Let's talk about firing coaches and message board wars
Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
Thanks for your patience everybody. I'm finally back from vacation and I'm juuuuust about done catching up on all the zillion emails I missed while I was hiking in the woods of Southern Illinois. I have a few housekeeping notes to hit before the newsletter #content:
1) I've mentioned this a few times, but in case you missed it, I am sunsetting new subscriber access to the Extra Points Discord Server, effective August 1st. Anybody who signs up for a paid subscription before August 1 can still join, and existing accounts will remain active, but I won't onboard any new users after August 1. I encourage readers to take advantage of our comment section if they want to comment on the stories. If you REALLY want Discord access, I recommend you upgrade to a paid sub before Monday.
2) I will be attending Big Ten Volleyball Media Days right here in Chicago next Monday and Tuesday. I've never covered a Volleyball Media Days event before, and am excited to learn more from Big Ten coaches and athletes. If you have questions you'd like me to ask, drop me a line! I'll have some dispatches early next week.
3) I have not forgotten about the Envelopes of Cash Tournament for paid EP subscribers! We had to move a few things around to accommodate user schedules, but look for an announcement in your inboxes very soon.
Okay! Let's get to it!
Let's talk about The Hot Seat, a college football book unlike any I've ever read before.
Earlier this week, I chatted with internet friend Ben Mathis-Lilley about his new book, The Hot Seat: A Year of Outrage, Pride, and Occasional Games of College Football. You can watch the full episode below, or anywhere you get your podcasts:
I've read a lot of books about college football. I have a small library in my office full of books on specific teams, specific eras, specific scandals, and all sorts of little niches in the sport's long and sometimes stupid history. I've never read a book quite like Ben's.
That's a compliment. I mean this in the best way possible...this is a very Online book. It's a very Twitter book, a very message board-oriented book...but one written with empathy, not disdain, towards those with 247 Subscriptions.
Ben is a Michigan fan, and the core focus of the book is the 'hot seat' surrounding Jim Harbaugh last season, a year that actually turned out to be pretty good for the Michigan program. It's just not a college football obsession explainer for say, the Slate crowd that isn't terminally online in college football Twitter, but an examination about why certain fanbases have acquired a certain level of internet brain disease about their programs and coaches, and what these teams actually say about ourselves.
It's also really, really funny. And that's high praise, because I'd like to pretend that the last half of Michigan's season was inexplicably canceled due to alien invasion or something.
I think you'll enjoy our conversation about 'Jim Harbaugh....public intellectual?", college athlete identity and what it means to be a Michigan Man, the book writing process, and more.
You can make sure you get every episode of Going For Two by watching on Youtube or subscribing anywhere you get podcasts.
Here's what else we published this week
I was deep in the woods most of the week, mostly without WiFi, but I did prewrite some stories and publish some other Extra Points dispatches you might have missed.
I tried to get into the weeds about what the CFPA / Penn State announcement actually mean, why it wasn't about unionization, and why those distinctions matter. Active activism takes many forms and under many umbrellas, and the details matter quite a bit, because not every organization can extract concessions or operate the same way.
I wrote about what I'm hearing on the conference realignment front in New England, with updates on the thinking of the MEAC, NEC and various D-II programs. I also try to address why a D-II school that region might want to reclassify, even though this might be the craziest time to try and reclassify in decades.
I also dug into the huge Sportico story on Kevin Warren and the Big Ten, and what we can learn about organizational leadership, or even what it means to be a good conference commissioner.
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I also have another big announcement that I can't wait to share with everybody early next week, so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading everybody. I'm back on the saddle, makin' phone calls, filin' FOIAs, planning travel, and have some more original reporting I'm excited to share next week.
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