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    OTP covers Ball State University sports from the blog perspective in the most overzealous manner possible, proving that as long as there is someone with enough free time you can obsess over anything.
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Take Your Shot at Blogging Greatness

help wantedFrom time to time, life gives everyone opportunities. If you’re a Ball State fan who reads this site, then this opportunity may very well be right up your proverbial alley. As we noted last week in the OTPcast, there’s some changes afoot here at OTP, and it’s time to open up the books for new membership. As Edge has taken his place in the “real world” of fatherhood, working on taking over the sports world, etc. his ability to produce the OTPcast and create original content has become tough. Nathan has moved on to more traditional journalistic endeavors as well. We’ve added Jason to the mix for the multimedia realm but we are looking for contributing staff writers to fill the holes left by those two OTPites departures.

What this means for you is the opportunity to have a place to voice your opinion and perspective on Cardinal athletics, and it doesn’t just have to be about football. Going on five years now we’ve had the football program on lockdown but we’d like to expand our scope to the other sports as well. Have a passion for volleyball? Welcome aboard. Really into softball? Awesome. The world here at OTP is truly your oyster.

What you receive is the opportunity to gain experience writing for the preeminent BSU athletics fansite on the internet. OTP has covered games from Muncie to Auburn with a working media slant. If you’re able to check down the fandom and are interested in covering games from a journalistic perspective, then this is a tremendous opportunity to get your name and your work in the public eye. If you’re located in Muncie, even better. Opportunities to interact with athletics staff, cover games, and be OTP’s representative in the press corp are there. If you’re not in Muncie, this still may very well be for you as I’ve covered BSU football from as much as 14 hours away and done a not so horrible job at it. We aren’t looking solely for writing chops or proximity to Worthen Arena. What is a non-negotiable is a passion for Cardinal athletics and the ability to express that passion via the written word.

How you go about making that happen is by sending me an email to overthepylon@gmail.com and telling me a little about yourself and where your BSU interests lie. Pass along a writing sample or two (can be created solely for this or something you’ve already done) and we’ll see how you can best contribute to the site. It’s a labor of love but for someone potentially exploring a career or interest in this particular field, it’s a great opportunity. This year figures to be quite special at BSU as the football team continues to build the Lembo legacy and the basketball team begins the Whitford era. The other less marquee sports are also on the rise and as we saw this week with two coaching changes, there is always content to cover. Be a part of it!

OTP Adds Staff; They Promptly Respond with IU Trolling

From time to time we like to refresh the roster here at OTP and bring on some additional talent with different perspectives. We’ve got the old curmudgeons like Edge and Alan, the absentee landlord of RV, and the newest rock star Nathan. But seeing as how this coming season looks to be an epic one for BSU, it’s always nice to stoke the flames of passion and hang another shingle. Our newest addition to the site is Pat B, someone with a longtime affiliation and access to Ball State athletics in general, but especially the inner workings of the football program. Pat (like all of us) is a BSU alum and in my opinion brings an invaluable attention to the game. He sees it in ways you and I do not, and whenever a roster can be filled out with missing talents and needed superlatives, that’s a good thing.

Additionally, Pat brings a working knowledge and familiarity with more than just football under the BSU athletics umbrella. As you’ll notice as we go forward, OTP will be expanding its coverage a bit to all of the Ball State athletics programs. While our primary focus will always be football, thanks in no small part to the knowledge and passion most all of us have for the sport, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room at the OTP table for a plethora of Cardinal athletics and BSU happenings. Yes, El Guapo, I said plethora.

On July 1 we’ll have our annual OTP report and our fiscal agenda for 2014, sort of a “State of the Site” post so consider this first Pat B post a precursor to a summer of change here at OTP.

So give a warm welcome… to Pat B. Take it away…

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After the announcement of the five new helmets for Indiana Football’s 2013 season, Ball State football did some thinking.  And since new helmets MUST produce success on the field, here’s my prediction for Ball State’s response, and to what the new Ball State football helmets will look like for the 2013 season. (click to enlarge)

 

BSU IU

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One post in and one IU troll. Pat B has a bright future here at OTP.

I’ve been pretty quiet on here about these, though I’ve thrown some Twitter barbs. My overwhelming reaction is a giant “Meh…” to the entire IU helmetgasm they’ve been messing their britches over. Flash with success is swagger. Flash without substance is posing, and it seems to me like the Hoosiers are doing a fair bit of posing and a whole let less winning. To say nothing of the fact that if this was the same marketing department that came up with “Win Today!” as the Kevin Wilson slogan before he won five games in two years I’m more than a little skeptical about their prospects. That has to sting Wilson a bit. Aside from getting his ass handed to him twice by “that little old teachers college up the road”, it took him two years to accomplish what Pete Lembo did in eight weeks in Muncie. Judges?

sick burn morpheus

Protected: Jason Whitlock Educates the BSU Youth to Be Entitled Scumbags

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Happy Holidays from OTP

It’s Christmas morning, so you should have already opened presents, had a nice little brunch, maybe had a mimosa or three, and now it’s time to steal away from the family a bit and surf the web. Whatever may have brought you here, we hope that the holiday season treats you and yours to many delightful blessings and returns. Though Santa left a lump of coal in the Cards’ stocking in St. Pete, we are only 8 months or so away from what could be a special season for the Cardinals in 2013. Plus, look on the bright side! The Mayans were totally wrong about that whole world ending thing. IN YOUR FACE, EXTINCT SOCIETY!

Merry Christmas from OTP and most importantly, from Santa Lembo!

Pete Lembo Santa

OTP Expands the Roster, Welcome Nathan Pace

The newest member of the OTP staff... Nathan Pace

I struggle to think of OTP as a small business. Granted, it’s a hell of a lot of work, but for something to be a business that would require things like a balance sheet and profits, and I think Dr. Shivaswamy from BSU would attest to the fact that my accounting skills paled in comparison to not only my love of sports but also my ability to bullshit. Hence, why I graduated as a sales major. Despite what I classify OTP as, the fact remains that sometimes the staff you have can’t meet the requirements that are in place. Granted, those requirements are self-imposed, but as I (and probably you the reader) have noticed over this season, real life is beginning to get in the way of this here happy fun time.

Edge has commitments like work, a music career, and a little thing called a family. RV is… well…. he’s RV. And as for me, while the ball and chain around my ankle isn’t a wife and kid, the real job is eating up a significant portion of the time and since the bank and Ford Credit doesn’t take “Love of Ball State” as a way to pay bills, sometimes that takes the priority. So what’s a BSU fansite to do? I’ll tell you what we do… we expand the ranks and pick up a tremendous free agent.

Some of you may remember the name “Nathan Pace” as the contributor of a guest column back before Thanksgiving about the dollars and cents of football at the FCS level. It was a great look at financials and generated a fair bit of discussion on many FCS sites. But that wasn’t just a cup of coffee here in the big leagues for Nathan. That article has parlayed into a full-time gig here at OTP as a staff writer.

Nathan brings an interesting perspective that frankly Edge, RV, and myself have long since abandoned, and that’s the student perspective. Aside from being a talented writer and BSU fan, Nathan is a current undergrad. Which means he’s not only significantly more connected to the ground level of support and atmosphere, he can also walk into Dill Street without seeming like the creepy weird old guy. Both those things are no longer true for any of the Founding Three, though the latter is probably even more noticeable than the former. You can read about Nathan on the About page and to answer your question in advance, “Yes, the fact he is from Kentucky like myself may have been what we call a ‘kickass sidebenefit'”.

The set details of Nathan’s various scheduled interludes with the OTP readership is still being hammered out and may change a bit as we dredge through the offseason, but it’s always nice to have a new person aboard with a fresh perspective and a unique ability to see and hear the things that we cannot. That student perspective may have been the piece missing on OTP for the last several years and it’s nice to finally have it. Welcome to Nathan and feel free to do so yourself via the comments.

For BSU Fans, Loads to be Thankful For

I'm sure the history books just forgot to mention that the pilgrims were BSU fans.

It’s Thanksgiving in case you haven’t noticed. And if you haven’t, good luck finding a turkey and the fixings this late in the game. You’d be better off to find some neighbors or a distant relative and crash into their gravy boat. It’s Thanksgiving and more likely than not, they’ll keep their disdain for your existence to themselves. It’s the nice thing to do, after all.

And on this day of thanks, it’s important for BSU football fans to also feel some sense of thankfulness for the current way of things in Muncie. Considering how the last two seasons unfolded, thankfulness wasn’t always the dominant emotion for Cardinals fans. So while unexpected and more than a little new, thankfulness is the order of the day here at OTP. Here’s some things we’re thankful for…

  • Pete Lembo: I think it goes without saying that Coach Lembo has done a tremendous job in his first eleven games in cardinal and white. Whether it continues and if it does how long he stays are issues for another day. Right now, I’m just thankful to be excited about BSU football again.
  • Tom Collins: I never thought I would write that. And frankly, there’s still a truckload of work to do, but Collins has nailed his last two hires in Billy Taylor and Pete Lembo. Kudos to Tom and I’m going to put a one-month moratorium on any Collins related digs here at OTP.
  • The Seniors: This senior class has seen more than any players should have to during a four-year career. Three different coaches, an undefeated regular season, a humbling MAC Championship, two years of Parrishian chaos and turbulence, a grumbling fan base, peaks and valleys of attendance, and a revolving door of coordinators and position coaches all colored their time here. Those that have persevered, in my mind, should go down as one of the reasons BSU football has been able to bounce back and they should all be considered legends in the annals of program history.
  • The Parents: I’m consistently amazed when I get feedback or a note from a parent of a current or former player. It’s a tangible reminder that underneath that helmet and shoulder pads is someone’s son. Edge met with parents in Oklahoma and I think it served as an example that perhaps the most committed and loyal are those with skin in the fight so to speak. It’s easy to sit back and critique someone’s performance or the direction of the program or the lack of rears in the seats at the Scheu, but through thick and thin, wins and losses, the parents are the lifeblood of the program and the ones who remember that it really isn’t about the fans, coaches, or jumbotrons. It’s about the players on the field.
  • The Dedicated BSU Fans: BSU fans come in quite a few different flavors, but those that are dedicated no matter the weather, no matter the record, and no matter the product on the field are what keeps this program going. It’s easy to be loud and boisterous when the team is 12-0 and ranked in the BCS standings. It’s harder to find those brave souls when the bottom is falling out of the 2010 season. For those that stuck with it and kept passionate, you know who you are, and you folks are the foundation of a fanbase that may not be as sizable or impressive as other programs’, but whose passion, knowledge, and love of the team is trumped by no one.

Most importantly and BSU related only tangentially, and I think I can speak for RV and Edge, we’re thankful that you’ve given us the opportunity to invade your brainholes in whatever way we can. Whether it be the postings here at the site, our Twitter or Facebook postings, or the podcast adventures we’ve had, we don’t take the responsibility of entertaining and informing the Cardinals fans lightly. The fact that there’s a group of folks who rely on OTP for their BSU news and commentary is an honor beyond belief. We’ll keep attempting to bring the awesome as long as you’ll have us, and we are immeasurably thankful for the loyalty and support. Happy Thanksgiving one and all, except Toledo fans and their team. Here’s hoping you eat some undercooked yams and spend most of the night battling the hershey squirts.

Happy Thanksgiving and Go Cards!

Messageboard Like a Champion Today

Stan Parrish thinks message boards are boring. Prove him wrong.

First of all, a small update. Yes, I know it’s IU week. Yes, I know it’s been sort of quiet around these parts. Unfortunately, rather than making the pilgrimage to Indy for the Cards and Hoosiers, I’m in Southern Indiana for a family wedding. Yes, a family wedding on Labor Day Weekend. Yes, a family wedding the same Saturday evening that BSU-IU lock up. Yes, a family wedding that I got roughly three weeks notice for. Suffice to say, the 10 hour drive from DC to home was needed to quench my murderous rage about missing this game. That’s why we’ve been slow. Despite the wedding madness, I’m at least able to slide away, address a couple of things, and hopefully give the Cardinal Community a place to congregate.

When I finally got home and caught up on the various ins and outs around Cardinal Nation, it came to my attention that the unofficial message board for Cardinal athletics (BSUFans.com) has had a bit of a technical issue and has been down for the last few days. So what better time to revitalize something that we debuted mid year back in 09 and never really pushed. Over on the left hand side of your screen, there’s a little icon of the pylon that will take you to the newly reopened OTP message boards. It’s uncharted waters and virgin untouched land of digital frontier. Make of it what you will, but at least we’ll have a place to make some chatter, predictions, etc.

If you’re too lazy to click an image or are reading OTP via email or a feedreader, you can visit the boards here. Board like you mean it.

I’ll get to the IU analysis and OTP prediction later tonight after I’ve had my fill of family and can commandeer a few moments alone with our country internet. It will be inflammatory. It will be unabashedly biased. It will be delicious and worth the wait. Go Cards!

Update Your Itunes Feed for the OTPcast

Sometimes it takes a little bit of housekeeping around these parts to make the place run as well as we’d like it to. Because of that, we’ve had to make a slight adjustment on the Itunes home of your OverThePylon podcast. The link over to the left of the page has been modified to take you to our new little corner of the Itunes world, and if you like listening to two folks babble on about all the BSU muck that’s fit to rake, then click on that and select “subscribe”.

If you were one of the folks that was a subscriber to the prior feed, you won’t be automatically transferred over, so this applies to you as well. If you’re not a subscriber, you should be. You can visit the new Itunes home here. Folks that aren’t new will notice that it’s significantly better in terms of layout, meta-data and other assorted goodies. Well worth the 10 seconds it’s going to take to get your OTPcast downloaded automatically earlier than it is on the site here. Enjoy it, ladies and germs.

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Awesomness

I assume what is creating the delay in debt ceiling talks is the constant refreshing of OTP to see where we were.

There are certain blogs I read on a fairly regular basis that occasionally go dark for a while and/or have some technical or other problems that necessitate a time away from posting. Usually when that happens, it pisses me off no matter the reason because I consider my need of humor, information, or other assorted blogtacular type things to trump pretty much everything else in the world. What further pisses me off is when the wide array of cheerleader photos, athlete Twitter dong, or Mike Leach fishing trip recaps get cluttered up with the inevitable post that explains in great detail what happened, what went wrong, apologies, etc. That isn’t what this post is either, lest I come across as a hypocritical douchebag. What this post does though is let folks know that the site is back to its normal operating schedule going forward, albeit a bit more behind than we’d like to be at this point. You can read about what said issue was on the site, thanks to RV, and for the folks who commented, emailed, tweeted, or texted, your sentiments and thoughts were appreciated.

Going forward, here’s what you’ve got to look forward to as we start to inch closer to preseason camp and then the start of the season on September 3:

  • We’ll be recapping the moves that BSU has made since I had to step away. Some scholarships given, depth chart implications, recruiting, and other Cardinal funness.
  • The Know an ’11 Opponent series focusing on BSU’s nonconference schedule will kick off this week. In some respects I’m a little bummed that IU is the first game of the season, as that Know an ’11 Opponent piece will not only be the most informative, there’s a good chance it will be the most inflammatory as well. Starting out on a high note.
  • The normal preseason stuff we give to all of you that isn’t Cardinal-centric will be condensed down and a bit smaller than normal. We’ll still do our preseason previews and Prelude to a Season pieces, but perhaps not the deep drilling that we used to. RV and I (and perhaps Edge if you’re lucky) will get out our conference predictions as well.
  • What I’m most looking forward to is the return of the OTPCast, premiering in late August for all your IU fun-poking as well as some info about the ’11 season on the college football macro-level.
Of course, all of that could change given some huge piece of news but that’s at least the gameplan now. We’re back and ready to rock, and the number of Saturdays to be productive members of society are growing smaller. Get it on…

Sorry for the delay…

Hi folks…I apologize for the delay in posting, I promise we haven’t gone anywhere.  While we have a whole boatload of content that we have been working on, some unforseen medical issues have arose.  Site leader and one of my favorite people in the world, Alan, had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a few years back and has recently had a stronger than normal attack.  Those of you who know him know that this will be nothing but a simple delay as he gets his affairs back in order. Until we come back in full force we ask that you do your research on http://www.nationalmssociety.org/ and be prepared for full awesomeness once the OTP team gets healthy.  Keep Alan in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers and hey, ESPN, lets Free Bruce.