Nov 30 / Todd

Open Letter from JMUSB

We can’t believe how legit this looks either.

Editor’s Note: Hope you’re ready for some earnestness preceding a pitch. You can skip the pitch if you want, and of course you can mock the earnestness, but we love y’all no matter what. Here’s the link up front if you don’t care about all this and just want to support with a cool shirt.

Dear JMSUB Land,

In the entire existence of this site that we started back in 2009, when we’ve addressed our “readers/fans/listeners,” we’ve often made self-deprecating jokes about how there are only eighteen of you and we can’t even believe that number is so high cause we don’t have that many immediate family members. And that sense of amazement that people support us at all remains the case. But we are proud, and humbled (can you be both at the same time?), and mostly honored to say that our small corner of JMU Nation has grown little by little over the years to the point where we’ve almost gone legit. Seriously, we got “a major award” of the leg-lamp variety and everything. And the people we’ve met through the years thanks to this are the absolutely unexpected highlight of this whole thing. Like so many others who root even more passionately fer the Dukes, bud, we’ve been fortunate enough to make real friends through this community and that means more than anything. No doubt it’s a huge reason we’ve kept at it.

The snark and the independent-yet-rational-and-mostly-supportive lens we always tried to bring to our coverage of Dukes-related items will never change. Oh yeah, and we both have day jobs that have become careers we guess and we’re never going pro with this – not to mention we’ll never be able to compete with the great real pros actually doing this full-time these days.

We’ve never “sold” ads or tried to “monetize” our site because we never wanted to feel pressure to do something that we loved on someone else’s schedule. When Rob’s family was blessed with his sons, he didn’t want to worry about writing posts during those sleep-deprived first few weeks. When I moved to North Carolina and needed to get my feet under me, I felt the same. We love the Dukes and we love that we’ve stayed such great friends over two decades thanks in large part to this dorky hobby, but we always wanted it to be our own, not someone else’s. That remains the same. For a long time, this actual landing page looked like an ancient relic without banner ads running constantly and side notes popping up all the time. Now we like to think it’s come all the way back around to actually looking fairly fresh and clean and we like to think it’s a place fellow Dukes know they can come to get away from the vitriol of the rest of the interwebs and find a little nugget of pure rootin’ a few times a week.

But we’d be lying if we said our energy and perseverance hadn’t flagged a bit the last couple of years (we feel your pain Purple Wave). This summer, however, when we decided after a couple years of saying “soon” to see if we could launch a podcast (which you can subscribe to and rate in Bumpers or on Apple Podcasts under “JMUSB Season 1”), we never dreamed it would entirely refill our tank for this whole endeavor. And boy has it ever! Interacting with people at games and online now is more fun than ever even if half the people I meet tailgating know of my love for Party in the U.S.A. before we’re introduced. All that said, self-promotion and navel-gazing or even the idea of taking ourselves seriously enough to try and make something of this has always been something we’ve been afraid of. We’ve sold a couple tee-shirts along the way, some of which we thought were even pretty good, but honestly we never found a “real vendor” or tried all that hard to sell you all on anything other than the joke. We never even dreamed someone might want an actual “sports blog” product instead of something more generically JMU.

So this is awkward for us but we are genuinely offering a shirt now with the explicit intention of using profits from the campaign to keep this place alive and hopefully make the podcast even better by a) keeping it going year-round and b) looking to purchase some new equipment (mics and headphones and “stuff” we probably don’t about yet) to hopefully improve the quality over the next few months. Oh yeah, and we’re going to try and come up with something even better to support JMU Giving Day in March that might get a boost from this effort too!

To those of you who have bought previous shirts, we hope you still like them and sorry we finally came up with an “official” shirt – we owe you a beer. To everyone else, we hope you’ll join the team and be proud to answer awkward questions from strangers and friends about what the hell your shirt is in hopes of growing our little community!

Here’s the 4-1-1:

Here is the link to support us and get an awesome shirt or you can paste it/share it as follows: https://www.bonfire.com/jmusb/

We’re using Bonfire out of Richmond for our campaign. They’ve been great and are legit pros who sent us sample products and everything so we know the shirts themselves will be of higher quality than our usual suboptimal craptastic stuff. We’ve got four options for shirts (short, women’s cut, long, and baseball). The colors are slightly different for short, long, and baseball because the shirts themselves are from different suppliers but they’re all great. On the women’s cut, they run small so listen to the Bonfire warning when it comes up.

This is a “campaign,” meaning the shirts are only available for a limited time, and more importantly meaning you only have to listen to us pimp this racket for less time than an NPR Membership Drive. The campaign ends in thirteen days on Wednesday, December 13th at midnight. The shirts go to print the next day and we chose that date because we know they’ll all get delivered by at the latest the week before Frisco. We can’t guarantee Christmas delivery, but if you live in Virginia there’s a decent shot as Bonfire uses local printers – just wanted to be clear on that though. We’re hoping to sell 50 with a moon-shot goal of 100 but there’s no limit except the time limit if y’all want to spread the word. Oh yeah, there’s also a button when you check out where you can just plain “donate,” or kick in a few bucks that goes straight to us if you’re so inclined. No pressure at all, but they offer that as an option and we figured why not. To whoever kicked in already, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Holy Shit!

Last but not least, our friend and fellow Duke and all-around digital badass Ben Markowitz designed our logo for the shirt and is our silent partner in this. But we think you’ll agree both treatments of our logo (the pod picture and this one) look insanely good without violating any official marks of the real JMU!

Anyways, that’s a whole lot of words to say two things. We love you all and we hope you’ll buy a shirt that supports JMUSB (blog, pod, etc.)!

Seriously, there was a plaque and everything.

3 Comments

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  1. Mike in Ohio / Nov 30 2017

    No problem supporting. Thanks for your work. If either of you are at Saturday’s game maybe I will see you there. Leaving tomorrow morning to head to H’burg and JMU. Hoping for wins in football and at the basketball game that night. Go Dukes.

  2. Nowell81 / Dec 1 2017

    Thanks so much for the hard work you guys put in. If you guys are looking for great recording equipment for discounted rates, you might consider this.

    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/features/bddb4be76bf83e83/index.html

    I know someone who goes to the sale every year and would be happy to pick some stuff up for you guys. I have a mic (Audio Technica 2020 USB Mic) and M50 headphones from the sale and I’m so happy with their output! They have better mics at the sale as well, but that depends on how much you want to spend. If you are interested, send me and email and I will provide my phone number so we can discuss more. The sale is next weekend, so contact me sooner than later.

    Lock the Gates!

  3. Drake / Dec 1 2017

    I’m so excited to actually come to this game. We usually get to come to the last home game (since it’s before Thanksgiving) or the Labor Day weekend game. I haven’t been to a playoff game since the ill fated 2008 semis against Montana. My former roommates and I are tailgating with some homebrew. Where is the JMU Sports Blog official tailgate? We’d love to swing by.

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