Behind the chutes: Take a look behind the scenes with us
CHEYENNE – Wow!
That sounds simplistic, and it is, but that is my initial reaction to the response the website has received in its infancy. We gained more than 1,200 social media followers in less than 24 hours. My inbox – heck, my inboxes – have been filled daily since announcing this little venture last Monday. We have heard from plenty of media members around the country, former players and coaches, and supporters of other teams.
Even ones that rhyme with Smolorado Smate.
This shows me what I already knew – Wyoming fans are starving for more quality and quantity.
So, all I can say is thank you. Sincerely, thank you.
Behind the Chutes
This space will be reserved weekly for a little behind-the-scenes banter.
We will share some interesting tidbits of our job and some insights that don’t quite justify a story. Believe me, there are plenty of examples.
For instance, Fennis Dembo wasn’t shy about sharing who he thinks is the best Wyoming football player of all time – Jay Novacek. He also thinks the Arena-Auditorium needs to be renamed after the legendary Kenny Sailors. He said he was thrilled to see Sailors get his due in the form of a statue at the arena.
He also thinks there should be another sculpture erected. One of a guy who used to wear No. 34. The leading scorer in program history. The one who helped lead the Pokes to the Sweet 16.
Yes, that would be himself.
Don’t take this the wrong way, he isn’t being cocky or arrogant, he just let it be known that when he came to UW he studied the history of the program. He wanted to break those records. That was his mission.
“Imagine how many points I would’ve scored if I didn’t have to share the load with Eric Leckner?” Dembo joked, adding that without the big man, wins wouldn’t have come so frequently and he would’ve faced plenty of double-teams.
I would have to agree. Aside from the Novacek part.
Racking up the miles
The odometer in my car – and everything else in and out of it, for that matter -- has taken a severe beating over the last two months. According to my shotty math, we have traveled more than 6,000 miles.
Isn’t this a saying? “I’ve never seen hell, but I’ve driven from El Paso to San Antonio.”
If it’s not, it should be. My goodness.
I recall saying, “How could anyone live out here? It looks like everything out there wants to hurt me.”
But it was worth it. Every second of it. Even getting pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for only being four car lengths behind a semi instead of six. He said he can’t wait to read this site. He told me that when he kept me in his car for 15 minutes. Maybe he won’t be so bored now.
I don’t want to divulge every story we traveled to do, but it was fun. We hope you love it, too.
“Starting a website should be easy,” an idiot once said.
You guessed it, that was me. And, boy, do I wish that was true.
Herding cats is a good way to describe things. That includes attempting to land advertising, setting up a legit business, finding talent, designing, stories, videos, you name it.
I’m just a reporter.
Although I have worked for online sites, someone else did all the other work. The hard, tedious stuff. I knew we would face challenges, but this has been a lot to digest. Totally worth it, but tough.
We want to be the most transparent site around. So, the truth is, we started this thing from scratch with little to no capital. There have been no big investors. This has been totally organic. Part of what has made this launch so tough – and long anticipated – is the fact that we all have worked other jobs all along.
This site was started with a dream and some people who believed in me, mainly family and my wife, Emilee. Once Kasey Orr was convinced to move home from -- Smolorado -- and join me, I was ready. I could’ve easily landed a gig covering high school or college sports anywhere else in the country.
I wanted to be here. Only here.
That’s why we’re so thankful for your readership and support. It will never be lost on us. Ever.
I also want to give a shout out to our photographer, DJ Johnson, cartoonist, Chad Blakely, and site builder, Brady Brinton. All Wyoming cats, by the way.
Down the road, when we have compiled some numbers, we will share them right here with you.
I did some old-school analytic work last Tuesday night. It was quite a process, but I was genuinely interested.
- We landed a Facebook follower from every state in the United States, except New Jersey. “Where yous at, Jersey?” Believe it or not, Maine came in with four follows. Even someone in Belgium checked in.
- I counted more than 60 people from different towns in Wyoming. Casper led the way, followed by Gillette and Cheyenne. We received a ton of love from our friends over in Torrington, and even garnered three from Meeteetse.
- A lot of former players got on board. By my count, 25 former Pokes hit the blue thumb. Thank you! It was great seeing some of those old names. Brett McFall was a cool one to see. I will never forget that half-court, alley-oop to Josh Davis in that blowout win over Utah in the AA. Great memory.
Advertise with us
We want to promote your company. That’s not just lip service, either.
Some great Wyoming companies have already got on board: Laramie Peak Motors (Wheatland), Rock Ranch Grill (Pine Bluffs), Café 307 (Pine Bluffs), Automatic Garage Door (Cheyenne), Tactical Xteriors LCC (Casper) and Hometown Printed Apparel (Douglas).
Ask us about our early bird rates at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can send you our media kit and prices.
Feel free to reach out to us. Have a story idea? Have a suggestion? Want to yell at us? We are on Twitter: @7220sports, Facebook: 7220sports.com. Or email us at email@example.com.
You can also comment on our stories on the site. You just need to fill out your email address and name to write one.