Back in the days at BHGP, in run-up to the 2008 season, we spent a week yelling at each other about the Everson/Satterfield allegations and Iowa's response. It was an exhausting week, one where I didn't much want to open the site and read the comments, let alone write posts. It was also in the midst of an election, where everyone was on edge and wanted to debate football-adjacent issues as a proxy for the political battle on television every night. We had been doing this for about a year at that point, and I thought we might be done before our second football season started.
And then, a sign from the gods that we were supposed to keep doing this: Riley Reiff got arrested while running half-naked through the Ped Mall. It probably sucked for Riley, but it was just what we needed. Sometimes the news isn't fun, and we always have tried to cover that the best we can. But this is supposed to be fun for us, and for you, and we needed that moment of hilarity to reset things.
You might have noticed things were a bit quiet around here this summer. This wasn't intentional. We didn't have a staff meeting where we all agreed to not write much for a couple of months, but the ethos of this site remains largely the same as it has since 2008: It's a hobby for us. It's supposed to be fun. And in the midst of a global pandemic, while we, like many of you, were trying to work at our actual jobs, and watch our kids, and provide some sort of structure and education for them, and basically stay somewhere north of insanity, there wasn't much room for hobbies. Personally, I was working what amounted to half-days and watching my kids for the other half; my usual late-night GIA-writing time became late-night work email catch-up time.
The news we did have -- the inevitable cancelation of the football season and the allegations of racial bias in the football program -- wasn't great for a site that's supposed to be fun. Increasingly, the football-related news became a proxy for an exceptionally divisive election this November. Previewing a football season that wasn't going to be played felt like turning a blind eye to the news outside. As for the racial bias allegations, we believed that the last thing this site should be doing at that moment was adding a mountain of commentary from some white dudes to those allegations. There were plenty of other people doing that, and none of it felt particularly necessary. As far as we're concerned, it was, and remains, a time to listen. I know some of you wanted us to say more. I know some of you were angry about that. I read the emails.
We haven't been blessed with Riley Reiff running half-naked through the Ped Mall yet this fall (though if someone wants to do that, we'd be greatly appreciative). But finally, at last, we do have football in a mere six days. That's going to have to be good enough.
So we're back.
You may have noticed the first few position previews go up the last couple of weeks. We'll finish those up this week. We'll do some of our usual preseason stuff. I will read Kirk Ferentz press conference transcripts, despite their terrible effects on my mortal soul, for your brief pleasure (but I swear this is the last season I do this).
We're also going to try to bring back some of the sense of community here. Since we're all stuck at home, we're going to take a shot at some gameday stuff, like hanging out with you guys in real-time through Discord, instead of scrolling Twitter or refreshing the game thread. I'll have more about this Thursday, once I have had a chance to figure out what Discord is. It might take some time to gain critical mass, but hopefully it becomes something fun for all of us on Saturdays.
One bit of housekeeping: If you signed up for an account in the last few weeks and didn't get your confirmation, that's a glitch in our monitoring system. Email me at [email protected] and I'll get you activated. Also, if you're interested in writing for Go Iowa Awesome, we can always use some new viewpoints and voices. Feel free to reach out.
Not everything is going to be the same. Frankly, it's never been more difficult to do what we've done for the last fifteen years. Everyone who writes this site is living a markedly different life than we were when this site started in 2015, let alone when we all started blogging. We'll do our best to cover the news of the day, but this site has never been a journalistic entity. We're not journalists. We've notoriously never asked for a press pass, and we have been told we'll never get one (something about writing mean things about a certain someone, or so we've been told). If we got a press pass, we wouldn't know who to send to any of these events. We can link to the actual reporters, and we will where we can, but even if I had time to read all the newspapers and blog posts every day to give you guys the news, I can't afford all the paywalls that come with them. Them's the breaks in 2020. We'll have our usual commentary and analysis with a side of LOLZ. That's what we did. That's what we'll keep trying to do.
No paywalls here, of course. We'll be free or we'll quit. Our ads pay for the pretty photos at the top of our posts, occasionally provide us some beer money, and usually do little more. We have hats, though, and some shirts. If you made it all the way to the end of this post and are still awake, I'll give you free shipping on any purchase at the GIA Shop with promo code "GASBAG".
David Lee Roth once went to Kinnick.
David Lee Roth at Kinnick Stadium (Sept. 13, 1986 ... he played in Ames that night).— Sam Paxton (@SamPaxton_) October 18, 2020
Oh ... and it was Iowa 43, Iowa State 7. Mark Vlasic lit them boys up. pic.twitter.com/csKTtrwhNs
Let's have fun like that. Football is back. We're back with it. Go Iowa Awesome.