Basically a Blog Post

One of my not-so-secret passions is logos and graphic design, namely of the sports variety. Many years ago now, probably 2005 or so, I joined an online message board that had a whole community of enthusiasts who shared a similar zeal for this fairly niche topic. After several years of mingling, I inquired around to see if anyone wanted to do a podcast that focused primarily on sports media coverage, but with plenty of sports logo/uniform pontification and a healthy swirl of absurdity.

We had only sparely talked to one another on the forum, so we had no idea what an in-person interaction would be like, much less if it would generate entertaining conversation, but on the microphones came, and holy shit. It was the most natural thing in the world. We had a ton of fun talking about uniforms, ESPN nonsense, the glowing puck, and anything else that was on our minds. In that vein, we named the podcast “Basically a Sports Show.” It went on, give or take the occasional week off, to record and publish almost 600 episodes over the course of 9 years and change.

I don’t use the term “we” in that expression, because I left the show sometime in 2014 and didn’t return until early 2020 when the pandemic set in. The first 2-3 years of the show were primarily my baby. I recorded, edited, published, and managed the show. I had invested a few hundred dollars in hardware/software to get the production value up to my standards, and put in a couple hours every week (in addition to the show itself) to getting it out to the world.

Between that, working overnights, a lot of mental health issues, and relationship drama, I couldn’t maintain the grind and left the podcast for the most part, only participating in maybe 3-5 episodes in a year for special occasions. Once the pandemic truly set in, it felt like a natural time to dust off my open chair and rejoin the show.

For the last two years, almost to the day, we’ve had a great time chewing the fat, talking about piles and piles of sports uniforms and happenings. My wife has been extremely patient (and supportive) with me giving up Monday nights to do the podcast with the fellas. Finally last night we held a post-pod discussion, and it was ultimately decided that we had to rethink the future of the show.

Zach, our California/western-USA correspondent, has spent many years working on his journalism and media career, and is looking to take things to the next level. When weighing how best to use his time, our podcast simply wasn’t in the cards. Now here’s the thing – I don’t want that statement to sound like I’m “blaming” him or something. Quite the opposite. I’m strangely very proud of Zach. I’ve never met him (but we WERE only 45 minutes apart in Scottsdale this past winter), yet he seems to live a pretty cool life and I’ve always felt Zach is a genuinely good person. We share a lot of common interests, particularly Disney and films, and if we both grew up in the same area, we’d have made great real-life friends. The same can be said for both Greg and Mike. Greg is kind of the wild uncle who chases UFOs on his motorcycle with his cat riding shotgun. Mike is like that quirky teacher (he actually is a teacher I think) who keeps students an hour after class to obscenely demonstrate how liking the Justin Beiber Toronto Maple Leafs alternate uniform is a sacrilege upon the human condition, comparable only to some obscure Mayan event from thousands of years ago.

Zach has a bright future ahead of him, and I’m grateful for social media and our group text so I can follow his adventures. As for Mike, Greg, and myself? We’re not fully retiring our little podcast. The show will reconvene every now and again, but extremely infrequently and informally, giving Greg time to ride his bike around Ohio and the greater midwest area and open up Monday nights for me to hang out with my puppy dogs and awesome wife, which are very much needed after what is typically the busiest day of my work week.

It’s pretty incredible that something that has maybe 5-10 devoted listeners has gone “full-time” for almost a friggin’ decade. I’m so proud of this damn show and I hope we can all meet up in person at some point.

As part of my return to journalism (or whatever you want to call it), I visited the Nat H. Cohen building in downtown Urbana. I’m not going to paste the article here, but feel free to read it for yourself (complete with pictures). I’m still getting used to being in Champaign-Urbana, even after 11+ years of living here. There’s a lot of history here, and I wish there was a more formal historical or museum-type building that we could showcase some of the neat stuff most people miss out on when they visit (or in my case, live) in this region.

Watching some early 1990s Price is Right episodes, and man, I have an unbroken sensory tether to this era of the famous game show. Bob Barker is such an amazing host, charming, smooth, and runs a tight ship. The contestants love him, and rightfully so. Rod Roddy, resplendent in his bedazzled sequin suits, boomed out the names of lucky audience members who would run to their podiums to play awesome pricing games.

The Price is Right was (and I guess still is) so much damned fun, doubly so for the early 90s seasons due to pure nostalgia. I have a million faint memories of being a 6 and 7 year old, playing with toys in my babysitter’s living room, being a kid. The world was simpler, life was easier, existence entirely devoid of complication.

Plus people had crazy hair and clothes, and the commercials were incredible.

Many of these episodes are on YouTube, and I can’t recommend enough you take the time to enjoy them.

My wife and I finished watching all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek, and it was quite the journey. I had never seen an episode, and she had mostly forgotten the latter seasons, so we got to relive some of her high school memories while I appreciated the fashion nightmares that much of the cast adorned which I vividly recall being worn around Charleston High School.

There were definitely aspects about it that aged poorly, the technology in particular, but other parts were remarkably progressive for a show that ended nearly 20 years ago. We binged the final 7 episodes over the course of a Friday night, celebrating with a 4:30AM greasy spoon diner breakfast.

Another spring is about here, and the office is starting to feel a little noisier with my departmental coworkers filing in more often, bandying loudly about, laughing, grumbling, and swearing with familiar zeal. Feels pretty good and stuff.

I hope everybody is well. Stay warm out there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s