The Vox Media furloughs have hit their sports verticals of SB Nation and Banner Society particularly hard, with CEO Jim Bankoff citing them as “revenue areas where short-term demand will be lower.” Well, some of the furloughed Banner Society people are putting that assumption that there’s less “short-term demand” for their work to the test, launching a Gumroad page for an ebook they plan to work on during this time period, with a planned release of August 1. The project, titled The Sinful Seven: Sci-fi Western Legends of the NCAA, involves writers and editors Spencer Hall, Jason Kirk, Richard Johnson and Alex Kirshner and illustrator Tyson Whiting, and it’s available for a donation of $0.99 or more, with 20 percent of profits going to nationwide food bank network Feeding America.
— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) May 1, 2020
Here’s more from the project page:
We’re writing and illustrating a fiction/non-fiction ebook about the ever-desperate crusade to wrangle college sports, set in and around a time-travelin’, rootin’-tootin’, extra-demented American West.
…We’re shooting for about 150 to 200 pages, original art and maps and all.
We’ve always loved making stuff for college football’s internet-brained subculture. We also love lots of weird stuff that isn’t college football*. Such as cross-dimensional capers and haunted American mythology.
Combine all that, and The Sinful Seven will spin seven stories about the rise and fall of Wild West amateurism.
Nothing but truths, whether NCAA-sanctioned reality or tall tales or both.
We’re self-publishing this because we’re out of our regular day jobs for at least the summer lol. But hey, this means the chance to collaborate on something big, fun, bizarre, and … shhh … informative.
The option to pay whatever you want for this is smart, as like many past Every Day Should Be Saturday charity drives, it’s already seen people donating sums tied to particular scores, accomplishments, jersey numbers and more:
A dollar for every game LSU won last season pic.twitter.com/nT4PJmK3P0
— Evan Saacial Distancing (@evansaacks) May 1, 2020
Ja’Marr Chase’s 2019 receiving yards pic.twitter.com/Nj0uUHqLcB
— Adam (@AdamdotH) May 1, 2020
— Vertrees (@vertrees) May 1, 2020
Had to get a shot at Georgia in. looking forward to totally forgetting about this and seeing a surprise email in August pic.twitter.com/OKLKv94Sw2
— I. Ron Butterfly (@yoomarscomin) May 1, 2020
Decided to contribute with favorite ¡El Assico! game score pic.twitter.com/sk7AP1Uf7N
— Yeil Park (@celloyeil) May 1, 2020
— Hasan Masood (@Hasmas) May 1, 2020
There are other notable projects from furloughed or bought out Banner Society and SB Nation people as well, including new newsletters from Alex McDaniel, Mike Prada, Matt Ellentuck, and Ricky O’Donnell, and a continuing one from Matt Brown. And a variety of other fundraisers for those affected by these furloughs and layoffs have also raised impressive totals, with more than $83,000 raised for the Vox Media Furlough Fund at GoFundMe, $41,000 raised through Homefield Apparel, and more than $7,200 raised through Cowbucker. But the book project is perhaps a particularly poignant example of how the “short-term demand” for writing by some of the talented people Vox furloughed perhaps isn’t as low as Bankoff argued in his memo. If Vox doesn’t want to pay these people to write for them for three months, it looks like there are quite a few others interested in doing so.