I cannot believe the start of the season is just days away. What in the world happened to the off-season?
Despite our being “quiet” recently, I do plan to be on the air with Hoopsville for our 17th season … but it has become a question of when. Soon for sure, but we won’t be on air ahead of this season starting (i.e. this week).
It is a long, maybe convoluted, story. Some might have noticed something was amiss when we didn’t end up producing more than the single off-season podcast – despite intentions otherwise.
For the third time in five(?) years, we experienced significant water damage in the basement level of our home. Once prior, the damage affected the Hoopsville studio. This time, my family was on vacation and the water ran for roughly five days. That flooded the entire finished basement requiring all carpet to be pulled, dry wall to be replaced and repaired, and plenty of other work. Despite my best efforts and plans, the studio was fully disassembled during the mitigation and repair stages.
The studio is easy to tear down. It is a long process to get it back together.
That said, the time to dedicate on putting the studio back together was also limited due to other priorities. One of those priorities was the work I now do in the basketball offseason including for Major League Baseball, World TeamTennis, and (the now defunct) Arena Football League (Baltimore Brigade PA Announcer) – not to mention my work in the spring and fall with local colleges and the NCAA broadcasts.
Any actual, paying work takes priority over a show which I love but isn’t necessarily a financial source (more on that in a bit). I work as much as I can especially for MLB (at both Orioles and Nationals Parks) so that I can have a little breathing room when it comes time for basketball season. My WTT work usually takes up about six weeks from June through July, but this season my MLB work unexpectedly lasted until the last weekend of October. I was privileged enough to work three games of the World Series thanks to the Washington Nationals having turned their season around. No complaints whatsoever, except work on the studio kept getting pushed aside.
There was also another complication: days prior to the final four in Fort Wayne last March, I suffered a herniated disc in my lower back. I didn’t realize what had happened at the time. I thought it was a pulled muscle and gutted my way through the week. Needless to say, the next few weeks after Fort Wayne were less than ideal – I could barely walk. It turns out my back had been showing signs of this issue for years – maybe even as far back as my college soccer (and practice dummy basketball) days – but I didn’t realize the real problem.
I spent April through August (early September) going through physical therapy and two epidural procedures hoping things would improve. The only thing I couldn’t really do was just lie around for a week or two on my back in hopes it would clear up.
Lifting was not an option and any work for any extended period of time was significantly reduced. The studio, despite even the efforts of my wife, was a very slow process – especially with many, MANY boxes sitting around needing to be unpacked and reorganized (those who have been in the studio can attest that the combo office with my wife had a lot in it you can’t see on camera). I couldn’t move those boxes.
Ultimately, the decision was to have surgery which happened on Halloween … just last week (delayed from earlier in October due to the Nationals). The good news: I am on the mend. The bad news: the studio is not ready and I’m not sure when we will be recovered enough. I know at this point we will go on the air with a studio “look” that won’t be complete. I just don’t know when I will have the ability to hit the air.
I am aiming right now for Sunday, November 10. However, it may have to be pushed until the 14th or 17th which I would like to avoid especially as we try and advertise and gain sponsors.
That gets us to another aspect of this entire thing: I need to make the show more financially viable. The show gets incredible support from the NABC and WBCA. Others have also stepped up over the years, but Hoopsville needs more partners if I am to justify the time and energy put into the show. Costs increase despite our efforts to cut them back. There are also experiences like the men’s championship being in Atlanta this season which adds to the bottom line. And as many know, I also want to travel occasionally to promote DIII games and teams around the country. That isn’t an option right now.
It all has to be balanced with what is right for my family.
That is why the back surgery was last week and not earlier in October or even late August – I needed to work my MLB job. Thus I am delayed getting the studio ready and getting Hoopsville on the air.
I am not looking for sympathy or charity. I want to be sure to earn what the show brings in. Hoopsville has to be something businesses, schools, conferences, etc. want to support or showcase themselves.
I will be sending out the advertising packages to a select number of schools and conferences this week. The plan is to send it to some businesses as well.
Now some may ask how they can help. We always appreciate those notes. While we are sending out advertising package information to those we think might be interested, we don’t know all the avenues or entities that may be interested. If you know a school, conference, company, or others that might be interested, please get them in touch with us or get us in touch with them. Opening a door can make a significant difference.
We are looking into a special interview spin-off of the show as a pay per view option. We are interested in how many think that is a viable option.
Okay, enough about the financial stuff. The general point was to explain why the delay, some of the challenges, and when I will hopefully be on the air (soon, did I mention that?).
I want to continue our efforts. The student-athletes, coaches, programs, schools, division deserves it. I love doing it.
We will see you on air soon!