HOST: Hi! Welcome to "Rocky Top Tennessee 2013," the show that is going to try really, really, REALLY SUPER HARD to persuade you that you can't possibly live without backing our preseason magazine! Today, we're talking with a completely anonymous contributor to that magazine who is neither nine years old nor a stodgy 64-year-old journalist who says you can have his profession when you pry it from his cold, dead hands, that or when he retires, which is in three months, four days, eight hours, and thirty-five minutes. For the sake of convenience, we'll call our guest Bill Smelton. Please welcome Mr. Smelton!
BS: Oh, hey. How's it going?
HOST: GREAT! So, Bill, I can see that you're not nine years old!
HOST: FANTASTIC! And I can see that you're not a stodgy 64-year-old journalist who says you can have his profession when you pry it from his cold, dead hands, that or when he retires, which is in three months, four days, eight hours, and thirty-five minutes -- either.
BS: Right. Not that guy, either.
HOST: No? Okay, so just who are you, Mr. Bill Smelton?
BS: Just a guy. Good job. Love my team. Write about it sometimes.
HOST: . . .
BS: . . .
HOST: OKAY! So, anyway. You're here today to tell us about an amazing new product (glances down at note card), the Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 Tennessee Football preseason magazine, right?!
BS: Yeah, sure. Let's do that.
BS: . . . Right. So, me and some guys from a web site put together this magazine about the Vols every summer so that people can read it.
HOST: IT'S ABOUT SPORTS!!
BS: . . .
HOST: (grinning and rocking back and forth on her heels)
BS: . . . it's about sports. More specifically, Tennessee Football.
HOST: . . . OKAY! EXCELLENT!! What amazing things can our viewers do with Rocky Top Tennessee 2013?
BS: Well, they can read it. It's full of nothing but the Vols. We have in-depth unit previews, in-depth opponent previews, a feature on the quarterback race and the offensive line, features on the recruiting class of 2013, and a whole bunch of stuff on Butch Jones, including what former players are saying about him and the work he's doing with Tennessee high schools. And there's a look ahead to the 2014 class as well as a feature on the rest of the coaching staff. And features on the new offense and the new defense and the importance of an upset in Year One. Oh, and a bunch of history, too -- the 10th Anniversary of the 5-overtime game between Tennessee and Alabama, the 15th Anniversary of the 1998 National Championship, and the 85th Anniversary of the renewal of the Third Saturday in October. Plus, a couple of other pieces about what 2013 might tell us about the past couple of years, some snippets on the 2014 legacies' fathers and relatives, and a tongue-in-cheek humor piece.
HOST: (eyes glazed over; startles at the sudden silence) Are you done?
BS: Yeah, I'm done.
HOST: GREAT! So there's a whole bunch of stuff in there, and I don't already know any of it!
HOST: Okay, so how do you cram all of that into four pages?
HOST: How do you cram all of that info into four pages?
BS: We don't. It's 112 pages.
(in-studio crowd gasps)
HOST: WHOA! It's One. Hundred. And. Twelve. Pages?! All put together in one place? That's amazing!
HOST: You know what I hate? I hate shelling out my hard-earned money for a big thick preseason magazine, driving all the way home, and settling in on the pot only to find out that there are only four pages about the team I care most about it. The rest is about a bunch of teams I either don't care about or have never even heard of! It's like the publisher went out and copied four pages from every team's media guide and stapled them together!! I mean, I can finish the entire magazine in one . . . sitting, if you know what I mean!!!
BS: Wow. Okay.
HOST: So is this Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 going to do that to me?
BS: No, this is 112 pages of nothing but the Vols. Maybe a handful of pages on our opponents in the SEC.
HOST: Okay, okay. But you know what else I hate? I hate shelling out my hard-earned money for a big thick preseason magazine only to find out that it's half full of ads! I mean, I can drive down the street and see ads for free, you know?! Is this Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 going charge me to read ads?
BS: Again, no. This publication has no advertisements.
HOST: WAIT. JUST. ONE. SECOND. Are you telling me that this magazine is 112 pages, it covers only the Tennessee Volunteers, and it has ZERO ads?
BS: That's what I'm telling you.
(crowd bursts into enthusiastic applause)
HOST: All right. All right. But there's got to be a catch. You know what else I hate? I hate shelling out my hard-earned money for a big thick preseason magazine only to find out it's in like 6-point font, it's full of obscure acronyms I have to look up, and the part I can actually read just says that "town X was upset with me when I predicted that team Y would do thing Z, but I WAS RIGHT all those years. Of course, he's only going to say that when he's actually right, you know? And then suddenly he's out of room for any analysis for this year, except to say that he thinks the team is going to go 8-5. Is this Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 going to do that to me?
BS: No. As a matter of fact, I don't think we've ever actually been right about anything.
(The host's on-air facade breaks, the crowd is shocked into prolonged silence.)
BS: That was a joke.
HOST: (breaks into a huge smile; the crowd burst into laughter and applause). OH YOU HAD ME GOING THERE MR. SMELTON!
BS: Okay. But really that just goes to show just how different this publication is from any other publication. It includes a sense of humor that you won't find in other preseason publications.
HOST: THAT IS FANTASTIC! What else can I do with this magazine?
BS: That's pretty much it, actually.
HOST: OH NO IT ISN'T! We have a surprise for you! We have unleashed our R&D experts and locked them in a small room to brainstorm for 46 straight hours, and they have come up with a host of new features!
HOST: Yes, really. Now, Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 can cut through a tin can and STILL cut through a tomato, just like so.
(crowd gasps -- again)
HOST: But wait, there's more! It will grow hair where you want it and remove hair where you don't! It will burn fat and give you six-pack abs even as you just sit on your butt! It will cure your incontinence, erase wrinkles, and get you girls! And it will even improve your golf swing! That's right, folks. This amazing new Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 combines every single one of the great features of the Ginsu Knife, Hair in a Can, the Slap Chop, the Hawaii Chair, the Potty Putter, Mr. Microphone, the UroClub, and the Comfort Wipe.
BS: Yeeeaaaaaah, it actually won't do any of that.
HOST: OH. YES. IT. WILL. BILL. IT'S AMAZING! Now, I'm positive that all of those people out there want one of these. How much do you think someone should have to pay for a publication that does all of these things?
BS: Well, we're pricing it . . .
HOST: WAIT! DON'T ANSWER THAT! Did you know that the website that gave birth to this publication has been on the web for free since 2006? Did you know that if you'd subscribed to just one of those subscription sites for that same period of time, you'd have paid them about $700?! And what if those magazines that had only four pages that you cared about actually had 112 pages on the team you loved? Would they multiply their price by a factor of 28 and charge $224?
BS: . . . That's a lot of money.
HOST: YOU'RE [FULMERIZED] RIGHT THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY, MR. SMELTON! But you can back the Kickstarter project with a pledge of only $15. OR . . . you can get both the print version AND the downloadable PDF earlier than anyone else for a pledge of only $25! Or you can get a t-shirt, too, for $50!! You can even plant your own Easter Egg in the thing for $250, less than half of what you've paid to one subscription site for the past six years!!! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
BS: I'm very uncomfortable with the guilt trip, just so you know.
HOST: BUT THEY NEED THIS! IT'S CHEAP, AND IT'S SOMETHING THEY LOVE, AND IT WILL HELP THEM RELIEVE THEMSELVES DISCRETELY ON THE GOLF COURSE AND PERFECT THEIR PUTTS WHILE THEY POOP!!!!!
BS: It won't do any of that, and you need to calm down. It's frightening.
HOST: ACT NOW!!! BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!! CLICK OVER TO THE KICK. . .
(host collapses on stage; all is quiet for several minutes before BS picks up the note card dropped by the host and reads)
BS: Um, click over to the Kickstarter and back the project today.