Over the past half-decade or so, the way sports media is consumed has changed drastically. The blog form has been the primary engine. It has opened the door for more voices and more perspectives than the mainstream media ever has — and more than the mainstream media is capable of containing, given the constraints of the newspaper format.
With the newspaper and other traditional formats, sports coverage was limited: game recaps, short news and notes stories, and the occasional old-school beat writer opinion column. And that was it. Before the rise of the sports blog, Brewers fans had the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, MLB.com and… well, not much else.
The J-S and MLB.com still provide the foundational access-based coverage, but fans are now presented with more choices than they could possibly hope to consume. Just a few, for consideration: Brew Crew Ball, The Brewers Bar, Miller Park Drunk, The Brewer Nation, Reviewing The Brew and Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball. Some have merged (Disciples of Uecker is basically the old Bernie’s Crew plus a few others at this point), and some have disappeared (like Right Field Bleachers, my first internet home and the reason I didn’t quit blogging after five posts), but Brewers discourse is far more expansive now than we could have imagined a decade ago.
But I still can’t help but feel we have more unexplored territory to cover. The blog form does offer nearly unlimited freedom. I have written so many different things here over the past three-plus years, from game recaps to hardcore analysis to heartfelt goodbyes to off-beat humor and everywhere in between.
If there is one negative to the blog form, however, it is the demand for immediacy. The move of internet publishing models to feature the digestible and the recent (look no further than BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post if you don’t know what I’m talking about) buries ideas that don’t fit the current flow of the news cycle and ideas that can’t fit in 800 words or less.
To that end, I’d like to introduce to you the Brewsletter, a semi-regular — twice monthly is the plan, for now — collection of Milwaukee Brewers thoughts for distribution here at Disciples of Uecker. The first issue contains three articles (including this one), including one feature length (2,000-plus words) and some charts of note.
This is Disciples of Uecker’s first venture into the land of paid content. The Brewsletter will, at least in its early stages, cost $1.99. For your $1.99, you will get some 4,000 words and four pages worth of charts in .PDF format, and you support the creation of future Brewsletters.
In many ways, this blog and many others have surivived because they are free of charge. We as a society, and the younger generation to which I belong in particular, are now used to getting content for free, whether on principle or merely by habit.
But I want to fill that void the blog form currently isn’t filling for Brewers content — longer, deeper, more creative, less newsy, stories living outside of Twitter trends and MLB Memes. I want to dive deep into important Brewers topics. I want to revive old memories. Most importantly, I want to make you think.
The stuff in the Brewsletter isn’t going to race to the top of Google search lists. It isn’t going to get clicks from Bleacher Report or BuzzFeed. As such, ad support won’t be enough to make the Brewsletter a sustainaible, regular item. This issue and subsequent issues will run $1.99 — a small price, I think, for what I believe will be unique and top-notch Brewers content.
For that $1.99, you will get two Milwaukee Brewers pieces totaling nearly 4,000 words. Each issue will contain at least one piece covering current Brewers events and one covering Brewers history. The inagaural issue includes a look at John Axford’s rise and fall as well as Ben Sheets’s role in building the Brewers of today.
Disciples of Uecker is not becoming a pay site. This does not signal the end of free access to any of the features you’re already used to. This is merely an extra project, my way of getting back into covering the Brewers, something I haven’t been able to do as much as I’ve liked over the past year or so. And one article from each Brewsletter will be released here at Disciples of Uecker — you won’t be flying blind.
I want to make the Brewsletter great. I want it to look great. I want it to feel great. I want it to regularly contain the most thoughtful Brewers content in any form. I want it to grow, to include more contributors (who I can pay for their work), more ideas and more perspectives than the rest of the Brewers community can offer.
And I want it to thrive. To do that, I need your support. All it takes is a couple dollars and a couple of clicks.
Not convinced yet? Check back tomorrow for a chance to catch one of the Brewsletter 1 articles, “Ben Sheets: The No Brainer.” Ready to dive in? Head over to the Brewsletter page or buy it now!