May 21st, 2013: Day 12079
May 21st, 2013: Day 12079
The story of how Steve's Backyard Boxing, SBB, and its website came to be is a long and bit fuzzy in my mind. It started during the summer of 2000. One day in April 2000 Steve Knight, at his new apartment in down Jeffersonville,IN, invited people to come over to box, hang out, and drink beer. In the following months into summer Steve started a local phenomenon among our friends. Every other Sunday people would go to his house, hang out and participate in SBB. During these events local director, editor, and film fanatic Ted Gohmann filmed SBB events for later viewing. Sometime during the summer, I believe it was at a pool party I had thrown, Steve remarked how great it would be if I used my new video capture card to capture the fights and then place them on the Internet for everyone to see. With that in mind, I started getting the VHS tapes from both Steve and Ted to capture to my computer.
By fall most of our friends were heading to college; Steve attended Wabash college. During his attendance he started creation of a "Greatest Hits" SBB video. At the same time, I started work on the SBB website that would not only host boxing movies from SBB but would also chronicle it's events in a satirical light. Creating the website was easy enough, it was hosting the movies was tough. Even with the recently discovered DivX codec, which did a lot to make movies a reasonable size, I could not afford to pay for web hosting with no job. As Steve and I collaborated with one another, we determined the best course of action would be to make the movies as small as possible and try to find as many friends with college webspace that we could use. In November 2000, the SBB website came on line. In the following months, all the movies from the 2000 season would come online. With the registering of stevesbackyardboxing.org, all the movies hosted, and my submissions to every search engine available, the entire world would know about SBB.
We didn't expect the response we ended up getting. Steve's recently finished Greatest Hits video, the SBB website generated a lot of buzz between people. Combined with some of the feedback, emails and such, we thought the next season of SBB was going to be huge. As it turns out, we were a little big headed. While the website, videos, and such did make us well known, it didn't really do much for SBB attendance. Events were certainly bigger than before, but they were also over hyped. When it came down to it, most of the people that attended SBB didn't know anything about boxing. Not that it mattered, SBB was never completely about the boxing. But many of the people who only saw the website didn't know that.
Before I created SBB, I didn't know anything about underground boxing, boxing fetish sites, and other boxing subcultures on the Internet. With SBB attaining the #1 listening for "backyard boxing," we saw from our Internet tracker and emails that were a lot of people aware of us who thought we were something completely different than what we were. Looking at the website, I thought it was pretty obvious the entire site was all tongue-in-cheek. However, I would get calls from reporters about backyard boxing. Steve would get calls from people who sell backyard boxing videos. And many of the SBB veterans on the site would get emails from people calling them out for fights. I took it all in stride and went along with it as if it was a continuation of a joke that the SBB website created. Apparently, many people will take you seriously as some source of authority on a subject if you just create a website.
The SBB website had a good run. To those people that got it, we were listed on many people's funny link of the day sites. As the years went by, SBB's popularity waned. By 2004, SBB would have at most one or two events. As our friends got older, they got less edgy and more boring. Steve himself gave up on the idea of SBB around 2004. During Thunder Over Louisville 2005 at the Riverhouse, we tried to jump start the event again only to find that the severe cold weather made everyone not want to box. When Jon Chapman, one of the most ardent SBB veterans, declared it dead I decided that I should do the same. With the beginning of the new "Who is..." I have officially declared the time of death for SBB, 2006.