2022 IlliniBoard Football Preview
First off, kudos to David Craan for that photo. Doesn't even look real. Looks like some kind of edit. But it's real.
That photo comes from a folder of photos that the school makes available to the media. Because we're not really allowed at practice very much, we can't get many photos to use in articles. So they provide some. And that photo was in the folder yesterday. Really cool. (Also, are we going to run onto the field through orange smoke this year? Because I think we might run onto the field through orange smoke.)
OK, so the preview is finished. And I'm as mentally exhausted as I've ever been. I think I might now understand what "some men just want to watch the world burn" means.
First I posted the PDF of the preview on the Slack channel because the people with access to the Slack are the people who get access to the previews for free. Then I emailed it to all subscribers who get the previews as part of their subscription. A belt-and-suspenders kind of thing where I make sure that everyone who is supposed to get it, gets it. The only thing left to do: put it up for sale for any non-subscribers who want to purchase it for $10.
But here's the thing. I think there's a glitch with the payment system. I know there's a glitch with some of the renewals (working on it). But I'm not sure if the glitch carries over to "here, let me pay $10 for the preview". There might be some way to test it, but I can't figure it out right now. So maybe I'll just... put the preview out there and see if it works. And then go to bed. And then either wake up to the payment system working or... the world burning.
Brumby says it's probably related to Stripe (the payment system we use) having about a four-hour crash today. So maybe that's fixed so we're fixed. But maybe not. Maybe I press this button over here and... nothing happens.
Normally I would face that scenario and triple-check things for two days before publishing. But I think tonight I'm in a "watch the world burn" mood. Or maybe just reckless. Basically, I just want to push the button and go to bed.
Here's the funny thing about the 2022 preview. I start out with a preamble explaining that I'm doing things differently this year. It won't be as long as before. I'm trying to increase the "that was enjoyable to read" and decrease the "that was a lot of information". When I wrote that part, I was expecting to reduce the preview down to maybe 12,000 words this year. Cut it in half.
And then I finished and it was 20,203 words.
I feel really good about the words. There's less information in this than, say, the 27,000-word preview I wrote a few years ago. But I feel like these are the best preview words I've written. The most entertaining words. Of course, that just might be my fried brain as well.
Let's just get to it. The next page will have a link to the preview. Subscribers who are logged in should be able to go straight to the preview (and if you can't, it's in your email inbox). Non-subscribers should be able to follow the link to get to a payment page. Pay $10 and then you can download the preview.
Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. If it doesn't work to the tune of "hey Robert, I paid $10 and couldn't access it", I can send it directly to you. Just email me at robert at Illiniboard dot com. If it doesn't work because no payments will process, well, I'll work on figuring that out in the morning.
Follow this link to (probably) get to the preview. And enjoy.