There's nothing more dreadsome than when somebody you know from doing a certain thing "tries their hand" at an entirely different pursuit. When I came back a year ago after some time away, the first thing I announced was that I was crowdfunding a book which had hardly anything to do with college basketball... so initial response was appropriately tepid. To some people, it sounded like a vanity exercise. Like when Steven Seagal suddenly started calling himself a cryptocurrency expert, or that time when Joaquin Phoenix tried to pass himself off as a rapper. My return might as well have been The Return of Bruno.
Because this wasn't Mid-Majority 2: Electric Boogaloo and wasn't pretending to be, at first I didn't think that this darkhorse project would raise more than a few bucks in pity donations. But I'm immensely grateful that there were so many people from the early days who understood what the true goal of David & Goliath: A Love Story really is. Anyone who's ever read through any or all of the ten Season Epilogues knows the direction TMM was pointed in all along: general underdoggery and its origins. As the years go by, the idea of dying before I get to write this book is becoming more and more uncomfortable.
But in order to finish the job, it's time to come back home.
We've raised $7,200 (75 percent of the project's budget), which is enough to pay editors, designers and printers, and to cover the marketing costs. We're currently still on track for a summer release. This is our last big push, to close the last gap and fund the hardcover edition and audiobook. And this one's all about March.
Robb Harskamp of Harsky Studios is one of the most insanely talented and accomplished sports designers of our time. In addition to work for big-time pro franchises and multinational footwear corporations, he was responsible for the look and feel of my first post-Mid-Majority collaboration Sports Passport, as well as the beautiful Cathedrals of College Basketball map it spun off. Much more recently, Harsky and the Ghosts of TMM HQ have come together to create a very limited-edition poster that will detail the 32 greatest David & Goliath upsets in NCAA Tournament history, featuring the jerseys of the shot-slingers who made them happen.
Right now, this poster is blank, empty and sad, and it looks like the cover of a Matthew Lesko book. It needs your help, input and direct suggestion. Just like the superfun Mid-Majority group projects from the days of yore — do you remember? — this is 100 percent interactive and fully collaborative. We've created a David & Goliath Ballot, where you can vote on which of the 68 greatest NCAA upsets gave you the most #feelings, the ones that reawaken your most powerful March memories. Just like the first Thursday and Friday of the Big Dance, your vote will cut the field in Daytonian half.
The 32 games with the highest Emotion Slider™ scores will be added to the poster, which will be printed on acid free, medium weight, bright white, smooth archival paper by ArtEmpire.
But it isn't "just a poster." These are the rafters you send legends to. This is a Hall of Fame... and you are a ballot-wielding voter. This will be a timeless reliquary of college basketball heroes that you can frame, put on the wall of your home or office, and draw underdog inspiration from every day.
This is, of course, also the extension, culmination and completion of the book crowdfund. Your donation of $100 will not only give you this poster and an active voice in its creation, but you also get all the previous benefits of that particular David & Goliath: A Love Story donation level. You get a hardcover copy of the book upon publication, as well as access to the work-in-progress Slackspace. Once this poster is sold out, the crowdfund will be complete and the circle will be closed.
If you've already donated, this is definitely more than worth it. If you were on the fence about this whole "Kyle writes an underdog book" thing, or if you were quietly waiting for me to do a Basketball Project after five years, this. Right here. This is your time.