Football is back for like the fifteenth time in the last two months, and yet here I am, relieved and apprehensive all over again. Tonight, sometime after a sponsored kickoff or a shoehorned-in product placement around 7:00pm CT, Illinois and Wisconsin will begin the 2020 Big Ten football season.
I’m not going to sum it up any better than Thump did in Infographics, so here are his thoughts:
It just feels like everything’s falling apart. I’m isolated, and I’ve been isolated from many of my friends and family since moving out to Michigan. Now I’m even more isolated as my small office is staggering occupancy, I can’t play music anywhere in public anymore, I can’t go to events with lots of people, and the ravages of time have been taking their toll on the online communities that have supplemented my social life in the loneliness of 21st-century adulthood.
I don’t have it in me to pretend like BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK. It’s not just something I casually view on TV sometimes. It’s a cultural thing; it’s an identity. Perhaps I’ve placed too much importance on it, but I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way.
Tonight we embrace those feelings of cognitive dissonance, or internal conflict, or detached bemusement again. It’s time for Big Ten football:
You know I’m gonna watch, and so are you.
Here’s where I thank you all, once again, for being a part of the Off Tackle Empire community. It’s what we are, what we always have been, and what we’ll continue to be as long as I’m nominally running the show here: a place that’s not breaking news—unless it’s Serious Topics like PJ Fleck going bald A WHOLE MONTH before any journalists picked it up—but that seeks to give you a place to talk about Big Ten football with people just like you. Through all the pivots to video, pivots to Facebook, pivots to SEO and clicks and real journalism and bad commenting systems and screwy changes, what has made Off Tackle Empire great and will continue to make it great are, to borrow from PBS, viewers like you.
So thank you. Here’s to another Big Ten football season, if you might—as I certainly do—feel a little queasy at the very idea of it happening.
Previews, Picks, and Contests
Speaking of community, want to stay involved in all the various pick’ems and contests and general shenanigans here at OTE? Here’s a sampling of what we’ve brought you this week:
Be sure to enter the Survivor Pool before kickoff TONIGHT, leave ALL your picks on our Weekly Predictions piece, project the final finish of the Big Ten here, and get your full previews in our B1G 2020 series.
One B1G game tonight, but the action starts out in Boca Raton or Coral Gardens or Miami proper—I can never remember—at 6pm. Join us in the gamethread below!
7pm | BTN | wisc -20 | O/U 51.5
“Writers’” Consensus: wisconsin wins, Illinois covers
They Not So B1G
6pm | ESPN3 | FIU -10.5 | O/U 57.5
6:30pm | ESPN | Tulsa -11.5 | O/U 50
7pm | CBSSN | UL -2.5 | O/U 50.5
Dead Read says there are rules:
1) No pirated streams or discussion about pirated streams.
2) Don’t be a jackass.
3) Have fun.
4) Please be sensible with image sizes.
Enjoy the games.
How do you pronounce "Dead Read" in your head:
This poll is closed
"deed" "reed" "heed"
man, the english language sucks