Friday, November 7, 2014

The Jockularity Show

Hosts of local sports podcast talk teams and their show

Posted By on November 7, 2014, 1:00 PM

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As we continue to watch our local podcast collective grow, we're seeing shows start to branch into more popular territory by becoming part of online networks. These networks collect a series of podcast throughout the week, such as Podcast One, Smodcast Internet Radio, The Nerdist Network and others to provide you constant entertainment throughout the week in any number of areas. One of the local shows that's found a national home is The Jockularity Show, a sports podcast hosted by Rick Aaron and Dave Wilbur, which has earned a spot on the Torn By Sports website, which focuses squarely on Utah sports of all major leagues and conferences. Today we chat with the co-hosts about starting the show and their thoughts on local teams today. (All pictures courtesy of The Jockularity Show.)

Rick Aaron & Dave Wilbur
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The Jockularity Show on Twitter

Gavin: Rick and David! First thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Dave: I'm Dave Wilbur, I was born in West Point, Utah in the great year of 1983, I graduated from East High School in 2001 and I currently work as a licensed Electrician, I'm married to one wife have and two kids. We reside in Sandy.

Rick: I'm Rick Aaron: half-man, half-jackalope from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I have 24-plus years in TV sports and radio. I've worked in Los Angeles, Washington state and now Utah since 2005. I'm currently an anchor/reporter for ABC 4 and CW 30. I was the Sports Director at KSTU Fox 13 from 2005-2012 where I was voted Utah Sportscaster of the Year in 2010. I've done broadcast work for 1320 KFAN, 1280 The Zone, ESPN 700, Real Salt Lake and BYU Soccer.

Gavin: What got each of you interested in sports growing up and what's been your favorite team over the years?

Dave: I’ve been a sports fan my entire life which I find strange since my parents don't follow sports at all. I sucked at playing sports so it was LDS Church Basketball, Jr. Jazz and Rec League sports teams for me. I’ve been a University of Utah, Utah Jazz, Anaheim Angels, San Diego Chargers fan my whole life, I've been a Utah Grizzlies fan since they came to Utah in 1994, I Became a (then) Salt Lake Stingers fan in 2001 when I started working in the front office in ticket sales and as for the NHL I cheer for anyone playing against the Colorado Avalanche.

I was never any good as an athlete but always fascinated with sports from going to games and watching on TV with my Dad. He was a knowledgeable and insightful fan. I grew up going to Southern Miss football and basketball games and still love the Golden Eagles. They, along with my alma mater, UCLA, are my teams, but it's fun to see the local teams (Jazz, RSL, Utes, Cougars and Aggies) do well.

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Gavin: What turned you toward analyzing the game and getting into the insider side of sports?

Dave: Working for the Salt Lake Stingers from 2001-2003, I got to be around the players and staff all the time and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I was 18 in the Stingers clubhouse playing Xbox against professional athletes that went on to be World Series champions. Having those kind of experiences is what really made me want to get into broadcasting but my lack of enthusiasm towards school held me back from reaching that goal.

Rick: I just loved going to the games and being part of the atmosphere so I somehow managed to get a job in TV sports while I was still in college. It felt like winning the lottery to get paid to be doing what I would have been doing anyway, attending and watching games and talking about them.

Gavin: Prior to the show, what experience did each of you gain in broadcasting and sports reporting?

Dave: Prior to The Jockularity Show, I co-founded/hosted a sports podcast, which was my first experience with sports reporting/broadcasting. When that show launched, things started to happen really quick behind the scenes. Getting insider knowledge of things happening around local sports teams that the local media didn't have yet and reporting those items on the website first and getting credit around the state for breaking news was rewarding.

Rick: I've worked in TV sports since 1990 as a production assistant, producer, executive producer, anchor and reporter. I've also dabbled in radio and print journalism so I've covered everything from the Super Bowl to high school JV water polo and most things in between.


Gavin: When did the two of you first meet each other and become friends?

Dave: Part of my responsibility on the first podcast was scheduling guests to come on the show. This wasn't easy for someone who is passive but that's where e-mail comes in and makes it easy to get either rejected, ignored completely or have someone like Rick say “Yes” almost immediately. Rick was one of the show's first guests and the first guest to have in-studio. We were all a nervous wreck having an Emmy awarding sportscaster come on the show and in person! That show was one of the best shows we had. Rick was a great and entertaining guest and we just kept in touch since then.

Rick: I appreciated the invitation. It was apparent when I first met David that he was enthusiastic, motivated and prepared. We clicked from that first show and have become friends as well as co-hosts.

Gavin: How did the idea come about to start a sports podcast, specifically looking at local teams?

Dave: A group of friends from Twitter met up for lunch on new years day this year and Rick was part of that group. At lunch, Rick pitched the Idea of The Jockularity Show to me and asked me to be apart of it, at this point I had already left the podcast I was a part of and joined Torn By Sports as a contributing writer so I accepted his offer.

Rick: I was working part-time at KTVX and KUTV, and needed an outlet to spew my nonsense. I always thought sports should be fun and enjoyed the humorous aspects more than the serious stuff. I came up with the name "Jockularity Show" and the tag line "The train wreck where sports meets comedy head-on" to reflect that. I want to have more comedians on as guests, but most of my contacts are from the sports realm so thus far it's been more coaches and broadcasters than stand-ups.


Gavin: What was it like getting all the equipment together to record and making your own studio-like space?

Dave: We lucked out with getting into a studio. Grant Bagby, creator of Torn By Sports, set us up with Allen “Al-Dog” Martindale and James “Deuce” Dyer from The Dog & Deuce Show, Allen became the producer of The Jockularity Show. Allen has an amazing studio setup and showed us the ropes for producing and editing shows.

Rick: Allen was amazing. In his basement, he's got a nicer studio than some of the local radio stations. He's a total pro and we appreciate all his help with recording and editing.

Gavin: How were the first few recordings and what was it like finding your groove with each other?

Dave: Oh man! The first episode of The Jockularity Show had the former University of Utah head football coach Ron McBride in-studio! I was totally geeked out and intimidated the entire segment. The first few shows for me, I was taking notes the entire time from Rick and learning from him how to be better at what I was doing. It took a few shows for me to get comfortable enough to start poking fun at Rick, but I think we found our groove rather early on as far as when each other had something to say or where to jump in and not talk over each other. It became more natural each show and I settled down and started having fun by not critiquing myself during the show.

Rick: To me, it's just like doing a radio show minus the breaks every eight minutes for news/weather/traffic/ads. I tried to prepare some topics, book a compelling guest and then hit "record" and let it unfold from there. I try to introduce segments and guests and throw out topics with a few lame jokes thrown in. David is great in his role as "the fan" and engages the guests with really good questions. I rip on him a lot just like I'd do with any of my friends. He was too timid to give it back to me as first but now he'll gladly jump in and make fun of me, which he should.

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Gavin: What was the response like from listeners early on and how was it getting feedback?

Dave: The response was good from the start. We had a great first show guest, and continued to have great guests each week in-studio and over the phone. It was a little bit of a struggle to get listener interaction, but they were never shy on giving feedback on how the show went. It's tough to find a good medium to please all listeners and to continue to get new listeners. The feedback would be anywhere from “Your Utah Homers!!!” to “Your BYU Homers” to “Show Is Great.” I love getting feedback, but I love getting opinions on how to improve the show which are hard to come by for whatever reason.

Rick: Podcasting is a weird medium. Other than some Twitter @s, you don't get very much feedback. The audience downloads and listens randomly so we'll occasionally get tweets or e-mails about shows we recorded months ago and forgot about. There's no rhyme or reason. We'd get two downloads one day and 2,000 the next because we got mentioned on a blog or another podcast. The demographic is so scattered as well. Predictably, most of our audience is in Utah, but we get downloaded a lot in the Bay Area, D.C. and Seattle. We also get some international downloads including some obscure places in Asia and the Middle East. We always joke that those are mistakes because "Jockularity" means something titillating in other languages.

Gavin: How did the opportunity come about to join Torn By Sports?

Dave: Grant contacted me to join Torn By Sports when he heard that I had left the podcast I was on, I said sure and I'm happy to be a part of the Torn By Sports network. When Rick came to me with the idea for The Jockularity Show, I told him we have a website and parking place for the show at Torn By Sports.

Rick: Grant and the TBS team have been great hosts and partners. I really like what they're doing by giving more people a forum to write/podcast about local sports. Like shopping at a grocery store vs. a gas station, the more offerings benefit the consumer/reader/listener.


Gavin: What kind of difference has it made to the show having another entity helping promote you, as opposed to working it by yourself.

Dave: Having The Jockularity Show on Torn By Sports was huge. Torn By Sports has a many contributors and they will always tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, every link to anything on Torn By Sports, being a new podcast you don't have many followers on any social media platform so to have an “in” from the beginning was huge to the success of The Jockularity Show.

Rick: It's not enough for two dudes like us to promote something on our own. We can Tweet and Facebook until we're blue in the face, but we're only really reaching our friends with that. TBS gives us exposure on a much wider scope.

Gavin: What are you plans for the show down the line, and what do you hope to achieve with it?

Dave: I hope the show will continue to grow and that people continue to listen and provide feedback so that show can grow, I see podcasting as your future radio sports show personalities, podcasts have some great talent for hosts and producers. I love being behind the mic and talking sports, for now it just a hobby but maybe one day it'll be more.

Rick: As I mentioned, I'd like to balance out the sports/comedy ratio by getting some local or touring comics on to talk about sports and pop culture which are almost the same thing these days. I have a long list of broadcasters, former coaches and former players who have agreed to do the show as well. I want to keep building and make "Jockularity" a brand of its own, hopefully becoming synonymous with the sports/comedy genre.

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Gavin: Moving into local sports, Utah is often difficult place to be a fan of anything. What do you think of the local sports market, both college and professional?

Dave: I think the local sports are great, a lot of teams to choose from to cheer for from, Logan to Provo, in every sport, Pro or College. Being a Jazz fan or even BYU Football fan at the moment is hard. Both fan bases are used to success. The Utah Jazz has just been abysmal and the pre-season hype of BYU Football was just that: hype! BYU fan demands greatness and BYU Football hasn't produced and stood to the pre-season hype, yes I understand BYU has had many injuries this season but coaching hasn't been phenomenal either.

Rick: We talk about this all the time at the TV and radio stations. Utah is one of the few markets left where local sports is, and always will be, relevant. The Jazz, RSL, Utes, Cougars and Aggies have huge, passionate fan bases that are hungry for coverage and the national outlets don't give them that. Those fans crave the coverage on local TV, radio, blogs and podcasts. Local TV/radio sports have dwindled in other cities but not here. We've got four full-time AM sports stations plus KSL on the radio, four strong local sports departments on TV in addition to the dozens of websites and podcasts. The fans here are smart, dedicated, opinionated, vocal and tech savvy which makes for a great audience.

Gavin: Real Salt Lake has really come into their own as a championship team with a loyal fanbase. Do you believe its soccer's time to shine here, and that they're the team to best represent the state?

Dave: RSL is great team! You know that they will make the playoffs every year. The RSL fanbase is as loyal as they come and the atmosphere at Rio Tinto Stadium aka the Riot is amazing! Just regular season games at the Riot have a playoff like atmosphere that I like to compare to the EnergySolutions Arena playoff atmosphere, the Riot is a rockin’ place. Soccer isn't going anywhere and its only going to get bigger. Currently RSL is the best Professional team in the state and has always and will continue to represent the state of Utah in a positive way.

Rick: Seeing the emergence of soccer in the U.S. is one of the coolest storylines I've seen unfold in my lifetime. When I was a kid there was no soccer beyond the youth level. I never saw anyone over the age of 12 play a match until I went away to college. They always said soccer was the next big thing, huge globally, etc., but it was hard to imagine back then. I covered the birth of Major League Soccer as a producer in L.A. in 1996 then arrived here just in time for the start of Real Salt Lake in 2005. From the early days at Rice-Eccles to building Rio Tinto Stadium to winning the MLS Cup in 2009 it's been a great ride for the team and their supporters. I've been lucky to be along for that ride. As we've seen with the unbelievable interest in the 2014 World Cup and the increased saturation of the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League in the U.S. it will continue to grow.

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Gavin: The Grizzlies have struggled ever since they were relaunched a few years back and have struggled to keep a fanbase What does a team like that need to do to get back on track and in the public eye again?

Dave: In the mid '90s to the early 2000s, the Grizz had great teams and great fanbase, its been sad to see the all of the empty seats in Maverick Center year in and year out for the Grizz. Utahans like their hockey but for some reason refuse to support the Grizz. If the current owners or any future owners can find a way to get the Grizz back to being champions then I think you'll see a fanbase comeback.

Rick: The move from the IHL/AHL which were AAA leagues down to the ECHL (AA) hurt the team because you don't have direct callups to the NHL and most guys at this level will never see NHL ice. Minor league sports are always a tough sell in place where you have a major league team (Jazz) and NCAA options but I think Adrian Denny and the Grizzlies do a great job marketing their product with events and promotions. Former Fox 13 sports anchor Mike Runge used to be the General Manager of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles and they packed the Salt Palace with outrageous stunts like Bikini Night. Maybe the Grizzlies need to do more of that stuff to draw fans. David will even drop the first puck while wearing a bikini.

Gavin: The Bees had an impressive year in 2013, then bombed to the bottom of our division in 2014. What does that club need to do to become an actual contender for the title in 2015?

Dave: Having Triple-A baseball in Salt Lake City is awesome. I love the Bees and love seeing all the major league players that come through Salt Lake City that are either on the Bees or playing against them. Building a Triple-A team to be a champion is extremely tough to do with all of the turnover of players either going to (in the Bees case) Anaheim or down to Double-A Arkansas. I would love to see the Bees win a championship, but Triple-A is all about growth and rehab. The Angels have had a lot of issues with injuries and have always been active in moving players from the farm to Anaheim and vice versa. The Bees will have a new manager in 2015 with the promotion of their manager Keith Johnson to Anaheim as the Roving Infield Instructor so 2015 may bring a championship but its doubtful but it doesn't it make any less fun to go out to the ballpark for some Triple-A baseball.

Rick: Wins and losses are secondary to talent development and marketing in Triple-A baseball. Of course, they'd like to win to have their players involved in a successful atmosphere and they may draw a few more bodies through the turnstiles if they're winning but the Pacific Coast League like all minor league baseball is about improving players' skills and getting them experience. For the team it's about selling the ballpark experience with promotions, hot dogs and fireworks to stay profitable. The Miller family's dedication to the Bees, the best ballpark view in the country and one of the best baseball broadcasters anywhere in Steve Klauke make the team a true local gem.

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Gavin: What's your take on the current state of college football in the state and the attention we've been receiving over the past couple years?

Dave: Divison 1 football has never been better in Utah than it is right now at this very moment, even with BYU currently struggling. Utah State and the U are currently bowl eligible and BYU is just one win shy of becoming bowl eligible, and with their pathetic upcoming games they will get there. The Utes are having an awesome season with a horrific schedule and getting a lot of respect nationally, most recently staying at the 17th best team in Division 1 Football after a loss to then 14th and now 11th best team in Division 1 football. Utah State has some injuries but continues to win in the Mountain West Conference and is great to see.

Rick: Even without the BYU-Utah game for the next two years, I think interest is at an all-time high. With their Pac 12 affiliation the Utes are a true national player, one of the best teams in the nation this year in my opinion. There's a lot of intrigue surrounding BYU, concerning Bronco Mendenhall, Robert Anae and their Independent status. USU gets overshadowed but they've got great fans, a tremendous game day atmosphere and they're consistently near the top of the Mountain West despite a string of unfortunate injuries.

Gavin: As of this interview, we're on the brink of the NBA starting this year. What are you most looking forward to this year with the current roster and management?

Dave: The Utah Jazz management has been embarrassing for the past few years, but that is changing. The hiring of Quin Snyder is a fantastic one and we’re beginning to see how awesome General Manager Dennis Lindsey is at his job. The Utah Jazz wont go to the playoffs in 2014-15 season but will improve and give the fanbase hope for the future. The one thing I'm looking at this season is player development and coach discipline, two areas that former coach Ty Corbin didn't exactly care to excel at.

Rick: David is a Jazz homer who likes to make these ridiculous assertions that the team will win an NBA title in the next three years. I'm more cynical. They have fantastic young talent and apparently a great young coach but they've been selling this "building for the future" campaign for what, six years now? I'm enjoying seeing the young guys develop and learn but if I'm paying thousands for tickets, I want to see the team win. Who's to say if this "future" ever arrives? Guys get hurt and leave as free agents. If he wins more than 30 games, Snyder will be a target for some big-market team. Springs around here are not much fun when the Jazz pack it up in mid-April.

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Gavin: What can we expect from all of you and the show over the rest of the year and going into the next?

Dave: The Jockularity Show will continue to grow and continue to have the best guest list of any local sports podcast.

Rick: We need to get back to recording and posting shows on a regular basis, but Dave's right. Because of my background, I can call someone like Ron McBride, Craig Bolerjack and Brandon Doman to join us for an hour. Other podcasts don't get that sort of access. I'd like to get more big name local and national guests, pump up the funny with some more comedians, mix in some movies, TV and music and see where it goes.

Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Rick: Can't pass up this opportunity: check out ABC 4 News at 4, 5, 6 and 10, the CW 30 News at 9 and our website We've got a great group that's really working hard to bring viewers news, sports and weather with a positive Good 4 Utah emphasis. Also follow us on Twitter @davidwilbur, @rickaaron and @jockularityshow. That's where we get to interact with our listeners the most. Of course, check out The Jockularity Show on iTunes or any of the major audio websites. Thanks and see you later!

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