As has been mentioned a few times, At the Buzzer is celebrating its 100th episode this week. While the past two years of our podcast have been a combined effort, none of it would have been possible without our esteemed host Chris. So for my weekly post, I’ve decided to pay a tribute of sorts to one of my oldest friends.
Chris and I met all the way back in 1999. We were 14 years old and just starting that magical and scary journey called high school. Both Chris and I were undergoing a major change at that time in our lives, as we had moved out of our public school and started going to Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, a Catholic school. Chris and I lived on the same side of town, and since Brophy was much farther away than our local high school,we both rode the Phoenix city bus in the morning to get to school. Both of our parents worked in the morning, so we weren’t able to get a ride from them.
That first day at the bus stop, my parents dropped me off and I saw a short kid with glasses and braces standing at the front of the bus. I moved to the back and sat down, waiting for the first day of school to begin. The first day went off without a hitch, and I never saw that kid in any of my classes that first day. After a couple more days went by of getting on the bus, and the kid kept standing up front, I decided that I’d go and ask him if he wanted to come back and hang out. I figured, what was there to lose?
From there Chris became of my best friends in high school. We found our similar interest in playing basketball, watching baseball, playing video games and listening to the same types of music. Since we didn’t have any classes together that year, we started to hang out on our lunch breaks and on the bus, and we began to meet other friends, like the man who would later be my best man in my wedding Andy. From there the three of us would hang out constantly over the years. We would spend our daily lunch break playing football and ultimate frisbee in our school’s field, and always had something hilarious to discuss day after day.
Chris was the one who introduced me to video games as a form of art. Up until I met him the most artistic game I had played was probably Kirby’s dream land. My video game library consisted of the latest football, basketball and baseball games along with a few Mario titles mixed in. Upon learning that I had never played The Ocarina of Time, he took it upon himself to make sure that I not only played the game, but made it all the way through. Chris brought over his N64 to my house and sat watching with me to help in any parts of the game that my novice skills couldn’t pass (remember, this was before the widespread use of the internet and game guides). We had many a sleepover hanging out together, eating Oreos, playing video games and watching the Phoenix Suns, like you do when you’re too young to drive and your parents control most of your actions.
As we got older, I got my license and started driving, so I drove Chris to and from school very day. He and Andy became members of the family, and my parents to this day would take them in as their own if ever needed. Eventually, Chris and I graduated high school, and moved on to college. I wondered what would happen to our friendship, as he was moving up to Flagstaff to go to Northern Arizona University and I was staying in Phoenix to attend Arizona State. Neither of us had a car our freshman year of college, so we hardly spoke that first year. We had no facebook, twitter, and we rarely texted at that time, so we were really only able to get back together around Christmas time. After that freshman year, and access to a car became a regular thing for us, we made it a point to go and spend time with one another. I met his friends that he had met up there in Flagstaff and became friends with them as well. In fact, one of the things I looked forward to most was the random weekends that I would decide to make the trip up to Flagstaff to hang out with my friend and play all the newest games that none of my other friends would play.
Our podcast came together when Chris entered the school of journalism at NAU. One of the privileges that he was given was access to the local NAU radio station where he co-hosted “The NAU Sports Hour.” As the show was easy going and relatively unplanned, Chris invited me to join him and his co host on the air for some Phoenix Suns discussion. I joined him twice, both times being some of the most fun I had from the countless times that I had visited Flagstaff. After college, he no longer had access to the studio or a weekly show to spout off feelings to an audience. Chris wrote a simple FaceBook message stating: “Been missing my radio gig the past few days. Makes me want to try and start up a podcast or something.” To which I replied: “I’m in, let’s do it.” That was back on January 13, 2011. One month later, Shaun, Chris and I recorded episode 1. At the Buzzer had been born.
So, after 2 1/2 years and 100 episodes of this crazy show, I want to say thanks to our amazing host and editor Chris. The amount of time he puts into this project makes my head spin, and we quite literally wouldn’t have any of this if it wasn’t for him. So here’s to 14 years of friendship, moving off to college, keeping in touch, being in my wedding and to the first 100 episodes of At the Buzzer. I can only hope the next 14 years and 100 episodes (and counting) can be as enjoyable.
(You might be asking yourself, well then how did Shaun come into Dave’s life? Well we may or may not cover that on tomorrow’s episode. As always: Stay tuned!)