In 2015 the radio airwaves were never the same from 10pm to midnight if you were addicted to high school football in Colorado!
For many years I feed local media outlets content without garnering credit but was pleased the kids got attention and their 15 seconds of fame.
So after the usual coffee shop talk and occasional round table discussions at a local eatery a mother sitting at an adjacent table said, “Y’all should do a radio show. We come here every week hoping to overhear your insights. It would be nice if we could interact with you. Even submit ideas for discussion.” Of course we were flattered and I said that takes a lot of time and effort to talk on air for 2 or 3 hours. Her response was, “maybe but we are so tired of hearing about the Denver Broncos and there is no coverage after our games and the subscription website is far from the truth.” So on that night the dynamics of “You are live with Gonzo” began as the next few days were pitching a radio show to local outlets which was a task. Had we been more forward thinking it would have been a podcast as it has become today. The FM guys liked the idea but said we would rather play our national feed after 9pm until 8am and probably still do plat the same boring and have the same low ratings.
But we were excited when an AM station got wind of our idea and within a few days in late June of covering 7 on 7 football the format wast pitched and the show would go live during zero week and be a smash hit for 4 weeks only to be thrust into the limelight and eventually move over to FM and an app. The show was well received and in our move to FM we were able to go live at a remote location and invite guests to appear and go on air.
The Friday night lights got a little better as Wingstop was the location from 9:30pm to midnight as we took center stage after games and our fans could join us. The beauty was not many places cater to the youth after 8pm and we were a hit as we went live recapping highlights of the games all of us covered on Thursday and Fridays. We even previewed Saturday games and fill time spouting out scores of all the action statewide so we could get the athletes in a seat to put them live on the air or juggle the phone lines to cue up the next series of topics and events. Fridays were about the kids and their accomplishments on the night. It was an opportunity for people attending one game to hear about3-4 on a Thursday night to 5 or 6 on a Friday night plus all the callers recanting their night of action. Again this show was about the kids and their families which is different than interviewing a coach. Yes we value coaches but it is often the excitement of the kids we captured and continue to do so on a regular basis. Our approach continues to be about the 11 on each side of the ball not just the skill positional players like many report on because they view online statistics and rarely attend games. So Fridays wold never be the same moving forward as technology propelled us to ditch the radio for podcasts and periscope. In the early goings a rival to periscope was limited to android and eventually gave way to periscope that was purchased by twitter. Twitter had been our best social media platform followed by facebook for parents to instant message and kids to DM.
The ability to be mobile allowed us to go LIVE seconds after games and capture the excitement and joys of players on the field. Also we were again blessed Wingstop chose to support the LIVE coverage and post game #POTG (Player Of The Game) award. Click to see the 2017 Live recaps of nightly recipients. Every week there was a new star born but also some familiar faces from seasons past. If you were a regular of the show you knew about #GWL THE (GonzoWatchList) a feature of players that shined more than once over a period of time and games. Also they may have been Freshmen or JV players we caught on Fridays or Saturdays prior to Varsity games. Yes we watched several Freshmen games at 4pm on Fridays prior to Varsity Friday night lights. Even a few 10am games on Saturday prior to 1pm Varsity games. So when we state “WE KNOW #copreps Football” it goes without saying we watch a lot of football.
In addition to viewing live games there were a handful on streaming outlets and broadcast TV. So just like a coach post game watching HUDL, Gonzo would watch a plethora of games to stay abreast of the night and the players that stood out. Therefore Knowing the landscape of football statewide is tough and you need good partners that do it for the correct reasons. So as we reflect on the last few years of success we want to Thank the many in our network that rolled up the sleeves to watch a handful of games all because they believed in helping kids and did it on their dime. No one was paid or uploaded content for clicks or sold memberships, subscriptions or anything to open your wallets. It was for the love of the game and Friday night addictions to good old Colorado high school football.
So when you see a rant on twitter or questioning of another article, list or game recap you will know its being argued by someone that knows his facts and not jaded to sell periodicals or training or online content. The passion and enthusiasm is to give people an honest and quality assessment and not play favoritism to a small group of athletes because they sponsor your content. That is unfair preferential treatment and why we do what we do. Again there are 7 classifications in Colorado and until there is more focus on statewide activities or players and not just a handful of teams by other media outlets it would be safe to say we do our best with our collaborating team members to state, “WE KNOW #copreps Football!” We challenge others to collaborate to make the coverage better and not biased!
We are hoping to schedule or pre book dates for game of the week once the proposal in January is ratified and game schedules are released. The season is scheduled to do away with zero week in favor of 11 straight weeks with a bye. Until then all we can say is we will be hitting the fields Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the season concludes in December and Championship Saturday.
Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
August 6, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week not called week one.