Hello, friends. My name is Adam Jacobi, and I'm here to write about the Big Ten. I'm honored to join a team of writers that includes the inimitable Adam Kramer and Michael Felder over at Your Best 11, plus Barrett Sallee covering the SEC.
I was born and raised in Iowa, and just moved to Chicago literally yesterday (while finding out today that my gas grill doesn't fit through the patio door, so that's neat...what's up with the tiny patio doors, Chicago?). Big Ten football is what I grew up watching, from the days of Hayden Fry battling Bo Schembechler to the new best coaching rivalry in the conference: Mark Dantonio and Bret Bielema.
I've had a lot of stops in my five years of writing blogs for money—AOL FanHouse, the Sporting Blog, Sports by Brooks and CBSSports.com—and now I'm here to keep carrying the flag of the (sigh) Legends and Leaders. I can't wait.
So let's get a few things straight about what you can expect from me and the Big Ten Blog here at B/R in the coming weeks and months.
1. No bias, no B.S. A lot of you know I got my start writing about the Iowa Hawkeyes, and that I spent years as one of the main editors of Black Heart Gold Pants, a thriving Iowa Hawkeye fan blog/community. Those of you expecting this to mean I'll be pro-Iowa on this blog are going to be disappointed, because there is nothing readers want less than a cheerleader pretending to be a member of the media. I've been impressed and disappointed by things every single Big Ten program has done in the time I've been covering this conference, and it would be a disservice to readers for me not to hammer something I find disappointing or to ignore something good, all in the name of some nebulous agenda.
2. The athletes, the athletes, the athletes. I love college football as a sport, but I know it's terribly flawed, and many of the flaws have to do with deprivation of the athletes' ability to do things that, outside of collegiate athletics, are entirely legal. In my mind, the days of amateurism's benefit to the student-athletes (an absolutely odious term, if you know its origin) have long since past, and now the NCAA's interpretation of it serves primarily to benefit coaches and athletic departments. And it's fine to want good things to befall your own coach and athletic department, but I'll be making it clear who it is we're really supporting when we blast an athlete for trying to get some extra money (which, last I checked, was called "capitalism").
3. Let's have some fun. I like jokes. I like jokes a lot, actually. So I'll be throwing in humor, esoterica and an appreciation for the absurdism of 100,000 people gathering once a week to all personally witness 22 men running into each other and falling over. Football is absurd. So is life. Let's embrace it together.