By Jack Davis
As a little kid my dream in life was to be the next Michael Jordan, but by the time I was 8 years old, I realized that was probably not going to happen. So I decided to settle on just being a mediocre NBA player. And hey, if that didnât work out, I could always go pro in baseball or football, maybe even golf. It wasnât until 4th grade when I didnât make the “A” team for football or basketball at John Thomas Dye, that I realized being a professional athlete was probably out of reach for me.
But my love for sports and my desire to be involved with professional sports in some way did not diminish. That desire led me to an internship at the Best Damn Sports Show on FOX Sports in the summer of 2007, where I thought I would be able to fulfill my dream of working and interacting with professional athletes. However since I was only an intern, “working” with athletes usually meant getting them coffee, water or food. And I never really got a chance to interact with any of them, as I was most often dismissed as just a runner.
Little did I know at the time, was that at Best Damn I would make a connection that really would eventually fulfill my dreams of working and interacting with professional athletes on a daily basis, but this connection wasnât with any athlete I met at FOX Sports, but rather a 5â6 110 pound white Jewish kid from the valley.
When I met Sam Katz he was a sophomore at UC Irvine, and like me, had longed dreamed of working with professional athletes. Sam and I spent that summer working at Best Damn, trading stories of how one day we would take over the sports world.
About a month after I finished working at Best Damn while I was preparing for my sophomore year at Harvard-Westlake, I got a call from Sam. He was starting up a sports website and wanted me to be a part of it. Sam was a friend, so I joined on, but really didnât expect the site to ever evolve to anything more than a place where we could express our thoughts on sports.
For the first year, Scoutingthesports was exactly that. The only hits our stories got were probably from each other and the site layout was awful. But in our second year, things started to change. Sam brought in a friend, Kenny Bradley, to redo the layout of the site into something far more respectable. Then we started linking articles every day so there was always something new up on the site. Then in December, we got out big break. After working at a sports agency the previous summer, Sam had made some connections with college football players. He was able to convince three of them to blog for scoutingthesports. The addition of athlete blogs gave scoutingthesports a unique feel and something no other site had and our hit totals started rapidly booming. The expansion of the site helped invigorate me, and I began taking a more active role in the site as vice-president of scoutingthesports.com. As vice-president, I not only started bringing in athlete bloggers of my own, but started talking to and interacting with all scoutingthesports athlete bloggers.
At first, it was a little surreal to be hanging out with pro athletes that I had been idolizing on the field. The first time I spent time with some of our athletes, I was nervous and quiet and didnât really know how to talk to them. But after a while, I realized most of these guys are no different than you or me. Scoutingthesports mainly deals with either college athletes or rookies, so Iâm only three or four years apart from them. Despite the fact that while Iâm in college Iâll be spending my weeknights working on term papers and they sometimes spent their weeknights playing in front of millions of people on ESPN, all of our athletes are really down to earth, and treated me with the same respect they would treat anybody.
Being a part of the scoutingthesports.com team has been a dream come true for me, as even though I spend roughly three hours a night working on the site in some way, it doesnât feel like work. Iâm doing what I love and the same goes for every member of the scoutingthesports.com team.