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The Decade Stampede: How This Blog Began

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Happy 10th anniversary to us! Today we’re going to tell you the story of how this site got started.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down and I’d like to take a m — oh wait, that’s the wrong origin story.

Sometime around the end of 2009, I got the idea that I wanted to start blogging about USF. It had been a couple of years since the football team got big, and I was really bothered by what we would now call “the discourse.” It was all about who could shout the dumbest, most knee-jerk opinion the loudest. And trolling, too. Lots of trolling.

I was aware SB Nation existed, although I honestly don’t remember how. EDSBS was not part of the network yet, and I can’t remember which blogs I read regularly. Casual Hoya maybe, because it was so cool and unique? Definitely DRaysBay, which had a murderer’s row of writers and a hilarious community. I knew that the network didn’t have a USF blog, I knew I didn’t have to necessarily live near the team I blogged for, and I knew I could write well enough to match up with the college sites they already had. That became my goal.

It took awhile for me to get up the nerve to actually start. After Jim Leavitt was fired, I decided talking about that would be a terrible way to start a blog, so I kept waiting. Finally there was an incident where Brion Carnes (remember him?) had his scholarship offer taken off the table by Skip Holtz, because he went on official visits to other schools after he had committed to USF. Brion’s high school coach, Joe Kinnan, lost his mind, and so did most USF fans. God knows why, but that was the trigger for me. I opened a WordPress account and dove right in. I didn’t even write an introduction. It wasn’t important. If people couldn’t figure out what the site was about and who it was intended for, I didn’t need them reading it. (Side note: I still feel this way.)

I thought it would take awhile to build up enough material to make the site appealing to a network. As it turned out, Ken DeCelles had been blogging about USF somewhere else, and SB Nation was already working with him to set up a new site. Unfortunately, everything he ever posted on his old blog had just been eaten by a software upgrade gone horribly wrong. I purposely didn’t start a blog on the site that Ken used to build his, which turned out to be very lucky because I still had the handful of posts I had already written. Ken knew what I was doing (I think you could count the number of USF blogs on two fingers at that point) and showed my stuff to... God, I can’t even remember who was in charge of the college blogs then, Peter Bean? Luke Zimmermann? Anyway, they liked it and I joined his project and brought my huge six-week archive with me.

Voodoo Five officially became a member of SB Nation in March of 2010, only hours after USF basketball suffered a brutal NIT loss to NC State. Looking back now, I think we should have shut it down right there and saved ourselves the next 10 years of grief. Oh well, too late now!