Dan Steinberg is on vacation. Despite his massive photo above, this was not written by him. It was written by professional soccer player Bobby Boswell, the author of the cleverly named BobbyBoswell.com. Other guest bloggers will check in later today. Dan will theoretically be back tomorrow. Anyhow, BB writes below, at tremendous length, and please provide extra comments to make him feel at home.
I Know Famous Athletes and They Know me! Meet Me!
Let's start off by talking about Dan Steinberg. I had never met him before, nor was I aware of his Bog, until one of our PR guys wanted me to do an interview with him. So I did and I began my normal banter and long-winded responses. A former Englishman teammate of mine used to tell me I could talk the tongue off a shoe, and Ben Olsen said I could talk Nick Rimando out of Chipotle (which is no easy task). So, when I say banter, I mean it. To make a long story short, I made a lot of jokes to Steinberg and our PR guy and then asked Mr. Bog to make sure none of that went into the story.
Well, apparently "off the record" to Steinberg just means he will write "And then Boswell said 'This is off the record....'" So, after receiving a call from my mother telling me that I sounded arrogant in one of Steinberg's stories, I told the guys in the locker room to cut him off - as in no more interviews. Eventually, we talked it out, and now we are buddies. And by buddies I mean he makes fun of me constantly. [Ed. note: And he does not mean that Steinberg has forfeited his hard-won journalistic objectivity. And apologies for this self-referential introduction.]
Steinberg is always talking to me about all of the athletes he meets. He is especially fond of the Wizards guys and the locker room they have that is apparently never dull. He really did look depressed in the days that followed the Wizards' elimination from the playoffs. Little does Steinberg know, but I'm tight with I've met many of the DC athletes through my two-and-a-half years here in the area. I wanted to wait until I got my big shot to tell these stories, and it would appear as if my time has come!
One of my lost comrades due to a trade is Alecko Eskandarian. He is friends with Alana Beard, so because we hung out a ton I would occasionally cross paths with Alana and some of her (very tall) teammates. I always enjoyed her being around because although she was not that tall for a basketball player, she was still taller than Alecko. I made sure to remind him of this every time she graced us with her presence - We also always forced him to stand in the middle for pictures. Man, I miss that guy. Anyways, I had a conversation with one of her teammates once that went something like this...
She was on the dance floor busting a move, and I approached her with the same style and grace I posses on the soccer field. I started moving my hips and shoulders as I approached her and opened with this line..."What's going on? Let's see whatcha got!" Then I started really dancing. She laughed, and replied with "I don't think so, you can't handle this!" I wish I could tell you her name, but that is where the conversation ended. She must not like soccer players...
I have run into Clinton Portis out and about many times. In my opinion, he is the closest thing to a rock star in this city. He is what I call a show stopper, meaning when he comes in, people (mainly girls) always stop to see what all the fuss is about. A reoccurring theme seems to happen when I meet superstar athletes. One is that Alecko was usually with me, and the other is that there was always some girl who "knows" both parties and thinks it would be "awesome" for us to meet. This is usually followed up with an awkward introduction and a conversation about absolutely nothing. Clinton was different, though. He was a talker. I like talkers.
Even better, though, was that he was a trash talker. Now, I too am a trash talker, but I also know what discretion is and how to use it. Alecko on the other hand, whether it is because he is Armenian or from New Jersey (or both - what a combo), decided he would get involved in the banter. Jason Campbell and I enjoyed watching Clinton crack on Esky. Even Esky admitted that he got clowned, and that Clinton was a cool dude. Yay Redskins!
I have met a couple of the Caps guys through friends (not Esky this time), and a couple at charity events. They are really down-to-earth and most of the time a little shy. I actually judged a stand-up comedy celebrity/athlete competition (try to say that three times fast) last year with Steinberg and one of the Caps players, Ben Clymer. Aside from two things, it was a great event.
Thanks to the investigative reporting by Dan Steinberg, we learned that four of the five judges actually voted for someone other than Lindsay Czarniak, who won. The other was that someone told me that I was lucky Ben Clymer was not in the Cosmopolitan Bachelor of the Year Competition that was going on at that time last year, because he would have obviously won. I would have taken it to the streets with Ben to settle it once and for all, but once again that discretion thing kicked in (and I have seen my fair share of defensemen fighting at hockey games). He was a really nice guy in all seriousness. In other news, I might try to knock Lindsay off her pedestal later this year in the competition. We'll see....
I also had another one of those "girls" who thought it would be cool to introduce me to Ovechkin (or as my roommate calls him "Love Chicken" - put an L in front of his last name....)
Me: "I thought he didn't speak English."
Her: "He doesn't...."
Me: "Well I don't speak Russian..."
Her: Silence as she pondered this new discovery and a potential problem.
Me: "Do you speak Russian?"
Me: Silence as I needed a moment to gather my thoughts.
Her: "So can you come meet him for me?"
Me: "How about you just tell him, however it is that you do that, that I think he is a great athlete and to enjoy his dinner and his night."
And she scampered off to relay my message. That is my Love Chicken story.
I have done a couple of events with these ladies. If you have ever met them, then you know two things. 1) They are REALLY HOT! And 2) they treat you like a 13-year-old boy who just hit puberty. I've had more intelligent conversations with small rocks than I have had with some of these girls (ok, maybe that's a little harsh).
But, a few of them are awesome and really nice, as well. A while back I was judging a Comcast casting call with two of the cheerleaders. I was not forward with them, but as a single guy I was definitely attempting to test the waters. I failed...miserably. They wanted nothing to do with a...soc...soccer? Soccer player? ...no, thanks. Haha! Well wouldn't you know it, Cosmo puts me in their magazine, and lo and behold one of those cute denying cheerleaders sent me a message saying we should hang out the next time she was in the city. Typical. So, we are going on a date next week...
I have met a lot of the Wizards through charity events and the occasional night out at the nightclubs of DC. Calvin Booth and I had the pleasure of being dressed in food products earlier this year at Heart of America's Sweet Charity event. I have met my personal favorite Wizard, Caron Butler, on many occasions. He is soft spoken, and as nice a guy as they come. He is so nice that he makes me feel rude. Let me explain.
One night after a Wizards' home game, I found myself in a nightclub with a couple of the Wizards guys. When I decided to leave, I found Caron and one of his buddies waiting for their very nice ride by the valet stand. A man was asking for some money to eat, so I decided to give him the $2 I had in my pocket. As the man approached me, Caron called the man over and put what looked like a $100 bill in the man's cup. I assume I was correct because the man gave Caron a big hug. The man ran off, leaving me and my whopping $2 on the curb. The rest of the night my buddies called me the "$2 dollar chump." How rude of me! I make jokes, but I have seen Caron at almost every big charity event in the city. He seems like a really great guy.
I know what you are thinking, what about Agent Zero? Well, I have run into him as well. One night I was out with my old teammate John Wilson and US International Oguchi Onyewu. We had a table right next to Gil and the boys. After he witnessed many of my great dance moves, Gil commented to me about how "crazy" I was and how my dance moves cracked him up. I will take this as a compliment. Maybe I should have him tell those Mystic ladies how good my dance moves are. Yeah, I think I'll do that.
Well, that is about it for now. I could keep going, but that whole long-winded thing is already happening. Basically, athletes love to meet me. And Dan Steinberg likes to make fun of me. If you are wondering why I haven't discussed some of the other sports here in DC, it is because I am all out of time. But you can check my website (BobbyBoswell.com) and hear about how I met a girl at a Nationals game unexpectedly (flew in early from a road game) and sat with her in Ryan Zimmerman's friends and family seats. I will title that one "The Beginning of the End!" or "I got to 3rd base and my girlfriend was there!" Maybe not. Oh well, thanks for playing! I have to get to the numerous athletes who want to meet me. Later.