Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 29, 2011.

Update #6

To The Future: Introducing The Classical Magazine

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If you're a regular reader of the Classical, you might have seen this news already--sorry about the overkill. We just want to make sure all of our friends hear about what's next for the site.

The Classical is 18 months old, depending on when you start counting. We just got done being babies. We’re toddling now, warily eying the prospect of potty-training, getting ready to upgrade these gross motor skills for some fine motor skills. But, if you’ll pardon the toddlerbrag, we think we’re pretty accomplished for babies. Just in the past few weeks, this toddler had an awesome reported piece about Filipino hoops in the Yukon, a must-read on what came out of the closet with Jason Collins, and more installments in the rad, ongoing Why We Watch feature. But, as is generally the case among our toddler peer group, we’re just getting the hang of solving puzzles.

The puzzle weighing heaviest on our comically oversized 18-month-old heads right now is sustainability: How do we find a way to make The Classical economically just, not just for ourselves, but for our writers? As most of the people reading this will remember, we Kickstarted this site. The $55,000 that 1,070 of you gave to us—the generosity of which still amazes us and fills us to overflowing with gratitude—helped get us this far. We built a site, we paid our taxes, we paid server bills, all thanks to you, with an assist to Kickstarter.

But we need to find a way to turn “kickstarting” into a steady, always-on mode if we're going to be able to keep this going. To that end, we’re going to do something old-fashioned: 1) create a product (the great and unique sportswriting we deliver on this site) 2) sell it for money. We’ve partnered with 29th Street Publishing—the awesome, nice geniuses who brought you the Awl’s Weekend Companion, Maura Magazine, V as in Victor and many more great publications—to create a magazine.

The Classical’s new magazine format will be for sale, via monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as single-issue purchases, on the Apple iOS newstand. It’ll be $2.99 if you pay monthly, $29.99 if you sign up for a year in advance, and $3.99 to buy individual issues. (We'll have a link to share early next week, and will share it then.) On the second Tuesday of every month, a new issue will appear to delight your senses (mostly/only your eyes) and give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of adjectives. We’ll have a PDF option for Applephobes, too, and 29th Street is working hard to make a platform-agnostic version you can get on your Kindle, Dick Tracy watch, whatever. This is just for starters, by the way: the bigger the response, the more frequently we’ll be able to put these issues out, and the more readily we’ll be able to expand in other directions. We’re still growing, and aren’t trying to toddle forever.

If you are naturally inclined to first consider the gloomy side of life, as some of us are, you might be wondering “But so this means no more Classical website, huh?” To answer that: no, this is not the end of that. Will we maintain our present volume of 10 features a week plus Clog posts? Almost certainly not, because it is just an unbelievably immense amount of work given the number of people we have doing it, and because we also have other jobs that we need in order to pay rent, buy food, etc. But you can bank on something new on the site every day, although the magazine will have a supermajority of exclusive material (and some stuff from the website). Not only is this a way to get Classical-quality new reads on sports, but it’s a way to keep on top of things without checking in on the site everyday. We know you’re busy. We can tell this blog post is maybe already too long.

So we’ll let you get back to work/Dwarf Fortress/crafts therapy/your nap. But yes: this is what’s happening with us. We are very happy, and very proud, about The Classical magazine. This is the next step for us, and we hope you like it—we think it’s pretty awesome, ourselves, although we’re obviously somewhat biased. Most importantly, it’s a way for us to keep doing this thing. Stick with us. In every meaningful sense, we wouldn’t be here without you, and it will be fun to take this next step, together. And if you have any questions, ask us over email or on Twitter or Facebook.


Update #5

Here It Comes!

Dear Backers,

We hope you have enjoyed the first six months of The Classical. We have certainly enjoyed writing, editing, and otherwise assembling it. Spread the word and let us know your thoughts!

There is, however, another matter of business—a very handsome, predominantly orange and black one—left to tend to, and that's the Kickstarter rewards we owe you folks for your generous contributions. We appreciate your patience and understanding on this front and will be sending out the stuff that counts in the next week. You will not be disappointed and our mass protests against hegemony and false pizza can begin in earnest.

If you have changed addresses since filling out our e-survey, drop us a line (again) here to remind us. Same goes for any special arrangements we made (bonus autographed FD books, for instance). We have it all on file, somewhere, but want to make sure we don't miss anything. So get ready, get pumped, and one more time, give us the facts we need to make you happy.

Tell us what we need to know by JUNE 10.

Yours,

Shoals, speaking for one and for all.


Update #4

The End of the Beginning of the End of the Beginning

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We'll keep this one short and sweet. The Classical has been funded and then some. The site will exist, and we'll get to bring you the kind of writing we think smart folks actually want to read. Thank all of you, now and forever. 

We've been hard at work on laying the foundation, and ironing out the details, necessary to make The Classical exactly what we promised it would be. You gave us your hard-earned cash so we could deliver the best product possible. Coming out with something half-assed, or misleading, would be counter to the spirit that brought us all here in the first place. 

If you're interested in pitching us, email thisistheclassical at gmail dot com. If you had an unusual incentives situation, such as a bonus signed copy of The Undisputed Guide, drop us a reminder. 

Most importantly, if you're having problems with your payment, let us know, and we'll try and help you sort it out. We want to deliver the goods, but to do that, we need your pledges to come through.

We might be quiet for the next couple of weeks, but you know where to find us.


Update #3

You guys are the best. Seriously.

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Dear friends of The Classical,

We had an earlier draft of this update for Monday, talking about how we're getting close to the finish line and how we're relying on you guys to help us spread the word to the remote corners of the Internet that hadn't yet heard about our mission.

But then we—or more accurately, you—did something extraordinary. You took us past our $50,000 goal on Sunday, ten days before our drive ends. The Classical is going to be a reality, starting later this fall. After a few rounds of cheerful, expletive-spackled e-mails and G-chats, we all realized that now we get to do some real work: building an amazing, intelligent sports site.

This is really, really exciting. We couldn't have gotten to our goal with out the 970-some backers who have helped us out. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.  Our first order of business: manufacturing and distributing chip clips and other official Classical gear. Second: We owe our backers one (1) awesome sports website. Luckily for all of you, that's where we're Vikings.

But in the meantime, we still have nine days left after today. We'd love to climb a bit higher before September 29—every dollar we can collect beyond the $50K goal will help us be better, sooner. We'd love to crack the 1,000-backer mark, and there might even be a special gift in it for the lucky 1,000th backer. Keep your eyes on Twitter and Facebook, and keep spreading the word.

If you need us, we'll be placing phone calls to leading chip-clip manufacturers about sourcing some organic, cruelty-free plastic and natural dyes for the 650+ clips we need to make. And keep sending us your feedback and article pitches on thisistheclassical@gmail.com.

We love you all,

The Classical

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Update #2

The Classical: The Wallpaper

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A three-day weekend is making eyes at us from across the room. Before everyone disappears for Labor Day, we want to update you on doings in and around The Classical. 18 days down, and 27 left. More than 650 people have backed us to the tune of $32,500 and change. We’re in awe of your generosity! We’re getting close to the home stretch. And, not for the last time, THANK YOU ALL.

Lest you think we’ve just been anxiously watching the Kickstarter jar fill up, we have a present for you. Friend-of-the-Classical Jacob Weinstein drew an amazing wallpaper for us. RIYL soccer-playing skeletons, an alligator in a football helmet, weaponized hot dogs, or just great art. Thanks, Jacob!  Download the screensavers here.

Help us spread the word about the site and the Kickstarter drive. Tell your friends, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, make like those college kids from Children International and accost passers-by. Okay, not that last one. Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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1,070
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    53 backers

    You get a sticker of our elite Jacob Weinstein-designed, masculine-yet-tender orange-and-black logo. No one leaves this fundraising drive with empty hands.

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    112 backers

    You get a shout-out from one of our popular Twitter accounts or, if you prefer, you get a postcard from an exotic locale such as Michigan or New Jersey. Plus a sticker.

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    188 backers

    You get a Classical-branded chip clip. Where are the obligatory Cheetos? Hey there, Frito-Lay! Plus a sticker and a Twitter shout or postcard.

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    303 backers

    You get a set of letterpress greeting cards, made by hand, with inspirational quotes from such sporting heroes as Derek Bell ("I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown'") and Metta World Peace, f.k.a. Ron Artest (“I’m a big fan of the Nobel Peace Prize”). Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, and a chip clip.

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    You get an exclusive e-book of The Classical's eponymous first anthology (think of it as our product number FAC001), full of not-available-elsewhere essays from all of our writers and contributions from our friends—some famous, some Internet-famous, some just quietly awesome. Note that this anthology is literally exclusively available through this Kickstarter drive. Think about whether you can afford *not* to give us this $50. Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip and a greeting card set.

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    You get a stylish T-shirt designed by Jacob Weinstein and featuring our home logo. We don’t need to sell you on the socioromantic possibilities this shirt will open for you. (Note that this, too, is available exclusively through our Kickstarter drive.) Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set and the exclusive e-book anthology.

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    You get a handsome limited edition hooded sweatshirt designed by Jacob Weinstein and featuring our Sunday road colors. Twenty years from now, while mourning the replacement of the internet in favor of direct transmission to the brain, you’ll wear this and enjoy a sense of wistful nostalgia. (Note that this as well is available solely through our Kickstarter drive.) Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology and a T-shirt (layering possibilities).

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    You get any one of the famous FreeDarko prints that you’d like! These are not available anywhere else, so if you ever wanted one and missed out, this is your chance to ride with Doc Brown. Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology, a T-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt.

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    You get an essay on the subject of your choice, at a rate so far below market that it may violate European trade law, from the writer you love best (demand pending). You tell us what you'd like to read about—the significance of sports in Saul Bellow? the 1993 Charlotte Hornets? string theory and the SEC?—and we will write it up for you. Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology, a T-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt.

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    You get a bunch of stuff from all the folks down with The Classical! That might sound underwhelming, but consider this: We're all avid readers, serious about our music, and stashed up with bizarre sports memorabilia. It might improve your life, or maybe just your record collection. Do you need glasses? We might have some of those in your size. This is not a joke, or a test. We will give you a part of ourselves, just shy of extracting essential organs. Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology, a T-shirt, a hooded sweatshirt and your choice of an essay on the subject of your choice OR a FreeDarko print.

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    You get a signed page from Jacob Weinstein's sketchbook! And believe us, this is not a lazy scrawl, this is the center of all future conversation in your living room. (If interested in supporting at this level, please contact us for a .pdf file of available sketches.) Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology, a T-shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, an essay on the subject of your choice, a FreeDarko print, and a large box full of awesome stuff.

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    You get a day of our time! Want to go bowling with Bethlehem Shoals, have David Roth lecture your Rotary Club, or swill brandy with Tom Scharpling? This is your chance to make that happen, and our writer will hand-deliver presents as well! What will these be? We don’t know, but they’ll be good. Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology, a T-shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, an essay on the subject of your choice, a FreeDarko print, a large box full of awesome stuff and a page from Jacob Weinstein's sketchbook.

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    You get to edit The Classical for a week! If you’d like, you can impose your beliefs as regards the serial comma and start arguments about formatting. Mainly, though, this is a chance for you to make The Classical your own. Want to see certain writers on the site? We’ll work with you to get them on there. Have story ideas? We can help you shape them and make them a reality. Your name will go at the top of the page in lights, and your resume will prosper. It’s all the prestige, glamour, and exhilaration of running a trick-ass boutique magazine, minus the headaches (we absorb those) or the paper. Plus a sticker, a Twitter shout or postcard, a chip clip, a greeting card set, the exclusive e-book anthology, a T-shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, an essay on the subject of your choice, an essay on the subject of your choice, a FreeDarko print, a large box full of awesome stuff, a page from Jacob Weinstein's sketchbook, and a day of our time.

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    You are a saint or a corporation. This will not be forgotten. You get all the stuff, to be evenly distributed among your employees, lienholders, and/or the ones you love, and you also get exclusive sponsorship rights to the site for an entire month or a February plus 2-3 bonus days. Promote your brand, direct our readers to a worthy charity or spare our audience unsightly ads—it’s up to you!

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