How This Week Will Go
This was the last open weekend before the season. And the football season will roll directly into basketball season. So I'll basically next see my wife in early April after the Final Four. She's excited for me, and I'm excited for me, but before the weeks turn to months and I'm lost in Illini-land, we took one weekend away in Michigan. Quick note: before you book a quaint cabin with in Michigan with no heat in mid-October, check the weather.
Friday night, I was battling my brain. Like, it was an audible conversation.
"The weekend before the preview comes out is usually 24 hours of writing - you're really going to just toss that in the trash? You have subscribers now."
"True, but there has to be balance. I know my limits, and even I know when I need a weekend away."
"But you basically just did six months 'away'. It's time to buckle down and get everything done."
"Yes, and that will start on Monday, but for now, it's time to find a 24-hour WalMart so we can buy some extra blankets."
We did find extra blankets. And we had a blast. And I was able to turn my brain off. Even the part screaming "this means the preview will be shorter". I'm accepting it - the preview will be shorter this year. There's less in my brain (so much of the preview comes out of things I've seen at training camp, and training camp was closed this year), so there's less to put down. I've been struggling with it while writing parts of it, and I'm just at the point where I'm saying "it will be shorter" and moving on.
Since the preview usually comes out the Monday of game week, and it won't be out until tomorrow, I figure I should write something for your check-the-site-daily people to explain how this week will go. I still have 18 Ninety Illini posts to write (remember, after TreSean Smith failed to show, I didn't have any more fill-in players so I'm skipping #13 like a hotel floor) - perhaps the best thing to do is just walk you though the moments between now and Wisconsin kickoff. If you're new to the site, absolutely none of this will make sense. If you've been around for 12 years, here's everything you're wanting to know:
- The Preview will be tomorrow (Tuesday 10/20). It's a PDF now. If you're an Orange Tier or Seventeen Club subscriber, it will arrive in your email. If you're not an Orange/17 subscriber, it will available for sale on the site. Cost: $10. Target: noon tomorrow.
- The eighteen 90 Illini posts will all be non-featured posts, meaning they won't show up in the top four posts at the top of the front page. So if you're looking for the new ones there, look to the long list of posts below the big photos at the top. Or, as always, use the Forum tab to see all of the posts. That's basically the archive of every post back to 2009.
- Since I'm finishing the preview today, this week's Slapdash newsletter won't go out until Wednesday. Again, that's just Orange Tier and Seventeen Club subscribers, so if you don't know what I'm talking about, that's OK. For Blue Tier subscribers (and non-subscribers), keep on keepin' on.
- Craig Has The Scout will go up on Thursday, as will Those Were The Days.
- Because it's a Friday game, Stream Of Consciousness will go up Thursday night instead of the normal Friday night.
If you don't know what I'm talking about with all of this "Orange Tier and Seventeen Club" stuff, this is my job now and I work for you guys. There's two main tiers to subscriptions (plus a third tier for supporters) - all of it is explained in this post and the subscriptions are available here: IlliniBoard Subscriptions. There's going to be C O N T E N T the next six months so you'll probably want at least a blue subscription. If you've never subscribed before, the first thing is to register for an IlliniBoard username (the "Register" link at the top right). And then the second step is to go to that Subscriptions page I just linked and pick a subscription tier. If you have any issues, email me at email@example.com.
One other thing on my list: I need to get the Slack invites to the latest round of Orange Tier subscribers. If you don't know what THAT is, for Orange/17 subscribers we have a private Slack channel where we talk all things Illini. Mostly, it's a place where I can interact with the people who are making this possible for me. Any question you have - ask me there.
OK one more "other thing" that I can broadcast to everyone yet will only matter to a few: I finally have a delivery date on the Seventeen Club shirts: November 6th (which is somehow not next Friday but the following). Since I'm acting as the warehouse for those, my wife and I will spend the weekend of November 7th & 8th celebrating the win over Minnesota while also stuffing envelopes with shirts and mailing them your way. (And before you ask, yes, I first attempted to have the shirts sent from the printer to the recipients. It's a really long story as to why that didn't happen. I have to say these things because if I don't five of you will be very nice and send me emails saying "Robert you know you can just use a service like TeeSpring and have shirts delivered right to people's doors" and I'd be all LONG STORY.)
That's it. You're all caught up. I'm off to write nonstop Preview and 90i posts for the next four days. And then, finally, football.