On Monday I told you guys I would be attending the launch party for a new website called SportsBUZZ.com. I know: I had never heard of it either. That's because they're pretty new. In fact, even though they plan on getting players from all sports and all teams in the future, they've started with just the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. You've got to give them credit for having good taste.
I promptly arrived at House of Blues on Decatur at 6pm, a half-hour before players were supposed to arrive. Unlike other times I've ever had press credentials, albeit a few, the SportsBUZZ team treated me well. And by 'well' I mean they actually wanted me there. They set me up in front of the red carpet and offered me additional player availability if I had anything in particular I wanted to discuss. Before the players actually arrived the CEO of the company, Ray Cohen, was alerted of my arrival and came down specifically to introduce himself and chat with me. Yeah, that's how I roll. I managed to get four words out before he interrupted and asked me if I was from New York. He had nailed my accent. Turns out it takes one to know one so we exchanged the mandatory NY-related pleasantries. He's a Yankees fan, I can't stand them. Neither of us would ever live there again.
Of course we talked business and I got the skinny on SportsBuzz. Co-founded by Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, it's a social media site powered by athletes, unedited and uncut. Basically, Sean Payton's nightmare. The goal is to bring fans closer to players - from the locker room to the living room is how Cohen put it - by allowing them to share their personal lives in whatever way they see fit but giving them a custom-built platform that offers them more than something like Twitter.
For example, right now on the site you can watch Garrett Hartley talk about his bow hunting obsession or Chase Daniel devour the best fish tacos in New Orleans. And since everyone's got a smartphone these days, players can shoot a short video while walking to their car after practice and post it on SportsBuzz for fans to see. Users can either follow certain athletes or entire teams, the latter of which makes more sense. It's a cool idea that has tons of potential as more and more athletes get on board.
We discussed Canal Street Chronicles and our little corner of the interwebs as well. Hopefully we'll be able to cultivate a relationship with the good people at SportsBuzz and work together on future projects to bring you guys exclusive player content. That would be sweet! This nice little write-up probably doesn't hurt either, eh?
I brought the new digicam with me (an awesome birthday gift from the wife that is proving more valuable by the day) and took some photos and video as players hit the red carpet. Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Will Smith, Garrett Hartley, Chase Daniel, Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Goodwin, DeMario Pressley and Marvin Mitchell all came to show their support. I also had the chance to ask a few questions myself. Did you know DeMario Pressley owns two snakes? All of that can be found below. Lucky fans that were able to attend the party had a chance to enjoy a drink, watch the MNF football game, play in a Madden tournament and win cool raffle prizes. The funniest part is watching six different Madden games being played simultaneously and all of them with the Saints.
Chase Daniel answering some questions.
Pierre doing his thing.
I liked DeMario Pressley. First time I had the pleasure of meeting him.
Goodwin had a brace on his pinkie. No big deal.
Will Smith closeup.
Reggie working the line.
The party/Madden tournament.
Autographed Jermon Bushrod shoes raffled off.
PT playing Madden with a reporter.