PJ Davis is diving head first into the sports podcasting world with early success.
The two-sport Gainesville High coach and lifelong resident of the city wanted to create a platform for talking with interesting sports figures. Thanks to Apple, Anchor.fm and Spotify, listeners can now hear his first 13 episodes already online under the catchy banner ‘Shave Heads, Not Points.’”
He makes it clear that the title is not a reference to sports betting, but instead appreciating those who are follicly challenged.
Just 10 weeks into publishing content, which is free for listeners to hear, Davis has already drawn some high-profile guests. He hopes it’s just a taste of things to come.
On July 2, the former Red Elephants athlete released his one-on-one talk with one of their best in school history, Tommy Aaron, to discuss everything from growing up in Gainesville, his path to winning in 1973 at Augusta National and what other golfers are like when the camera isn’t in their face.
“It was a great glimpse into the history of golf by being able to talk to Tommy Aaron,” said Davis, who teaches science at Gainesville High. “I really appreciate his willingness to talk with me.”
Davis has had a relatively easy time finding guests to sit down and chew the fat about sports. He wants it to be a podcast that covers a broad spectrum of sports, not just the two he coaches: footballl, and track and field.
However, he said that’s the only easy part of launching a podcast.
The real work, Davis said, comes with finding new sponsors (which he is currently seeking), getting all the necessary equipment and having an introduction that has some pop to make it sound like it is professionally made.
Luckily for Davis, he got help, free of charge, on the technical aspect from Jacobs Media sports director Bo Wilson, who also voices the introduction.
The sports fanatic has also partnered for sponsorship dollars with Downtown Drafts, Mattress Firm, First Class Construction, and the law office of Lee Parks.
After that, it became trial by fire in one of the most saturated markets for content on the internet.
Eventually, Davis wants to turn his venture into a steady source of side income.
With all the pieces starting to fall into place, the podcast is nearing 100 listeners per episode and 1,000 downloads.
““I’m not going to quit my day job,” Davis joked.
Davis looked no further than the gregarious and highly-motivating Red Elephants head football coach Heath Webb for his first episode, which was made public April 27.
Since then, he’s chatted with former University of Georgia tight end Bruce Figgins. Less than a month later, Davis dug deep into real-life issues with football coach, author and motivational speaker, Willie Spears.
Some of the high school coaches that he’s featured are Gainesville boys basketball coach Chuck Graham, and Buford’s Tony Wolfe and Dexter Wood, among many others.
Next week, ‘Shave Heads, Not Points’ will have its first woman in the studio with University of North Georgia women’s basketball coach Buffie Burson, who has successfully guided its program for 26 seasons.
Davis said he has enough episodes recorded to fill space through the middle of August and wants to have enough conversations complete in order to focus on teaching and football in the fall, while still releasing fresh content.
He said podcasts that he follows range from easily-recognized pastor and motivational speaker Andy Stanley, to the fast-paced insiders perspective of former NFL kicker Pat McAfee.
Even though some podcasters have reached a tremendous level of success, Davis knows it takes a long time to build an audience and keep listeners engaged.
However, the married father of two thinks it’s a venture worth pursuing.
“I’m still trying to learn what works and doesn’t work,” said Davis.
His conversation with the 1973 Masters champion probably has a little something for anyone who is a sports fan.
Now 83, Aaron still remembers all the important details, and adds colorful commentary, from the weekend bookended by rounds of 68, and also how he rallied from a four-shot hole on Sunday to hold of J.C. Snead by one stroke.
The two-time member of the US Ryder Cup team (1969 and 1973) and five-time top-10 finisher in a major relives growing up in Gainesville before golf became popular, his perspective of being inside the ropes at Augusta National, with victory within reach, and his opinion of some of the greatest to ever play golf.
If you’d like to contact Davis, you can do so through Twitter @shaveheadspod, Instagram @shaveheadspodcast, through facebook ‘Shave Heads Not Points’ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m very fortunate to know a lot of interesting people,” Davis said.