Buzzer2Buzzer podcast expands love of sports for Conant juniors
The idea was hatched during a midnight group text the week the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine began.
Four friends, juniors at Conant High School, were up late arguing about sports, as usual.
Argument might be too strong a word, actually, given the typical back and forth that goes on between die-hard sports fans Rayaan Siddiqi of Schaumburg, Aryan Patel of Roselle, Abhay Gudur of Schaumburg and Harsh Shah of Hoffman Estates.
"We all love watching sports and debating topics like they do on "First Take" and "Get Up," said Siddiqi, who designed the website buzzer2buzzer.com and edits the approximately 30-minute podcasts. "We thought we sounded pretty similar. So, we decided why not turn our passion into something real?"
According to Rayaan, Harsh first mentioned the idea of converting their personal debates into sports talk for public consumption. "We love sports and we had a lot of time on our hands," Harsh explained. The others were on board with the idea immediately.
The technology aspect was relatively easy. The future plan is to get together in the same room to record each episode. For now, due to social distancing rules, the group records new episodes via Zoom meetings. New episodes drop every Tuesday and Friday on their website and YouTube channel.
Rayaan edits the recorded shows. He cuts out instances of hosts overtalking each other, tightens the conversation, inserts graphics and charts to supplement whatever debate is raging and adds opening and closing bumpers.
The guys spray to many fields with particular attention paid to the NFL and the NBA. Episode two focuses on whether the NBA can and should return this season and who the top three players in the league are.
That episode opens with a segment called "Blasphemy or nah?" The four decide if a particular sports statement is true. For instance: Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA. Blasphemy or nah? LeBron James will win one more championship before his career ends. Blasphemy or nah? And so on.
The hosts updated their respective Zoom backgrounds to sports stadiums for episode three, which features a debate about who was the most successful quarterback of the last decade after Tom Brady -- Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees?
Shah, a Rodgers proponent, gets his buddies to laugh by punctuating a passionate pro-Rodgers, stat-backed speech with "I think we should go to the next segment now."
The sports talk gets serious but the hosts keep the podcast fun and lighthearted overall.
"Sports unite people as a whole," Aryan said. "We wanted to do something to help people take their minds off things. I think this is a great way to connect with people while we're social distancing."
The debates remain intelligent, a reflection of the bright young men having them. The hosts come ready for a verbal fight. Abhay arms himself with stats collected on a Google document. He glances at it when he needs numbers to back his points of view.
The others are similarly prepared. All four are excellent students, though none harbors dreams of becoming a professional broadcaster. For example, Rayaan wants to join the biomedical field, perhaps as a surgeon. Harsh wants to become either a lawyer or study the business side of sports.
For now, the podcasts are simply a fun diversion to help the friends and their listeners forget the world's troubles for a bit.
"Sports are a big factor in people's lives," Abhay said. "They bring friends and families together. I feel that's especially true in a time like this, which is why we felt it was a good time to go with this channel and podcast."