The first-ever RandBall post came on Dec. 8, 2006. It ended with this famous line: "That kitten is practically begging for Randball." OK, that's not famous at all. But a few days later, we put up our first real post. And since then, we'd estimate there have been more than 5,000 RandBall posts to help waste your time entertain/educate you over the past five years. Official RandBall historian Jon Marthaler brought out the big guns for his traditional anniversary post. Five years is a big one. You know that. Jon?



RandBall is now five years old. Back when it started, newspapers still hated blogs, websites, and anything that didn't have the ability to stain one's fingers with ink; there was no guarantee this blog would make it, and almost nothing that was on the internet in late 2006 still existed in the same form as it did five years previously. That RandBall is still basically the same five years later is a testament not only to Rand, but to the contributors who populate the comments section. Though I've written the past four birthday posts, in celebration of five years, it was only fair to turn it over to the big group to celebrate. Happy fifth birthday, RandBall.


I can’t believe the blog is five years old. It seems like just yesterday that we were yelling at Kevin Seifert for being biased against the Vikings, or screaming at Judd Zulgad to NAME HIS SOURCES, or wondering when Chip Scoggins was going to marry Brad Childress because he didn’t want him fired as much as he should have been fired. I like the job Dan and Mark are doing now, even though they obviously want the Vikings to move to Los Angeles because they’re both Packer fans in real life. Here’s to five more years of blind rage, random punctuation, and serial abuse of the CAPS LOCK key, guys! [NOTE: Stu thought this was the five-year anniversary of Access Vikings. He regrets the error, and wants to thank Michael for giving him the opportunity to write stuff that gets J.D. Durbin’s relatives and Rashad McCants mad at him.]


Happy 5th Birthday, RandBall! As sassy and sometimes petulant as my own 5 year old, and almost as dear to my heart. You've always given voice to Uterine-Americans in sports. Who can forget these highlights?


  • The (beautiful sideline reporter) "Erin Andrews Working Out" photo gallery
  • The hard-hitting Q&A with ESPN's (beautiful sideline reporter and "The Next Erin Andrews") Jenn Brown
  • The extensive coverage of the feature film "A Plumm Summer" co-produced by (beautiful former sideline reporter and Erin Andrews trailblazer) Lisa Guerrero


Lest anyone think it's been all about professional sports' on-air "talent", may I remind them of the poignant feature on the cute young girl suggestively eating Target Field fare (with photos!), and countless PSAs regarding upcoming professional cheerleading team tryouts (with photos!)

All kidding aside, there's just something about your blog that keeps bringing me back to RandBall 5 years and 2 states later. I just keep forgetting that Clarence only writes on Tuesdays. Bazinga! Happy Birthday!

Dave MN:

I've been doing this "commenting" thing for about 4.5 years now. Rand has always been supportive, even as I killed numerous threads and held comment conversations with myself. He would just go on with another post and leave me to my business in the post that no one was reading anymore. Even as the days of easily created pseudonyms and lack of moderation have become history, Rand still keeps us coming back with endless talk of the NBA team that no one really cares about and predictions that are never correct. Seriously though, Randball has been a source of hilarity for five years now, and has morphed into something I don't know that anyone ever really expected. The inclusion of commenters as contributors has been a stroke of genius and has allowed people to reach levels of notoriety for talents that would have previously just remained within their personal circles. I look forward to every Redactular that I can attend, so I can catch up with internet friends and talk beer and sports with those who will listen. Thanks so much, Rand!

Clarence Swamptown:

I’d like to thank Jon Marthaler for coordinating Randball’s 5th birthday party. I’m sure others will write about how great Rand is and how much they enjoy RandBall, etc. etc. etc. Yeah, that’s great, RandBall deserves the praise. But I wonder if Mike has ever sat down and fully considered where his life would be if he had never moved away from North Dakota? What if RandBall and its steadfast followers never existed? Where would you be without RandBall, Michael?

My younger sister LarLeen reads palms down at the Legion when she’s not on house arrest, so I asked her to channel Michael’s spiritual energy and discern his parallel life. She wrote it all down. It’s pretty fascinating. MICHAEL RAND, THIS IS YOUR LIFE WITHOUT RANDBALL:

First of all, since you never left North Dakota, you never met RandBall Better Half. You now live in Hoople, North Dakota with your beautiful wife Leota. Since you never met the RBBH, you also never owned Petunia the Pug. Here’s your new dog, Hakstol:



You still write a sports blog for the Hoople Penny Saver, where you cover the lighter side of sports in and around North Central Walsh County. Here’s a screenshot:



There’s more Michael, but I’ll spare you for now. You should see the pictures of your kids. Holy {redacted}. We all love you Michael, and congratulations on RandBall’s 5th birthday, but your life without RandBall would be pretty miserable. Never forget that Michael. Never forget.


Happy birthday, RandBall. You were born five years ago, which equates to roughly 20 blog-years. Let’s take a quick tour of your life thus far.

Like most newborns you wrestled with language (whether to use “I” or the royal we, eventually settling on the snobbier option) and balance (whether to cover hockey and its blue-collar goonery, once again going the snob route and ignoring it). You puked on yourself (server issues), you changed your look (redesigns), you tried to be less messy (tags), you showed lovably naïve optimism (Wolves predictions). Typical youth.

You grew as time went on. Your found your voice, made friends, started talking to girls, discovered video, even got pushed to the front of the class to strut your stuff on the main page and received hundreds of unreadable comments from the illiterati for your troubles.

With your growing popularity, you could have provoked the rubes with pageview-garnering Baylessisms. You didn’t. You’ve stayed pure, young RandBall, and joining you on the high road is a fiercely loyal group of fellow snobs that would not only defend you to the death but have formed real-life, non-pretend, in-person friendships because of you. RandBall, you have achieved that rarest of blog trifectas: recognition, longevity and offline transcendence. Here’s to you, and here’s to many more blog-years of excellence. Happy 5th [redacted] birthday, you [redacted].

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