Friday, July 27, 2012

16 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

We'll we've reached the weekend and I've missed two days of updates because things have been a little hectic as we settle into Los Angeles.

We're still looking for the correct area for us to live in, because our coverage area is HUGE...over 500 schools in a two county area that sprawls some 150 miles over Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Have I mentioned the traffic yet?

Well, let's just say, nobody was kidding us when they said that we should make sure to build-in 30 extra minutes for each trip!

And speaking of regular things in Southern California, we were in our first earthquake in SoCal...a small one, 3.5 on the Richter Scale...and I slept through it.

Evidently that moving of earth got some of our sponsorship proposal moving as well.  We landed our first sponsor that I'll tell you about next week, plus we got a first meeting with one perspective advertiser that took 388 days to get on our calendar.

Yesterday was our first planning meeting with the folks at KLAC 570 AM Fox Sports Los Angeles.  Some of our hurdles are making sure there's consistency in the show times as we need to work within the confines of the station's Los Angeles Dodgers contract.

At the start, High School Football America - SoCal will air on Saturdays, and then move to Friday nights on October 5th...that is unless the Dodgers make the postseason, which will cause some changing on the fly.

Finally, I wrap-up today with a little video.

As I first reported on Tuesday, we actually got to check-out our first football program.  We captured the beginning of that trip in the video below.

Talk to you over the weekend.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

19 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

This photo is of me Saturday last night in Chicago wearing my Bring it On t-shirt.

As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for!

Boy oh boy, the intention to write every day for my readers while getting ready for our August 11th debut on KLAC 570 AM in Los Angeles was a good one.

I thought I could do it!

In fact, I knew I could do it!

I had every intention of doing it!

Then came the reality of being an entrepreneur.

I've gone 12 days without posting a thing until now.

The reason?  It would take me too long and cost me a lot of time of actually working in the process.

Suffice to say, there's no way to totally recap my life since the last post on July 12th.

So here are the cliff notes...

Plenty of investor meetings...plenty of sponsor meetings...plenty of meeting meetings. :-)

We've officially moved to Los Angeles since I last communicated.

We actually moved to the City of Angels on Sunday, which was an incredible day that began with a wake-up call at 5 A.M. in Chicago; a flight to Atlanta for lunch; a layover in Houston until 10:30 P.M. Central Time; and arrival in LA at midnight Pacific Time.

After we landed some 21 hours into our day, we were required to sit on the plane while an air marshall came on-board to escort a passenger, who evidently had been unruly during the flight, off the plane while we all watched and wondered what was going on.  BTW...they really didn't tell us, but I did see him at baggage, so I'm assuming he WASN'T on a do not fly list or worse.

We fell asleep at 2:30 A.M. Pacific Time...23-and-a-half hours after waking-up.

Now the good news...I actually got to go to my first practice in SoCal at Orange Lutheran on Tuesday.
Feeling the artificial turf under my feet while taking the picture of the "Big L" in the middle of the Lancers' practice field sure felt nice.

I spoke with new head coach Chuck Peterson, a former Air Force assistant, who's in his first year of leading this Southern California powerhouse.  It was great to hear him say that he was excited about how our show coming to SoCal.

Now, the biggest job is getting the show itself ready, and I promise that for the remaining 17 days, starting tomorrow, I'll let you know what's happening every step of the way.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Indianapolis Colts Host National 7-on-7 High School Tournament

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

The NFL High School Player Development National 7-on-7 Tournament presented by the National Guard is going on this weekend in Indianapolis.

The NFL's 7-on-7 national tournament began in 2004 with only four teams, but this year, all 32 NFL teams have picked a representative to wear their colors and play in the tourney hosted by the Indianapolis Colts at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.

It should be noted that every one of the 32 teams was chosen differently.  For example, Heritage Christian School in Indiana won a 64-team playoff bracket to become the Colts representative, while the St. Louis Rams team is made-up of kids from different high school from the St. Louis area.

Under the NFL 7-on-7 format, teams are allowed to bring 12 players, which means at least two players have to play both ways.

In addition to the 7-on-7 tournament, 36 football players from the midwest will take part in the Inaugural Lineman Leadership Program.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

30 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

OK, let's start today with the fact that when I committed to doing this daily blog about the start of our high school football and basketball show on KLAC 570 AM, I didn't know it would take so much time...or should I say getting the show ready wouldn't allow me to write as much as I would have like.

The ten days on the road was grueling, and today I felt a tremendous amount of pressure as we began reading over our lawyers' investor documents for High School Sports Entertainment LLC, which is the company that will oversee High School Football America and High School Basketball America.

Our law firm is Hahn & Hahn in Pasadena, California, and they're doing a great job of getting everything set-up the right way from the start, which means a lot, especially to the investors that we're talking with.

Setting-up our operating agreement is taking the most time with the document currently at 38 pages in length.  The good news is were's finished with the Subscription Agreement and the Investor Qualification Statement that goes to every one of our investors.

Today was also spent waiting to hear the answer from one of perspective sponsors.  While we didn't get the "full yes" we were looking for, we do know that we'll have things finalized next week, which will be a real game-changer when it comes to the other sponsors we're talking with.

Now that gets me to one of the big hurdles we are having to clear in the race to our August 11th show...advertising budgets.

We got the go-ahead to do our shows on KLAC 570 AM on February 13th, which isn't a big deal, except when you realize that 2012 advertising budgets were established back in the last two quarters of 2011.  That meant we had to get creative and rely on several close friends in the business to get in-front of sponsors, who would be able to find money for this year.

The good news is, we've been able to find sponsors that can adjust and find money for this season. We should know within the next 7-10 days the fruits of our labor.

Now on to the fun stuff....

On the drive back to Chicago, we were able to make a couple of detours to take some pictures of three old high school football stadiums.

Berwick's Crispin Field
The first was Crispin Field in Berwick, Pennsylvania.  Crispin Field is the home to the Berwick Bulldogs, who were one of America's first national powers.
Crispin Field - Berwick, PA

Berwick, under head coach George Curry, won three "mythical" national titles in the 80's and 90's.  Curry, who is Pennsylvania's winningest coach is actually back coaching the Dawgs after a brief retirement, and you can listen to my recent interview with this charismatic coach on High School Football America by clicking here.

 Crispin Field, which was built during the Depression, has seen a lot of success with six state titles.  The field itself sits across the street from a now empty plant that was home to the American Car and Foundry that closed its doors in 1962.  At its peak, American Car and Foundry employed 10,000 workers.

In Berwick's heyday, nearly all 10,000 residents showed-up for home games in the 8,000 seat stadium, which currently is getting a new press box in time for the 2012 season.

Sharon High School's Tiger Stadium
This next picture is from Sharon High School in western Pennsylvania along Route 80 along the Ohio border.

Home grandstands at Tiger Stadium
The Sharon Tigers have a proud winning tradition with only three losing seasons since 1981 and two appearances in the state's championship game, including a 27-7 loss to Berwick in the 1994 Class AAA title game and a 43-7 loss to Berwick in the 1995 championship.

I'm still waiting for someone to get back to me, so I can give you the exact date of when Tiger Stadium was built.  However, I can tell you that it probably dates back to the 20's or 30's because of the concrete home grandstands that you can see in this photo.

BTW...I love the old school goal posts at Sharon!

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium - Massillon, OH
Our final stop may be the mecca of high school football stadiums, and it's home to another bunch of Tigers - the Massillon Washington Tigers in Massillon, Ohio.

Paul Brown head coach
at Washington
It's called Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and it has stood the test of time with over 16,000 permanent seats.

The Tigers are America's 4th winningest high school football program and have been playing in this stadium, now named after their legendary coach Paul Brown, since 1939.

Built in 1939
Paul Brown, who the Cleveland Browns are named after, won six Ohio state high school football championships from 1932 to 1940.  His overall record was 80-8-2, which included four losses in his first season with the Tigers in 1932.  From 1935 to 1940, Brown's teams outscored their opponents 2,393 to 168.

16,000 permanent seats
Also during his time with the Tigers, Brown, who is a Massillon Washington alum, is credited with creating the "playbook" and being the first to send-in plays from the sidelines to his quarterback using hand signals.

I could go on-and-on about Coach Brown, who most know as the guy that led the Browns to ten straight NFL championship games, but it's Brown's high school story that I love and that's what High School Football America is all about - telling you stories that you may not know about.

Talk with you tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

36, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31 Days and Counting

Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Lots going on so I had to take a couple of days away from the computer to be with friends and family back east.

First on Saturday, we attended the wedding of our good friend Phil Stambaugh and his beautiful new wife Courtney in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.  Phil is the head football coach at Pius X in Roseto, Pennsylvania and I've been working on a documentary on this unique and very tiny northeastern Pennsylvania town...only 1,600 people reside in Roseto.

It was great to catch-up with Phil and Courtney's family, plus hang-out with our other friends, who are assistants on Phil's coaching staff.

Sunday was a trip to my hometown of Wilson Borough in Easton, Pennsylvania to see my mom, brother Ron and nephew Colten before heading west for the permanent move to Los Angeles for the start of the KLAC 570 AM radio show on August 11th.

Monday began with an investor meeting, which we feel really good about when it comes to our capital raise.

Tuesday and Wednesday were all about driving back to Chicago, which included detours to take pictures of some old high school football stadiums in Berwick and Sharon, Pennsylvania and Paul Brown Stadium in Massillon, Ohio.

I'll share those pics tomorrow when we hit the 30 days and counting mark.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Canada Surprises USA to Win Under-19 World Championship

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

How far has the world come when it comes to the game of America football?

Saturday night the answer in Austin, Texas was - pretty darn far.

Team Canada beat Team USA 23-17 to win the gold medal in the IFAF Under-19 World Championship.  The win by our neighbors to the north came three years after Team USA won the inaugural world title in 2009 with a 41-3 over Canada.

Team Canada never trailed in the championship game.

Click here to read a game story from the

Japan won the bronze medal game with a 7-0 win over Austria.

Friday, July 06, 2012

37 Days and Counting

Jeff Fisher

With a 531 mile drive from Toledo, Ohio to suburban Philadelphia, there wasn't much to do business-wise, other than catch-up on phone calls.

Thanks to traffic and construction in Ohio and western Pennsylvania our scheduled evening meeting in  Philadelphia had to be moved to Monday morning, but there was some good in the delay.  With no need to rush to Philadelphia, we took a detour off the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Manheim.

Why Manheim?

First, great high school football!

The Manheim Central Barons won the 2003 PIAA Class 3A state title, plus finished runner-up in the same class in 2009.

Second, and most important, Manheim is the hometown of my mentor Richard "Dick" Hammer, who at 77-years old is still "the voice" of Lafayette College football and basketball.

Dick, and it's still hard not to call him Mr. Hammer, is the gentleman that played a HUGE role in my development during my teenage years.

Dick and his wife Millie of 50+ years met in Manheim, a community of 4,700 residents.  Both Dick and Millie are like a second set of parents to me.  I truly mean it when I say that these two may be the kindest and calmest couple I've ever met!!

While it wasn't planned, I decided that during our meal and drinks at JoBoy's Brew Pub, I'd call Dick to let him know that we landed our high school sports talk show on KLAC 570 AM in Los Angeles.  Even, though we made the announcement on June 28th, I hadn't called the man that made it all possible, by believing in me enough to give me my first on-air gig.

Because the universe works in mysterious ways, both Dick and Millie answered my call at the same time on different phone extensions, I was able to share the LA news at the same time.

To say it was an emotional call would be an understatement.  I truly believe that Dick Hammer is the one that installed my confidence to achieve in journalism.  After 15 minutes of chatting, I hung-up with tears of joy in my eyes.

Of course, some of the tears may have been accentuated by the fact that I had just downed two of JoBoy's Smoked ABT's.  ABT stands for Atomic Buffalo Turds, a name that Trish was flabbergasted by and I just that was so cool.

The ABT are jalapenos that aren't de-seeded or de-veined.  They are stuffed with cream cheese and topped with bacon.  These are not poppers and they are hot as hell!  

I'm also mad that I didn't snap a picture of the ABT.  

I'm also happy to say that they were the best "turbs" I've ever eaten!

BTW...thank god that the restaurant had many of its own handcrafted beers, because otherwise, I may not have been able to cool down from the ABTs.  They had nine of their brews on tap this night and I enjoyed three of them: Manheim Red (of course), German Wheat and 44 Magnum.  I also taste-tested Hopitude and Scottish Ale.  All of the beers that I tasted were awesome and well-balanced.

Note: JoBoy's only serves its beer.  There's no liquor served, but they do have some nice wines from two local wineries.

Manheim is smack-dab in the in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country, which is my heritage.  I LOVE the way my family and the area residents cook.  You CAN'T get a bad meal around here.  It's cooked the old school way with love.

JoBoy's, however, isn't about PA Dutch's southern style and that made my southern girl Trish very happy.  Restaurant is run by the husband/wife team Maria Jo and Jeff "Boy" Harless. 

Aside from the ABTs, we tried their okra, collard greens, southern chips and salsa, plus Jo's chicken corn that stood-up to the test of high quality southern food.  The real treat was when Jeff served us a taste of Thursday night's special...a smoked NY Strip.  Yes, it was Friday, but this cut of meet was delicious and actually had the texture of prime rib.  This is a MUST have, if you are nearby on a Thursday.

As we left to take some pictures around town, Trish thanked the Jeff and company for giving her a little bit of the south in the north.

We then headed to the high school for those football field pics that I love so much, plus an awesome picture of a covered bridge that literally sits at the end of the school property.  Shearer's Bridge, which was moved to this location in 1971, was built in 1847, rebuilt in 1855.

The back story on Manheim is it was founded in 1762 by Henry "Baron" William Stiegel.  The high school still carries Henry's nickname the Barons.

As we headed back to the turnpike to Philly, we were treated to an incredible sunset and I treated myself to a cherry Tastykake.  

Tastykakes are pure Philly, and the only thing else I need to enjoy is a cheesesteak.

Ahhhh...Tastykakes, but this is their cherry pie

Sunset in Lancaster County

38 Days and Counting

Outside the plane window at LAX

Just call us road warriors .

This is the pic as we sat on the plane preparing to fly out of LA this morning…land in Chicago…grab a rental car and immediately began our trip to Philadelphia and New York City.

18 hours after waking-up in Sherman Oaks, California to fly to Chicago and then driving 261 miles, we’re now ready to fall asleep in a Hampton Inn outside of Toledo, Ohio.  It will be rise-and-grind tomorrow around 6:30 to begin the final 531 miles to Philly for an investor meeting around 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

We use Hilton Hotels almost exclusively, because Hilton’s award system is awesome. Several years ago, we didn’t have to spend one cent on hotels during a two-week trip to Europe.  Of course, we did spend a lot of money to get those points, but Hilton doubles and sometimes triples points, which adds-up quickly, especially for a Diamond member like Trish.

Hampton Inn in Toledo, Ohio 1 A.M.
I also found the power of social media when I had to tweet something bad that occurred when we walked into our room.  I’ll spare the details, but I will tell you that it’s something that’s never happened to us, and hopefully will never happen again.

BTW…I don’t normally believe in going the Twitter route for something like this, but with the front desk not having the power to help being able to help at 1 A.M., I was forced to make a statement.  Thanks to Hilton Honors on Twitter, I’m once again a happy camper.  I also want to say that the front desk person was sweet and understanding, but powerless at this time in the morning.  I'm sure it will be taken care of in the morning.

I love airplane flights from LA to Chicago.  It gives us 3 hours and 45 minutes worth of un-interrupted work time, which I used to write emails and and two proposals, one for a new investor pitch, the other to a sponsor.

What I didn't love was the 100 degree temperature (check the dashboard reading) we found in Chicago.  We left LA when it was 75 and beautiful.  
Exit 64 on Ohio Turnpike

The Drive itself was relatively painless with very little traffic to contend with coming out of O’Hare and through Chicago.  Thanks to an iPod hook-up in our rental car…yes National Car Rental again, we were able to pass the miles by listening to Bruce Springsteen’s live show in London a couple years ago called London Calling.  30 songs that started in Chicago and ended as I got off the Ohio Turnpike to head to the hotel.

One interesting/frustrating thing that happened today was that Trish’s Blackberry died…and with no time to get a new one until tomorrow, it was wild to see her “withdrawl” from not having a phone. LOL

We really do rely on our smartphones to run a business.

Long day with more time spent on my butt than I like, but it gave me plenty of time to get ready for several big meetings coming-up over the next four days.

As to why we didn’t fly from LA to Philly or NYC?  Watching those pennies and believe it or not, it was a lot cheaper to be a road warrior.

As The Boss signs on Born in the USA's No Surrender  “No retreat baby, no surrender”.

Good night.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

39 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Even on the 4th of July the switch was on.

Spent about an hour on the phone with Lone Star Gridiron talking about how we may be able to work together.  It's a great website run by two guys that have the same passion for high school football as I do.

It amazes me how many passionate guys are talking-up  high school football on the internet, just for the good of the game.  I love it and want to help as many as I can.

I also spent about two straight hours on Twitter and picked-up 24 followers.  If you want to follow us, click here.

Otherwise, a pretty peaceful and restful day other than chilling by the pool with Trish listening to Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run front to back.

Trish Hoffman picking corn for 4th of July dinner
Now time to pick some corn from the urban garden in the front of Lois and Chip's home and grill some ribs.

Chilling to prepare for our flight back to Chicago where we'll immediately hop into a rental car and begin the trek east for more meetings.

Happy Birthday America!!

Go watch some fireworks!!


40 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Some days it's quality over quantity, especially when it comes to this week that is very messed-up for business with July 4th falling on a Wednesday.

First, since I really haven't talked at all about the football aspect of what we're doing, I made a stop after all of our meetings at Beverly Hills High School to take this pic.

The reason?

I love that Beverly Hills High's nickname is the Normans.  It's just a cool name.

For those of you wondering, what is a Norman?  Well, the Normans were the people who lived in the Normandy region of France.

The Normans most "famous" person is William the Conquerer, who oversaw the conquest of England in 1066.  William served as the first Norman King of England from 1066 until his death in 1087.

One other cool note about Beverly High is that the school's "Swim Pool" was the scene of the school dance in the Christmas movie It's a Wonderful Life featuring Jimmy Stewart.  The pool was built beneath a basketball court that opened to reveal the 25-yard swimming pool.

Finally, Beverly Hills High is not the school in Beverly Hills 90210.  The fictional West Beverly High School was actually Torrance High School.

Thus ends today's history lesson. :-)

As far as quantity over quality that I mentioned earlier, we only had two meetings on Tuesday, but both went extremely well.

The first was an investor call that was arranged by a friend/business acquaintance, who's been extremely supportive of our effort by looking at our business plan or sometimes just cheerleading that we're on the right track.  He also asks awesome questions that sharpen me for the moment when I need to speak to an investor.

Before telling you about the meeting, let me say this, we've only know this person since the beginning of March when we met him at the Maxwell Football Club's 75th Gala.  The MFC is the country's oldest football club and we're currently working with the organization on a great partnership that we look forward to announcing in the coming weeks.

I point-out the fact that our relationship is new, because it speaks to how important it is to get out there and network.  You just never know when opportunity comes knocking.

At this point I need to mention that these are my girlfriend Trish's words since the day we met.  BTW...she's right.

Our preliminary investor call when extremely well.  Finding investors is a numbers game, the more people you talk with, the better your odds are of finding the doe-ray-me.

Each and every investor meeting is like taking a master's degree class to me, and every one is different.

One of the biggest things I've had to improve upon is getting my pitch down...once again, insert Trish's voice telling me not to tell my entire life's story.

Yes, I've been long-winded at times, but I'm getting better at saying the who, what, when and how in a concise story.

Obviously, listening is the other skill you need, but more importantly, it's being able to listen, plus address any concerns or questions that arise during your listening.

Yesterday's call was a little bit longer than most, because of the "warm introduction" we received from our friend.  Warm introductions are awesome and speed-up the process when you are on a tight deadline like we are on right now.

The call ended on a positive note with all agreeing that we would be back in-touch in 7-10 days after the investor did a little more research.

After that conference call, we immediately hopped into our National Car rental to drive to Hollywood for an advertising meeting.  I mention National, in case, they want to become a sponsor. :-)

Rule 1...never miss an opportunity to promote a sponsor.

Our meeting was with a friend, who is the CEO of a well-known advertising firm.  The meeting was at Sur Restaurant on Robertson near Melrose, which I highly recommend for lunch.  It has great open air dining in the front of this uniquely decorated space.

Once again, it was a great meeting as we got our friend up-to-speed on what we are doing in LA and nationally when it comes to high school sports.  We then proceeded to brainstorm, which of the firm's clients would be interested in hearing our pitch.

We came away with a target list of the Burger King, Ford, Home Depot and the US Marines.  But more important we came away with a wealth of information about how our vision for storytelling puts us in a position to create content that advertisers will be able to use in multiple ways with America's burgeoning digital age upon us.

With everything finished for the official part of the day, it was time to head to our favorite spot, which is poolside at the Beverly Hilton for a drink and a breakdown of the day.

The post-game analysis of the day with Trish went from 5 P.M. at the pool and then right through lights out at 10 P.M. when it was time for bed.

What is it like to be an entrepreneur?

There's no off-switch.

Rise and grind for the 4th of July tomorrow!

Happy Birthday America, which sounds very close to High School Football America...don't you think?

Monday, July 02, 2012

41 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Another 16 hour day in the books.

At the end of each day, we try to figure-out whether it was a win or a loss.  Not that the record matters, but more W's over the course of time means that you're closer to the goal.

Today was definitely a W, but it wasn't without worrying that we were heading toward an loss.

The day began as a normal day, as my partner and I looked forward to a meeting with a sponsor that we hoped would say "yes" to being a part of the radio show and a late in the day meeting with our team at KLAC-AM to begin setting the road map to the August 11th show.

I was feeling great as I made a couple of freshly laid eggs from the hens that reside in the front yard of our friends Chip and Lois' house in Sherman Oaks.  Yes, I said front yard...not a farm!  Chip and Lois also have an incredible city garden in front of the house as well with corn, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, herbs and a grape vine.

There's something about LA that allows me to eat healthier than when I'm home in Chicago.  It concerns me that between constant meetings and work, I'm not always watching what I eat.  I'm sure I'm not the only entrepreneur gaining weight during THE process, but I have to be aware that I've gained about six pounds since the beginning of March and now weigh 189.  No way will that scale top 190...and I'm getting back to 180 soon!

Hopefully by writing this blog, I'll be constantly reminding myself about the importance of keeping healthy and eating right, which will go hand-in-hand with making me feel vibrant and be ready to fight-the-fight, each and every next day.

On a positive note, I did drink over 70 ounces of water today and will continue to do so from here on out.

Seriously though, stress and pressure affect everyone, not just entrepreneurs.  I try to get-in an 8,000-10,000 step walk with my girlfriend ever day.  Trish is awesome about making sure I get out of the condo, especially on days when I'm sitting inside working on the computer.

Yes, I'm not just trying to find investors and sponsors, I'm also trying to build our new website and trying to keep track of our 52 blogs, that I write...and oh, also try to keep-up with our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

OK, back to Day 41 and Counting.

My biggest growth area as an entrepreneur is in the area of not getting down mentally.

As I said, today started well, but around 8 A.M. I heard that our first meeting, which was with a perspective advertising sponsor, was being postponed.  The old Jeff would have hung his head and moaned-and-groaned for a bit...thus wasting time.  The new Jeff moves on to the other hundreds of things and can do and never looks back...most times...old habits die hard. :-)

Then as the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens.

I got an email from a business acquaintance who landed us a conference call tomorrow with a gentleman who has read our executive summary and wants to begin discussions about possibly investing in High School Sports Entertainment, which is our umbrella company for the brand of High School Football America and High School Football America - SoCal.

This is why you keep grinding!!  You just never know what's around the corner.

I also needed to put on my travel agent hat on to work-out details of our investor meetings in Philadelphia and New York City later this week and early next.  And, for good measure while we're there, we also need to squeeze-in family visits before moving to LA and a wedding on Saturday outside of Philly.

The travel itinerary...after leaving LA Thursday morning, we'll land in Chicago at 5 P.M., hop in a rental car and begin the drive east.  With airline tickets being a little high over the holidays, driving is a cost effective solution.  Cross-country drives clear my mind, especially on Route 80 in Pennsylvania where trees and mountains allow me to think of other things and be creative as Trish and I talk and dream the dream of High School Football America - SoCal opening the microphones on August 11th.

Speaking of the radio show, our day ended with our first face-to-face meeting with our account representatives that will be in-charge of connecting us within the station to make sure everything goes smoothly.  We've had numerous calls, but this was the first time to sit down and toast the deal with an adult beverage.

This meeting couldn't have gone any better, because the folks at KLAC 570 AM are extremely excited to make sure that we become an important part of their show line-up.  There's plenty of work to do over the next 41 days, but believe me, we walked away from that meeting knowing that all of the hard work was paying-off with a partner that had the same goals as we do.

And, looking back on those freshly laid fried eggs that I had earlier in the day, it's safe to say that I think the day was eggs-actly what we needed to move to Tuesday!

See you tomorrow for 40 Days and Counting.


Sunday, July 01, 2012

42 Days and Counting

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

It's official, High School Football America is coming to Southern California with a radio show on KLAC-AM 570, which is Fox Sports Radio's flagship station.

We made the announcement (see news release below) in partnership with the folks at KLAC last week. The new show called High School Football America - SoCal was immediately written about by LA Times Preps reporter Eric Sondheimer, who we look forward to having on the show on a regular basis.

The announcement marks the start of another chapter in my career as a high school sports journalist that began when I was 14-years old in Easton, Pennsylvania.  However, this is more than a career, it's a lifestyle that is fueled by my passion to tell the story of America through the lens of high school athletics.

The mission of the show will be to get back to the heart of journalism - storytelling.

I'm not going to bore you with what I've done to get to this point, but I thought it would be interesting to give my readers a look inside what it's like to create a show and a business from the ground floor in these tough economic times.  To say it's been easy or will be easy is an understatement.

Folks, this is real life here, not politicians talking about things that don't seem to make sense to the average person trying to make it from one day to the next.

Some of the things I'll be writing about may seem mundane, but believe me, there's no "off switch" in my life now.  Every minute of every day is filled with real life experience that comes with starting a company.

As my late grandfather would say, "I'm getting my master's degree from the School of Hard Knocks!"

BTW...I don't think there's a better degree out there...sorry Harvard, Stanford, etc. :-)

So with all that being said, we landed in Los Angeles this afternoon, 42 days away from our first radio show on August 11th.

The mission in LA?  Begin interfacing with KLAC officials to develop the show and also meet with perspective sponsors and advertising executives.

The first tidbit about being an entrepreneur - you gotta get creative to make sure start-up expenses don't eat you alive.

In our case this week, we have wonderful friends in Sherman Oaks who insisted we stay in their their guest house, thus keeping expenses down.  Our friends Lois and Chip have been awesome supporters since the first day we met them back in 2006.

The best part?  They have an incredible backyard with a pool (see pic above) that allows us an outside office that definitely doesn't suck!

Friends are a huge part of the entrepreneurial support system.  Take for instance my friend of 30 years, Steve Williams, a lawyer in New Jersey, who was able to magically put his talents to work to find us a west coast law firm that would be creative with our cash flow needs.  Steve also doubles as a cheerleader and someone who won't hesitate to jab me, if I get too cocky.

Another friend, Damien Lewis of Clocker Shade Productions, has played a key role by getting us our very first meeting with KLAC's Don Martin.  Damien is someone that we can always count-on for honest analysis of the situation.

Another tidbit we received about being an entrepreneur, came from my first investor - "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."

Good advice when it comes to calming the nerves as you try to raise nearly a million dollars in an economy that tends to make you shutter when you read the newspaper or watch CNBC.

Capital raising isn't for the faint of heart!

About a year ago, one well respected financial guru told me, get your money raised before the fall, because there is a lot of money on the sidelines.  He then cautioned me about what would happen if I hadn't raised it during the summer and President Obama was re-elected.

It went something like this - "If you don't have your capital in-place and President Obama is in-charge for four more years, you'll be a business owner in the middle of a financial holocaust...are you ready for that?"

I'm not saying this to get into a political debate.  I'm just saying that these are some of the uplifting things you're told along the way...LOL!

So for now, it's time for us to make some dinner, toast with a bottle of wine for the next 42 days ahead.

With no off-switch, the lights are on and we're open for business 24-7.

Oh, and if you're reading this and you're an investor, boy, do I have a great story to tell you!

News Release


Los Angeles, CA - June 28, 2012 – High School Sports Entertainment (“HSSE”) announces its new high school sports talk radio show, High School Football America – SoCal, hosted by high school sports expert Jeff Fisher on KLAC-AM beginning August 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM.

In addition to the KLAC-AM radio show, HSSE will offer Southern California high school football fans a multi-media experience via a special section on our website

“We’re excited to come into the Los Angeles and Orange County high school sports scene with a show that will enhance the area’s coverage of high school football for players, coaches and fans,” said Jeff Fisher, Show Host and Co-Founder of High School Sports Entertainment.

"We are very excited to bring Jeff and High School Football America to AM 570 Fox Sports LA,” said Don Martin, General Manager and Program Director of KLAC-AM.  “High school football is a very important part of the fabric of every So Cal community and it's time to give it the attention that it deserves."

High School Football America – SoCal will serve as a lightning rod to promote positive stories about student-athletes showing how high school football serves as a bond for community togetherness,” said Trish Hoffman Co-Founder/Executive Producer High School Sports Entertainment.  “High school sports give us a snapshot of our communities. With our partnership with KLAC, we’ll shine a spotlight on the robust family experience at these games throughout Southern California each week.”

High Football America – SoCal
August 11 – September 29, 2012. 
Saturday Nights
10:00 PM – Midnight
**Show Date Changes To Friday Nights**
October 5 – March 29, 2012
10:00 PM - Midnight

High School Sports Entertainment will also produce a high school basketball show, High School Basketball America - SoCal, that will begin on KLAC-AM just before the December holidays and run through March 29, 2013.

About High School Sports Entertainment
High School Sports Entertainment (“HSSE”), a multi-media company, is the umbrella company for High school Football America, High School Football America – SoCal and High School Basketball America – SoCal.  HSSE delivers original high school sports content through internet, social media, radio, television, on-site activation and The Write Way, a 501 C 3 not-for-profit.  For more information on high school football go to

KLAC AM 570 Fox Sports is not only the Flagship station for the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are also the Flagship station for the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Kings, UCLA Bruins and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Broadcasting since 1924 under the call letters KFPG, KMTR and finally KLAC, they are one of only a handful of stations established in 1924 that are still on the air.  For more info go to