It's Monday night before bed and I just found out that John Goss died.
Who's John Goss?
He's a long-time referee in Lake County. A ton of times I would be announcing a big high school basketball game from the media desk right behind the scorer's table, and John Goss and Mike Waisnora would be reffing the game. We'd actually talk to each other and motion to each other throughout the game. And every once in a while I would rip on them wholeheartedly on the air for making a bad call.
Then we'd all meet up afterward for a beer. John Goss will be missed. He gave a good section of his life to officiating high school football and basketball games in northwest Indiana and, during tournaments, downstate. He'll go down as one of the best local officials ever.
This brings us to the next topic - Sectionals. Yes it's that time of year. My wife asked me yesterday - "You haven't done games all year and now you're gonna do Sectionals?"
That's right, honey. I announce the East Chicago Sectional every year. It's tradition. Usually, I announce Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It's six games. Tomorrow, though, I won't be announcing the Highland vs. Morton game from East Chicago. There's a shindig in Chicago that I must attend.
It's a coming out party for our own Shamari Walker. It's called the "Technori Showcase" at the Chase Auditorium, 10 South Dearborn. Tickets are $20 but as Shamari's guest, Alexis and I don't have to pay.
Here's how I met Shamari. Purdue Northwest student Jimmy Mullaney and I were Facebook Living a football game at Gavit in October, and it started raining. There Mullaney and I were standing on metal bleachers trying to keep our tripod and iPhone from blowing away. I announced it solo, to make things easier.
The rain was coming down so steadily, and the wind blowing with such force, that almost everyone left the stands. Of course Mullaney and I couldn't leave because it was our first time ever Facebook Living a game in video - and we were also on the radio. So halfway through the third quarter, I looked around and there was only me, Mullaney, and this kid under a poncho a few feet away.
After the game, I walked over to him - "Kid, what the heck are you standing out in the rain like this for? I thought we were the only crazy ones."
"I'm in charge of filming the Gavit football team."
"What's your name?"
"Shamari, what do you want to do as a career?"
"I want to own my own software company. And I've already started. I've got a company and a product and I may even have a patent soon."
"What grade are you in?"
"I'm a sophomore," Shamari said.
So I told him to go see Doug Friend, the Gavit athletic director and a friend of mine, and make arrangements to come see me. A couple weeks later Shamari started interning with us, and when he turned 16, we started paying him. Tomorrow night he'll present his product in front of 500 people in an auditorium in Chicago.
"Mr. Dedelow. I go on at 7pm but you and Alexis should be there at six," Shamari told me today.
"It's called 'NETWORKING,'" he said. "You can NETWORK with people and maybe some will buy advertising. So you should be there at six and not seven. For NETWORKING."
It really is cool that there's this immense amount of young talent around me these days. I could go down the line... but today I worked with two very talented seniors at Purdue Northwest who are developing a marketing department for WJOB. As the three or four of you know, I've pretty much gone with PMS for the last decade or so.
Yes, PMS. It's the "Passive Marketing System." It's when you don't have a marketing staff buy you make such a compelling product and you sell it dirt cheap so that businesses come to you to buy it. Of course you don't make nearly the money you could make by hiring sales people and hiking up your prices, but then again the Passive Marketing System is a lot less hassle.
Anyways, as an update, Caren DeCeris and Tony Borgetti are these seniors who just finished a full powerpoint of what we offer to sell. Here's the crux of the story, which is laid in nine slides of a powerpoint.
Intro - You're lucky as hell that you stumbled on WJOB because we have
AM, FM, Facebook Live video, Podcasting
and we're too stupid to realize that we can sell each of these separately and make a ton of money.
Slide 2 - Check out our new studios at the Purdue Commercialization Center. This is proof that we are growing and that we have cool friends.
Slide 3 - AM. We are an old radio station with a ton of tradition and loyalty. Don't f--- with radio, mofo. Radio is cool.
Slide 4 - FM. We're so hot we just bought an FM radio station. 104.7 FM.
Slide 5 - Facebook Live video. We quote Forbes magazine, which says "You better have a Facebook Live strategy or you'll be left behind." We post a graphic that shows that WJOB video has had 169,000 views in the last 28 days. No kidding.
Slide 6 - Podcasting. This is the future. And we're leading podcasting around here.
Blah blah blah blah blah. There's more. But the real point here is that Caren and Tony learned a whole bunch of digital marketing stuff from Purdue and they're applying it to WJOB, which because of me hasn't had a marketing strategy for the past 13 years. Go figure. That should be enough for tonight. Tomorrow:
5:30am - radio show
6am - Verlie joins me
6:30 - interview with ref Larry Samano to take about John Goss
7:00 - interview Hammond coach Larry Moore Jr. about big Griffith-Hammond game
10am - doctor appointment. My brother's a doctor in Ohio, and he's pressing me hard to see a local doc to get a proctoscopy or something like that. The silver stallion coming my way. I can't wait.
2pm - tape my podcast with Lane Paradis - "This is Dead Air." Two Grateful Dead burnouts play Dead shows and talk about them. You can't make this stuff up.
4pm - business meeting. Shh.
6pm - It's called "NETWORKING"
7pm - Shamari talks to 500 people. He's 16 years old.
9pm - Alexis and I drive back to northwest Indiana. I listen to a replay of the Griffith-Hammond sectional game on my phone. Alexis pages through Facebook. Since we're both hungry, we stop at White Castles. We order a five pack. She eats one. I eat the other four. Everybody wins. Time to go to bed... John Goss dead? I can't believe it.