I love me a good origin story. So, five years ago, when I read the very first post for this newfangled site called Grantland, I was smitten.
In that post, Bill Simmons tells the story of how Jimmy Kimmel, Simmons, and Kimmel’s inner circle drove down to Hollywood from San Diego on the night Kimmel’s new show was going to go live for the first time. They were excited. They were nervous. They didn’t know what was going to happen—but they were going to give it their all and let the cards fall where they may.
That’s how Grantland got started, and I’ll never forget finishing that post and feeling equally excited for this new site filled with new writers. Grantland is gone now—but it was unique, awesome, and I will remember it fondly for a long time.
Guess what? BP Wrigleyville is starting a new podcast on the eve of what should be one of the most interesting seasons in Chicago Cubs baseball! It’s called BP Wrigleycast and we’re excited. We’re nervous. We don’t know what’s going to happen. But we’re going to give it our all and let the cards fall where they may.
How’s that for burying the lede?
Here’s our origin story: like Simmons’s and Kimmel’s, it includes a long drive.
Joel Reese and I knew each other from working together back in 2008. And even back then we would toss around the idea of a podcast. We didn’t care what the topic was, we just thought our banter was hilarious.
We never did get it together, though.
When we both started writing for BP Wrigleyville, we tossed the idea around some more. We even got together and recorded 40 minutes of banter that we felt was decent. We sent it up the chain of command and got some good feedback. Then things changed—our fearless leader Sahadev Sharma left to take on a new opportunity and that meant there was an opening at the site. The podcast Sahadev and Brett Taylor hosted, Limited Range, would also be going away.
And we thought: “What does that mean?”
Our new fearless leader, Rian Watt, told us to “Go for it.”
It was opportunity we couldn’t refuse. But wait: here are two guys that think they’re great but have never hosted a podcast before. Will it work?
That’s when we got lucky: two other writers for BP Wrigleyville inquired about the podcast—could they participate in whatever was afoot to attempt to replace the beloved Limited Range?
And because Isaac lives in Peoria, Ryan lives in Springfield, and Joel and I live in Chicago, it meant a road trip was in order. After a torrent of emails we decided to meet in Bourbonnais, which was over an hour drive for Joel and I—and over two hours away for Ryan and Isaac (sorry about that guys!). So we all met at a place called Brickstone and did the whole “I have an Internet-only relationship with these strangers but now we’re going to meet in person and I hope they don’t turn out to be axe murderers.”
It couldn’t have gone better.
Then we did a test run. It went great (barring some technical issues that involved me recording in a bathroom).
Then we got a sweet logo (another torrent of emails on what to tweak), and we got excited.
Then we ironed out the logistics of how it would all work, and we got even more excited.
Then we recorded our first episode and it hit us: this is for real. And we got nervous.
But now it’s time to let our baby into the world and hope people like it. Here’s what I can tell you about BP Wrigleycast: we’re going to talk about the Cubs. There’s going to be some stat talk—but we want it to be accessible. If it isn’t, we’ll talk you through the basics in our stat of the week segment.
There will be some humor (or else Joel gets fired).
It will be smart (or else Isaac will fire us).
It will sound good (or else Ryan will strangle me).
The four of us are excited for the season and now we’re all the more excited to get to share it with you.
With that, I’d like to close by ripping off the closing of Bill Simmons’ first-ever post on Grantland: Enjoy the podcast. We worked hard on it. We believe in it. And that’s all we know.
To listen to the first episode right here on the site, click here.