Editorial: Deep Breath

In his monthly editorial, Bison Illustrated editor Nolan Schmidt tells you why the magazine will be taking the summer months off and return in August.

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Photo By Derrek Tuskan Photography

How does that one song go? “If you like Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain?”


To you, reader, that song, it’s lyrics and overall vibe scream of the summer when you hear it, I’m sure. I’ve never been caught in the rain (and I don’t see the appeal in that, seems like an inconvenience) nor have I ever had a Piña Colada (I don’t like sugar with my alcohol). The tune transports you to a season filled with sun, cold drinks and good friends.

I write this from my desk, staring out the fifth-floor window, looking over Downtown Fargo. It’s mid-April, the temperatures are rising in Fargo along with the Red River. Summer is not far off. My headphones are not filling my ears with the Rupert Holmes song spoke of above, but something a little less atmospheric in the eyes of some. Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart” is playing. Yeah, I’m 25 and I listen to Mötley Crüe. In fact, I’ve been on a pretty big hair band kick lately.

Anyway, I’m veering off of my main point, wait, what was my point? Oh yeah…

Whenever I hear a Mötley Crüe song, I get transported to the warm weather in sunny Los Angeles and the Sunset Strip where the band got their start in the early 80s. No, I’ve never been there, but I always find myself daydreaming of the summer on the Sunset Strip.

I dream of a more mild summer compared to that of the Crüe, obviously. The debauchery Mötley Crüe got into on the Sunset Strip and beyond has been well documented and has reached near legendary status now (Nikki Sixx wrote “Kickstart My Heart” after he overdosed on heroin, was pronounced dead and was revived in an ambulance). However, the Sunset Strip and that era in music history epitomize summer for me. As summer in Fargo approaches, I can’t help but get flashes of those images again and again.

On the outset, summer and I should not get along. I have red hair. I have pale skin. The sun and I are enemies in many respects. However, I cannot control biology, so I’ve learned to forgive the fair sun and its endless pursuit to give me melanoma.

The reason I am daydreaming of summer, Bison Nation, is that we’re doing something a little different around here. We’re doing something we have never done: we’re taking the summer off. So, we will not be producing Bison Illustrated in June or July. Why? There are a few reasons, but here are some thoughts from my perspective.

Burnout: Trust me, we’re in desperate need of a break. Not just me, but our photographers and designers are being worked into the ground (and they work a lot harder than me). The last thing we want to do here is push out a magazine just to push out a magazine. In the warm summer months, where we daydream of the lake or the Sunset Strip, we have a tendency to get lazy. We will not be lazy in the way we create and execute Bison Illustrated, it’s unfair to you. So, we’re eliminating the possibility altogether. However, trust me, after working 60 hours week after week, attending every sporting event and traveling across the United States this year, my brain is not as fresh as it was in August. I speak for everyone here at Bison Illustrated, we need the breather.

Also, North Dakota State is not playing games, school is not in session and the whole school is on break. Why would we create more work for the fine people in the athletics department in what is supposed to be their downtime? Why should we command time from student-athletes, coaches and administration when all of them are looking to enjoy their time off, just like us? North Dakota State needs the break from us, especially my guys in the sports information department.

We will use this time off as an opportunity to cultivate, create and begin to execute new, exciting ideas for Bison Illustrated. We want to be sprinting into the new school year, not crawling. I can promise you, if we did a June and July issue, we’d be crawling come August.

Don’t worry, we’ll still be around on social media and you’ll be able to hear Swany and me on the podcast all summer. We’ll still be around, just not as readily available, like most Fargoans in the summer.

So, Bison fans, enjoy your summer. Enjoy your time away from us. Drink Piña Coladas, get caught in the rain, take a ride on the wild side, do what you gotta do. We’ll see you in August.

For me? You can find me getting into my own brand of debauchery on Broadway, Fargo’s Sunset Strip.

Well, maybe not, but you get what I mean…

Editorial: Deep Breath
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Bison Illustrated provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Bison community in order to help promote the university’s players, coaches, alumni, supporters, staff and fans.


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