With the announcement of our merger with LifeTakes today, I figured it would be a good time to introduce ourselves to the people out there and let everyone know the history of the Big Hill Podcast.
It all started back in the summer of 2018. I had just graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in Media Communications with a focus on sports radio. I was asking people how I could get my name out there and my voice heard and I kept hearing the same thing: start a podcast. So that’s what I did. I bought a Yeti Blue microphone with the intent on creating a solo sports podcast. But little did I know, that was not what was going to happen.
I posted a picture of the microphone on my Snapchat story and a good friend of mine from high school, Chris Bigliardi, swiped up and said we should golf a round and talk about creating a podcast. And that’s exactly what we did.
Chris and I hit up Carleton Glen Golf Club and that’s where it all began. We golfed nine holes (and not too well if my memory serves me correctly), but had a great time catching up, talking sports and brainstorming podcast ideas. So naturally, we decided to create a Detroit sports focused podcast. And Chris and I are like peanut butter and jelly as his strength, hockey, is my weakness and my strength, basketball, is his weakness. So from there, the wheels began churning.
While we are no highly-ran podcast today and are still very “Mickey Mouse”, as Chris would say, we have made leaps and bounds of improvement from October of 2018 when we released our first ever episode. That all started in the Bigliardi’s garage on a crisp, fall night. Chris and I recorded countless segments, re-recorded segments because we sounded terrible and recorded each segment piece by piece, instead of recording the whole episode in one take and recording afterwards, like we do now. It was honestly a good 15-hour process over two days just to record and release a 51:54 second pilot episode. But it was an absolute blast. And that’s all that matters.
It even took us a while to come up with a name, but we finally settled on Big Hill as it combined our two last names into one. I think some of the names thrown out there were Bigs and Butters, Brandon and Bigs and a few others. But anyway, we settled on Big Hill and it has stuck ever since.
That first episode got over 220 listens and Chris and I were dumbfounded. We went in expecting 10, maybe 15, listens from our friends and family. But the podcast game, just like most of life, is one hell of a roller coaster.
Our top episode, which still shocks me to this day, was “Zero Burger” which was only our 11th episode ever. We currently have 862 listens on that episode. I still remember waking up after falling asleep on the couch and just checking our SoundCloud account to see how our episode was doing. Again, I wasn’t expecting much and had to rub my eyes a few times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming when I saw that massive number. I texted Chris immediately and he couldn’t believe it either.
Our lowest episode to date based on listens is “Flyin’ Solo”, which only accrued 13 listens. That was the first, and only, episode that doesn’t have Chris on the mic and is the 19th installment of BHP.
But between the peaks and valleys of podcasting, we’ve had fun. It has brought Chris and I closer together as friends and taken us to places that I never thought we would have gone to.
From selling merch,
to attending the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville,
we even made it on ESPN as my mom took this picture of us and sent it to me while in Nashville.
We’ve even inspired viral challenges, although I don’t think this went viral or as Chris had planned. It all started with Chris saying he had a “sack” from old Briggs Stadium.
But then it turned into the Holy Grail of viral challenges, which I suggest we bring back once all this Covid stuff is over, and that is the “Seat Cover Challenge” at Little Caesar’s Arena, as Chris hates the black seat covers used to hide the empty seats with a burning passion. Chris’ plan was to swipe one of those every time you went to LCA, which I don’t think anyone else did other than Chris on the opening night of the Detroit Pistons 2018-2019 season, where they squeaked by the Brooklyn Nets, 103-100.
Chris even took me to my first open skate at Yost Ice Arena up in Ann Arbor, where I ice skated for the first time since I was about five.
But aside from all the adventures we’ve been on, we’ve interacted with a lot of great people and have had on a lot of great guests. Some include Shane Brooks (seen below), Trevor Darnell, Tommy Shinnevarre, Charles Beaubien and a few others. We expect the guest list to continue to grow as we expand our brand and reach a wider audience.
But that’s about the history of BHP in a nutshell. I’m sure I’ve left out a few minor, or major depending on who you ask, details but you get the gist. We’ve made major strides in our production and recording process over the almost two years we’ve been doing this and I expect the improvement to continue. Hell, Chris used to hit bowls and blunts in the middle of recording and we sounded like a Lil Wayne intro with the flicker of the lighter in the background. I finally convinced him he could go an hour or two without Mary Jane in his life.
But that’s just who we are. A couple of small-town kids who like to bullshit about sports with big dreams and aspirations. The merger with LifeTakes is only the beginning.