Monday Musings

In the return of his bi-weekly column, CN's publisher explains why a very big change is headed your way.

Big changes are coming to our little corner of the Cyclone Nation.

First off, due to some bureaucratic overkill, we'll be changing our name soon. Cyclone Nation is no more. Now we will simply be known as CN, sort of Iowa State's version of GQ.

Why the change? Well, let me just say up front that it is in no way the fault of anyone inside the ISU athletic department. We'll be celebrating our one-year anniversary a month from now, and there's no way we would've reached that milestone without the overwhelming support we have received from inside the Jacobson Building. Whether it's marketing assistance, helping to provide timely scoops, or supplying us with photo and artwork I can't say thank you enough to all of the current ISU coaches, sports information staff, and administrators Bill and I have called upon.

And considering some of the controversial stances I've taken on the radio the last few years, which has certainly created its fair share of detractors, that speaks highly of your athletic department as well as the quality of out product.

Unfortunately, the folks at ISU who understand athletics and marketing are not the ones responsible for licensing and trademarks. For 10 months now I have been discussing the terms for licensing with these folks, and although they have been professional and cordial they have chosen to make a demand that we believe to be unfair, not to mention too cost prohibitive.

The cost to obtain a licensing trademark from ISU for us to use the word "Cyclone" in our title is $500 per year, which we feel is a reasonable expense to "partner" with ISU in that fashion. If it were just $500 annually that separated us we wouldn't be changing the name. Instead, it is their demand for publisher's liability insurance that has ensnared us in a bureaucratic wasteland.

This insurance costs several thousands of dollars a year, payable up front, which is simply too rich for our blood. Besides, even if we did have the money we were unable to find a carrier that would guarantee me the level of coverage ISU's legal eagles demanded. I was told I not only had to insure Cyclone Nation from any liability, but ISU and the ISU's research foundation, which oversees licensing, as well.

I consulted with people in the athletic department about how to handle this numerous times, and I can assure you that athletic administrators at the highest level lobbied on our behalf to no avail. I asked the ISU research foundation for guidance on who was available to offer such insurance after two of my applications had been turned down, and they failed to offer specifics.

I then offered to let them write any language in the licensing agreement they chose releasing them from any liability and placing it solely on me, but they refused. They also told me our limited liability corporation would not offer them sufficient protection. It was simply this insurance or nothing.

Last week while I was on vacation we chose nothing for three reasons:

  1. Steve Waters was never asked to obtain such insurance to get a trademark license for the old Cyclone Illustrated.
  2. No other magazines published by TheInsiders – which include schools like Washington, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Oregon, and Wisconsin – were asked by their schools to obtain such insurance in order to secure a license for a trademark. In fact, several of these schools didn't even demand a license to use their trademarks, period, and instead embraced the positive promotional nature of such publications.
  3. None of the other 56 members of the College Sports Publication Association (of which we are a member) were required to obtain this insurance to get a trademark license from the school they cover, either.

Thus we have now become CN.

There will be no need to change your browsers, since I own the URL. You can still expect to visit this site for the latest in breaking ISU sports and recruiting news. The only obvious difference is that everywhere it says Cyclone Nation you'll just see CN.

Other than the title, nothing in our magazine will change, either. You'll still get the same glossy, color look you've always received from us. You'll still see us on dozens of magazine racks across the state of Iowa as well.

The bottom line is that we're going to continue to use this website and magazine to spread the gospel of the cardinal-and-gold…no matter what a few academics that don't understand what it means to promote an athletic department say. We're still the voice of the Cyclone Nation.

You can expect to see the changes reflected in your next issue of the magazine when it arrives in a few weeks and on this website by July 17th.

Welcome our new addition

Beginning this week, subscribers will begin reading the thoughts and musings of Marty Gallagher, who started the popular website two years ago and has been a staple of my radio program ever since.

Marty has decided to join TheInsiders network, and will be writing monthly columns in both CN and Hawkeye Illustrated (soon to be Hawkeye Nation). Previously, Marty was a part of our media roundtable each month in Cyclone Nation. You'll also read Marty's columns on our website twice each week.

Although Marty admittedly grew up a Hawkeye fan, he's also a fan of the Cyclones. In fact, it was Cyclone fans that first turned me onto Marty after reading his scathing reviews of Steve Alford's coaching ability. Marty was also a big booster of former ISU basketball coach Larry Eustachy and is strong supporter of Dan McCarney's. He also still experiences nightmares of Loren Meyer embarrassing his high school with thunderous dunks back in the day.

However, what sets Marty apart – other than fact he's a pretty good guy – from more experienced writers is two things. One, as a lifelong native Iowan he has a unique perspective and passion for all of the sports teams in the state. Second, he goes a step beyond just diagnosing a problem and criticizing to actually offering up some solutions as well.

We welcome Marty aboard and look forward to reading his insights.

Our 2003 football preview is on its way

In just 48 hours, we go to print on our 2003 football preview for CN magazine. That means that if you're a non-subscriber you have 48 hours to sign up in order to receive your 2003 football preview conveniently in the mail.

Right now, you can receive a year's subscription to ESPN The Magazine at no additional cost when you sign up for CN. To sign up, simply cut and paste the following link:

Subscribers can expect to see their copies of the 2003 football preview arriving around the first of August.

Weekly chats at CN

Bill and I will be hosting weekly chats here at CN each Tuesday night at 9 p.m. beginning this week. To take part in these chats, simply click on the "Join Live Chat" link at

These live chats are a great way to connect with fellow Cyclone fans, and possibly get information out of Bill and I before anyone else. J

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