Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
When I was pondering cover story ideas for this month’s issue, my first as full-time editor, I hearkened back to the very beginning. Long before I was here (in fact, I was a freshman in college) Bison Illustrated did a magazine all about the people who cover NDSU Athletics. That January 2013 issue still has one of my favorite Spotlight Media covers of all-time (and I thought some of the Fargo Monthly covers I’ve helped put together were amazing). It features the legendary Scott Miller, the play-by-play voice of the Bison for nearly three decades. For many of the figures featured in this current publication, that image of Miller pumping his fist is one of nostalgia.
Oddly enough, a younger version of myself pieced through that magazine until the pages were frayed and torn. Perhaps that is why I recall that cover so vividly. In part, that issue of Bison Illustrated conveyed to me what I should do with the rest of my life. I wanted to be a sports journalist. And when formulating options for my first full issue of this publication, I figured it would only be right that I go back to where we started.
The decision to do this story was made that much easier thanks to all the new faces in this Bison media circle, ones who were not around in January 2013. Not only that, but I have been so privileged and honored to see how close and helpful these people are to me and one another. There doesn’t seem to be any competition between us, but everyone is still striving towards one ultimate goal. That goal is to provide the Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding area with optimal Bison coverage all year round. Truthfully, you will not see that in any other media community in the country.
However, I would not be using this editorial properly if I didn’t call specific attention to some of the folks featured in the following pages. You see, long before I was here at Spotlight Media and Bison Illustrated, I worked in radio. While I still do radio to a degree, my first ever radio job was working at AM 970 WDAY. My duties were to be the board operator for the Saturday morning programs. One of these was Jeff Kolpack and Dom Izzo’s wildly popular show, which has just recently left the airwaves.
Now, I would never admit this, nor would I say this to Jeff or Dom in person, but I have looked up to them and wanted to do what they do since I came to this area. So, getting the opportunity to work with them, even in a small capacity, was an honor. In the beginning, I cannot imagine they thought much of me, even when I really tried to show off my sports knowledge. Many times, I was too nervous to speak to them so I would just tweet at them. Yes, I sat mere feet from these guys and I was tweeting at them, very Millennial of me.
As time wore on, I’d like to think I proved that I knew what I was doing and what I was talking about. That led to them including me in conversations on-air and I even hosted one of their shows while both of them were on vacation last summer. Besides all of that, there is one over-arching theme I learned about those two and their two WDAY/Forum colleagues Mike McFeely and Eric Peterson in particular:
Nobody works harder than these guys.
The same goes for everyone in this issue. No one works harder. My time at WDAY and now at Bison Illustrated has only continued to prove this point. Covering North Dakota State Athletics is more than a 40 hours per week job.
Perhaps that is why we are doing this edition. So we can show our appreciation for all of these media members that literally put their lives on hold for Bison sports. In a culture where people often vilify the media, these people are the savants in my opinion. All of them do their job to the highest degree possible.
So, thank you to all of the people featured in this magazine for inspiring me to be the best Bison media member I can be.
Finally, a special thank you to Jeff, Dom, Mike and Eric for giving me something to strive to be. Although you may not know it or see it, you all have had a tremendous impact and have truly shown me the ropes in how to do this job the right way.
And that deserves a “My, oh my!”