STANZ: Dear Fanatics…

Fanatics — 

What a week…

It has truly been unlike anything I have ever experienced in my career. No, actually, it has been unlike anything I have experienced in my entire life.

The pace at which news was happening, developments were coming and the world was changing during the day and night on Wednesday will be unforgettable. Things slowed down slightly on Thursday as we all came to accept the new reality we are living in during the health emergency currently facing our country and planet, but, even as the dust settles as I write this late Thursday night, it still feels hard to accept.

Our escape – sports – have been taken away from us.

The thing many people — and I assume most every person reading this right now — has come to accept as a distraction from daily life is gone until further notice. The unfairness of the world has put us in a position where sports are on pause — and, according to people a helluva a lot smarter than me, rightfully so.

We will not be filling out brackets, debating whether Scott Drew is a good coach (he is) or wondering if Bill Self and the Jayhawks can once again find the mountaintop this season (I think they would have). Debating LeBron vs. Michael or the punishment of the Houston Astros has officially hit the back burner for a little while.

I have been sad all day.

I am sad that things have gotten to this point. I am sad that I will not be able to have fresh basketball on my TV every night. I am sad that we will not be able to escape together into the — in the grand scheme of civilization — meaningless world of sports on a daily basis.

It sucks.

It really freaking sucks on so many different levels. I am so disappointed Adriana Camber and Ines Nezerwa will not get their final day in the sun wearing Cardinal and Gold. It sucks to know the tournament so many people at Iowa State lobbied to bring back to Kansas City for nearly a decade will not be played.

It sucks to know Sabrina Ionescu will not get a chance to win a national title despite being the best women’s college basketball player these two eyes have ever seen. Even a Cyclone can admit it sucks to know Luka Garza will not get a chance to put his tremendous — national player of the year level — abilities on display in pursuit of a national championship this month.

All of this sucks, but I want to make clear that I understand how small of a piece the sports world really is when compared to everything that is happening across the globe right now. People are dying and we have to figure out a way to stop that even if it means canceling our silly little basketball tournament.

That is the reality, regardless of whether or not people want to hear it.

With all of that said, I want to make clear those of us at Cyclone Fanatic have a deep understanding of what we need to do next. Our real-time escape — the world of sports — has gone on a hiatus, but that does not mean we will.

I truly believe this opens the door for us to create some content unlike you have ever seen from our publication and in this market. I think it opens the door for us to entertain you in ways unlike we ever have before.

Whether that is through satire and comedy, new podcast formats, reliving our favorite Cyclone moments of the past or finding different ways to tell stories about the school all of us love will be seen in the coming days. The situation and our plan remains fluid as it is still just beginning.

But, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to help maintain your escape.

Every time I sit down in front of a microphone I do so with the goal of being a person you would love to sit down and talk sports, entertainment or life with over an ice-cold beer. I know the same can be said for Chris Williams, Brent Blum, Rob Gray and everybody else on our staff.

We want to be the media members who feel like your friends because, the reality is, you are our friends. You are the reason you do what we do and why we make the great content we strive to create.

So, pull up a stool. Belly up and order a drink.

Our escape might be done telling new stories of its own for awhile, but that does not mean it is gone.

— Jared Stansbury, Cyclone Fanatic’s Managing Editor


Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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