A month ago we sent out the clarion call for a pizza loving sports fan who wouldn’t mind putting their life on hold for almost a year to go to DI NCAA championships all over the country while eating pizza and documenting the whole adventure on social media. As suspected there were more than a few people willing to step up and take the opportunity. But, we just needed one, one quick thinking, pizza loving, sports obsessed, social media savant. After going through over 1,000 submissions from 42 states, we whittled the final contestants down to 30 and much like the teams he’ll soon be covering; Jason Zone Fisher beat out the competition to grab the top spot and become the Pizza Hut All-American.
Jason comes to us with a soft spot for Pizza Hut that began in childhood and a lifelong passion for all things sport including an undying loyalty to his hometown Cleveland teams, proving that he also has plenty of patience and humility. We sat down with Jason on his first day in the office to chat about life, sports, pizza and if Zone is really his middle name.
First, congratulations on becoming the All-American! Now, it’s life story time so tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, first off, yes! That really is my middle name! It’s actually my mom’s maiden name.
I’m originally from Cleveland, OH and I grew up a die-hard Cleveland sports fan, which has been trying at times, it’s not an easy thing being a Cleveland sports fan. Although 2016 has been the best year ever!
When I was young, I was an actor. I was in TV commercials, movies, and plays. I loved performing and thought that’s what I wanted to do for a living until when I was in high school, I hosted a Saturday morning kid’s show about professional football. Hosting and getting to be myself on camera was a dream job. I got to be on the field for the games and hanging with the players in the locker room, and I was like, “How do I do THIS for a living?”
When I graduated from college my dad said to me “Congratulations, Now What?” and I said to him, what I want to do hasn’t been invented yet. I’m going to invent my dream job, and I have been very fortunate that that is exactly what I have done since that day. I’ve hosted a show about sports and food and had the chance to travel and meet amazing people from all walks of life. I’ve been so fortunate in my career, to find amazing opportunities and adventures. And the Pizza Hut All-American opportunity is another example. That’s really I think the spirit of who I am. I’m up for anything, and a camera and a microphone are the tools that open doors for me to go to the coolest events and meet the most fascinating people in the world.
What’s the first thing you ever did to earn a dollar?
I collected basketball and baseball cards, and there was a local card shop where I lived. I convinced the owner, I was in fourth grade when I did this, but I convinced the owner to rent me a display case where I could sell some of my cards, and he would take a commission. So, 20% of whatever I sold would go back to the store. And I was making money selling my trading cards there.
It was a brilliant idea for the store owner because he was getting 20% and all the money I was making I would use to buy more cards from him! So, it was definitely a win-win for that guy.
So, a sports businessman from a very young age!
Exactly! Always hustling!
What attracted you to this opportunity with Pizza Hut?
Growing up, every Sunday night we had a family dinner. It was the best because we took turns deciding who got to choose what we ate. My sister, my dad and I ALWAYS picked to order Pizza Hut. So, I’ve always loved Pizza Hut, but I actually didn’t find out about this contest until the day before the deadline! My friend Michael sent me a link, and he knows me and how much I love sports and love pizza and love adventures and that I’m crazy enough to do something like this. Not many people could give up their day job and just hit the road and travel, but I’m the type of person that would absolutely love that. So, he sent me the link and said it sounded right up my alley. I looked at it and agreed. But it was kind of daunting because I also saw that Pizza Hut already had submissions from like 42 different states but I just thought “You can’t win if you don’t try.” So, I said to my wife “Hey, so I’m going to order Pizza Hut for lunch today and would you mind just filming a video?”
After explaining to her what was going on we did about four takes of a video, ate Pizza Hut for lunch, I submitted it and here I am, in a Pizza Hut office at the headquarters about to embark on this journey! It’s nuts! It’s totally nuts! I did not see this coming, but it’s amazing. I’m grateful for my friend who told me about this contest. I owe him a lot of pizza. I’m also grateful to my wife who’s so supportive of me doing something like this. And I’m grateful and thankful to Pizza Hut for this amazing opportunity. I’m about to embark on an adventure that most people would pay to do, and I’m being paid to do it.
Ultimately what are you hoping to get out this adventure?
I hope that I will have eaten a lot of pizza. Pretty confident that will work out. I also hope to witness some unbelievable championship moments, and I want to meet so many amazing people. And I really hope, for fans of Pizza Hut that I can bring them to these championships too. I want to create amazing content that makes it feel like you’re there too, that you get to experience this too. Shine a light on a lot of sports and championships and moments that don’t get the attention they deserve and I want to showcase what it’s like to be there and let other people feel that, because ultimately sports are the original and only true reality television.
Well, we’re certainly excited to see where Jason’s search for epic moments will lead him. He begins his journey this week in Terre Haute, IN to attend the DI Cross Country Championships, after that it’s off to Norfolk, VA for the DI Field Hockey Championship. Make sure to follow along on his journey using @PHAllAmerican on Twitter and Instagram, as he travels from championship to championship, fueling pizza fandom and shining light on underappreciated yet outstanding athletes all over this great country!
Good luck Jason and congratulations once again on becoming the first ever Pizza Hut All-American!