Greetings BTB. As the Cowboys like to say, talent acquisition is a 365 day a year job, and we believe that. So we are adding another free agent to the BTB roster. Please help me in welcoming our newest front-page writer, RJ Ochoa. Some of you my already be familiar with RJ, if not, then get ready because he’s going to be a great addition to BTB. Welcome RJ! - Dave Halprin
Howdy there, Blogging The Boys! It’s my esteemed privilege to be joining you all here on the front page at BTB. If you’re unaware my name is RJ Ochoa - bonus points if you didn’t know but read it up top - and I happen to be rabidly obsessed with the Dallas Cowboys.
I originally hail from Brownsville, TX (way down south in the Rio Grande Valley), but I currently call San Antonio home. It’s actually the great metropolis of San Antonio where I was first introduced to BTB... 10 years ago! (More on that in a bit).
How Did I Become A Cowboys Fan?
My dad - shout out to Papa Ocho - has been a Dallas Cowboys fan all of his life, and my grandpa was as rabid as they come. As a result I was surrounded by the Cowboys from a very early age, but my obsession really took off in 2006.
As part of my going-back-to-school wardrobe, I got a Terrell Owens jersey (it was his first season in Dallas). It served as this tangible reason for me to watch games if that makes sense. While the games were obviously amazing - although upon further reflection I regret calling Drew Bledsoe’s time “amazing” - but I simultaneously became obsessed with extracurricular coverage. I have this vivid memory of the “T.O. took too many pain pills” story breaking and trying to soak up as much info on it in the moment... Twitter would’ve been convenient then.
The Cowboys were quickly taking up more and more of my brain capacity, but the ride hit a high on October 23rd. You see my birthday is October 20th and my dad’s is October 22nd, so the Ochoa Household was already on a rush. Then on Monday Night Football Antonio Ramiro enters our lives and well, love at first sight or something mushy.
Every game, every play, every minute detail became my utmost fascination. Over the following years I would immerse myself in books, documentaries, movies, anything that allowed me to process more Dallas Cowboys information.
How Did I End Up At BTB?
At the 2007 incarnation of Dallas Cowboys Training Camp I met none other than BTB’s fearless leader - Dave Halprin. I was just a wee lad in high school at the time, but all throughout the rest of high school and college I perused the BTB stratosphere.
Right around 2015, I felt the urge to get up off the couch like the famed Cirie in Survivor. I was sick of talking, discussing, and more often than not debating the Cowboys with my friends and family. I looked into various blogs, sites, and other internet-ish places and eventually found a home with InsideTheStar.com.
2015 was an - err, uh, um, this is tough - interesting start to this world for me (I’m an eternal optimist, but Kellen Moore man...). Writing is something I really love, but as time wore on I began to become curious about the world of podcasting. Ultimately this led me to starting my own called OchoLive. Every day OchoLive streams live on Twitter, Periscope, and Facebook Live if you want to watch and interact. It’s also available in old school audio style on all of your classic podcast platforms, including the VSporto Cowboys Sports Radio app.
I’ve spent every day for the last two years writing, tweeting, podcasting, video-streaming, and thinking more than society would deem acceptable about the Dallas Cowboys. In the process I’ve met what I hope are many of you on the streets of social media, as well as some of the BTB cornerstones like OCC, Tom Ryle, Danny Phantom, Michael Sisemore as well as BTB alum.
What Can You Expect From Me?
Part of what I loved about BTB in 2007 is what I love about it a decade later. This is more than a website, it’s a community. I’ve never surfed - remember when we used to surf the web? - over here and not been utterly amazed at the environment that exists.
Let me say that I’m extremely grateful to Dave, the rest of the BTB gang, and you all not only for the opportunity, but for the incredibly warm welcome. I’m excited to be a part of the community and hopefully bring something interesting to the table.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may or may not be aware of my obsession with numbers. It’s really an obsession with detail to be honest. Numbers and letters are so critical to our language, but broken down in the most fundamental ways they can tell us so much.
For example, did you know that if you have a TT in your name that you’re likely a Cowboys legend? Just ask Dorsett, Emmitt, Witten, Prescott, Elliott, or Garrett (not like they play in AT&T Stadium or anything either). Or have you ever realized that both Dak and Zeke wore #15 in college? And that they entered the NFL in the year of Super Bowl LI (51 is a palindrome of 15). Not to mention 1 + 5 = 6, and they’re trying to win number six.
These are a few examples of the things I spend all day thinking about, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to transcribe some of them here for you. Thanks for the welcome BTB, let’s have some fun!