Good god… I was slow.
I always was and nothing exploited that more than track season. I had started running track my junior year as a way to try and become faster for the upcoming football season, but I was helpless. (1)
- I don’t remember what my 200 M time was, but I do remember that it was so slow that there was debate as to whether the stop watch had malfunctioned during my race. No joke 😅.
But my lack of speed and ability to contribute to the team in a traditional sense, was a blessing in disguise (I would still rather have been fast), that forced me to find a way to contribute to the team in a way that I couldn’t on the track. So I started to brainstorm… Coincidentally, right around this time, the Netflix Documentary Last Chance U (2) had just been released that fall and had quickly become one of my favorite shows.
2. My favorite Last Chance U seasons ranked: 3, 1, 2, 5, 4. You just can’t beat the fireworks that Jason Brown brought to the show.
Our team was poised for a breakout track season with state championship aspirations, so Yoyo and I hatched the idea to create our version of “Last Chance U” for the 2017 Corunna Cavalier Track Team.
Throughout the remainder of the season, we both followed around the team at meets, practices, and around school and produced what we thought was a quality production.
After a slightly disappointing season (regional champions, but no state title), and a post-open house hangover rushed editing session the day of, we released the trailer at the end of the year banquet…
The trailer racked up over 1,000 views in about two days and the trailer that Yoyo and I had slapped together an hour before the banquet, had given us the reassurance that we needed to potentially try and make Fatstacks into something. (The 20-minute documentary dropped later that summer, but has since been taken off of youtube due to copyright infringements 🙃 I can’t quite figure those things out).
We went on to make numerous more videos (most of them bad) and started to really pick up some steam before one of our more vulgar videos (3) shot inside the school, was sent to the principal.
3) The video was called “lunchroom talk” and featured man on the street interviews with about 30 different students… It was a bit R-rated, to say the least.
I still remember getting called down to the office about two days after the release of the video… knowing I was screwed. After awkwardly watching the video with the principal in his office, I was given an ultimatum: “Delete the videos and stop posting them until you are out of school, or you will not walk at graduation.” (4)
4) I was absolutely shitting bricks when I was called into his “laire”, but I was definitely holding back a few laughs as we watched me ask my friends questions about their sexual history/ex-girlfriends.
As a young “scholar” student, this threat scared the daylights out of me and put Fatstacks on hold for the remainder of the year. Fatstacks was put on pause indefinetly and after graduation… Fats and Yoyo went to college and Fatstacks was all but a distant memory. A flash in the pan that we always joked back and forth about “what could have been” …
Then the idea of a podcast emerged with the idea to use pseudonym’s instead of our real names — A compromise that allowed YOYO and Fats to remain working, while also producing content for Fatstacks.
So I became Fats (a nickname I stole from my dad) and he became Yoyoball (a name he had given himself on Playstation when he was ten 😅).
Over the course of the next year or so, we recorded over 110 podcasts, interviewing our friends/family… discussing everything from our love life (or lack thereof) to aliens, to the greatness of Lebron James. We went on like this for a while and always wondered what it would be like if we committed ourselves full-time to the “company” and tried to grow it.
Could it become profitable? Would people tune in? Could we actually build something here? Or are we complete idiots and would we embarress ourselves (most likely)?
It’s something we debated time and time again, before I finally decided that once I graduated college, I was going to devote a full year to Fatstacks and see if there really is something here or if it’s just a pipe dream.
I reasoned with myself that I can live with the rejection, but I can’t live with the possible “what if” that I would without a doubt, carry with me the rest of my life.
As we started to gear up for our launch day, we added the talented Jacobs brothers to our squad (check out the Scrambled Legs Podcast) and we added to devoted fatstackers to our team. From there we started to set the plan for when we finally go “live” and give this our best effort.
That day is today and I can honestly say that we are beyond excited to be able to do this. We honestly have no idea what’s going to happen, but we do know that we are going to have a blast doing it.
Maybe we are crazy and you are reading this laughing, thinking we “are wasting a year of our life & we aren’t funny at all & we suck & you hope we burn in hell”. You could be right, but I don’t think of it that way. The way I look at it is this is going to be one of the best year’s of my life and if come Fall 2021 (September 1st, 2021 is the cutoff), Fatstacks doesn’t materialize into anything, I can live with letting the brand die, because at least I’ll know that I gave it my best effort.
So from here on out, I solemnly promise both to our avid listeners (who stuck with us from the start and stayed with us when our content was not up-to-snuff, like whatsoever 😂) and the Fatstacks team that I will give this my best effort from here on out.
That’s the time table I have given myself to either turn this into something or find some boring job cubicle job somewhere… So, I guess, I (we) better get to work.
Let’s do this… #StackbyStack.
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