Kickstarting a global sports website launch

Nearly three years ago one of the rare independent additions to the growing online sports magazine set was launched via Kickstarter.

Now, some of the people and contributors behind The Classical are involved in another Kickstarter effort to begin a website that looks at global sports from a largely cultural perspective.

The site is called The Allrounder and the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for it ends today.

Spearheading this project is Calvin College history professor Bruce Berglund, the host of the New Books in Sports podcast that I avidly listen to (once, and very briefly, I was a guest on his annual end-of-the-year program with selected listeners). AllrounderLogo

Some of the contributors are Berglund’s podcast guests; most of them are academics but others are journalists. Here’s a link showing the campaign’s financial goals, and with Berglund explaining what The Allrounder is all about:

The Allrounder examines the ways that sport impacts communities, shapes culture, and taps bodies and emotions.

What can a sociologist tell us about fan violence?

How does a legal scholar view the latest player scandal?

What are the real effects of doping, according to a biochemist?

And what do we learn from the journalist who sits back in the press box, looks around and asks: Why do we watch these games anyway?

If you’re a reader of The Classical, you’ll see that one of the contributors is University of Michigan professor Yago Colas. He’s an avid fan, as I was, of the dearly departed ABA, and is at work on a book about the culture of basketball. In a Q and A with David Roth of  The Classical, Colas jokes about how the idea for The Allrounder came about:

” . . . our avatars were all smoking pipes and sniffing brandy in the digital faculty club when Colin Cowherd staggered in, drunk, wearing a Tom Brady jersey and railing about Richard Sherman. We knew we had to do something.”

They may be academics, but if you read their blogs, Tweets and books, you’ll find much of the material not only easy for general readers to grasp, but entertaining as well.

For me, a self-professed sports books/history/culture nerd recovering from many years in daily sports journalism, The Allrounder represents what academics call “intersectionality.”

Whatever. Colas also explains, interestingly, how “this sort of publicly accessible writing tends to be undervalued at many institutions.”

So they’re taking this writing to the larger public, which makes perfect sense.

The aim of The Allrounder campaign is to launch the full site in September. If you want to contribute, here’s how to do it.

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