Kickstart Hail To The Victors

Kickstart Hail To The Victors Comment Count

Brian March 21st, 2012 at 2:41 PM

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Hi. You may be aware that for the past four years I've edited a Michigan preview magazine called Hail To The Victors (usually, anyway). It's 120-some pages of photos, previews, analysis, and history that we've been proud of.

Unfortunately, if we're going to make it to year five we're going to need some help. Our publisher went under sometime around January. We have access virtually all of the things we need to continue—the writers, photos, publishing expertise—and plan on taking HTTV independent this summer. The main problem: the up-front costs are daunting.

This is where Kickstarter comes in. If you haven't heard of it, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that operates under two simple rules:

  • anything on it must be a defined creative project
  • you either make it and get all the money or don't and get none of it.

The latter is in place to prevent people from getting half of the money they need to execute a project and finding themselves with a bunch of expectations and not enough capital to meet them.

We have launched a Hail To The Victors kickstarter that can be found here. We are aiming for 20k, which is about 2/3rds of our projected costs and is the level we feel comfortable will not result in massive losses. We have 30 days to raise this money. It is here. Go here.

Alter ego asks questions below.


Is this a donation?

It's more of a preorder. The lowest level gets you a magazine shipped to you for 15 bucks, which is a little less than we project the thing will cost shipped in June. We are not looking for charity here except insofar as me signing something is not worth the extra 15 bucks we've placed on that.

But I just hit up Beveled Guilt on Tuesday!

If you have donated any amount of money since June 1st of last year and would like to turn that into magazines, email me:

  • The email address/paypal username of the donation
  • Your address
  • How many magazines you would like to turn that into (max one per 15 dollars donated)

While this won't help us breach our 20k minimum, assuming we do hit it we will turn your donation from pure charity into purchase.

What do the higher levels get me?

Details are on the Kickstarter site. There are three main attractions past the pure preorder: various levels of autographing, a sponsor page in the finished product, and an exclusive Brian photobomb t-shirt. We are still working on a final product but this is the idea:

brian-photobomb preview2

You have no idea the personal sacrifice this t-shirt represents. There's a sentence above in which I refer to myself in the third person, fergodsakes. (Also if you hate it you can just get another mgoshirt.)

Also for 10,000 dollars I will show up at a child's birthday party in a Terrelle Pryor jersey. That costs five figures easy. Please no one get this.

Okay, so I signed up for whatever level of support I wanted to. What now?

Since the thing doesn't fund unless it funds fully, this would be a situation in which it would behoove you to gently notify your friends that they can help make this thing exist.

UPDATE: what happens if the project does not fund?

Nobody is charged until the 30 days elapses; if by that point the kickstarter has not made it no one gets charged.


Unverified Voracity Says Happy Birthday, Moppet

Unverified Voracity Says Happy Birthday, Moppet Comment Count

Brian June 13th, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Legacy. This is up there with having Denard sign your head or wearing a Tom Hammond tie to school:

That is MGoUser11's artist's impression of OSU "legacy*" jerseys and it is spectacular. Must be nice to have Halloween taken care of for the rest of your college career.

*[grumble grumble abuse of the language by marketers grumble.]

A momentous event. Ohio State's situation, already pushing known boundaries of realness, just broke through into uncharted territory with the return of Michigan ur-blogger iBlog for Cookies. Roused from a nearly two-year absence, Vijay lays out the case for trouble:

the OSU fan belief that the school's compliance department is top notch is non-starter at this point. We have found out that they weren't monitoring athlete's vehicles, that they never really investigated Terrelle Pryor's loaner cars, that they never looked into Aaron Kniffin's relationships with players, that they never acted on information about Dennis Talbott, et al. …

The second line of defense, that this is all about Jim Tressel and 5 players, is also a non-starter, as this now appears to involve the compliance office and at least one assistant coach (one of the people who was notified directly about NCAA violations involving Talbott in 2009).

A third line of defense, or deflection, is the belief of some Ohio State fans that no program could withstand the scrutiny they have been subjected to without such problems surfacing. But a widely believed to be extremely corrupt Southern Cal program was subjected to just such scrutiny, and 3 major violations were found (2 involving Reggie Bush, one involving basketball player OJ Mayo). Michigan faced a hostile local media that first spent months investigating the academics of our football program (and found no academic fraud, no eligibility problems and no NCAA violations), and then our practice habits. Combined with the scrutiny of the NCAA, they turned up evidence of practices that ran 15 minutes over and of Quality Control assistant coaches exceeding their allowed job descriptions.

No scandals. No players suspended. No coaches forced to resign. No covers of Sports Illustrated.

There is plenty more; IBFC's strength was always laying out the facts in pursuit of a conclusion inescapable by the end of the post.

Terrelle Pryor DRUNKchildren-birthday-party

yeah, this is happening for free

Oh and that Talbott thing. So when it came about that Pryor was playing golf with the memorabilia dude I was kind of like "bah, who cares," but out of that story comes this image:

As gifts go, walking into your young son's birthday party in Columbus, Ohio, with the star quarterback of the Ohio State football team and a linebacker is the stuff of dreams. Getting that quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, at the birthday party two years in a row with a teammate seems almost incomprehensible.

Yet there was Pryor in successive December parties with different teammates for Dennis J. Talbott's son -- sights that left even partygoers wondering about what they were seeing.

"We all thought it was crazy," said one 2010 partygoer who spoke to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on the condition of anonymity. "It was a Saturday night, and I remember sitting there watching them watch the SEC championship game [on TV]."

Terrelle Pryor. At a kid's birthday party. With some guy who drives around in a car with a "TPRYOR" license plate. Eating cake. Playing pin the tail on the donkey. Signing stuff. Listening to the Wiggles.

That in and of itself is iron-clad proof Talbott (not either of those Talbotts) was paying Pryor. Terrelle Pryor does not go to children's birthday parties for free. If anything, the 40k cited by ESPN is low. Terrelle Pryor wearing a festive hat is only happening for low six digits. That's the price—children's birthday parties are awful.

The rest of that OTL story is the usual tale of a creepy middle-aged guy who couldn't stay enrolled at OSU with massive tax debt ingratiating himself with Ohio State football players thanks to nothing more than a sizeable quantity of derring-do (according to him) and fat stacks of cash (according to everyone else). This one has some added flair: Talbott once told the Plain Dealer he'd spent five years in the minors as pitching prospect, and a business rival actually fired this quote off:

"I have been waiting 20 years for somebody to get him," Godwin said of Talbott. "I am a born-again Christian and wish no ill will. I just want him to stop hurting people."

As IBFC alludes to above, the way it makes OSU's situation worse is it adds another data point to the pile of Buckeye compliance aintgiveadamn and implicates another OSU coach, the unnamed assistant who concerned golf club employees talked to about Pryor's free rounds. If you want the whole picture I'll again refer you to IBFC but it's even harder to see OSU not getting the hammer after the latest bit.

This isn't even hard for reporters. They are heading down to Columbus and people are falling out of helicopters screaming about NCAA violations. They must feel like a guy who sits down at a poker table with a 20 grand minimum buy-in and finds the rest of the table arguing about whether a flush beats a straight. When the Free Press launched the Jihad they had to resort to misrepresenting stuff freshmen said and anonymous quotes from people who had no idea what the rules were, and follow-up stories were nonexistent. This is a feeding frenzy.


blah, blah, blah. If the rules are so utterly ridiculous and are ignored by almost everyone, then when you investigate any successful organization you will find minor errors. YOu act like Tressel is the devil or something. He was not actively endorsing this type of activity but you want to feed him to the wolves just the same. How do you follow him around a golf course even if you do know who he is playing with is an evil type? He does have to coach all the other kids plus teach classes, run practices, and I am sure many other things. I am sure he would have been awake 24/7 he would have dealt with it. Just stop making a hard working, successful American out to be something that is not warranted.


Jersey take. I retweeted some guy who mentioned that Adidas's stripe fetish made it awfully convenient that Michigan deployed "legacy" jerseys that looked nothing like anything anyone has ever worn at M but did have stripes out the wazoo. (Also stripey: the Big Chill jersey, but at least that had a breathtakingly ugly historical precedent.) Another guy said "give it a rest," so maybe this is a played out topic. The other option is the guy doesn't know how twitter works—who's following who, buddy?

In any case, the HSR has a structurally ambivalent take. The thing that worries me:

Pro: It's just one game.

Con: Unless the jerseys sell like crazy, in which case it becomes another jersey next year, and so on and so forth. I wonder if in 2012, it will be a retro Schembechler era white jersey for the game at Notre Dame or the game against Alabama.

Pro: Wait, that would be cool.

Con: Yeah, that's the problem. You let your guard down on one thing, and the next thing you know, maize jerseys.

Why would this stop? Ohio State is doing this pro combat thing every year now, and always for the Michigan game. We've taken the first step down a slippery clownslope. "It's not that bad" is the first move towards Idiocracy Stadium.

If only people made rational decisions. The Bylaw Blog suggests the Big Ten get even more militantly anti-oversigning in their own conference so they can tell recruits they won't get cut:

This disconnect between theory and practice is better legislated at the conference level. Far from ensuring the SEC maintains a competitive advantage, it offers a chance for conferences to create their own competitive advantages. While some may call it negative recruiting, there’s nothing morally wrong or impermissible about informing prospects and their parents/guardians that one conference offers more protections to student-athletes than another.

If that idea gained traction, it could turn around the race to the bottom. Imagine if conferences got creative:

  • A rule that allowed for an appeal to the conference office when a scholarship is cancelled or not renewed.
  • A rule requiring conference schools to renew scholarships within the first week of school, almost creating two-year scholarships.
  • A rule limiting the ability of conference schools to refuse permission to contact other schools under certain conditions

If every change is quickly reduced to a national rule, there is no way for conferences to differentiate themselves.

Well, for one, competitive advantage is just one part of why oversigning is annoying/outrageous. Turning the Big Ten into the land of the ironclad offer may help swing a recruit here and there but it doesn't do much to prevent "nefarious" things from happening. For two, for every hockey player who picks college there are four third-round-or-worse draft picks plying their trade in the OHL, unlikely to make the NHL or access the nebulous scholarship packages offered therein (approximately a quarter of OHL players actually use any portion of those packages). Kids and families striving for the brass ring often don't make contingency plans because It Can't Happen To Them. The impact of the policies above would be minimal on the recruiting trail.

Stonum. Stonum got sentenced for his second DUI. He's won:

  • two years probation
  • a one-year suspended sentence
  • mandatory enrollment in a "strict sobriety program"
  • a condescending but justified lecture from the judge

The suspended license violation he picked up is dropped if he completes the sobriety program, which includes daily breathalyzer tests. I'd guess that if Stonum doesn't follow every letter of the court decree (he spent three days in jail last summer for not doing so) he's gone; if he does manage to not slip up before fall the ball will be in Hoke's court. He and Michael Floyd can have a chagrin-off.

Etc.: UMHoops scouts Michigan's elite camp. Red at one of those alumni things. Brian Kelly can coach a bit. I have no idea if this SBB post means anything but it's long and may mean OSU is lying about something else, or just that Brooks is confused, or that Ohio State can't figure out what's going on in their own department. Via Eleven Warriors, yes that's a sweatervest on a crucifix. Way to go, cooler poopers.