It was one year ago tonight that I sat at this same couch and typed on this same laptop and wrote An Open Letter To Kevin Kietzman. What was to follow was unanticipated, unexpected and incredible.
The letter remains the second most successful article I’ve written on this blog, second only to a transcription of a radio show the day Frank White was fired.
That was the night “Fake Ned” was born. Sure, Ned had been a twitter loudmouth for almost a year by then, but the Open Letter started a chain of events that is startling to me even a year later.
The immediate aftermath was that Kevin Kietzman responded to it on his show the next day. It went “Kansas City Viral” meaning that it was referred to by many blogs, articles and posts. At this point, I recognized that it was going to be an opportunity for me, personally. Having never done anything overtly “public” before, I said to myself that I was going to really have some fun with it. To quote a Kardashian sister tweet, #YOLO.
I can’t tell you why I decided to live this year with a “bucket list” mentality, but I stopped talking myself out of things and start saying to myself “why the fuck not.”
So I began to blog more passionately. The #RadioWars stuff had really struck a nerve with people who, like me, are ardent followers of one station or the other – or one show or the other.
I began podasting, first with KC Royalman on his already established Royalman Report podcast at 31st & Wyandotte and later on my Rambling Morons podcast from a studio I made out of our downstairs TV room. Dubbed, “The Man Cave” we have seen local celebrities such as Danny Parkins, Nick Wright, Mick Shaffer, Rustin Dodd, Sam Mellinger, Danny Duffy, Brad Westmar, Kent Babb, Chris Merrill and DannyBoi. I’ve also helped with several other podcasts and appeared on almost a dozen others. I’ve also started writing a weekly column (and a few other articles) for an actual newspaper, The Platte County Landmark while learning so much from their editor, Ivan Foley.
I was part of a cover story for INK Magazine with a picture of me actually on the cover. I was selected for a Bloggers Night event at Kauffman Stadium and last month actually covered an Omaha Storm Chasers game as a credentialed reporter. My Twitter handle was chanted on ESPN2 and I had a Minor League Manager attempt to talk me out of posting a video on the internet for fear it would go viral… because it did.
In the year that passed I’ve made a shit-ton of new friends, both on twitter, in real live and in the media. I’ve also picked up more than a few enemies and haters. All of whom have fueled me to do more.
I’ve accepted (and probably earned) a total of $0 for all of this. Partly out of learning that there’s no money in podcasting, blogging and tweeting and partly because it’s not about the money and partly because it’s been an entertainment value to fuck with the system the way I have this past year. You can’t put a price on that. It’s about producing content that people seem to enjoy reading, listening to and watching. I can’t tell you how many people have watched, read or seen anything I’ve done this year, but I can tell you it’s more than watched any of the shit I wrote in previous years, which was nothing.
And now, here we are. One year ago tonight, I wrote that letter to Kevin Kietzman about what I thought his radio show should be and decided to become part of the solution… or the problem… I forget. And on the same day that the phrase I coined, #RadioWars claimed its first real casualties as Jared Carter and Mark Carman, both of 610 Sports Radio, were fired. Tonight, I am host of a radio program that is recorded at the studios that Kevin Kietzman owns. Life is funny.
This post may simply seem like a string of #HumbleBrags. And I get that. But my point here is that for the first time in my life I decided to get off my fat ass and do something and here we are a year later and Fake Ned has over 5,600 followers, we’ve got a Podcasting Network working and we’re planning our first major event at the Negro Leagues Museum during All Star Weekend. Oh. And I turn 40 in a couple weeks where I’ll probably get Alzheimer’s and forget all of this.
Point is… As the Kardashians always say… You Only Live Once.
Happy Fake Ned-iversary.