By Jonah Rosenbaum
Jack Davis â10 was interning for the edgy cable sports talk show “The Best Damn Sports Show Period,” when he met Sam Katz, then a sophomore at University of California, Irvine.
The exposure to so many high level athletes and his own love and passion for sports inspired Katz to start his own sports website, and scoutingthesports.com was born. After Katz finished working with Davis at Best Damn, he was impressed enough to offer him a position on the site. Davis was intrigued at the idea of taking on a role for the site, but was admittedly somewhat skeptical.
“It sounded like a good idea, but I really had no idea that it would become what it did. I figured it would get like 100 hits a day, and be a cool way to express my knowledge and love for sports,” Davis said. Davis jumped aboard. At first, 100 hits a day would have been a dream, and even 50 would have been taken with open arms.
“We got about 10 hits a day, and like eight of them were me and Sam,” Davis said. The site grew slowly, and expanded from articles to mock drafts to power rankings to rumors. Katz got a friend to revamp the design of the site, and he and Davis reached out to young talented sports writers, and hired writers to cover basketball, baseball, football, and hockey.
What came next, marked the turning point for scoutingthesports. Davis and Katz realized that the internet was flooded with aspiring sports writers preaching their opinions on blogs, and that they needed something unique to separate them from the pack. Katz reached out to the athletes he had gotten to know while working for a sports agency the previous summer, and asked them to blog for scoutingthesports. Many quickly brushed his requests aside, but not all. Three athletes agreed to blog, a number that has since rapidly expanded. Among those who agreed were Boston College defensive linemen B.J. Raji, and Louisville center EricWood. Three weeks and several blog posts later, the Green Bay Packers made Raji the ninth overall pick in the NFL draft, and 15 picks later the Buffalo Bills selected Wood. Eight other bloggers were drafted, and all have posted blogs both before and after the draft, as they adjust to life with their new teams. After the draft traffic to the website rapidly increased, something Davis and Katz hope only grows more and more as scoutingthesports athlete bloggers become NFL stars.
“We have incredibly high hopes for the site,” Davis said. “We really think the sky is the limit and that STS has a real niche in the sporting world.”