today. I wrote an entire article about this. This will be especially hard on smaller communities such as a West Lafayette, Iowa City, Pullman or State College. Even the schools that do plan to play will take a big hit. Think: Auburn, Tuscaloosa, Clemson.
With a potential cancellation of a college football season how do I see this playing out? I'm going to put on my Master's in Sport Management hat to take a crack.
1. Furloughs of staffs with the exception of absolutely essential employees.
I would expect to see this happening for any game day staff, but if there are no media contracts to fulfill this is when the layoff/furloughs could get bad. Outside of merchandise sales, how do you make money? You could go the route of some art museums and auction off some luxury pieces of merchandise that have no real place in the current or future narrative of your school. Basically hold an auction or a yard sale.
2. Cutting sports that are neither profit generators, haven't seen recent large infusions of investment nor are used to balance the gender scholarship scale.
Football is the 10,000 pound elephant in the room of every D-1 athletic department. Dozens of them produce well into the eight or nine digit revenue streams. However, the truth is there should only be a fraction of the number of teams there are nationwide if we're just looking at profit margins. These major football programs also occupy 85 scholarships and need to be matched proportionately from women's sports. Some schools get clever with this by financing teams like women's rowing that is relatively cheap to operate and have major rosters. In most cases the female equivalent sports have a handful of addition scholarships as opposed to the male counterparts.
What I could see happening is an athletic department placing schools into three buckets: Profit Generators, Gender Scholarship Balancers or Recent Large Investments. What I mean by this is your profit generators are likely football and men's basketball. Your gender scholarship balancers are basically what I described in the above paragraph and there are other programs that for the sake of timing have seen large financial investments int their facilities or teams. If you're a sport that doesn't clearly go in any of those three buckets I'd start to worry. Universities at the highest level only need to have I believe 17 varsity sports to keep their status. You've already seen this start to happen around the country, probably most highlights by Stanford cutting 11 sports.
3. Eating into financial reserves that might have been earmarked for facility improvements or budget increases.
Make no bones about it, major college football is an arms race. Who has the biggest recruiting budget? Who has the most swagged out locker rooms? It's all about the bells and whistles to attract recruits. Without great players it is obviously difficult to win. What could credibly happen is improvement projects that aren't coming directly from a donor could get postponed or even cancelled.
As this carries over into communities.....I'll take off my sports hat and put back on my tourism hat.
1. Minimal overnight stays
This is a no-duh item. If there is no event to go to, then you simply won't stay. College sports is an event driven business and without crowds there is no reason to come. The only overnight options I could possibly see doing well through all of this is remote home shares and possibly resort style locations with the capacity to social distance.
2. Slow restaurants
This is a no duh. Many restaurants operate on razor thin margins during the best of times. A prolonged dead period is taking the razor to the juggler of some restaurants throughout the country. When restaurants or even whole complexes (i.e. St. Louis' Ballpark Village) depend on pre-game and post-game crowds to make hay when the sun in shining it is hard, if not impossible to turn in a positive year. In university towns slow summers are often cured by busy falls. I would expect fall to be busier with students returning, but all of restrictions of not being able to move around freely to talk to other groups will be a huge hindrance.
3. Retail stores taking a beating
If I ran a local popular retail store I would really double down on a social media push out to the alumni of whatever school I was at for merchandise. Really pull on that tearjerker emotion of missing out on a season. If you aren't active through eCommerce, you should get on the ball quickly.
Once again HELP THESE BUSINESSES TODAY! If you're still getting paid, don't stay home for every meal or cancel your travel plans. This is especially true if you are driving to your destination. Buy gift cards from these businesses, shop local, buy from them online and share your experiences with friends.
I've been rejected from over 1,000 jobs throughout my career. The truth is I probably never heard back from about 85% of them. Do you really want to work for a company that leaves people hanging because they're too lazy to send an automated email back? You can't take it personally, you've just got to brush it off.
The truth is that I've never once stopped applying to jobs at any point in my career. In my opinion, without the incentive of pensions that pay out if you stay a number of years there is zero reason to be loyal to an organization. You should always have an idea of your open market value. In any given year, I am probably taking 6+ interviews to see if I am a fit and I can improve my career standing.
I failed my way to success - Thomas Edison
Getting Rejected Over 1,000 Times Forces You To Overcome the Fear of Failure
First off I graduated in 2008 from undergrad and 2009 from graduate school. Impressive to have a master's degree by 23 by any standard, but horrid timing in the market. Not only were companies tightening their belts, but now you were competing with the people who were cut by companies earlier in the year. I bet I pumped out 300-400 applications, took 10-15 preliminary interviews and 3-4 final interviews before I landed my internship in Cocoa, FL working at a sport complex. The first couple of months is rough, but the sooner you realize that you are getting better at the process of applying the more you'll get out of it. If you can get over the fear of failure you'll go far in your career.
Apply to the Jobs That Interest You, Not the Ones That Pay the Highest
I've made this mistake multiple times over my life. In a few instances I didn't do a good job of reading the job description and comprehending what the position really entails. When I get to the interview the job sound dreadfully boring and not motivating in the least. Even though the pay is great, I would dread going to the job every day. Walk away from these opportunities as fast as you can. The ideal situation is a position that makes you happy and pays the bills. It's harder to find than you may think.
Create a Market For Yourself
When you apply to that many jobs you start to create a market for yourself. What is interesting is that you won't have anyone call you for weeks, but then out of the blue three or four businesses will contact you in a week to set up phone interviews. Use these opportunities to learn the ins and out of the company you'll be talking to and have answers for your experience as it relates to the job listing. Give them two to three things you bring to the table that they might not have in-house already or improves their operations.
It Helps To Be Local
This has probably worked more against me than for me, as I've always lived in small cities. Companies prefer someone that doesn't take travel logistics for them to interview and can come right in and work. When you're someone coming from far away you have to be really good in the interview and head over heels better than any of the other candidates. It is very possible to do this by coming in really prepared for the interview, but.....
Go Into the Interview With the Attitude That You Want the Job, But You Don't Need the Job
You don't want to go into the interview desperate for the position. Come in prepared to answer questions, offer solutions to problems you perceive and let them know everything you bring to the table. You shouldn't leave the interview kicking yourself that you should have told them about this skill or that certification. Go beyond the resume you sent in. That earned you the first date, so sell yourself to get a second date. Much like the dating scene you don't want to seem desperate, because that will put the other party off. Act like you want to be there and have things move forward, but act as if it isn't your only opportunity.
Knowing Someone Gets You an Interview, But Not the Job
I've been on both sides of this. Getting an interview because I knew someone/someones on the team hiring and also getting an interview for someone. This only gets you as far as the door and the chance to interview.
I've gotten several interviews over the years because I know someone on the hiring team, but I still need to perform well in the initial interview to move forward. You should absolutely take these seriously, because your friend/peer is putting their credibility on the line.
Companies Want the Internal Candidate To Get the Job
I've been on the short end of this stick several times over the years. You either take the call or find out later that there was a preferred internal candidate, but they needed to do their due diligence and interview external candidates. This blows, but put yourself in their shoes. If someone you've worked with for probably years wants a new position and you know they are reliable, why go with an unknown?
Work On the Commonalities in the Job Descriptions
Over time you're going to see common themes or skills in the positions you are applying for. It could be specific software programs, general concepts like CRM management, soft skills like public speaking or a host of others. Write down what you're commonly seeing in the posts and go to work trying to improve upon those skills. From there build examples for potential employers that leave them impressed and with zero doubt of your capabilities to handle said position.
Never Get Down On Yourself
When it comes down to job applications you will always fail more than you succeed. The thing to take from it is getting comfortable with the lessons you learn from applying, interviewing and developing contacts. Just keep building your work portfolio and making your case stronger. Work on projects, gain skills, grow those skills, build contacts and keep plugging away. You never know what will come your way.
I found myself making a comfortable lunch today that was quick and easy. Once I was done and sitting down at my coffee table I had to laugh. Why, you ask? I bet anyone I'm related to can tell you without reading any further.
You see growing up in a family of six in rural Pennsylvania traveling that involved hotels wasn't the most cost effective way to see the world. My family had a pop-up camper that allowed us all to stay together at campgrounds for a reasonable price. Many of our meals comprised of a peanut butter sandwich (or just a slice of bread with peanut butter on it) with a piece of fruit and more than likely a Little Debbie. In our family, the Oatmeal Cream Pie held a special place. But heaven forbid you open it up before the other items were gone.
When we traveled Mom was very persistent that we have to finish our sandwich and fruit before you can have the Oatmeal Cream Pie. Depending on how dry the bread was or overly ripe the fruit may have been might have been a difficult task for most 7-18 year olds. For a plate you tore off a paper towel, found a picnic table at a rest area and ate your meal before we got back on the road to continue the journey. Buying food for six people at a Wendy's or McDonald's not only wasn't nutrient rich, but also was expensive. In her mind she might have viewed this simply as feeding her kids without wasting time and money. To me looking back on it, it was a lesson in those things and delayed gratification.
How does this relate to the world I see when I step outside my door?
So many people just want to fill themselves with the dessert without putting in the work of getting the vitamins and nutrients of the rest of the meal. Their entire lives are living for the short-term. They want to be physically fit using some diet pill instead of simply burning more calories than they consume every day. People expect a high paying job without the hard work of building a strong body of work. This is why people invest in get rich quick schemes or waste their money buying lottery tickets rather than contributing money to investments and investing in assets.
What are you willing to sacrifice today to get to the rewards of tomorrow?
Can you give up going through the drive-through every morning? Something I am sure your waistline and wallet would both thank you for.
Can you give up buying a new truck every 3-4 years and ride it out with one for 10-12 years so you can invest money through index funds or open a Roth IRA? Your 65 year old self will thank your 35 year old self.
Can you give up an hour of Netflix or Hulu every night to build skills that get you where you want to go? The next time you have a job interview you'll be well-rounded by some new skill that allows you to add value to their business.
Can you give up happy hours and drag your butt to the gym every evening? You'll sleep better, feel better and have more energy.
Can you pass up the sweet snacks throughout the day in favor of fruits and vegetables? You won't just get a bunch of hollow calories.
Can you not open Facebook or Instagram to get your news, but rather sit down with a book on history? You'll become a more well-rounded individual in conversations.
There are entirely too many people out of shape, living in debt and without skills that are too weak of will to say "no".
How has this lesson impacted my current life?
I'd say there are many ways that this has benefitted me. Anyone that spends time with me can be annoyed by my love of lists and routine.
Many of these tasks call for a lot of short-term sacrifice and saying "no" to friends and family. Sometimes saying "no" is easier than other times. However, staying disciplined to my goals above has allowed me to stay healthy, fit, well insulated from financial hardship, mentally happy and well educated in a variety of disciplines and view points.
If you're into delayed gratification enjoy one of behavioral economics favorite experiments. The marshmallow experiment for kids. I would be willing to bet that there are some adults that couldn't pass this test.
Up until the early 2000's the world of college football recruiting was largely a mystery to the common fan. One day you just opened the newspaper and saw a list of names that signed with your favorite program. Then came the internet.
In the early 2000's you started seeing various websites pop-up exclusively dedicated to the 16, 17 and 18 year olds and what program would gain their services. Never mind that the majority of people working these sites and evaluating talent have coached a high-major college football game in their lives. It didn't matter, the pressure was on for every major program to get a top 5 or 10 class year in and year out. That after all was the only way to compete for a national title.
Enter the book Meat Market, which follows Ole Miss for a season leading up to signing day 2007. The team is led by Ed Orgeron, the same that won the national title with LSU in 2020, in his pursuit to fill out a dominant class and compete against the likes of LSU, Alabama, Texas and others. The book is comical at times, frustrating at others and leaves you openly rooting for Orgeron. Of course you know how it plays out in hindsight with Orgeron being let go after the 2007 season where he went 3-9.
What Did I Learn?
1. I've read this book several times over the years, so in my most recent read I wouldn't say I learned a lot. However, looking back on this in 2009 when I first bought it was eye-opening. I had a general idea of how recruiting worked and even worked side-by-side in Penn State's recruiting gate during the 2007 season. However, this made me take another look at the cut-throat nature of the SEC.
2. I knew little about Ed Orgeron, but immediately liked him. He didn't fit the mold of the average pretty boy southern gent with the visor. He is a get down and dirty grind it out kind of guy. He was my kind of guy and someone I respected reading the book. Players seem to love him and his style, but his knock was his lack of polish.
3. I didn't really have any clue how many total players you had to offer to put together a good class. When you're a 2nd-tier SEC program like Ole Miss you really have to cast a large net. The state of Mississippi, although football rich, isn't a well populated state. You've really got to cover the entire southeast United States to build a good class. The challenge with a wide net is in that era it was more difficult to maintain a relationship with a kid four states over than it is today.
4. You really get an eye-opening look at academic and specifically pushing kids over the line to eligibility in this book. There were several players committed to Ole Miss that weren't initially eligible. There was a lot of checking in to see where kids stood. I would imagine a lot of premiere programs skipped over a handful of the Ole Miss kids because the risk of him not qualifying wasn't worth the reward of him joining the roster. In this way Ole Miss tried to wedge their way into a niche. You got a decent look at southern poverty, especially with the poor black community of the south.
I found this book wildly entertaining, even being someone who holds an advanced degree in Sport Management. For those that aren't super familiar with the business of major college athletics, specifically the large money making programs of the Power 5 conferences there is nine-digits floating through these athletic departments on an annual basis. However, collegiate athletic departments are classified as non-profit entities so they are exempt from paying taxes. This allows the money that they make to go flowing back into the programs in the form of large coaching salaries, gaudy facilities and lavish amenities not open to the average student.
The vast majority of collegiate athletic departments are not profitable and rely on student fees from the regular everyday student to stay afloat. Even with programs operating in the red it isn't unusual for the highest paid public employee in the state to be a college football coach. The challenge is raised whether these athletic departments with un-profitable football programs should even continue with a program.
Gilbert Gaul did an excellent job researching the book and getting a lot of first-hand accounts. I will admit that my eyebrows were raised by some of the quotes and perspective he provided throughout the book. It is definitely worth the read.
What Did I Learn?
1. I was aware that Title IX made college programs create comparable programs to women and provide a number of scholarships comparable to the student body. What really jumped out to me in Gaul's book was how women's rowing has largely been a driving force to help match the 85 scholarship given to football programs. Women's rowing is a relatively cheap sport to finance and most of the girls that enter the sport have little or not experience in the water. They just happen to be tall and strong.
2. Gaul digs into why the SEC is so dominant at football. I won't ruin that chapter for you.
3. I enjoyed how the idea of whether student athletes get a real education. Often times schools tend to funnel kids into majors and colleges that best fit the needs of the football program's schedule. Does that really benefit the student in the long-haul? The NCAA's comical "we're preparing for life after sports" campaign comes to mind. Do they really mean that when it comes to football? Or are they just protecting their cash cow?
According to an article I came across today from USA Today the average household only saves about 7.5% of their income. This was eye-opening to me.
Personally, I'm saving about 30% of my income between a high-interest online savings account, a SEP-IRA and a Roth IRA. To see more click on this article. In this process I'm not giving up many of the luxuries in my life such as travel, going out to eat and my gym. I'm simply cutting out many of the expenses that I don't really care about such as buying a new car every 3-4 years or buying new clothes constantly.
Let's say your household takes in the average household income of $61,937. After a 20% deduction for taxes and benefits you are bringing in a net of $49,546. If your household saved the average of 7.5% they would only be putting roughly $3,716 annually into their savings and investment accounts. We'll split this income evenly into a high-interest savings account (say a 2% annual interest rate) and buying a traditional index fund with a 7% annual growth rate. What would we have after 30 years?
Would This Be Enough to Live on?
The short answer is no using the 4% rule made popular by the FIRE movement. Not unless you believe you can live on about $10,000/year in the year 2055. Also you should be crossing your fingers that Social Security will still be there when you hit the eligibility age.
The answer to this is either playing more offense or more defense. Just like any good sports team there is a level of synergy between the offense and defense that create optimal outcomes. You should think the same way with your money.
Playing better offense means finding ways to grow your money through investments or simply increase your income. I'm a bigger fan of this route, because you're probably worth more than what you give yourself credit. You could take on a side-hustle, ask for a raise or change jobs.
Playing defense means creating a budget, cutting out things you don't need and saving more money overall. This could mean going out to eat 2x a week instead of 5x or shopping for clothes in a 2nd hand store instead of high-end stores. The little changes add up over time.
Only saving 7.5% is pathetic and keeps you on the wheel like a hamster going nowhere. The only excuse for only saving 7.5% of your income is because you're paying off debts such as student loans, an affordable mortgage, credit cards or medical bills. Saving 15% should be your absolute minimum goal. You should enjoy the ride to retirement, but have no worries once you get there.
Anyone that has ever been in a serious negotiation knows that it can be a long drawn out battle that leaves both sides frustrated by the experience. You start a new relationship with one another already bitter about working with the person across the table. This isn't a good first step for either party.
This book introduces a process with three steps:
1. Take yourself out of your shoes and put yourself in theirs
2. Create a win-win for both parties
3. Think through the problem objectively
The challenge to accomplish the three steps above are to create an environment where both parties put their objectives on the table and work side-by-side to check off as many of the boxes as possible. Instead of being adversaries in a negotiations you should work as a team.
With all of the objectives on the table it is important to verbalize the position of the other person so you understand and they are aware that you understand their position. This should put them at ease to progress further into the negotiations. This is where creating a win-win scenario becomes a possibility.
Lastly, look at the problem objectively from outside sources. What are comparable values for the items found in the deal. For example, if you're in a media deal and the sales rep says they will send your offer to 50,000 people it sounds incredible. However, if their email open rate is only 10% you're really only reaching 5,000 people. If you find another example of a different company sending out an email to 25,000, but they have a 20% open rate they are also reaching 5,000 people. Find out what the cost for their email is and bring that back to the discussion.
What Did I Learn?
1. This book has taught me to be more of a team player when it comes to negotiations. Get through all of the small talk about weekends, weather, sports teams, etc. to find out what their goals are in the deal. You tend to leave a table more satisfied with the process than you were before you started. Sometimes you will run into an immovable force or someone that won't play ball. Wash your hands of them and find someone that will.
2. To be more prepared with what we want before going into the meeting. I've usually done a pretty good job of looking up information on a company I am about to meet with and comparable companies, but I can do better.
3. The challenge when you're in a negotiation with media outlets is that their objectives are simple: get the most money for the least amount of effort. You have to be careful that the objectives they put forth aren't superficial. For this reason you have to get them to care about you as a person and the product/service that you provide. Whatever objectives they say you should hold them to and try to accomplish. If they say they want to maximize your reach put it on the board. If they say, they want to make you visible in their audience, put it on the board. Hold them to it, not only in that initial meeting but throughout the life of the deal.
Needless to say 2020 has not been kind to the folks that work in hospitality, live events and tourism. I've spent my entire career in this niche. Tourism is really fed by hoards of people coming to town for major events and conferences. They don't come because they enjoy the local Holiday Inn Express or Super 8, they're there because something is going on that creates the necessity for an overnight stay. Restaurants depend on both locals and visitors coming to their restaurants with consistency. Live events, namely concerts, festivals and sports depend on their turnstiles for their revenue. If they're interesting enough, they might create some TV or online viewership revenue. However, these industries are battered and bruised right now, even as you see other industries essentially go untouched or even thrive in the current conditions. We have no idea when the hard news will let up. Those that haven't largely been impacted financially have a responsibility to help thy neighbor.
Shop and Eat Local
Whenever you pull through the drive-through of McDonalds, hit the buy button on Amazon or pick up a few groceries at Wal-Mart you aren't helping your local economy. Sure, they might pay some people enough to barely get by and pay their local taxes, but the bulk of their revenue is going elsewhere. You should look to eat at non-chain stores that are locally owned, employ local people and keep their money in their community.
Figures that I've heard from a variety of studies is 55%-80% of revenue stays local when you shop local, while 8%-15% stays local when you shop at a major chain store. The publicly traded major chains can shoulder the swings and the smartest communities limit their entry to the market to begin with. If you're a big proponent of "Made in the USA" do it one better. Drive by Target and Wal-Mart and put your money where your mouth is and buy local.
Buy Gift Certificates
Restaurants and locally owned stores need revenue now to cover rent, utilities and whatever staff they have left. They are frustrated by wild swings in occupancy limits and regulations sometimes with little or no runway to implement them. Just because a store's capabilities are limited doesn't mean the bills stop coming in the mail. If you love that restaurant or store because you can walk in and shake the owner's hand support it today. Don't wait until "things get better." Personally, I might go to a chain restaurant once every other week, but 80%+ of my restaurant spend stays in the local community. I love going to farmer's markets and small stores to see what kind of neat items they have. You aren't seven people removed from the maker of the good, but often chatting with them in person. You also get a feel for your destination in a way that a major chain's sterile environment won't ever give you.
Buy Merchandise from Local Sports Teams
Minor league sports and small universities are struggling mightily right now. Teams are getting cut, spectators are being left on the outside and some minor league baseball teams are never coming back. You might not be able to attend their games and they might not have a TV deal, but buy some mechandise from their websites. Not Amazon or Dick's Sporting Goods, but their own in-house websites. Also, if you can lock in future season ticket packages or voucher books do so. Buy gift cards that can be used in the park at a future date. If you care to see those teams remain a part of your community in the future, support them today.
Take a Driving Trip
When I say take a trip it is quite possible to go for a 3-4 hour drive somewhere and not encounter large crowds. Book a room or a campsite at a new location you've wanted to visit or an old favorite. If you're worried about leaving the state, then don't. There is plenty to explore in your own back yard.
Go to stores and restaurants that you can't go to at home (read: Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel) to get a unique experience. Give those businesses positive reviews online. The hotel industry is absolutely cratered right now and you can have your own private room and bathroom on any trip you're on. You probably won't get any better prices and ability to opt-out of a trip than you do right now. But.......
Wear Your Mask
This is simple. Wear your mask and avoid crowds as much as you can. Anyone can do it. What's the risk-reward to borrow from Machiavelli's "The Prince"? The potential reward is saving hundreds of thousands of lives and the sanity of the healthcare community with the risk of wearing a piece of fabric and avoiding hanging out in crowds. It's not hard. The risk of the inconvenience is well worth the potential reward.
About the Author
Andy Rupert is a Penn State (B.A. John Curley Center for Sports Journalism 08') and a Southern Miss (M.S. Sport Management 09'). He has spent his whole career working in sports and tourism digital marketing and metrics.