5 Years Of Teal Town USA
Ok, so it hasn’t been 5 years of Teal Town USA. This passion project originally began as Pucknology back in early 2015, but on April 7th, 2017, we rebranded to TealTownUSA and kept moving forward. So, it’s been over 5 years of whatever this is.
In The Beginning
Erik Kuhre, Chris JWS, and I came together on social media through a shared disgust with local media, sports talk radio in particular. We were sick of the lack of Sharks coverage from KNBR and 95.7. At some point, someone brought up the idea of a podcast. We had to look into different options to connect as the 3 of us were nearly always in different locations. After a few episodes, the idea of live video was introduced. While YouTube was the obvious platform, my initial thoughts were “would anyone watch?” Clearly, I didn’t realize that we weren’t the only ones starving for San Jose Sharks conversation.
Initially, the idea behind the cast was what if you eavesdropped on 3 guys talking at a bar about the Sharks game they just watched. There was no structure, no filter, and no reason to keep it clean. Most of our early shows probably have more expletives than a Quentin Tarantino movie. We also had no schedule. If the 3 of us weren’t available after the game, there was no cast. The small audience we had at the time quickly let us know they wanted us on following every game. And since March 29th, 2015, we’ve gone live after every single Sharks regular season and playoff game.
We also began taking the show a little more seriously. Less instant reactionary hot takes and more thought behind the provocative commentary. We added some structure while also finding humor in the silliness of rooting for laundry. Early on, some shows went as long as 2 hours due to the fun we were having and the fun that people watching us were having in the YouTube chat. Over the course of these 5 years, we’ve met some awesome people who we likely would’ve never known without the cast. Last year, we had our first Teal Town USA Day at the Tank. A group of people joined us to watch the Sharks, do a live cast from the Tank, and then watch a Barracuda game. It was a fun and fantastic event and very cool to meet some of the people we’d only come to know as social media handles at that point.
During the 5 years, we’ve shared a lot of fun times. Our resident Canadian Ian Reid lost a bet and had to sing the Star Spangled Banner on a show. Chris had to sing a Taylor Swift song. I rewrote “T’was the night before Christmas“. There was Rocket’s Interpretive Dance and when Kuhre couldn’t stop laughing at Doge Wilson. There have been countless jokes about Erik Landi’s laundry, Kuhre’s internet connection, Kevin Lacy’s turtleneck, the angry AJ tree, and the power play drum.
We were able to break the news about San Jose getting the All Star Game and Patrick Marleau returning to the Sharks. We’ve had fun mocking the whole sports talk radio shtick as well as the insanely formulaic and unoriginal “Pardon the Interruption” gag we called “The False Dichotomy”. Either way, the last 5 years has certainly provided some humorous situations and a lot of inside jokes and references that early watchers still invoke.
When we did our first audio podcast and, shortly thereafter, YouTube video, Dudes on Hockey was the only cast that existed at the time that talked Sharks. We’re proud of the fact that we’re the first vodcast talking Sharks hockey.
Five years later and it seems like every Sharks fan has a podcast talking about team teal now. And if they don’t already have a podcast, they will next month. While some lasted only a few weeks and withered away, others have persevered. Some only do audio while some do both audio and video. Some focus on one delivery platform while others are seemingly everywhere. Some have their own niche and some outright “borrow” ideas from other casts. But as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As long as we’re all talking about the San Jose Sharks, it’s all good in the hood, amirite?
We’ve also met great people doing podcasts for their local team, like Let’s Go Blues Radio. We’ve shared production ideas, joined each other’s cast, and Chris even sent them some damn fine beer after we lost a friendly wager. Either way, we’re happy to have blazed a trail others have followed in order to talk about the San Jose Sharks. We all know the local sports radio stations won’t.
We have some interesting ideas for the future, but right now it’s kind of cool to stop and look at just how much has changed from our early beginnings on YouTube. It’s fun to see how much has changed between adding better mics, better cameras, and some silly production elements for the entertainment laughs. We added a weekly wrap-up, pregame reports, and our “Fun With Audio” gags.
While we’ve upped our overall quality, we still follow the “for fans, by fans” mantra and strive to maintain that “3 guys at a bar” mentality. To all the people that have ever watched, listened, or joined us on a cast, we can’t thank you enough. Cheers to the next 5 years.