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The most comprehensive Tennessee football preseason magazine returns this summer with big aspirations. Here's how you can get involved.

Not sure why that thing isn't showing a play button. It is a video, and it desperately wants you to click it.

Yes, we're doing the magazine again this year, like we have since 2009. This year, though, we're hoping to get it back onto the newsstands in and around Knoxville, and to do that, we need your help.

For those of you who have heard of Kickstarter, I'll spare you the explanation and just give you the link to become a backer. And tell you thanks.

For those of you who have not yet heard of Kickstarter, it is a crowdfunding platform that allows folks with creative works to raise money they need up front to make those projects a reality. Prospective backers make a financial commitment toward the fundraising goal, and they only actually pay if and when the project meets that goal. If too few people believe in it enough to back it with their wallets, the project is not funded, and nobody pays anything.

We've set our investment goal for Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 at $20,000. Assuming we hit that goal (we'll hit that goal, right?), the money will be used for (1) design, (2) photos, (3) pre-printing of thousands of copies, (4) expenses related to distribution/circulation in and around Knoxville (assuming our newsstand consultant comes through for us and is able to land a distributor or wholesaler), and (5) to pay the terrific staff of contributors, all of whom basically got screwed when Maple Street Press went under in 2011 and all of whom decided to do the 2012 edition essentially for free anyway. Inky says, "Don't quit, man," and we don't quit, man.

We've given ourselves 28 days to get to $20,000, and we ask our dear readers to back the project at one of the following levels:

  • Pledge $15 or more

    One copy of Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 shipped to you as soon as it is available from the printer. This is basically pre-ordering the magazine and having it shipped directly to your door within a couple of days of when we receive it from the printer.

  • Pledge $25 or more

    One copy of Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 shipped to you as soon as it is available from the printer, PLUS a downloadable copy of the PDF ebook as soon as it is sent to the printer. I'm guessing that will be something like a couple of weeks early.

  • Pledge $50 or more

    Both of the above, PLUS the exclusive 2013 Rocky Top Talk t-shirt (design to be crowdsourced on RTT), or any custom t-shirt from the Gameday Depot RTT store.

  • Pledge $100 or more

    All of the above, PLUS $10 toward the purchase of any custom or officially licensed item from Gameday Depot.

  • Pledge $150 or more

    All of the above, PLUS your name on the acknowledgements page of the magazine.

  • Pledge $200 or more

    All of the above, PLUS two sentences on the acknowledgements page of the magazine. Must comply with RTT community guidelines.

  • Pledge $250 or more

    All of the above, plus a reasonably-doable Easter Egg hidden somewhere in the magazine. "Reasonably-doable" is in the discretion of the publisher. Something like working some bizarre word or phrase into an article. Must comply with RTT community guidelines.

  • Pledge $500 or more

    All of the above, PLUS Joel and at least one other RTT front page author will buy you dinner at a Knoxville restaurant of your (reasonable) choice.

So head over to the Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 Kickstarter Project and become a backer today.

P.S. Some of the best and most constructive feedback we received on last year's edition was that some people felt like they could have gotten all of the same content for free at Rocky Top Talk. I do need to point out that we absolutely did not put most of the magazine on RTT. What we did do, however, was excerpt nearly every article to help promote the magazine, and we completely understand that the sheer number of rather substantial excerpts gave the impression that the entire magazine was available for free on RTT. We will not make the same mistake again this year. Any excerpts will be both short and few in quantity. The only overlap we foresee right now is that we'll post the articles/portions of articles that we had to cut from the magazine, and Chris' analysis of the offense and defense will be Level 100 material in the magazine while he'll post Level 200 stuff here. We will promote the magazine here, so you can expect that, but we will not be posting hardly any of the actual content here.

The price of the magazine last year was $19.99. If we hit the fundraising goal, we plan to list it at $12.99, so there's some additional negative incentive for those of you wired that way. Get it now for $15 or later for $20 plus shipping.

You can be an integral part of our effort to get Rocky Top Tennessee 2013 back onto the newsstands in Knoxville this year and to position the title for even bigger and better things in 2014.

So get your fingerprints on this thing. Go to Kickstarter and become a backer. Thanks!