Today marks the two-year birthday of BlazerTV.com! Although work on this project began long before then, two years ago today the first post ever went on our official website. Since then we’ve completely rebranded twice, upgraded the website four times, added shows and canceled shows, and gained multiple staff members.
In celebration of getting to the two year mark, here’s a chronological list of content you may have missed a long that way that we deem notable in some way.
As you can see, when I first started this endeavor…I tried to start out with a major bang. That didn’t completely happen, but two years later…we are getting closer and closer to reaching where my original vision was.
Our first podcast: http://www.blazertv.com/the-green-screen-001-uab-vs-semo-1113/
The first piece of content we ever put out with the website was a podcast called “The Green Screen”. It was a show focused on UAB Basketball and was hosted by myself (Mitchell Miller) and our site administrator James Thrasher. Our equipment wasn’t at all what we have now…but it did inspire a lot of what we did later with C-USA Weekly and Double Coverage. Interesting Fact: We brought back The Green Screen as a short-lived live call-in show called “The Green Screen LIVE” which featured special guests such as Aaron Johnson and Frantrell Forrest. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled due to high production costs and low participation (it was far ahead of its time). The Green Screen will be making a comeback soon and will feature myself and former UAB basketball player Reggie Huffman as hosts. Look out for details on this soon!
Our first report: http://www.blazertv.com/uab-vs-memphis-1222011/
When we started, it was two guys and a small portable camera. Our first game? The game of all games – UAB vs. Memphis basketball….and a particularly depressing game at that. Our report was full of technical blunders and lack of professionalism (…mountain beard?), but it’s a good example of how far we’ve come as a media outlet. Not bad for a first try though, right? No…that was just bad. Our game reports have now become a widely appreciated staple of our UAB Athletics coverage.
Our first Conference USA Championship: http://www.blazertv.com/blazertv-com-reports-uab-usm-03022011/
Little did we know that the first season we covered UAB Basketball would lead the Blazers’ first outright Conference USA championship in school history. There’s a funny story behind this particular report. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to go to the game due to prior engagements, so I was forced to send Tyler Cantrell (our newest training) to report and James Thrasher to film. At the last minute, I was able to go…but was unable to obtain a press pass! I was forced to become a regular fan again (which you’ll see in the report…once again with my mountain man beard) and Tyler’s first gig EVER for BlazerTV.com was covering the UAB – Southern Miss game that gave the Blazers part of the C-USA title (which they would go on to win outright at home the next game against ECU, which you can see here).
Darrell Hackney interview: http://www.blazertv.com/the-sitdown-darrell-hackney-part-1/
We realized very early on that it was very important to not only cover the current student-athletes at UAB, but it was also critical to have former players involved. Our first one-on-one with a former player was with UAB QB legend Darrell Hackney. In this two-part video, I discussed a variety of topics with him including coaching changes, on-campus stadium proposals, and more. Since then, we’ve interviewed a variety of former players and now even have some on staff!
Coaches fired and hired: http://www.blazertv.com/neil-callaway-out-as-uab-head-football-coach/
This isn’t necessarily a good highlight, but it was an important time in our history. We were actually the first to report the firing of previous head football coach Neil Callaway, beating other outlets (including the Birmingham News and ESPN) as seen in the picture below. We also saw somebody that we covered extensively, Mike Davis, shown the door. We did a Mike Davis era review show that went into his firing and the best/worst moments of his coaching career at UAB. You can see that here. We also covered the hiring of both Garrick McGee and Jerod Haase.
Gene Bartow passes away: http://www.blazertv.com/a-reunion-that-overshadows-rivalry-and-sorrow/
The news that legendary coach Gene Bartow, the proclaimed “Father of UAB Athletics”, had died sent ripples of emotion through the UAB fanbase. The next game following death just so happened to between two teams with huge ties to Coach Bartow…Memphis and UAB.
A major goal early on (as evidenced by our first content being podcasts) was to provide coverage that UAB fans couldn’t get anywhere else. For us, that meant having deep, expansive content for Blazer fans that wasn’t just a 5 minute highlight reel every week. Our shows including C-USA Weekly (which branched off into its own media outlet) and specials like this C-USA Expansion Show led the way for our current lineup “Double Coverage” and the upcoming return of “The Green Screen” to be announced soon.
Something we haven’t been able to do much of because of time-constraints are extended opinion/stories…however, we’ve always had a passion for bringing out stories and opinions about UAB sports. Recently, I wrote a piece on former UAB kicker Joshua Zahn. It was a story I was very passionate about and the article was months in the making. We plan to do more of these in the feature. The UAB fanbase deserves this type of coverage more often.
There’s plenty of other content that you can check out if you are ever interested in going back and looking at things you may have missed. Though, we can’t guarantee the quality of the content the further back you go. If you go to the “feed” section of our homepage (towards the bottom) there’s a way to go back in the archives and look at old content. You can also click a certain category on our top menu and search through the archives that way.
We really want to thank you all for making what we do possible. It’s a constant challenge, but every time something we put out that gets shared or liked or commented on…it’s a reminder of why I started this site to begin with – to provide UAB fans, as well as the players’ and their families, the content they deserve. We hope you feel that’s what we do. If you appreciate our coverage and would like to play a part in seeing it continue to increase in quality, please don’t hesitate to click the “donate” button on the top-right of the website or visit our donate page directly by clicking here.
Thanks again for taking this trip down memory lane with us and we hope to capture even more experiences and memories in the next two years!