How “Show Me My Opponent” gets made

Like any normal-brained person, for most of the last 15 years, I’ve had a real obsession with the television show How It’s Made. On the off-chance you’ve never seen it, it’s a nominally Canadian TV show that got lots of run on the Discovery Channel in the late 2000s/early 2010s and now resides on the Science Channel. I don’t know that I could properly explain why I love this show so deeply, beyond stating that something about the start-to-finish process of watching a product become A Product has always been and will always be oddly compelling.

The idea behind this post is a somewhat self-indulgent version of How It’s Made. A few different people have asked in the past how I do what I do with regards to previewing 30+ Tennessee basketball games every season. This last season completed my third straight year previewing every Tennessee basketball game, meaning I’ve written about the last 96 Volunteer basketball fixtures in great detail. Every preview in the 2020-21 season was at least 2,000+ words and all but two were 2,500+, meaning that at least twice a week every week, I’m writing anywhere from 5,000-7,000 words about the basketball program at the university I attended.

Doing this repeatedly for free is, of course, a form of insanity. It has also afforded me opportunities I never would’ve received otherwise: seeing and hearing my stats referenced on television, forming new friendships in sports media, growing my “platform” and “brand”, etc. If nothing else, I think this could be mildly useful for younger (than me) writers, like those in college or high school, who would like to write on things they’re passionate about one day.

By popular request, here is a rough timeline of how the Show Me My Opponent series on this website gets made. To give the most accurate representation of how this works, I’ve picked a game at random from the middle of the SEC conference season – February 10, 2021, a Wednesday, when Tennessee played Georgia.

NEXT PAGE: How the, uh, sausage? gets made

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