If there is anything that the hosts of Ball Hogs Radio know, it is that a lot can change in less than two years.
When the hosts, Adam Bradley, John Wilkes and Kevin Eaton, launched an Internet radio show devoted to the sports teams in the Washington metropolitan area in fall 2010, their studio was located in a friend’s basement in Frederick County.
“We just wanted to see what we could make of it,” Bradley said of the show's beginnings. Within the first two months the hosts had snagged interviews with the Washington Redskins' Anthony Armstrong, Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander.
In the following months, the Ball Hogs took off, featuring the likes of basketball strength coach Alan Stein. By summer 2011, the hosts received an invitation to attend a Washington Wizards news conference and interview the two newest Wizards: Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack.
The Ball Hogs also have interviewed local college superstars such as University of Maryland basketball alum Greivis Vasquez of the New Orleans Hornets and former Virginia Tech tight end Andre Smith, now with the Indianapolis Colts.
“Adam Bradley is a good friend of mine and has been for years, but as far as my experience, it was a great time,” Smith said of appearing on the show. "[It is] conversations with quality guys that brings the realism of sports to fans all across the DMV."
While landing guests from around the DC sports scene, the Ball Hogs promoted their show in other ways. The show has a Vocelli Pizza named after it. And the Ball Hogs began broadcasting regularly at the now-closed Austin Grill at , eventually hosting a NFL draft block party to a great turnout.
The Ball Hogs returned to last year to host a viewing of the Monday Night Football rivalry game between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. According to the Ball Hogs, more than 2,500 people attended the event, including Gary Clark, a former Redskins wide receiver with four Pro Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl rings.
Recently, the Ball Hogs relocated their studio to Rockville and expanded to become the Ball Hogs Radio Network, featuring a series of podcasts dedicated to local teams. The first, “Shell Shocked,” focuses on the University of Maryland’s athletic program. "Red Roof Report" covers the Washington Nationals. A broadcast devoted to the Baltimore Orioles is soon to follow.
“Social media is our No. 1 lifeline,” Bradley said. “It is a great way to interact with the listeners, and has probably been our source of guests 80 percent of the time.”
As for the show's future, the Ball Hogs plan to continue to build the brand in the hopes of getting on an actual terrestrial radio station. It's a future that Bradley believes is a possibility.
“Just look what we have been able to do on our own,” he said.