Back in the day, we used to spend our Saturdays in the game thread. If you couldn't be in Kinnick Stadium, or a sports bar somewhere, it was the next best thing. Twitter eventually took over much of our Saturdays as a catch-all college football chat room, and the game threads have been less vital.
Now we're in a global pandemic. There are going to be no fans in Kinnick Stadium when Iowa takes the field next week, none in Ross-Ade this Saturday. Walking into a sports bar on a Saturday morning requires a hazmat suit and a rock-solid health insurance policy. Twitter still exists, obviously, but we'd like to bring back some of that sense of community, so that GIA fans can mingle with GIA fans as easily as possible.
To that end, we're going to try out some things. First up: Our gameday experience is moving to Discord. I'm old now, so I'm not the best source for this, but Discord essentially allows us to set up a real-time chat, with access to gifs and emojis and a platform to upload clips, sound, etc. I don't know how much of that we're going to eventually use, but for now, at least it lets us talk without refreshing constantly or setting up a dedicated Twitter list.
Here's how to get started: Click this link. That should get you to our Discord server, where you can either set up an account (if you're new) or login (if you've used Discord before). If possible, I'd recommend using your GIA username, so that we're not cross-referencing who's who while also trying to add content and LOLZ to the chat. All of this will also be posted Saturday morning, but if you want to get a jump start, you now have the tools to do so.
Now, the usual rules will apply: No misogyny, no racism, no homophobia or xenohobia. And I know it's maybe the most contentious election of our lifetimes, but try to refrain from politics. We can get back to arguing later. For now, let's just take a few hours to appreciate that we have some football without mention of Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
I don't know if this will work. I don't know if we'll get a critical mass of people to talk about the game, or if people will wander off to social media later, or if the whole thing will crash at a critical moment. But I think it's worth a shot to gather a community that hasn't been gathering enough in recent years. We're going to watch some football Saturday. We hope you join us.