So, okay. I may have seriously underestimated the BHGP community's combined proclivity for charity and causing me, Adam Jacobi, great discomfort. And for that I will be on a horse in 10 days.
Let's recap. This is BHGP's fifth year partnering with Iowa Touchdowns For Kids, a charity run by the Children's Miracle Network to help raise money for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, which ranks in the Top 20 nationally among all children's hospitals despite having no dedicated wing in the UIHC. The construction that is currently under progress will give the UICH that wing: a glimmering, towering structure that will overlook Kinnick Stadium and help minimize the logistical challenges of providing the best care possible to children in need. Every single cent raised by Iowa Touchdowns For Kids goes to that project. Not to us at BHGP, not to middle men, not to promotions or lawsuits or any other distractions. If you pledge and you donate, you directly help build that Children's Hospital. Period.
The concept is simple: donors choose an amount of money ($1, $2, $3, onward and upward) per touchdown to be donated at the end of the regular season. As Iowa scored 40 touchdowns in 2013 and usually scores about three per game under Kirk Ferentz, these dollars can add up rather quickly. That's what you want. Charity is supposed to add up to big things.
And because of this, in the previous four years, the BHGP community—one of the best groups of people on the Internet, full stop, and I will throw fists at anybody that disagrees—has donated over $50,000 to the project. Patrick Vint and I decided to up the ante this year and dangle a carrot (so to speak) for our readers and Twitter followers:
If BHGP can raise $400 per Iowa touchdown in 2014, I, Adam Jacobi, would ride a horse for your amusement.
We hit that goal frighteningly early in the process. As a result, before the Ball State game, BHGP will go to a preselected farm and I will get on that horse and gallop around or whatever you call it while Pat Vint reports from there.
If BHGP can raise $450 per Iowa touchdown in 2014, I, Adam Jacobi, would wear a custom sequined shirt made by Friend of the Pants Maggie Hendricks Gaines.
We have hit that goal as well. Accordingly, Maggie has informed me that she is excited to make the shirt and will have it to me in time for the horse ride.
If BHGP can raise $500 per Iowa touchdown in 2014, I, Adam Jacobi, would wear one of those infernal horse head masks to Kinnick Stadium for the Ball State game on September 6.
We are very close to this goal; as of Tuesday afternoon, BHGP has contributed 143 pledges for $476/TD, or only $24/TD away from the $500/TD goal. I have resigned myself to this inevitability and procured a horse mask. I REFUSE TO WEAR IT UNLESS I HAVE TO.
Since you people are charitable monsters who would have me suffer so that children do not have to, we must expect these pledges to continue and we must continue to provide incentives to solicit these pledges.
So here is my announcement.
If BHGP can raise $550 per Iowa touchdown in 2014, I, Adam Jacobi, will wear the horse head mask as I dance suggestively to Ginuwine's hit single "Pony" in front of the Old Capitol Dome in Iowa City on a weekday afternoon.
And at $575/TD I'll do it with the hooves.
I don't have a $600/TD incentive picked out, mainly because we didn't anticipate this thing even approaching $600/TD. That would be $24,000 if Iowa kept pace with last season and scored 40 touchdowns (which, let's be honest, seems conservative if anything), and easily our best season of fundraising ever.
So despite all better sense, I'm soliciting $600/TD suggestions. The best suggestions will be ones we can actually do—legally, ethically, logistically, safely—and not things that would upset innocent bystanders and/or PETA or whatever.
And just so we're clear on this: thank you.
I'm frankly at a loss for words that can adequately express how much this outpouring of support means to me, though I'll try anyway. I don't know how we got all of you—a rich, diverse tapestry of people, a slice of Iowa and America itself—to come around and stick around and be more than just readers, but friends and community members, people who stick up for each other, people who bring out great things in each other. Here you all are, though, and I would not trade this ragtag group of ne'er-do-wells for anybody else on the Internet.
And when the organizers of TD4K first approached us in 2010 about this, we had no idea what unbelievable support would ensue. How could anybody possibly know this was coming, that merely five years later our community would be racing past $50,000 contributed and only gaining speed?
Your generosity not only astonishes me, it accomplishes great things. This is our great thing. It is our stamp on the history of the University of Iowa. It may be a small stamp in the grand scheme of things, but it is ours. We goof, we have fun, we get on bewildered horses and wear ridiculous things, but we do great things. I cannot possibly thank you all enough.
As always, the donation page is embedded below, and you can CLICK HERE if it doesn't show up for you. Remember to click the "Black Heart Gold Pants" box where needed so your pledge can go toward our community goal.