I realize we’re a few days outside of Thanksgiving, the time when a lot of people take a few moments to speak their sense of gratitude towards friends and family members. Maybe it’s part of your family tradition, maybe not. Either way, expressing gratitude when you have the opportunity is usually a smart and healthy thing.
So I’m going to give some thanks. I want to start with the obvious big news that Brandon Kiley has decided his time with us has come to a close. I knew this news was coming at some point once he told me he and his wife were expecting a child. I was holding my breath about it once baby Luca was born over the summer, and then we got into the heart of the football season and I figured maybe the baby being a baby and not a small mobile child we would have a little more time. But it wasn’t sustainable for him, and I fully understand and his support his decision. After all, our friendship precedes our working together and I expect it will continue on past this as well.
I’ve officially been the sole Site Manager here at Rock M Nation since sometime in the summer of 2019. At the time we were undergoing a major shift. Bill Connelly had been gone a little more than a year, and Pete Scantlebury decided to make his exit as well. On top of that there were longtime contributors falling off left and right. We made a hard decision to undergo a very radical change, and a big part of that was using BK as the primary football voice.
And for the last four years, BK has rocked that role. His experience in talk radio made him terrific on podcasts, and it also gave him good insight into what was driving conversations abound Mizzou Football. So on top of being a good person to have around, he put out really good and smart pieces. And he wrote in a concise manner which made digesting things all that much easier.
I’m going to miss Brandon and his insight. He filled a truly unique role for us, and BK fit it perfectly. He’s leaving a huge hole to fill. I’m not 100% sure what we’re going to do to fill that void Thankfully, Nate is sticking around and I think he’s awesome at this which should help us navigate through a few different voices becoming prioritized. But I like our team and I think we’ll land on our feet and continue to give you great coverage.
And one last thing I’m thankful for about BK, I’m thankful his exit will mean I’ll get to see him a bit more often at fun events at Side Project. So this is me, saying thank you to Brandon Kiley for his over 600 posts over the last four years, and for being around to help me usher in a new (albeit different) era here at Rock M Nation. It’s also possible you haven’t seen or heard the last of BK, just not as a regular contributor. The door is always open.
More thanks and gratefulness
- Running this site is pretty hard a lot of days, the only way it’s possible is by committee. We’ve published 732 posts (not including this one) and more than 3.1 million clicks since the start of August. I’d be lying if I said I read every thing we’ve published. But you know who has? Karen Steger. She’s maybe the most important person on the site because she makes sure we don’t sound like doofuses before something gets published. Now she’s also running the olympic sports and fronts a great team putting out really interesting stuff like the Volleyball Q&A series.
- We also changed up coverage a bit this year and Josh Matejka has been running the football side. It’s gone really well in my opinion. He’s been the deputy manager now since 2019 and whenever I take time off I know Josh and Karen will keep the content train running. Josh also puts out a must read and one of my favorite weekly posts in the Revue each week.
- Nate Edwards is the best Mizzou Football analyst out there, full stop. I’m thankful he’s on our team and I’m confident he’s going to find another podcast partner and still put out a phenomenal podcast. But in the meantime, read Beyond the Box Score. If I ever sound smart about football it’s usually because of Nate (and BK).
- I’m thankful for Dan Keegan’s love and whimsy surrounding college football, and even though he doesn’t write very often anymore, Aaron Dryden’s deep knowledge of the game.
- The entire student journalism team has just been great this year. Parker Gillam and Jaden Lewis on football and hoops, Quentin Corpuel and Adeen Rao are the swiss army knives, Matthew Gustafson on Volleyball and Wrestling, Kortay Vincent with his baseball knowledge. We’re also so thankful Cal Tobias is on the team taking pictures now.
- Sammy Stava has a great ability to compose the kinds of posts that bring people to the site. He’s versatile and quick to jump on newsy items which is so valuable for a group where this is not our primary gig by a long shot.
- Obviously I love the Matts, Harris and Watkins bring so much to the table with their basketball analysis I don’t know why you’d need to go anywhere else to get what you want to know about Mizzou Hoops.
- Last but certainly not least is Levi Hutmacher, the graphics extraordinaire and podcast producer. Levi works a lot and still manages to get each pod out cleanly and timely.
- I don’t say it enough but thank you to this entire team. I’m amazingly grateful I have people around me that continue to put out such good content. And I expect we have even bigger things on the horizon.