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How to Connect with the Pylon for Your Ball State Spring Game Needs

OTP Logo 200In case you were unaware, this Saturday is the Ball State University 2015 Spring Game for the fighting football Cardinals. That’s a decidedly good thing, given that we’ve lived a virtual football-free existence since the Super Bowl and a Cardinal-free existence since before that. That is too much time between touchdowns, big tackles, and Pete Lembo platitudes that could range anywhere from ancient Greek philosophy, to Churchill, to some classic rock line. The weather looks stellar (mid-70s and sunny) and there’s a bevy of things to check out at The Scheu.

But let’s say you can’t make it up to Muncie for some reason. Maybe you have family in town (there are 51 other weekends they could have come). Maybe you’re painting the living room a beautiful cerulean blue (nice choice!). Perhaps you are running some form of mini-marathon (no thank you). The point is sometimes life gets in the way of our absorption of Ball State football. However, should you find yourself in the weeds this weekend but still needing some access or some info about the goings on in Funcie, then brothers and sisters of Cardinal Nation, you have found yourself a home. Jason and myself will be making the trip to Muncie so you don’t have to, and it wouldn’t be an OTP roadshow without some slick things to keep you informed. Drone footage? Live video? Behind the scenes tomfoolery? Yes, yes, and yes.

Here’s just a few of the ways you can connect with us this weekend and beyond:

Periscope OTP

Periscope: The newest addition to the OTP social media arsenal, Periscope is your live video app where Jason and I will be broadcasting random things on our Spring Game journey. Live podcast on the way to Muncie? Likely. Thoughts on Spring Game goings on? Very likely. Footage from the field? Also likely. And the best thing is the ability for viewers to interact with us as we broadcast. Have a question? Share it in the app. Love Jason’s beard? Share it in the app. The virtual world is your virtual oyster. Download the app to your smartphone or tablet and then find us at “OverThePylon”.

Snapchat OTP logo

Snapchat: Everyone (or just about everyone) knows Snapchat and its benefits. Photos and videos are quick hit pieces that don’t last forever. Instead of sending inappropriate selfies (follow J’s personal account for that) we’ll be putting up stories of people we come across on Spring Game Saturday, short messages from people we think you’d like to hear from, and other fun goodies that will make your Spring Game experience that much better. Follow along, enjoy the ride, and don’t screencap. Poor etiquette, bro. Username to find is “OverThePylon”.

The Twitter Machines: If you’re not a member of the OTP Twitter army you are definitely missing out. You can follow along with all things Cardinal related and some things that aren’t, all while interacting with your fearless OTP editorial staff. Toss a follow to @OverThePylon.

Instagram: More of a photo person than a live video awesomeness person? Then you should be following the Pylon on Insta. Admittedly our Insta game has been lacking to this point, but it’s time to get in on the ground floor for the rebirth. Toss a follow to OverThePylon.

Facebook: I remember back when Facebook was only for college people or alums and you could Poke people in peace without having to worry about someone’s Farmville crops or Candy Crush levels. Those were the good old days and we didn’t even know it. So to clean up your Facebook existence from all the insignificant garbage, connect with the Pylon and consider it a good day.

YouTube: The home of stellar OTP videos from last spring game and the home of videos in the coming days of our Spring Game experience with a more professional polish and shine than the Snapchats or the Periscope. But still well worth your time and attention. You can check that out here.

Most of you are already following on some but not all, and a couple of the things above like Periscope and Snapchat are new things for the Pylon to try out in this kind of setting. It’s going to be a hoot and a half for the Spring Game so join us whether you’re there or not. We’ll make it well worth your while.

It’s Pete Lembo’s Birthday. Break Out the Celebratin’ Shoes

birthday-cakeThey say the older you get the less fun your birthdays become until that magical age where you can give zero f**ks and just drive on the sidewalk on the way to your senior discount at Marsh. Coach Pete Lembo isn’t in that stratosphere yet as today is only his 45th birthday. But it is his birthday all the same even if instead of Jagerbombs or Scotty’s pitchers it’s prepping for the Spring Game and recruiting, though the Cards are off today in terms of formal practice.

So who knows what fun and festivities are rocking and rolling at the Lembo household. Knowing CPL, he probably considered today worthy of some rest and relaxation. In Lembo-speak that means he slept in until 6:15am, only worked out for two hours, read just two books before lunch, limited his recruit notes to under 200, and then had a healthy lunch full of green leafy vegetables and lean protein. Yes, CPL takes it easy on the day of his birth. There’s also always the possibility of ice cream cake. Mmmmm, ice cream cake.

Ball State Students Get to Be a B Next Fall

Not that kind of Bea

Not that kind of Bea

Let it not be said that Ball State administrators and campus leadership aren’t trying whatever they can to increase student buy-in and support for athletics events. Proposed by SGA, starting in the fall, students can head on down to the field after the first home football game, hop on the field, and make a “B” of people. A “B” that will be professionally photographed and suitable for framing for all your students-as-letters needs as a Cardinal or Cardinal supporter.

Some will cynically say this is stupid, but even though I am a cynic of the highest order, that’s not the camp I’m in. I’ve worked at several campuses that have done something similar, and even if the students involved in it don’t love it (though they usually do), it’s still a great photo-op that makes the rounds through social media and something I’ve only seen pulled off well at bigger schools (the University of Maryland in my experience, though theirs was an “M” and then a “B1G” but that’s another story all together).

Here’s a similar kind of thing at another place close to my heart, University of Kentucky’s K Week….

KWeek

I’m all for anything that can give athletics more eyeballs and hopefully more support. Logistically, a B seems much harder to pull off, too, so let’s put those protractors and slide rules to good use, boys and girls.

The Big Blue Mist Heading for Indianapolis

Kentucky Fans

I come with a warning to Indianapolis residents. Let it not be said that your friends at The Pylon aren’t watching out for you. If you are sticking around Indianapolis for the Final Four this weekend, a storm warning has been issued for the greater Indy metro area, a storm known as the Big Blue Mist and it’s coming straight at you. I warn you not as a casual observer or as a protector of Hoosier State citizens. I warn you as a member of said Big Blue Nation. In the words of Bray Wyatt, “Indianapolis… we’re here.”

So what can you do? In the words of Randy Johnson, “Suck on it and like it.” seems appropriate. In seriousness, though, if it were me, and I were an Indianapolis area resident, I’d do the following:

  • I would take every expendable dollar I had in my budget and lay it all on Kentucky for the next two games with our friends at William Hill sports betting. Your city is overcome with UK fans and your wallet will be overcome with dead presidents. Sounds like a fair trade to me.
  • List any extra bedroom in my house on some house sharing website. I’m not kidding when I say hotels in Indy booked out last summer when Andrew and Aaron Harrison announced they were returning to Lexington. Closest hotel I could find in the fall was in Columbus. Not Ohio, but still. Easy way to make a quick buck or two and meet some great people in the process.
  • Become a Kentucky fan. No, really. It’s an enjoyable experience especially over the last few years. I know, I know, you may be an IU fan or a Purdue fan or even a Ball State fan. But there’s still room in the Big Blue canoe for a few more educated souls like you. You already read this blog so you’re clearly smarter than most.

Every college sports fanbase will tell you their fans are the most passionate, the most rabid, the most caring. Tree poisoning, mascot stealing, message board baiting pales in comparison to what UK fans do. They commandeer your city. They take over your hotels. Your bars and restaurants? Avoid them at all costs. It is a madhouse where the insane run the asylum and much like a summer church revival, once the event is over, they’re gone. Up and vanished like a fart in the breeze. But for Friday through late Monday night (if things go according to plan), Indianapolis is ground zero for the Wildcat Revival and it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

Ball State Sports? There’s an App for That

Winkelvoss Twins

The Winkelvoss Twins may have thought up Facebook, but the BSU Athletics app is all Cardinal ingenuity

It’s obvious by you visiting this site that you have a love for Ball State athletics. What’s not clear is whether or not you have a tablet. If you do, then the BSU Athletics app is a must download sort of thing for you, especially since this week saw Ball State football added to the app.

What you’ll get from this product of BSU’s journalism program is an app that truly takes you behind the scenes of BSU athletics. Immerse yourself in gameday action, read recaps, bios, rosters, and all sorts of other cool stuff to make you the most educated and rabid Cardinals fan you can be. I mean, you’re already here at the Pylon which sets you apart from 99% of the “normal fans”.

Have an iOS device like an iPad? That means you’ll want to click here to install the app.

If you have an Android then you’ll want to click here. You’ll also want to sooner rather than later go to an Apple Store and buy an iPad and then hit the link above, but that can wait for now.

Football joins men’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball, baseball, gymnastics, softball and soccer as teams digitally represented with the goal of all Cardinal sports teams making their app debut eventually. Oh, and don’t go swiping right on Joey Lynch’s photo. That’s another app entirely.

Your Ball State Baseball Wednesday Update

Other StuffIn case you haven’t noticed, we’ve went a few days without snow, ice, and salt so that’s a welcome change of pace from the last few months of the Great White Death of 2015. What that also means is that it’s time for America’s pastime to become the focal point of your sports consciousness. And I’m not talking about the Cubs and their unfinished bleachers, I’m talking about Ball State baseball, who happen to sit at 19-8 on the season.

Tuesday saw the BatCards hang a non-conference win over Valparaiso 13-4 at the friendly confines of Ball Diamond. The Cards are back in action today against Indiana State on the road, so if you’re around Terre Haute (and I pray you aren’t because the stench of that place doesn’t come off with just one wash) you can catch the Cards in action at 3pm. Voice of the Cards Joel Godett is on the call at BallStateSports.com.

If you’re around Muncie this weekend you can also catch the Cards in action with a weekend homestand against Akron. That’s a conference series and the Cards could always use your support. Easter eggs can wait, it’s baseball time.

Spring Has Sprung for Ball State Football

Lembo Bouquet

 

The old adage says April showers bring May flowers, and if those are the flowers that pop up in your garden come Derby Day then I’d imagine the Muncie police would like to have a chat with you. But one thing that has popped up in recent days is Spring Practice for the football Cards. Here’s what you need to know…

  • There’s a new motto selected by the leadership council: “Earn it today” which they have said deals with the urgency of performance and daily excellence. I like it. It’s not a retread and it doesn’t suck nearly as bad as IU’s Kevin Wilson brainchild of Win Today Tomorrow Eventually Sometime Maybe
  • The Spring Prospectus is out along with the first depth chart for the spring. You can check that little jewel out at Ball State Spring Prospectus.
  • The Cards have added a home game with Eastern Kentucky and a home and home with Florida Atlantic. That might have gotten lost in your shuffle of @ Notre Dame in 2018 and a Bloomington-Indy-Bloomington in ’18, ’19, and ’20. EKU shouldn’t be a surprise given that the Cards just stole their AD in Mark Sandy. Thank you card payday helps ease the pain I would imagine.
  • In sad and sucky news, running back Horactio Banks’ career with the Cards is over thanks to a stress fracture in his leg. Last season saw an ACL tear and now this, and I can’t say the running back position is going to be one that is anything close to cemented. Teddy Williamson is probably your odds on favorite but there is room for someone to step up.
  • Also no longer with the team is Kyle Kamman, walk on junior QB. After last season’s bumpy ride to find a starter and with Jack Milas lightly penciled in as QB1 for spring ball with Ozzie Mann and redshirt freshman David Morrison fighting for a chance. This also doesn’t include Riley Neal who will be there in the summer, so it’s safe to say that the opportunities for QB snaps is waning by the day. Good luck to Kyle wherever his path takes him.

Of major note is the gains in the weight room the Cards has made. Let the Voice of the Cardinals Joel Godett explain what we mean…

How Slingbox Saved My NCAA Tournament Experience

*This Post Sponsored by Slingbox*

There was a time when I would faithfully and dutifully take off the Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament each and every year. There were times I’d use sick leave and brand it as a “mental health day”, other times I’d just take vacation and revel in the gluttony of wall to wall basketball as somewhere between the pile of wings and frosty cold deliciousness day turned into night and upsets and buzzer beaters left me sated enough to get to bed just to do it all over again the next day.

Like most things in life, though, with evolution comes different priorities and demands and I was forced to make the difficult decision of completing some work projects with my team instead of watching my other team open their tournament play. I expected my first vacation-less tourney Thursday and Friday to be completely squandered. I just KNEW there was going to be something major that I was going to miss. Maybe a 16 would beat a 1. Maybe someone would drop a triple-double on an in-state rival. Maybe something cool would happen that I had no idea could even be a thing. And I was going to miss it all, swimming in a sea of employee performance reviews and paperwork. Enter the Slingbox player.

Slingbox1They say the best things come in small packages and though I am not sure who “they” are nor whether they were specifically talking about the Slingbox M1, but regardless of their intent, the outcome is the same. With this apparatus you are a slave to your set no longer. Have a computer? Have a tablet? Have a smartphone? Then you have access to anything you could watch at home with a Slingbox hooked into your entertainment set up. It really is as simple as that. Hook up your Slingbox to your television, connect it via wifi to your home network (or via ethernet cable if you have a wired option close) and you’re good to go. I sat in my office and watched whichever game I wanted on Thursday. Friday, too. Even changed the channel when the inevitable blowout began. Rather than wonder how I was going to watch the action I only needed to wonder how I was going to keep my boss none the wiser of why I selflessly gave up my Tourney Thursday and Tourney Friday for the betterment of the office. But hey, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking there’s probably some astronomical monthly fee for this service or it’s a pain in the butt to setup or that it’s going to look hideous within your set up. I respect the last concern because I’m an OCD freak about clean lines and things not looking ridiculous in my home. Feast your eyes on the rack with the Slingbox in place…

Slingbox2

It is basically unnoticeable and smaller than my cable box. As for your other concerns, pay them no mind. It took less than 10 minutes to set up and there isn’t a fee for computer viewing. It’s worth noting that there is a fee ($15) for the mobile app to be able to view on your tablet or smartphone when you download the app, but it’s money well spent in my opinion. The beauty of this technology is that it lets you watch your home television stations on any device anywhere in the world. If you’re a sports fan it is must have technology and it is most definitely OTP recommended. The Slingbox can even schedule and view DVR recordings, it works with every cable company, and the quality is remarkable and up to full 1080p.

The most awesome thing? Slingbox is also running a current sweepstakes promotion called Madness Cubed. The details…

Slingbox is giving away the ultimate cubicle makeover so you can enjoy the NCAA’s March Madness tournament in style. We’ll come to your office and deliver a truly comfortable chair, your own Slingbox 500, and an epic party meal for you and your office mates. So enter today for a chance to win. PLUS 68 runners-up will win a Slingbox M1 to set themselves up for the big dance. Unbelievable!

How do you do that? By visiting the links above or clicking here. From that link you can also learn more about Slingbox and purchase one for yourself. It truly is amazing technology that in one cleanly designed package renders things like geographic constraint, travel, local blackouts, and competing schedules completely void. And that, sports fans, is a remarkably good thing.

Softball Opens Home Season with Doubleheader Sweep

Photo credit BSU Photo Services

Admittedly I’m not a softball expert,  but when you beat a team by a combined 27-6 over a doubleheader, that’s a pretty good home opener. The Cards beat IPFW 8-2 and then 19-4 to climb just one game under .500 at 12-13 for the season. IPFW drops to 0-20, but their mascot is the Mastadons so I feel like even when they lose, they kind of win. Not that the scoreboard, record, or final score would indicate that, but still.

Cards are back in action this weekend against Western Kentucky with a doubeheader on Saturday (1pm) and a single-game 1pm matinee on Sunday. Chirp chirp!

NCAAs Start Today, Won’t be as Good as 2001 Maui Classic

I guess if you beat a Top 5 team at the buzzer, you can take a breather.

I guess if you beat a Top 5 team at the buzzer, you can take a breather.

That is Patrick Jackson, or Petey as he was known to fellow students. He looks tired. He looks happy. I guess when you hit a buzzer beater to defeat Kansas (ranked #4) in the Maui Classic, I’d say both those emotions apply. But it wasn’t just Kansas. Their reward for beating #4 on national television? A date the next night with #3 UCLA, who the Cardinals promptly ran out of the gym with an 18-point beating. The Cards would go on to lose to #1 Duke in the championship game, but they would enter the next week at #16 in the associated press poll. So as you watch upsets unfold over the next few weeks in the NCAA tourney, just remember that BSU has been there done that on the national television stage. With any luck, Coach Whitford may get them there again.

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