TMM Basketball

is creating 2004

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Bally Club

$5
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  • All TMM Season Zero Chapters (30 Days Early)
  • "The Woods: A TMM Season 16 Anthology" EPUB Download
  • 2004-20 Web Archive Maintenance

Bally Club 2021 GOLD™

$10
per month
Includes Discord benefits
  • Sportz Institute Discord Access
  • All-Channel Pixelvision Access (via Discord)
  • UP!set MBB/WBB Pick 'Em Game 2020-21 (via Discord)
  • Pickball: 4 Daily Picks
  • All TMM Season Zero Chapters (30 Days Early)
  • Bonus Season Zero Multimedia Content
  • 2004-20 Web Archive Maintenance
  • "The Woods: A TMM Season 16 Anthology" EPUB Download

Bally Club 2004

$20.04
per month
Includes Discord benefits
  • Handwritten Season Zero Chapter Drafts (viewable via Patreon)
  • Season Zero Multimedia EPUB Book (delivered October 2021, 6+ month BC2004)
  • Chapter Sponsorship
  • Sponsor one reader who can't afford to donate
  • Sportz Institute Discord Access
  • UP!set MBB/WBB Pick 'Em Game 2020-21 (via Discord)
  • All-Channel Pixelvision Access (via Discord)
  • Pickball: 5 Daily Picks
  • All TMM Season Zero Chapters (30 Days Early)
  • Bonus Season Zero Multimedia Content
  • 2004-20 Web Archive Maintenance
  • "The Woods: A TMM Season 16 Anthology" EPUB Download

About TMM Basketball



The Mid-Majority launched on November 1, 2004, the day before George W. Bush's reëlection as President of the United States. 2004 was a year that featured a contentious vote, a separation between "blue" and "red" states, the encroachment of new technologies from new companies, debates over the proper balance of privacy and safety, and a deadly virus that began in Asia and spread worldwide. In other words: 2004 looked a little bit like 2020.

In order to move forward, we need to go back. Beginning November 1, TMM will present 40 basketball stories from 16 years ago... a new one every Sunday. TMM's birth year coincided with the United States "Nightmare Team" at the Athens Olympics, the ascendance of Manu Ginóbili and Argentina, a Pistons-Pacers rivalry that peaked with Malice at the Palace, a UConn men's-women's double, the Maccabi Tel Aviv miracle in the EuroLeague, and a undefeated run to the NCAA Tournament by Saint Joseph's. With a decade and a half of hindsight, we can carefully reconstruct the cultural contexts in which these events originally happened. Perhaps 2004 can offer us some lessons on how to move beyond our current moment. (As well as how not to.)

TMM was one of the very first fully crowdfunded sports sites, fully and fiercely independent since 2009. Whether you've been supporting these efforts for a decade or are just joining us, there are Patreon perks to make it worth your while.

TMM: A Short History


In 2004, The Mid-Majority was born as one of the first-ever "sports blogs". Its first mission was to attend 100 mid-major college basketball games during the 2004-05 NCAA season and write about every single one. This mission was successfully completed. The 100 Games Project touched off a low-sum bidding war for TMM's services. For the next four years, its founder covered college basketball for ESPN.com, as one of the first-ever "sports bloggers" to write for a high-major sports media website.

Over the course of ten years, The Mid-Majority and its loyal, dedicated staff—the human founder, a talking basketball mascot and a Robot—gained a cult audience of tens of thousands. TMM was well-beloved for its hard-traveling college basketball coverage, Casual Analytics™, in-depth interviews, temporary employment, a dense thicket of in-jokes, internet comic strips, Hobbesian philosophy, transreality gaming, and an army of writers.

TMM spawned four books and sustained itself by way of a groundbreaking early version of "crowdfunding", which mostly involved sending stuffed basketballs through the mail. The Mid-Majority was much more than a web brand, it was a comprehensive lifestyle to subscribe to. It influenced a generational half-life of "sports bloggers" and inspired faithful imitators.

Each of TMM's ten seasons began on November 1 with a web server crash, and ended with a long and thoughtful Epilogue once the final men's mid-major team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. In 2014, at the conclusion of its tenth season, or "Season X", TMM was deleted off the internet. Some people were sad. In 2019, TMM revived and remastered its archives. By pandemic-stricken 2020, there was new crowdsourced content and a fifth book, an anthology called "The Woods".

Now it's time to go back in time, and take a full accounting of the year when it all started: 2004.

Who's Behind This

Kyle Whelliston has operated TMM since 2004 through all its various annual manifestations. He is a former senior writer at ESPN.com, covered mid-major basketball for Basketball Times for three years, wrote for Basketball Prospectus for two seasons, and is the author of five books. Kyle also co-authored "Sole Purpose" with Samaritan's Feet founder Manny Ohonme, and "I Don't Mind Hitting Bottom, I Just Hate Dragging" with basketball coach Tony Ingle. 

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