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The year that was: 2017 was a topsy-turvy one


Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

So here we are.

2017 was as tumultuous for us (ha) as it was for Ole Miss athletics — football in particular — since we too underwent a change of leadership, though we didn’t receive the direct brunt of a four-year NCAA proctology examination that could have placed this blog on permanent double-secret probation. Maybe we should be on double-secret probation. That’d seem very on-brand for RCR.

This is a year in review type of post, but we’re not going to run back through all that NCAA horseshit here. We’ve done it, and we’re past it. You can read about it below, where we’ve compiled a comprehensive time capsule of the whole sordid affair. Bookmark it. Show it to your grandchildren and laugh, laugh, laugh.

This blog by necessity has to react to news. We can’t really break news, insofar as we don’t have well connected and quotable sources. We know and email people within the athletics armature, but none of us at this little shop are straight-up trained as journalists. Me least of all of us. I’m trained as a literary critic, and a literary critic of ancient Greek and Latin epic poetry to boot.

React, we did. I did. At times with a force far more strident than a straight-laced news aggregating site should. I don’t have the sharp eye for news like Jeff does, or Zach, but I know what I like, and I know that this is a good, funny blog that does consistently good, funny work. I asked Zach to come on as a co-editor over the fall and he’s done amazing work.

Let’s talk turkey. If this or that singular post from 2017 ran you off and you came back, thanks. If this or that singular post ran you off and you didn’t come back, fare thee well. Jeff’s been making noises about coming back and taking things over yet again, and I hope he does, because sometimes the demands of handling this place over and against teaching five college-level language classes per semester can grow a bit onerous.

When Jeff handed the keys off to me, I never expected Hugh Freeze to resign seven days after the fact. I was tasked with steering our newsroom through a quagmire of cell phone buffoonery, analytical fallout, and Matt Luke interim bullshit that quite almost drove me insane. I was finishing a summer term of teaching. I didn’t know how to run a newsroom. Ghost and Juco were huge helps at the time, and Jeff offered advice behind the scenes.

We covered the resignation for the requisite six or so days, then I got fed up. I was tired of writing about all this bullshit and our team was as well. How many ways can you say “Well, Hugh Freeze is gone and we have no idea what’s going to happen now.” It was tired, y’all were tired, and no one wanted to read about it anymore — at least not around these parts, anyway. Starkville, well, that’s another story.

What came out of that week was one of my favorite days at RCR in site history. We devoted 12 hours and something like 13 posts purely to food and alcohol. We write very well about both human pursuits, because we’re humans, and because we’ve spent significant amounts of time in Mississippi and equal or more amounts of time cheering on our dear Rebels.

The FOOD BOOZE REBELLION rebrand wasn’t so much meant to troll our readership as it was to offer release to my newsroom, who’d been stewing for the better part of a week over Twitter mentions from CLANGA announcing Ole Miss football’s death among sundry other punishments. We just wanted to do something different, and that’s what I did as editor. Email me if you still have issues about it. It’s fine. I ain’t mad at ya.

I felt the need to shift an eye forward toward our other coverage, especially women’s sports. We have a strong coverage presence with women’s softball, an approaching passable coverage of women’s soccer and volleyball, and a virtually non-existent presence with women’s hoops. If you are a talented writer who’s knowledgeable about the women’s basketball team and wants unpaid, bylines, please email me. Track and field is also a successful program in Oxford, and I can’t manage that load on my own.

We’ve brought on a cohort of writers in the last year and a half that have contributed miles toward the site, and I’m glad they’re on the inside of the ship pissing out rather than the other way around. We have the old guard around who write when they can, and when I’m not going through holiday crises I work on them as much allows. Gray and Will are still our pitching staff’s aces, and Smeargle will sprint out to the mound to clean up when we need him. Especially with baseball coming up.

We started a RCR BEST OF Twitter thread a few weeks back. It’s totally incomplete. What was your favorite drink recipe? Jason Isbell Review? Newser? Gamer? Film review? Crootin roundup? Podcast? Food memory lane gallop? Whatever. Link it out in the comments or just hit us up on Twitter. We love Twitter.

Happy 2018, y’all, and let’s go do great things this year.