HOUSTON -- Win or lose, this is it. Today, April 4, is the 154th and final day of The Mid-Majority's Season 7. As of this writing, the ultimate final result remains unknown. We do know two things: there is a basketball game tonight at 9:23 p.m. ET, Butler will fight hard for all of us and each of us, and the Epilogue is coming.
One of the traditional purposes of the Epilogue is to provide an accounting of the past five months, but we have moved much of that off. The closing piece will feature over 9,000 words in English, and would be many more if we'd shoehorned our yearly recalibration of the financial Red Line
and the list of all the thank-you friends who made this all so probable.
And what exactly did you enable?
Season 7 began with a Prologue
about the eight pixel difference between Season 6 ending in a win or a loss. We considered the history of this college basketball blogosphere thing
, feared the Robocalypse
, considered alternate timelines
and Pixelvision Law
. We revisited the Crown Plaza Indianapolis Airport and found our capital to have been transformed into Heartbreak City
. We drew circles
. We read French literature.
And that was just November.
We looked back on a time when we wondered why we were doing this
. We talked about the why of "we."
We tried to recapture moments,
and you thought Illinois State had the best
. The CPIA nearly lost a star
. We invented a new mid-major Mexican delicacy
. We lunchbanged some Casey's. We left a game early. We went to a lot of games, but acknowledged that this was the Last One Hundred and introduced the idea of 800.
Towards the end of 2010, we got caught in a blizzard. We noticed that something was up with the CAA and wondered how good the "echo chamber" teams were. Then, conference season started. We celebrated Football Independence Day. We went back in time with mid-major smac rap. Centenary kept losing. National Pixelvision Day 2 won the internet.
And, of course, there was our annual game of Last Man. And the ALL CAPS GAME.
Centenary finally won. Then, conference tournaments, and the regular season Stardates were over. Champions were crowned.
In mid-March, the NCAA bracket was released. In retrospect, As-You-Go and Don't Know Mind really were the ways to go. From the inaugural First Four in Dayton, to the Rounds of 64 and 32 in Cleveland and Chicago, we were there. We went to San Antonio and New Orleans, and were blessed with two Final Four qualifiers: Butler and VCU. Then we had to drive back to New England, 2,200 miles, with the help of a little engine that could.
VCU was team together and Butler was beautiful, and each had passionate fans, but only one could advance to the National Championship. It was Butler, again, and their cool coach.
It's been an amazing ride, and I am so blessed and thankful to have been able to share it with you.
We have also yet to deal with the other part of the TMM Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012, which is the part about the future.
Season 8 will begin on November 1, 2011. It will not be like Season 7, for reasons that will be discussed in greater length tomorrow. The short version (which you already knew) is that there will be no travel to subsidize, and so Season 8 Memberships will not cost anything beyond the cost of the products themselves. This is, in short, offering membership packages for the sake of offering membership packages.
The most important part of the bundle will be "Hard Promises," a collection of road stories from the last seven years by yours truly. This is a limited run and niche-interest book (read: self-published), and your membership money will go to production costs: making the book look really nice with lots of photos. "Hard Promises" will be a souvenir for all those who were along for the ride, and will be shipped before the season begins in November.
Also in the package is the Season 8 Bally Club Card (with the updated list of the Other 24 teams on the back), a combination 2012 calendar/As-You-Go Bracket, and 12 months of Basketball State access. And, as Steve Jobs likes to say, "wait, there's more..."
Back in early March, we ran a limited-time offer where we threw in a Team Ballz after a kind reader-supporter tipped us off to an eBay auction for a palette of four-inch plush basketballs. There were 20 available, and they disappeared within a few hours. After the "publicity" that giveaway received, several other reader-supporters stepped forward with their own sources of stuffed basketballs. We have checked some of these out, and are pleased with the construction and quality. And so on Tuesday, we are adding another item to the Season 8 Membership Package: a Team Ballz.
We want to get Ballz in the hands of as many Hoops Nation residents as possible. And this Ballz news is so explosive, so amazing, that we have news we can only print in white text to avoid a full-scale riot, so that you'll have to highlight it with your mouse.
Two years ago, we swore that there will never be another numbered Bally. We will stick to that. But we will not say anything about any rules or regulations if you happen to request a Pacific Tigers Ballz, the colors of which happen to be black on orange. (The short request and hashtag for this is #tigerballz.)
Once again, thank you for your ongoing support of The Mid-Majority. This site exists because you want it to; and next season, your participation will be valued more than ever.
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