Living in the suburbs these days, it’s sometimes difficult to know what our neighbors are up to. We’re busy. Thanks to brutal commutes, we get home late and annoyed. We pass each other taking the garbage out, which offers an opportunity to provide status updates on our lives.
“Hi,” says neighbor, positioning his trash can.
“Hi,” says other neighbor, positioning her trash can.
The other night, for instance, Kevin White and George Bedford sat down at White’s dining room table in Gaithersburg and recorded a sports talk show seen by thousands of people around the world. They ate cookies. They drank beer. They cursed -- a lot. They are, unbeknownst to
their neighbors, the co-hosts of The Uncut Sports Show, a wildly popular YouTube channel.
Bedford, 31, is young, brash, and foul. When he’s not broadcasting sports, he works in information technology.
“To me,” he said in an interview, “the ESPN guys are contrived. They can’t say what they want to. I’m a more off the wall, get yourself in hot water stuff. People need to thicken up. We live in a wussy society.”
White, 46, is older, somewhat foul, but more diplomatic. He’s a fitness instructor during his broadcasting off hours.
“When George goes off on one of his rants,” White says, “I’m the guy who goes, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’”
They are both bald. Their banter is unrehearsed and flawlessly raw -- a near replica of the conversations they used to have at the gym, where they met four years ago. (Warning: At times, it’s really, really raw.) “We said we should just go online in an uncensored fashion, just like ordinary guys,” White said.
They set up a studio at White’s dining room table. (It gets taken down when not in use, for eating purposes.) They bought a green screen -- the contraption that weathermen stand in front of to show maps -- so they could display graphics. They use construction lights to brighten the room. They broadcast twice a week, jawing about ultimate fighting, boxing, football and whatever else materializes in their brains while a little Canon home video camera is rolling.
The Uncut Sports Show is so professionally amateur that YouTube made it a featured partner, boosting the show’s placement on the site and opening up big-time advertising opportunities. Many episodes generate more than 100,000 views, and a few have topped 400,000.
“Sometimes we’ll wake up, and we’ll have had a crazy amount of views in the middle of the night,” White said, “and I’ll go, ‘Oh, there’s our Philippines viewers’.”
White and Bedford say they are making “decent money” from the show, but they still have their day jobs. They hope White’s dining room table in Gaithersburg will one day become their fulltime place of employment. In the meantime, they are thinking of replacing, as Bedford put it, “the 25-cent microphone that everyone hates.” Ah, showbiz.