In August, I told my mom that I was leaving my job at Butte Sports to start a podcast.

“What,” she said emphatically. “What is a podcast?”

She was not alone in her reaction. I get that from a lot of people.

Here in the Mining City, we are always about 10 years behind the times. Maybe more.

When I tell people about my podcast, which is called the ButteCast and available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, I often find myself describing what a podcast is. (Click here for the podcast version of this column.)

Getting the word out that I have a podcast is difficult when so many people do not know what I am talking about. Sure, anyone under the age of 40 knows, but I am aiming at all ages.

The dilemma was similar to a decade earlier when I left my job at The Montana Standard to write for a website. People would come up to me at Butte High, Butte Central and Montana Tech games and ask me what I was doing there with a camera.

When I told them I was writing for Butte Sports, they would tell me that they have never been on the internet.

Tudo Stagnoli always accused me of having a camera without film. He was right, it was digital.

About a year after we started Butte Sports, my Tuesday column started to appear in The Butte Weekly, and many people think that is all that I do.

Starting something new can mean a step back. A giant step back.

When we started Butte Sports in 2012, it took a while for people to find our site, even if we had some name recognition with Bruce Sayler joining the team.

The one thing we had going for us was the Butte High football team. The Bulldogs kept winning games in exciting fashion, and people started finding our stories on the team in their Facebook and Twitter feeds.

We could not write enough about the Bulldogs or the Orediggers, who won the 2012 Frontier Conference football crown.

As the Bulldogs and Oredigger teams gained more popularity in town, so too did our website.

By the time Butte High senior Jake Dennehy booted that 46-yard field goal to beat Bozeman at the buzzer in the Class AA State championship game, Butte Sports was a household name in Butte and around the state.

Over the last 10 years, we would routinely get more than 10,000 hits on Butte Sports during nights of big games. We got a lot more than that the night Dougie Peoples sank that shot to lift the Maroons to the Class A State title in March.

Starting over with the ButteCast and meant a step back in exposure, and this time I did not have a state championship football team to talk or write about. At least not yet.

Enter Thomas William Mellott.

Most people call him Tommy or, better yet, Touchdown Tommy, and he is the pride and joy of Butte, America.

Last week’s column was about Tommy’s incredible interview after he helped lead the Montana State Bobcats to a lopsided win over the Montana Grizzlies.

It was like Jake Dennehy kicked that field goal again. And again.

The traffic on went up about 10,000 percent in the days following that column because everybody loves Tommy.

I mean everybody. 

Even Grizzly fans like Tommy, and that is saying a lot in this era of insanity and misguided hatred. Grizzly fans rarely even like their own quarterback, let alone one who plays for that team on the other side of the Continental Divide.

A weekly column about Tommy would put the new site on par with Butte Sports in no time.

My brother jokingly told me I should write a column trashing Tommy because that would get a lot of readers.

He is right. A column like that would really go viral, but people would absolutely hate me for it.

According to his movie Private Parts, the average hater of Howard Stern listened more than the average fan.

Negativity sells, and being a jerk can be lucrative.

Of course, there is no possible way to trash Tommy Mellott. He is everything they pretended Brett Favre to be in the movie There’s Something About Mary. 

Tommy really is like an Eagle Scout. Favre, well, not so much.

So, you will not be seeing or hearing any trashing of the Mining City legend on my website and podcast.

Instead, I will just try to let the great conversations with some interesting people and characters of the Mining City speak for themselves.

Guests so far on the ButteCast include Don Peoples Sr., his grandson Dougie, Anaconda native Jesse Laslovich, Montana Tech Oredigger great Dion Williams, Butte High legend Mickey Tuttle, Brodie Kelly, Geriatric Coach Bob Green, Dr. Nick DiGiovine, Hattie Thatcher, Kellie Johnson-Mead, KXLF reporter John Emeigh, Leo McCarthy, Matt Luedke, Mike Anderson, Julie (Leary) Nadeau, Deann Johnson, Arie Grey, the late Tom LeProwse, boxers Ethan and Eli Wroblewski, Cathy Tutty, Jack Prigge, Mike Hamblin, J.P. Gallagher, Matt Vincent, Karen Sullivan, Jim LeProwse, Kathleen McLaughlin, Bruce Sayler and Jake Larson, just to name a bunch.

We will have a lot more coming, too.

I think the word is finally starting to get out on the podcast, too, thanks to a big assist from Tommy, who will hopefully be a guest someday in the very near future.

The other night, I got a sense that word is getting out when some of my son’s knuckleheaded friends decided to prank call me.

One thing I learned is that my son needs to find some smarter friends. They called me from a number that came up on the caller ID. When they called back, it said “No caller ID.”

That is kind of like looking directly into the security camera before putting on your robber mask.

What the friends said to me on the phone was really shocking.

“Bill?” the caller said.

“Yeah, who’s this?” I responded.

After a brief pause, the caller said, “(Bleep) you and your (bleepy) podcast.”

I have to admit that I was completely blown away by the comments. I was in shock.

Can you believe it?

Those kids know that I have a podcast.

— Bill Foley, who was a much better prank caller in his day, can be reached at him at to the ButteCast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.