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Fred Smoot is Answering Questions on Reddit and Acting Fred Smootish

Way before T-Pain CB Fred Smoot was ON A BOAT.

There was a time when I had a big crush on former Redskins/Vikings CB Fred Smoot (I was young then, so!!!!). Smoot never completely lived up to his potential on the field. There were moments of yeah he’s pretty damn good and many more moments of what the fuck come on now seriously.
Still, his personality has always been top notch. Smoot is probably best known for his involvement in a raunchy boat party that resulted in misdemeanor charges for some of his teammates. But according to Smoot’s reddit chat it was just a regular Tuesday for him.

He also admits to not working out very much (unless there were ladies to impress) and regrets not taking better care of himself. However, he does not regret that boring boat party where OL Bryant Mckinnie may or may not have run through a a woman’s okra patch in front of everyone. What does that mean? Read the reddit to find out.

[Fred Smoot Gets Real Fred Smooty on Reddit]







Profile: Bethlehem Shoals of The Classical

*Ahem* Time for a new profile!

Hardcore basketball fans will know the name Bethlehem Shoals from the highly successful blog Well FreeDarko is no longer up and running (well technically it’s still up but not running anything new), but Shoals hasn’t stopped writing good basketball stuff. You can find his work on, Bleacher Report and on the new start up blog The Classical which you may remember me writing about here.

See what Shoals has to say about writing and editing as well as what he thinks about those big sports stories that have dominated multiple news cycles.


1. You’ve recently started a new blog, congratulations! I know from experience that the business side of blogging can sometimes be more time-consuming than producing/editing content. How are you balancing the two?

Well, in our case, we have someone who understands business way better than I do handling a lot of that stuff. The real tensions for me has been between my own writing and the editorial role I’ve taken on. I didn’t realize that editing and writing wear out the same part of the brain. And since we’re so intent on putting everything through a fairly intensive editorial process, I’m finding myself with less and less time, and energy, to get my own stuff up on the site.


2. In addition to writing for your own blogs, you also contribute to other sites. Do you see the trend toward more freelancing as being good or bad for writers who are just starting out? (take this question in any direction you wish)

Well, freelancing is how I make my income. The Classical is a dream project that, hopefully, will turn into a real revenue stream down the road. But I couldn’t really give up freelancing and work on my site full-time. At the same time, I do make a little money from it, drawn from the funds we raised via Kickstarter. The time I spend writing or editing for The Classical is time I’m not spending on my freelance career, so I have to make at least a little bit of that back. If someone starting out can freelance right off the bat, more power to them. Generally, though, folks need to start blogging and establish themselves before other outlets come knocking.


3. In the past year, we’ve seen how one sports story can dominate media coverage whether it’s Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin. Does this bother you? Do you see it as a good or bad thing?

I don’t think it’s a real trend. Both of those cases were pretty singular; you had figures who were already of interest to the public going on magical runs of success that defied all logic. Any time that happens to this degree, you’re going to get total media overkill. What bothers me is that stories like this can effectively blot out everything else. It seems like, even if there’s something truly miraculous going on in the world of sports, the rest of it doesn’t just cease to exist. Again, though, I don’t know if we really need to be worried about this phenomenon, since the odds of having Tebow and Lin within a few months of each other are astronomically slim.


4. What, if anything, do see yourself contributing to sports journalism? Is there some style or approach you’d like to be associated with or known for?

It’s impossible for me to answer that question without sounding either falsely modest, self-deprecating, or hopelessly arrogant.


Profile: Howard Shatsky of Professional Football Management

I hope you checked out the last profile interview I did with Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal. He had some interesting things to say about writing and social media. This week’s victim profile interviewee is Howard Shatsky who owns Professional Football Management. I reached out to Howard because he’s outspoken and doesn’t hold a lot back. Howard has represented players like Josh Baker and Marcus Dixon.

So read on to find out how he approaches counseling his clients and also why he has a limit on how many rookies he’ll represent at any given time.

1. What do you do when an athlete won’t listen to your advice?

At the end of the day, my clients are my boss. So you [as an agent] provide your advice and counsel what they choose to do with that is up to them just like any adult who has final decision. If it’s something I feel strongly about or I feel like one of my clients is going to go down a path that isn’t good for them then I’ll push it hard. If I see it as not being all that important, I won’t. But they’re adults and they make their own decisions which is why I find it interesting that T.O. is blaming is agent [for some of his financial problems].

2. Do you think the new rookie wage scale opens the door for some of the lesser known agents or how does it affect agents in general?

I don’t think it affects anything other than agents will make less money off rookie players. I do not think it opens the door for new agents. Guys will still recruit the same amount they used to and they’ll spend the same amount of money recruiting rookies they’ll just make less money. I don’t think it will cause players to ask to have their deals redone earlier either.

3. What’s the most difficult relationship for an agent to maintain? E.g. agent/client, agents/agent, agent/team owners.

It’s not that important for me to have great relationships with the guys I compete against. You may have some guys that you’re friendly with but you’re always more worried about your relationship with clients and with teams. For me, having been in the business for 25 years it’s not difficult for me to maintain relationships that I already have. For someone breaking into the business, it is going to be difficult to get those relationships—that’s why I recommend that they [players] go with agents who have experience. I have clients who are good guys so maintaining relationships with them isn’t hard. I recommend to agents not to just sign anyone, sign guys you can get along with.

4. What’s better for players in general-A large firm or a boutique agency?

It all depends on who’s running the agency. A lot of experience and a small number of clients is a very good situation for clients to look at. To me, experience is the most important thing. I wouldn’t want to be a guy with 60+ guys I want to be somewhere where I mean something to them. I think [in those situations] they get more things done for them and better all around service.


On rookies:

I won’t represent any more than 2 or 3 rookies in any given year. That’s because I don’t think you can effectively do it with all the things you need to do to represent a guy properly.


Profile: Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal on real writers and using social media

I talked about my new profile interview feature here. First up is Jason Gay from the Wall Street Journal. Two of the things I really love about Jason is the accessibility of his writing and the way he uses humor in his work. Read his profile below, and check out one of his latest pieces on the Knicks.


When did you first consider yourself a real writer (assuming, of course, you do!)?

I think we’re all “real” writers - whether we’re writing for a publication or sending an email or even a text message. Writing is writing; if it’s engaging, I don’t care where it comes from. But I definitely enjoyed writing more than other subjects in school. I was not the greatest student, and writing was one thing I felt comfortable with.


This is a challenging time for writers of all kinds, but there is also seems to be a lot of opportunity. Can you share any opinions you have on the major challenges/opportunities you see for sports writers right now?

I agree there’s been a lot of evolution in the business, some of it scary. But on the upside, it’s never been easier to get your thoughts out there and try to find an audience — you don’t have to rely on a publisher or a printing press. That’s exciting. The trick of course is finding a way to turn it into a sustainable business, and that’s the struggle for everyone.


Can you describe your (or your company’s) approach to using social media to promote your columns?

The WSJ may be an old newspaper but it’s very engaged in social media, from Facebook to Twitter to the paper’s own website, where they are busy creating all kinds of fascinating content and even have a series of live television shows. It’s very exciting to see the level of reader engagement with this — people are coming to the Journal from many different places, and often it’s as simple as a recommendation on social media from a friend. I think that’s the best way to get a reader, when someone tells somebody else, “Hey you have to check this out!”


With NY being such a major media market and getting coverage across the country, is it difficult to write about NY sports and add something new to the conversation? If so, how do you tackle that?

I agree that NYC is a big market and a lot of the stories here inevitably become big stories nationally. But the good news is that there’s a lot to go around — and just when you think one story is dying down, another jumps up and takes its place. Just look at the way the NY Giants won the Super Bowl, and the parade is barely over when NYC moves straight into Jeremy Lin and “Linsanity.” That is a pretty amazing series of events to occur in the space of a few weeks, but it’s not uncommon. New York never sleeps!


Quick Profile Interviews: A New Feature on Playerperspective you will LOVE

When I started playerperspective my thinking was that I really wanted a place where I could examine all players in sports—from publicists, to writers, bloggers, analysts, coaches, team staff, agents etc. The question was how to do it. Obviously, I write a lot about all the people involved in sports just by way of blogging and assessing everything whether its performances in games, announcing, agent actions and clients, or analyzing coaching methods and style.

But I wanted to profile people a bit more formally but not be too typical with it. So I decided to start to start sending folks questions to answer that would let us all get a better understanding, over time, about the different approaches people use to cover sports or participate in them or help others participate in them. No, sending people questions via email isn’t anything new. But what’s different for this feature is that I chose the questions based my personal knowledge of the profilee. I’m not sending everyone the same 4 questions.

I have some great features lined up already including—you know what, I won’t even say who. Because it’s not as much about “who” as much as it is about the answers and knowledge they bring to the table. And I think you will see a lot of good stuff in these profile interviews (that’s what I’m calling them for now!).

I’m excited about this and I have 3 profiles already ready to go starting tomorrow. Woot woot

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