Sunday, July 20, 2008

Introducing the Paperless Preview Project

So about this time last year I was enjoying the hell out of one of SMQ's various assessments, probably one detailing the misbegotten likes of FIU, and I thought to myself: This stuff is way, way better than something like Lindy's. Honestly, if you took the best blog previews out there and printed them up fancy-schmancy magazine-style, I'd buy two. And yet it's totally free. What SMQ's got here is a paperless preview magazine, basically.

And that got me thinking: as the summer dragged along and more and more of them came available, wouldn't it be useful if someone compiled all the worthwhile free team previews floating around out there--MSM, blog, community newspaper, wherever--and stuck them on one page for easy reference? Combine the basic, introductory information you get from something like SI's Athlon previews with SMQ's analysis/YouTube finds and even a bit of preseason blogosphere tomfoolery and I think you get something much more dynamic--if not as easy to browse in the john, admittedly--than your standard-issue drugstore preview mag.

So over this weekend I set out to create that page: the Paperless Preview Project. It's living now in the sidebar, with previews for all 120 D-I college footbaw teams from as many as eight different sources for a single school--and of course, that number's only going to grow as the season nears and more blogs get their previews done. (The number of sources, I mean. The number of teams will, hopefully, stay static.) The goal is to update the page weekly for the next two or three weeks; after that, assuming "the word" spreads and there's demand to keep it up-to-date, I'll update a few times a week right up until the season kicks off.

As I said, it's my likely-unattainable goal for the PPP to include every "worthwhile free team preview" out there. But what does "worthwhile" mean? For that matter, what does "team preview" mean when some you're confronted with something like Hey Jenny Slater's preseason "Guest Columnist" breakdowns?

Basically, I want to include any link that I believe either a fan of a) that team or a fan of b) a team that has that team on the schedule would be interested in reading. If a preview is written up in dry, bare-bones prose but provides a certain level of information or a few semi-insightful quotes, that'll work; likewise, a blog preview like the HJS "Guest Columnist" pieces can get by without much (if any) nuts-and-bolts information as long as it is delivered with a maximum amount of what we might call "flair," for lack of a better word. As for where that "certain level" of information lies or what constitutes enough "flair" to be worthwhile ... well, finally, it's my page and I reserve the right to decide if something is or isn't up to snuff. I am, naturally, likely to be much more forgiving with blog previews than MSM stuff, though.

While the PPP's maintenance and editorial decisions might be up to me, this is 100-percent intended to be a collaborative project. For one Auburn Blogger to keep track of every CFB preview worth reading in the whole of cyberspace is, obviously, wholly impossible. But you, the reader, know what previews about your team you've read and enjoyed. You, the blogger, know what previews about your team you've written and would like more people to read.

So I ask you--nay, beseech you--to tell me about them. Leave a link in the comments either here or on the PPP homepage. E-mail me at jerry [at] warblogeagle [dot] com. Assuming there's some amount of substance involved or it doesn't wholly repeat one of the previews already included for said team, it goes in. And while you're at it, tell your friends. (As you can see, I know where to look for some national blog previews and for a handful from the SEC, but I know there's good stuff out there across the rest of the BCS blogosphere--and even the occasional mid-major outpost--I'm missing. Help me out.)

Thanks, and I hope you find it useful.

Oh, one other thing: I know several blogs are previewing their home team across a series of posts, which doesn't really work with the PPP's one-link-a-site format. If there's a single post which links to or recaps the entire series, though--sorta like this one at ATVS--I'll be more than glad to include it.


Truzenzuzex said...

This is a good idea, Jerry. When we get done with ours over at A Sea of Blue, I'll create a master index page that you can link for it.

Great job, great idea.

J.M. said...

You are a football saint!

Orange said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Hinnen said...

I'm going to have a personal crest designed by some British dude with a thick mustache and a monocle, just so it can have a banner that says "football saint" underneath it.

Thanks for the props.