A few weeks ago I made the announcement that I'd be leaving Kentucky Sports Radio - my primary writing home for the last few years - and at the time, didn't share many details on where I'd end up next. When that happened, a lot of you hit me up both publicly and privately for details, and all the questions were kind of the same:
"What went wrong? Did you get let go? Did someone do you wrong?! WHO DO I NEED TO FIGHT?!!"
Ok, that last part didn't happen. But a lot of you had questions. And at the time, I promised I'd have some details on the next chapter of my career soon.
Well, here it is: Today is the launch of Aaron Torres Media, with all my writing, podcasts, YouTube content and more housed here at AaronTorresOnline.com. Even better, I am bringing in some really talented writers and podcasters to join me.
As the kids say, it's gonna be lit.
(Wait, do kids still say that? Never mind)
Any way, enough of the small talk.
Let me get into why this decision was made, and what you can expect from this site, and everything myself and my writers/podcasters do.
Really, it starts at this time last year.
Like all of you, I had a lot of time in 2020 to think about my future. Where I was at, and where I wanted to go. And it kind of struck me: "I love doing what I do, but there is something more out there for me." Some kind of opportunity to do it all myself - own my own content, hire smart people that I think need an opportunity, build something bigger than what I was already doing.
More importantly was this: I wanted to, in some ways, re-calibrate how sports was covered altogether.
Let me explain.
A few days ago I was reading another sports writer who I like a lot, who said that the pandemic made him realize how insignificant sports were in his life.
I totally respect that, but I also totally disagree. The pandemic did the opposite for me: It made me realize how much I appreciate sports. How much I love sports. How much that I personally need sports in my life.
Ultimately, you can criticize me for a lot (believe me, I've heard it all). But one complaint that no one has ever had about me is that I don't have a passion for what I do. As a matter of fact, that's the greatest compliment anyone can ever give me "I get fired up every time I hear your podcast or radio show, or read one of your articles." And it's one for all the criticism I get, I do receive regularly.
Frankly, that was actually one of the things that gave me the confidence to push forward with this venture: The stats on all my podcasts went up during the pandemic, not down. I don't say that to brag, and it's not like I got any more talented when sports went away. But I do think that you guys appreciated that it was clear listening to me that I actually loved sports, and was desperate to (safely) bring them back.
Again, you can say a lot of things about me. One thing you cannot argue is that I love sports. That I share that same passion as you.
Unfortunately, it seems like as we move on here, it feels like less of sports coverage is actually that way. It feels like sports conversations, are about conversations about everything but sports. About politics. About being faking outraged at mundane topics that won't matter in 10 minutes. About, crap I don't even know at this point. As a matter of fact, just as I began writing this post I logged onto social media - only to see people complaining at LSU's Covid policy and Notre Dame's mascot name. Like I hate to say it, but who really cares?!
But that's sports coverage, all day, every day. And it has really struck me over the last couple months and frankly a year: We all got into sports, started watching games and following our teams because it was fun. And it's time to make sports fun, and have a place to talk about the topics that you guys want to talk about. Not the fake ones that most mainstream media forces down your throat.
Which is what I hope to do here at Aaron Torres Online: Continue to do what I do, and in the process, make sports fun again. To have the real debates and conversations that sports fans are (which honestly, what I've done for years). To cover the stories that you really care about and maybe make you laugh along the way.
Sports are supposed to be fun, and unfortunately I think we've gotten a bit away from that.
Now look, we will obviously cover sports in many of the traditional ways here. You love sports, love talking about the games and the results and the recruiting. We'll do that. If you love me for my college hoops coverage, that isn't going to stop. Yes, I'll be overanalyzing a Gonzaga win in December no different than I have the past few years, both in writing and podcast. Yes, I'll be diving into the transfer portal all spring - because well, you guys love the transfer portal.
Same with the gambling stuff. I've been writing college football gambling picks columns for years, and don't plan to stop now. Oh, I'll also be hosting a college football gambling podcast too, where I plan to make you the smartest college football gambler out there. You can subscribe on Apple or Spotify.
Why am I doing this? Because throwing down a few bucks on games on Saturday's is fun (just make sure to gamble responsibly, OK?!).
Speaking of football, and speaking of gambling, the guys who I introduced you to last year will be back too. Yes, Austin Montgomery will be back to write pro football gambling columns after crushing it last year. JB Barry is a daily fantasy writer you're going to love reading. John Frascella is one of the smartest fantasy writers I know, and will be back to write fantasy and host a podcast that is going to make you smarter each and every week (subscribe here). Why? Again, because you guys love fantasy, and you love betting on games. Much more than you do arguing about Kirk Cousins' vaccination status.
So yes, we'll talk games and gambling and hot seats and recruiting. Because that's what you guys love.
But we'll also have fun doing it. One thing I can promise you: You can come to this website to get smarter on sports, and again have the real conversations sports fans are having. But you can also come here a couple times a day and expect to laugh as well.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you love me (or not) and really just love having a good time talking and consuming your sports content, bookmark this page, and check back a few times a day. Also make sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Because if you're not having fun talking sports, what's the point in following?