Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody

Touchdowns For Kids

Hello, friends. BHGP is exclusively reporting that according to anonymous sources, today is Thanksgiving (MUST CREDIT BHGP!!!!). We hope that you're able to spend some portion of the holiday around as much of your family as possible, even if it can't be all at once, and that you all eat well and have wonderful lives to celebrate. Also, may you all watch as much college football as possible this weekend, because this weekend's going to go farther in determining the national championship contenders than any other this season -- including next week's round of championship games.

We at BHGP would also like to take the occasion to give thanks for so much of what enriches our lives at this website, even as we struggle through such a frustrating season. We're thankful for the over 2,700 registered members of BHGP, and the incredible community that has been fostered over the last three years. We wouldn't trade the lot of you for any other fanbase in the world, mainly because that fanbase wouldn't really know what to do at an Iowa website.

We're thankful that this incredible BHGP community has risen up in a truly stunning display of selflessness in pledging $445 per touchdown to Iowa Touchdowns For Kids this season, and that $18,966.70 has been raised for the cause thus far. When we started this fundraiser, we had no idea what to expect, and all we hoped was that we'd at least get to $2,000 or $3,000 or so, just so there wouldn't be some sad little number sitting on the sidebar during the year. Obviously, we're way past that, and that's, to say the least, amazing and wonderful. Thank you all, again.

We'd also like to give thanks for the fact that the "challenges" and "frustrations" that face Iowa's top two men's programs are a 7-4 season in football and the first firing in several decades in basketball. Even if Iowa doesn't win championships in either sport, the athletic department can still hang its hat on being one of the most stable in college sports, and increasingly a "destination" school rather than just some mediocre NCAA team.

We're thankful for our families, our friends -- from both BHGP and the rest of the world -- and our lives in general, which aren't perfect but don't need to be, either.

And lastly, we're immensely thankful that we don't have to spend this Thanksgiving in a hospital. For thousands of families in Iowa, that's a luxury they can't enjoy, often because they have a child at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. The nasty part about life is that bad fortune doesn't really care what day it is or what the holidays have in store for normal people; it strikes every day of every year, and that's just the way life goes.

So here's the deal. As mentioned before, we're almost at $20,000 on the entire season, and even if nobody pitches in another cent, we'll get there by Iowa's third touchdown on the day against Minnesota on Saturday. That'll probably happen by halftime (those who complain about me jinxing the team have clearly not watched Minnesota's defense this year). But let's not leave it up to chance. Let's make one last push to get BHGP's total as high as it can be. Again, even if the needle doesn't move at all, this season's efforts have been so incredible that I struggle to find the words to describe it.

Again, BHGP has contributed $445 per touchdown, and the TD4K fundraiser as a whole has topped $3,000 per touchdown. These are unqualified successes for us, the Hawkeye fanbase, and most importantly the UI Children's Hospital. If you cannot (or choose not to) donate to the UICH any further, that's okay. You have our full and unquestioned understanding. I know what it's like to be pressured into spending when completely poor, and BHGP won't be doing any of that today.

But.

If you can and you want to donate, if you're happy that you're spending this holiday season around healthy and happy children, if you want to make sure as many other families with children enjoy that luxury, if you yourself are a beneficiary of the UICH, or if you want to be able to see the hospital during a game at Kinnick and know that you yourself made a difference in the life of a family in need in that very hospital, please do give, just one last time in 2010. Even if all you do is give $1 per TD or the minimum $25 flat donation, that is wonderful and commendable. Lots of people have given just $1 per TD, and now on the whole, Iowa Touchdowns For Kids has raised over $3,000 per TD on the season. That's over $135,000 raised for the UI Children's Hospital.

Okay, now for the technicals, just so you know what you're getting into since there's money involved. This fundraiser goes for Hawkeye touchdowns in the regular season only, so that the totals can be calculated (and the donations collected) for the 2010 tax year. The collection for the fundraiser itself is being run by the Children's Miracle Network, one of the most respected organizations in the world. BHGP does not collect any donations or see any donors' money whatsoever (even indirectly), nor did we enter into this fundraiser with any expectation -- written or implied -- of any compensation whatsoever. If you choose to give (and we hope you do!), you give to Children's Miracle Network, and not BHGP.

So, anyway. Here's the donation page. The process is pretty straightforward, but if you need a step-by-step to make sure BHGP gets credit for donation, here you go. Here's more information about the operations and goals of a children's hospital, and here's an interview with Tim Dwight and another with Seth Olsen about helping the UI Children's Hospital. We're reopening the Bragging Thread if you want to announce your donation to the program, but if you choose not to donate, that's really okay; in your donation's lieu, please just tell us what you're thankful for in these here comments, and have a happy Thanksgiving, everybody. You all rock.

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