Champaign, Ill. is the birthplace of great cultural icons such as YouTube and REO Speedwagon. Last November, the city gave the world the blog “Mid-Major Chillin.”
Men’s basketball forward Greg Kelley ’14, center Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14 and guard Jesse Pritchard ’14 created the blog to document their lives as basketball players for a mid-major program. The blog’s motto is “Get with the movement,” and posts document the every day “trials and tribulations” of Yale men’s basketball players, Kelley said.
“We were in Champaign,” Pritchard said. “We were just waiting for our Illinois game. Jeremiah and Greg Kelley wanted to start a blog to share with the world so people could see the mid-major life that we were living.”
Unlike high-major basketball programs, mid-major programs are not members of one of the power-six conferences — the Big East, the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Pacific-12 Conference, the Big Ten and the Big 12.
But the bloggers said there is more to the definition.
“We almost use mid-major as an adjective,” Kelley said. “Something is mid-major if it is not up to par… [If it is] not what’s expected of a Division I program because of hype in the media.”
“Mid-Major Chillin” demonstrates what it means to be “mid-major” by satirizing the discrepency between how Division I basketball teams are viewed and the reality of Yale’s team. Division I players are viewed as privileged and are thought to receive plentiful benefits and gear, Kreisberg said.
A post from Oct. 19 made fun of this idea: “A highlight for everyone this year was seeing three pairs of brand-new nike socks in our lockers… NO WAY! Is Yale on the verge of high-major status with such an upgrade?! Nope.”
When a player is introduced on the blog, his name is generally accompanied by a string of nicknames that stem either from inside jokes or that the blogger creates spontaneously, the three teammates said.
“[The nicknames] come naturally,” said Kelley, also known as “GKellz” and “Don Fuego.” “I think nicknames are great things. We all have stage names.”
In addition to posts giving insight into the locker rooms and hotel rooms used by Yale Men’s Basketball, or the “Goon Squad,” “Mid-Major Chillin” has several semi-regular features such as “Fan of the Week” and “Throwback Banger of the Week.” Kelley generally contributes the throwback music selections.
“Greg Kelley finds himself a bit of a music whiz,” said Pritchard, also known as “The Soul of Mischief,” “JP for Three,” and “All Meat and Potatoes” among other titles. “He likes to share with the world his favorite throwback bangers because as he says, the pop industry is destroyed and there will be no good music in the future,” he added.
Although the bloggers use “Mid-Major Chillin” as a venue to express their views on the irony of playing college basketball at a mid-major school, Kreisberg, or “The Hebrew Hammer” said the goal of the blog is to have fun. He added that although the players did not create the blog to receive attention, they are pleased with its readership. The blog has averaged about 150 hits a day during the fall term, Kreisberg said.
Nicknames and throwback bangers aside, the players view the blog as a way to connect with the rest of the student body.
“Get with movement,” Pritchard said. “I think [the blog] represents who we are, We are pretty easy-going guys who love basketball and just want people to show us some love, come support Yale basketball and have a good time.”