The Birth of S2S
Updated: August 10, 2016
How Texas High School Football Sharpened Its Edge
People in sports broadcasting do not want you to know a big secret about the business. A lot of the great things that happen are by pure accident. Which if you think about it, makes sense. We are reporting on athletic events that are nothing more than constrained chaos or anarchy with rules. And football might just be the number #1 follower of that. So just like on the field, usually no matter how much planning goes on inside the booth or the studio, it is the accidents, the no-shows, the fill-ins and the misspeaks that usually create broadcast gold. And there is no better way to describe Sideline 2 Sideline than nothing more but a great accident.
In 2007 I had been toiling away at the weekly broadcast world for 5 years and had become frustrated. I could never find a partner that I either could keep for longer than a season, or that I felt had the right stuff to not only be informative but also to be entertaining. See I also wanted S2S to be more than just two guys regurgitating what had transpired during last weekend's action.I wanted there to be humor and the ability to work on the fly without a script or run sheet stapled to our faces. I simply wanted to talk Texas high school football and whatever road that took us each week as long as it was informative and fun. Most importantly, I wanted it to be NATURAL, no fake bantering or arguments.
So I was like any guy looking for companionship in today’s world, I turned to the internet. I already knew the target I had in mind. He was a big TXHSFB Internet legend, known for his wit, football knowledge, and just all around good-natured fun. I so I messaged the infamous "GGsquared" or as you all know him Grant Goodwin and a show was born.
Now let's not pretend all I had to do was ask him, point him to the mic and magic was born. First off I had to chase him for a month (in retrospect I think he was just enjoying the wooing.) I even took him out to a movie and dinner, which again in hindsight I now realize had nothing to do with football. Anyway, we started him out as just a weekly guest and because of logistics, that meant doing his segment over the phone. That to say the least led to bad radio. Dropped calls, moments where people on his end would interrupt, confusion in topics and just general disarray. The thing was, in all of that the humor was born. We played off the mistakes so well and had so much fun doing it, that the 20 listeners each week actually enjoyed that as much as the information.
The show took off once we were able to get Grant in studio each week and make him permanent Co-Host. He then took over the production of the run sheet (that is the skeleton of the show, what topics we would like to talk about) and also I taught him how to run the board.
Now for all the talk about how we have fun, ramble, act like two guys who are sitting on the couch having cold ones and talking football (which we take as the highest compliment.) It is not as natural as it all seems as we do put a lot of effort into the show. No, I promise we really do.
Grant and I email or text each other up to 150 times a day and most of it is actually football related. On Sundays, we start to form the run sheets with games of interests. We try to find as much film or read a much as we can on those games. We also just try to read as many newspaper sites and talk to as many people as we can around the state to get their takes - and that includes a lot of coaches we trust. Then on Monday we wait for any big news to drop such as injury. Tuesday is show day and on that morning we scale down the run sheet to our time frame and then meet at the studio. Now if you do not know yet, the “studio” is my house. I have had most of my equipment since I graduated college and have a room set up dedicated just to our shows and such. The funny thing is, the studio has been everything from a kitchen table, to a couch in a living room, a back room in an office, at a restaurant or by the pool during a party.
S2S has grown a lot since the early beginnings and that was the big reason we decided to make the move to Lone Star Gridiron. We were ready to be more than just a weekly show on the side. We wanted to be an integral part of a website that covered TXHSFB the right way (ok I might be brown nosing the boss a bit.)
We have found each other. We have found great acceptance from fans around the state. We have found our forever home at LSG. Most of all, we just hope the listeners enjoy the ride as much as we do.
by Terry Bennett
Sideline 2 Sideline
(EDITORIAL NOTE: Terry and Grant fit into our culture at Lone Star Gridiron so quickly because it is all about love for Texas high school football. Welcome home - Chris Doelle)