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Hammer and Rails: Notes From An Editor

A few non-sport updates from Hammer and Rails.

Syndication: Louisville Scott Utterback/Courier Journal

If you clicked on this article for Purdue sports information, turn back now. 99/100 articles on Hammer and Rails involve Purdue sports, this isn’t one of them. This article is for the regular Hammer and Rails readers trying to figure out the management and writing “transition”.

Hey y’all, it’s been a little over a week since Andrew and I took over the reigns at Hammer and Rails. I mainly handle the content side of H&R while Ledman handles social media, scheduling, and some writing (basically, the adulting stuff). This Hammer and Rails transition was a surprise for everyone, which meant I already had a vacation planned for the first week of November. Now that I’m back home, and we’ve had a week to work out some of the kinks, I wanted provide everyone with insight into some of our plans moving forward.

We’re jumping into this thing full tilt. November is our busiest month with football winding down and basketball ramping up. We’re not making any major changes to our content now because all our efforts are directed towards providing y’all with simultaneous football and basketball coverage. Once things settle down, Andrew and I will sit down (over zoom of course) and decide if we want to shake things up, or keep Hammer and Rails moving down the same path (I don’t anticipate any need for major changes).

One minor change I’m making for basketball is a split preview for every game. This isn’t to pump out redundant articles, but to provide more information. I’m handling the Purdue side of things, and Garrett will handle of the opponent previews. Most articles on Hammer and Rails are between 1000-1500 words. I wrote 1,300 words on Purdue for the Milwaukee game. Garrett wrote 800+ words on Milwaukee. If we produced a single preview, the article would still be under 1,500 words, because these things take a while to write.

The opponent previews are particularly time consuming in the non-conference because Garrett has to start from scratch. I’ve got a decent grasp on Purdue basketball, but he has to research two new teams every week. Once we get into Big10 play, the opponents are more familiar. For that reason, when I put out a “full” preview, it tends to lack information on the opponent. I don’t have an extra 2-3 hours to spend researching the Milwaukee Panthers or the Austin Peay State Governors. By splitting the previews, I’m hoping to give y’all a better feel for the opponent, not spam you with redundant articles.

Things might be a little repetitive to start the season because there isn’t much evaluation to do on some opponents other than “this team is not good enough to beat Purdue.” I can assure you, this will change as the season moves along. We’ll also dive into the stats (and advanced stats for all you nerds) once those stats mean something, which takes about 8-10 games. Hang with us, I think you’ll like the split previews once Purdue starts playing tougher opponents.

The Open Thread “preview” will give basic information copy and pasted from the two previews instead of giving you an “open thread” without any info. It’s designed to be a quick reference for people watching the game and commenting. Want to know how many points their power forward averages, or where their point guard is from? Scroll to the top of the open thread to find out. Consider it more of a cheat sheet than a “preview” (if that makes sense).

Finally, I decided to stay at Hammer and Rails because I like what I’ve helped build here over the last decade. I could have gone over to Rivals, in fact, it wouldn’t be the first Rivals job offer I’ve received (just the first one involving Purdue). I like what Hammer and Rails provides and I like the fact that’s it’s free. I also have no interest in covering recruiting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Rivals, 247, and On3 do their thing, and Hammer and Rails does something different. I’m here because I want to be here, not because I don’t have other options.

Anyways, hope y’all are enjoying the new Hammer and Rails experience thus far, and we’ll keep working to make it better.