As promised, we're going to look back at the last five years of WRNL's existence and all the chaos we seemed to create. When we started the site we had one goal in mind: to be the alternative to CycloneFanatic. I'd like to think we've achieved that goal, and it's largely because of you, the readers.
It's fitting that as we sit here at our 5th birthday party the relevancy, and potentially survival, of an Iowa State athletic's program hangs in the balance. When we debuted our old WordPress site on May 18, 2010 we were deep in the throes of conference realignment. They say that tough times reveal a man's character, and the same is true in the creative process. So it's no surprise that two of our early hits were centered around conference realignment.
Yes, this is something we legitimately published in our first month of existence. The frustration with the Big East invite, possible Mountain West landing spot, and everything in between was just too much. We had to find a solution to the mess, so we went to the best hook up site on the interwebs: Craigslist.
We were so desperate for information that a week later we tapped the phone lines between Nebraska and Texas. Since the whole point of the article was the GIF you can find it below.
This was the first interview we did with Hiawatha Rutland, but it wasn't our last. We just had this crazy idea to reach out to former athletes for interviews and Hiawatha happened to indulge us. We'll never forget it.
The OG Hot Take Master, Norman Underwood, just outright destroyed the entirety of our 2010 football schedule with his Know Your Enemy series. The link above goes to our recap of the entire series, and there you'll find a link to each individual story and the not used enough Hinrich Scale of Douche-Baggery. Each write up has some gems in it, so burn a Friday reading them.
We love us some mascots around here. We love it more when we can throw them in Celebrity Deathmatch type of hijinks.
Some things seem important at the time. Now, not so much.
Fred gets hired, we gush. We're still gushing.
And is still a fucking dick.
The Move to Bloguin
Four months after we started we moved to Bloguin. If you've never heard of it, I don't blame you. They're a blog roll no different than SBN but don't have the back of an emerging media start up (Vox) to really make waves. Friend of the blog Blatant Homerism is there, as is Awful Announcing, but after that I couldn't name a single damn blog over there.
The great thing about Bloguin was that it is a bigger network and we started making in roads with peer blogs. Our interviewing stepped up and we felt more connected to other blogs in the conference. Of course almost losing your teams livelihood because of Texas and Nebraska's greed will bring a lot of people closer together.
Unfortunately there's no way to see the Bloguin stuff on its own, as the current URL was the same URL we used then and was redirected to this site when we came on board SBN in October 2011. Old Bloguin articles can be found poorly formatted in the archives here, so let's take a look.
Strong on the field, strong off the field. That's how you build the most important middle of the pack program in the country.
Balken was a mysterious man in WRNL's history. He was never a writer, but a loyal friend of the program. He might not even be a he, but we know that he is the strangest person we've ever had give us ideas.
Savor this one Hawkeye fans, as we admit to Ronald McDonald coloring.
If this one needs an introduction then we're going to have a problem.
Of course we did.
Snow. Snow everywhere!
Holy shit. Things really change over the course of four years.
Want proof? Go do this crossword.
The Move to SB Nation
With Clone Chronicles winding down on SBN it was time for them to find a new Iowa State blog. In late Spring 2011 they approached us with an offer we couldn't refuse and a
star slightly more impressive blog was born. It took a long time to get us on board, so long in fact that we had to migrate the site the week of the 2011 Texas game.
Iowa State was coming in to that game sitting at 3-0, hosting a Top 25 Texas team on national TV in prime time, and set to announce their arrival to the college football scene. Here is our preview, and regrettably, our recap.
Here we begin rounding in to form by picking on our conference brethren. The awesome thing about SBN is how easily accessible the other blogs are, and thus we get closer to our final form.
By telling A&M to go fuck themselves. Up until this past spring this was the most viewed article in WRNL history. When Texas loves something you get love in return.
I bet his amp goes to 11.
Our first dump is...uh...dumped.
Iowa State Kills the BCS
Mainly because of this passage:
16 is for Jared Barnett who became the second Cyclone quarterback this season to begin his career 3-0, the fifth Cyclone quarterback in a row to win his first game as a freshman, and had the 3rd ranked Iowa State offensive output of all time with 460 yards against Oklahoma State. This man has a bright future with the right coaching hire by Paul Rhoads this offseason.
This was so popular, and confused enough people, that we still get asked if he's doing a preview for us this year.
And yes, we're hoping he does.
This isn't the Podolak post we're known for (you have to Google that one), but this one is funny in its own right.
Exorcising the demons of Gallagher-Iba.
Really, a lot changed in four years.
The recap to an amazing, unexpected weekend in Kansas City in 2014.
With our first of a series of beer posts.
[Pause to mourn 2014 football season.....and moving on]
For many reasons we'll end with the recap from Kansas City in March. It's the last true piece of good news we've had as Cyclone fans, and is an image we're going to want to keep in our heads as we move through the summer.
Regarding WRNL itself, I want to take a few paragraphs to thank a lot of the people that have made the site what it is. We have the original founders, NormanUnderwood, CanAzn, myself, Intoxcycated, BettyCocker, ClonesJer, Cyssormetimbers, mcc, and a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting. They were all instrumental in starting the site and keeping it going early on. Most have moved on to other things in life but still pop in here from time to time and behind the scenes as well. So thank you.
To the staff that have been here so long you might as well be founders. CyHawk, Cyentist, cylentbutdeadly, CrossCyed.
To our new staff, Fitzy, Narber, Cydeliner, Vegas, Jwilly, FiftyShadesofGray, grapplecy, Cyclone Scholar, you're the new blood that will keep pushing the site further towards the future.
And most of all, to you, the fans. We're one of the most commented blogs in the SBN college network, we're now a Top 40 blog in views and bust in to the Top 25 in the relevant sports seasons. You make the site fun and worth coming back to and your contributions on the non-sports side of things have challenged us to want to develop more rounded content. So thank you, keep being you, and keep helping us make this the alternative to some of the other Cyclone sites out there.
I'm sure I've missed something in my massive dump, so please feel free to share your memories of WRNL. Whether that be articles, encounters, or anything that you deem as relevant to your life. We love hearing your takes.
The next five years are going to bring a lot of changes to the blog, all of them good, and I look forward to sharing them now and in the future.