With expansion news and leaks accelerating on a daily basis, I couldn't have picked a worse time to pick up a large project, but that's exactly what's kept my head down the last couple of months as I've been working with the crew from Maple Street Press putting the finishing touches on The Buckeye Battle Cry 2010. Luckily, the rest of Team 11W stepped up and and the magazine has received the proper amount of love.
The 128-page annual will be available at bookstores and other fine retailers across Ohio in mid-July, but you can pre-order it now to be sure it's in your hands well before camp resumes in early August. The ad-free format enabled us to tackle all of the key issues facing the 2010 Buckeyes and I think we've lined up a pretty stellar group of contributors in addition to your friends at Eleven Warriors:
- Doug Lesmerises from the Plain Dealer
- Matt Markey of the Toledo Blade
- Dave Biddle and Ramzy Nasrallah of Bucknuts
- Brandon Castel and Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone
- Todd Wessell, author The One and Only: Chic Harley
- Hawkeye State of Black Heart Gold Pants, Vico from Our Honor Defend, Sam from We Once Had Tempe, Boulder from Buckeye Football Analysis, and the Thurmans from The Silver Bullet
It's been an amazing process -- not in a million years did I think I'd ever be editing a magazine with my 5th-grade grasp on the English language -- but it's also been very rewarding. If you like the articles half as much as I do, you're going to be in for a treat. So, yeah, pre-order one for every member of your family and we'll try to talk Alex into doing a book-signing at the next 11W tailgate.
Blogs With Balls 3 (or drinking with other bloggers)
Over the weekend, the third installment of Blogs With Balls was held in Chicago and besides being a great excuse to get to know some of our frenemies over rounds of adult beverages, also served as a great way for bloggers to share best-practices and other tips for success with each other. The Captain Morgan Club at Wrigley was the venue and thanks to meeting up with my fellow college football bloggers Friday night at a bar that was selling $3 Chimay (!!), I arrived bright and early with one of the worst hangovers of my entire life on the day of the conference. Luckily I wasn't alone -- Spencer Hall from EDSBS, MGoBlog's Brian Cook and the boys from BHGP all streamed in after me, in similar shape.
What makes the event really interesting (besides the verbal jousting between Spencer and The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre over the latter's eagerness to publish unfounded rumors), is what I believe to be the world's first icing in a conference setting. Nearing the end of the session Spencer moderated, I submitted the following question:
This one is more for Spencer. I was wondering if this was the first time he's been iced in the city of Chicago.
I passed the dreaded drink up and, to his credit, he consumed the warm Ice with a quickness before getting a blast off about how it was the first time a Buckeye had ever been faster than a Gator. Yes, you beat us on the field, but we will ice you three years later. Never forget.
If you're so inclined, Justin.tv has video online from the event. Be sure to check out Brian's Kim Jong-il moment.
And Finally, Some Expansion Talk
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors met at league offices in Park Ridge and though rumors of Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick's attendance later proved false (though he may have dialed-in via conference call), Gordon Gee said discussions were "substantive". There is clearly more of a sense of urgency now after the Pac-10/Big 12 news hit last week and ESPN's Rittenberg has done a great job of wrapping the weekend up. Right now, there are three things that are somewhat amusing to me:
- When expansion talk started last December, there was a school of thought that believed the conference might not expand at all. There's about a 2% chance of that happening now. I only hope the Big Ten isn't forced to settle for teams they wouldn't have had to settle for previous to the Pac-10 kick-starting things from their end. And you know Mike Slive isn't going to wait too much longer in the SEC.
- I know the press likes to do press-like things like confirm truths with quotes, but the news of the Big Ten accelerating their process was out on Friday when the Dispatch published emails between Gee and Delany. I'm not sure how much clearer Delany's "We are fast tracking it..." could have been.
- Speaking of the emails, the Plain Dealer has graciously put them online for us (PDF) and Delany is evidently so gangster, he has two emails (office and mobile) and has a personal assistant (automated or not) forward incoming and outgoing mail between the accounts. Maybe it's an infosec policy for guys likely to get their mail subpoenaed or hit up with an FOI request, but wow.
I Lied, There is One More Final Item
The Cavaliers are reportedly making a run at Tom Izzo. Will Izzo bite, and if so, would that be enough to keep LeBron/get the team over the hump?