To all that come to this sporty place, welcome!
I want to take a moment and welcome everyone to Shooting the Sports Ish. Some of you visiting may be familiar with my previous work in wrestling podcasting and many of you have already started familiarizing yourself with the STSI brand through our YouTube Channel. We are building something that is incredibly fun for each of us here on the audio & video side of the project. However, it is time that we move on to creating a full-blown site for supporters and newcomers to this site can fully support. What is a professional sports coverage project without written editorials and “hot takes” that turn out to be “ice cold takes” within a matter of minutes, anyway?
The Journey of My Fandom
As a young boy, I didn’t grow up watching pro sports. In fact, my parents were not necessarily fans of sports and we didn’t even watch the Super Bowl! I grew up without an inkling of an interest in pro sports because that just wasn’t something we did. Our family participated in Martial Arts, Magic the Gathering, Video Games and we played outside. The neighborhood kids taught me how to shoot a basketball as the playground at my apartment had a single double-rim hoop setup for the apartment complex/neighborhood to play on. I’m sure to this day that hoop still doesn’t have a net on it, so making a basket was an achievement for all of us. If you were able to make a basket on that goal, you had game! Slowly, I learned other sports like football and boxing. The guys in the apartment complexes absolutely loved boxing each other, so this was a pretty frequent activity.
Fast-forward many years and we moved locations to a brand new town. In said town, I learned to skateboard and surf. I was a sophomore in High School at this time and I was meeting new friends. One of my friends was a huge basketball fan and would always have ESPN Sportscenter playing in his bedroom when I’d stay the night. Our daily routine involved us surfing in the morning, playing basketball in his driveway during the afternoon and ending the evening with Sportscenter. The year was 2003 which contained the debut a certain individual dubbed “the King” and even “the GOAT” including yours truly. Around this time, Lebron James had broken his face… or something? I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew he had on a mask and he looked awesome. This dude was running up and down the court and jamming home slam dunks with such ferocity beyond what I could even comprehend. I was blown away by him and I needed to know more. At that time, I dedicated myself to Lebron James fandom.
The sports fandom started to roll from there. At my grandmother’s house, I noticed the Houston Texans playing during the Fall of 2003 and the Dallas Cowboys on FOX during the same time. I didn’t really love watching the Cowboys and for some reason, I didn’t really like the team. Sure, they were better, but I just didn’t like them very much. I’ll never be able to explain to you why a Sophomore in High School decided he hated the Dallas Cowboys, but I committed to it and feel the same way today. Instead, I decided I liked the Houston Texans. I’m not sure if its because of the color scheme of the uniforms, seeing Andre Johnson play over the years (and him punking Cortland Finnegan that one time!) or if it was just “meant to be,” but I became a huge fan of the Texans and continued to be one going forward.
My continually growing fandom spilled over into College Football, College Basketball, Golf and anything on ESPN. The “Greatest Game That Was Ever Played” in the “Grand-daddy of them all” will be an ever-present memory for me going forward through life. In fact, this will be one of the very first College Football Games I will show my son. At the time, I was a “University of Texas Fan” just like the majority of people growing up in the State of Texas are, but this changed significantly once I moved back to Waco, Texas; my hometown and the home of the Baylor Bears.
Over time, I became obsessed with Baylor Football. Every Saturday, my day revolved around watching or listening to the Baylor Football game. At work, I’d have a radio setup in the bar area where I worked and I would listen to every single play while working. Once I was able to work in a field that allowed time off for weekends, I would attend every home game for many years. The falls were set going forward (outside of 2020 with COVID, ugh) and I would dedicate my Saturdays to tailgating and watching Baylor Football from the stands. Few players excited me like Robert Griffin III did during his time at Baylor. Until his arrival, we were unsure that we’d ever make a bowl game again. It was unthinkable to imagine a Baylor University Quarterback ever being taken in the first round of the NFL draft and especially unthinkable to imagine the same QB winning the Heisman trophy. Likewise, I never thought I’d see Baylor University beat Oklahoma let alone beat both Oklahoma and Texas in the same year. All of these things happened during his time. While Baylor Football had some dark memories after, those memories of fun with friends and colleagues cheering on one of the best times of the Baylor University Athletic program wouldn’t fade away. At the time, Baylor’s Women’s Basketball team had one of the best runs ever, the men’s basketball team went to an Elite 8 and Baylor won its first Heisman. As a twenty-something year old kid, I was unbelievably excited about all of these events.
And finally, we arrive to the last three years of my life. While I don’t create content for this project anymore, the last three years involved creating, producing and promoting a podcast called Smark to Death. The majority of these episodes have been removed and the YouTube channel hidden, but I’ve learned so much from having that experience under my belt. During my time on the project, I was able to attend media events, have a consistent live audience that listened to my weekly wrestling news show and I was able to interview a variety of wrestling personalities from independent wrestling to former WWE stars. This ride is a key element to the establishment of Shooting the Sports Ish as wrestling introduced me to my partners on this Site, Thomas Fenton and Stephen Moree.
Vision for Shooting the Sports Ish
One of the main goals of Smark to Death during its time was that anything we did had to be inclusive of all opinions, types of fans and types of wrestling. We did an extraordinary job of this and it was one of the things that made the podcast modestly successful during its time. The same goal has been moved to Shooting the Sports Ish. During a White Claw filled night, I decided to start this project and include all sports. In my mind, there is no reason that professional wrestling and professional sports cannot be created equally. I also didn’t think gambling should be separated from a website or a host of networks. Suddenly, I felt it was time to create a network that covered pro sports from fans that have no connections to the professional world of sports reporting, no previous experience playing in high level athletics and were not funded by any major company. This project is passion-driven, self-funded and inclusive.
We want to cover professional sports and make you feel welcomed here. We want you to join the conversation in our YouTube comment sections, our Facebook Page, our Instagram Posts, our Twitter feeds and the comment section here on this site. We want you, the viewer and listener, to feel like you’re a part of this project as its success will be completely fan-driven. Without you, the supporter, this site will be nothing.
So, I welcome you to Shooting the Sports Ish. I welcome you to this sporty place and hope you enjoy your time here. My passion for sports coverage has grown a ton over my lifetime and there is no better time than 2020 to embark on something unprecedented. I’ll see all of you on the other side of this project, wherever that may be.