Slather that last layer of icing on the birthday cake. At the stroke of midnight, Rock M Nation is turning two years old. Click to sound the celebratory music!
Now, according to some parenting Web sites, here's a couple of things we should be able to do now that we're two years old here at RMN:
-- Enjoy simple make believe scenarios? Check. (See: Madness, Meme)
-- Feed ourselves with a spoon? Check. Sean Weatherspoon, to be exact.
-- Capable of frequent tantrums stemming from inability to communicate? Check.
-- Cannot sit still for more than a few minutes? I don't know that's necessarily tru... OOOH, SOMETHING SHINY!
In all seriousness, though, we can't come around to October 4th and not reminisce about what this place has meant to us for two years and what it's been like to watch this community grow. And it's not just the growth of the community in that amount of time that's so striking -- it's also the parallel growth of Mizzou sports as a whole. Two years ago, Missouri basketball was loaded with guys deemed as "thugs" by the outside world. Missouri football had never represented the Big 12 North in the Big 12 championship and hadn't won in Manhattan or Boulder in a generation. Elite Eights and Armageddons at Arrowhead weren't impossible, but they sure were pipe dreams. Isn't it amazing what can happen in 24 months?
In year one, Rock M Nation was visited over 160,000 times -- a number that still staggers us. But in the last calendar year, we've been visited by almost three times that number of people. Rock M Nation's visit total is hovering around 600,000 over two years, and we're thankful for each and every one of 'em. But as great as numbers are, it's the people that make this place what it is, which is why in addition to thanking each and every one of you, there's also a distinguished list of others we need to thank.
First and foremost, we as a collective group of owners/editors have to send our sincerest thanks to the folks at SB Nation (and the new SBNation.com!!! [/ shameless plug]). I'm not sure if the inner workings of the site are lost on the normal commenter, but as a blog manager, I can not express how truly amazing both this platform and this team truly are. Countless kudos are in order for many of the bigwigs behind the scenes -- grand poobah Jim Bankoff, visionary Tyler Bleszinski, tech masters Trei and Chris (and others whose names I don't know), college network commanders Peter Bean and Joel Hollingsworth, and SO many others. RMN is in the very odd position of seeming neither old nor new to SBN, so it feels odd to say the recent explosion of growth has astounded us, but it really has. We're just thrilled to be a part of it.
Additionally, we have to tip our hat to others who play such a vital role in the Missouri online sports scene. First of all, let us say a collective thank you to Dave Matter, Steve Walentik and Gabe DeArmond. These gentlemen do an incredible job of covering Missouri athletics, and their devotion to their craft makes everything we do here possible. We can't stress our gratitude to them, and we hope that Missouri fans continue to patronize the Columbia Tribune and PowerMizzou. Also, we must shout out to Mizzourah, Atomic Teeth, and The Columns for their contributions as well.
Finally, allow me to step away from using the royal collective "we" to describe us at RMN and step into speaking solely for myself. There's two other people I need to thank and I'm not quite sure how.
Bill (the artist formerly known as "The Boy") and Seth ("The Beef"), I'm talking about you.
Without going too overboard here, I can't stress enough that these are two of the finest gentlemen I've ever had the pleasure of associating with. Two years ago, SB Nation approached Bill, Seth and me and asked if Mizzou Sanity (Bill and Seth's venture) and Every True Son (my venture) would consider merging to create SBN's new Missouri site. At this time, the co-blogger model was not highly utilized within SB Nation, so it was a little bit of a gamble on everyone's part, but I couldn't be happier with the results. As I'm sure you are all aware, internet communities are very much a grab bag of people. Without getting into details of the different kinds of mentalities that dominate the Mizzou online sports landscape from "disinterested" to "flat out insane," I can't describe my gratitude and my luck in getting paired with Bill and Seth. As much as I try to do at RMN both behind the scenes and with Live Threads, Roundtables, and "LOLs," these two are really what make RMN run. We joke about Bill being the brains of the operation, but these two truly are the heart and soul of this operation and I can't imagine this place, or my last two years for that matter, without them.
With most of the thank yous wrapped up, it's time we end this post the same way we ended our first post two years ago:
So kick back, join in on the discussion, and...screw Nebraska!