Jun 30 2010
I was a fan of SportsNation from the day I found out it was going to exist. I had always been a fan of Colin Cowherd’s radio show on ESPN radio. Then I was fortunate enough to be featured on the show’s Weird Web Stories segment for my trick shots. Now, any time I see someone that works for the show around campus I am referred to as “Barkley Guy”.
Today I was able to be part of the live studio audience. My boy Dan is interning with the show and he told me that they were having a pop a shot contest. Obviously I had to attend.
I got there 15 minutes early and they were rehearsing for the pop a shot contest. A few minutes before showtime Ric Bucher walked in to host the contest. The pop a shot expert shot blindfolded and ended up beating Michelle and Colin’s combined scores.
Jun 27 2010
Another amazing week down. It started last Sunday afternoon when I found out I’ll be on scholarship this season. I have the best parents in the world and words can’t describe the phone calls I made to them after hearing from Coach Fox.
Monday was business as usual in my cubicle in Bristol. Since my group works with EA Sports, I had been reading emails about their plans to announce Kevin Durant as the cover athlete of NBA Elite ’11 on Tuesday. My boss was out of town so I made the call to his boss in New York and convinced him to let me work out of New York City on Tuesday so I would be able to attend the launch party that night.
I got up early on Tuesday for a day in the city. I don’t know what all I can talk about so I’ll be very vague. I was able to sit in on ESPN Arcade meetings and a couple conference calls. Everything I do for my job is interesting to me. Like I said before, this is a dream job for me…Sports, Video Games, and Marketing.
Tuesday night I headed over to the Bryant Park Hotel for the NBA Elite open house. There were TVs everywhere with either NBA Elite for Xbox or NBA Jam for the Wii, plenty of food, and pretty much everything else you could think of.
I took it all in for a few minutes before deciding to play NBA Jam. I picked up a controller and someone walked over and asked if I want to play. The someone was Brandon Jennings. He ended up destroying me. It made me feel better when he blasted Kevin Durant later in the night.
The place was full of other NBA players/future NBA players. Guys I saw were: Kevin Durant, Stephen and Seth Curry, Brandon Jennings, Wes Johnson, Ed Davis, John Wall, and Demarcus Cousins. The rapper J. Cole was also in attendance.
I talked with Steph Curry about our days in the SoCon together. I usually didn’t guard him unless I picked him up in transition but he was almost always guarding me when we played Davidson. He’s a class act and its been fun to watch him in the league.
I had a pretty serious case of word vomit when I saw Demarcus Cousins walk in. As he walked past me he dapped me up and the words just spewed out of my mouth: “My boy Travis says Whatup.”
Demarcus: “Cool tell him hey for me.”
Me: “I play for Georgia so I ‘m good friends with Travis Leslie.”
You should have seen the look on his face when he realized which Travis I was talking about (Click the link if you don’t know which Travis I’m talking about). I don’t think he cared too much. He had other things on his mind, such as getting ready to be drafted 5th overall. John Wall told me later in the night that the team didn’t let Demarcus live that moment down for the whole season.
For the rest of the night I mingled with some of the EA Sports marketers and developers as well as my man Lang Whitaker (Executive editor of SLAM magazine) and Aron Philips (Associate editor of Dime magazine).
I was back in Bristol, CT for the rest of the week. Thursday, Seth Meyers, the host of the ESPY’s, was on campus. He was the guest for ESPN’s Newsmaker lunch, an off the record question and answer session. I’ve always been a fan of his and it was great to be able to attend something like that.
Saturday I was able to take in a few hours of the PGA Tour event in Hartford, the Travelers Championship, before watching the USA-Ghana match. There were 6 or 7 interns in my living room watching the game but the reaction to Landon Donovon’s goal rivaled some of the reactions in this amazing video.
Its now Sunday evening and I’m getting ready to head to a local high school for another night of pickup basketball. There’s a pretty competitive group of guys that gets together 3 times a week up here in Bristol.
Check out some pictures from my summer by clicking on this pic below:
Jun 19 2010
I made it back from an amazing trip to NYC on Thursday night. I had a great time working in our offices there. The first day there I went to lunch with an account executive in the affiliate sales department so I could learn about that aspect of ESPN. After lunch eating lunch at Bryant park I headed down the street to the building that my group works out of. There was an empty cubicle so I set up shop there. I got to sit in on some meetings about social media and another about the ESPN3/Microsoft deal.
Outside of work, I was able to see some friends who are now interning/working in the city and I got to go to the Yankees-Phillies world series rematch. Another hightlight was stopping by the Dime Magazine offices. It was really cool to get a behind the scenes look at a hoops magazine like that.
This didn’t happen in New York but now that its the weekend I finally had time to put it up. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Jev Valles:
Jun 15 2010
I was on the verge of my most epic fail of the year before everything fell into place. I’m writing this from the train into New York City.
7:00 AM: wake up, shower, pack
8:00 AM: drive to Dunkin Donuts
8:03 AM: look down to see a big glob of chocolate frosting on my shirt one donut in (out of 3)
8:04 – 8:45AM: Sing alongs in the car. Ya boy was rocking out. I hope my fellow drivers enjoyed the show.
8:45 AM: Arrive in New Haven to a slew of FULL parking decks and parking lots.
8:47 AM: Ran a red light. I swear the yellow lights last a half second up here.
8:49 AM: Ran another red light. I swear the yellow lights last a half second up here.
8:50 AM: Cop with lights on is fast approaching from the rear. You gotta be kidding me!!!! He gets 3 car lengths behind me and turns the siren on and blows through the intersection.
8:52 AM: pull up to a parking deck and hear a huge thud on my roof and see a sign that’s telling me the max clearance is 6’0″. I have to reverse out of the deck. Thankfully nobody is behind me.
8:55 AM: Spend 10 minutes driving around a parking deck before finding a spot.
9:07 AM: Hit up Walgreens in downtown New Haven to buy some Tide to go. The lady at the register was trying not to laugh as she stared directly at my stained shirt like I was in that Tide commercial with the yelling mustard stain. She gave me directions to the train station.
9:23 AM: purchased my train ticket
9:28 AM: board the 9:30 train from New Haven to Grand Central
9:30 AM: start looking everywhere for my stupid train ticket. Found it in a random pocket in my backpack
9:31 AM: TIDE TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9:33 AM: Where did I put my train ticket again????
9:34 AM: Realize that the really loud ladies in front of me could be on this SNL skit
9:36 AM: Train lady is checking tickets. “Hang on a second I JUST had it in my hand.” Found it in a random pocket in my backpack.
9:37 AM: Start blogging on my phone.
Jun 14 2010
I’ve been working at The Worldwide Leader in Sports for a little over a week now and I’m loving every second of it. I’ve been given two titles. Depending on who’s asking I am either a “Digital Media Integration Specialist” or an “Interactive Games Intern”. My group gets to work with some awesome companies like EA Sports and Microsoft as well as numerous other groups at the company and I’ve been getting priceless experience. My boss and I are the only ones that work in Bristol, CT and the rest of the team works out of NYC. I’ll be making the trip to New York to work out of the offices there for a couple days this week.
This internship really is the perfect thing for me. It combines my major (Marketing), with a hobby of mine (Video games), with my passion (Sports). Dream Job.
June 3rd was my first day and I wanted to make a good impression. I got to work a early only to realize that it would probably not be the best idea to start working on what my boss had recommended. I was supposed to be playing Facebook games and games on ESPN.com/arcade to get familiarized with what the team was working on. I started thinking about it and decided to just check out ESPN.com instead of play games. I’m trying to impress people here and showing up early to play Facebook games doesn’t seem like it would be a great way to show you’re a hard worker…
Another reason I didn’t want to play games ASAP was because of this clip from the movie Rocketman.
I’ve been working on a number of projects including the ESPN Arcade Facebook and Twitter pages. There’s something awesome going on here all the time. The World Cup is obviously a HUGE deal here at ESPN. The A Team was on campus on Friday so Liam Neeson and Rampage Jackson were out on the basketball court taking pictures in front of the A Team van. Jared Dudley was on campus for a couple days last week and Carlos Boozer also stopped by.
The living arrangements are perfect. They put us up in townhouses in downtown Hartford. I basically leave my bedroom for work around 8 and then don’t go back until right before bed. There are around 40 ESPN interns in the same complex and we’re always hanging out in someone’s living room playing the new FIFA World Cup video game, watching the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals, botched perfect games, etc…Outside of playing college basketball at the best university in the world, this is the coolest thing I’ve been a part of.
Speaking of basketball, my boss is Mike Bucklin, a former UGA bball player and brother of the legendary Matt Bucklin. He organizes a pretty competitive pickup game that goes on 3 nights a week and I’ve been lifting weights at a fitness center in downtown Hartford as well as the fitness center on campus at ESPN. The first weekend we were in Hartford a group of interns and I went on an excursion to find a basketball court to hoop on. We rolled up 15 deep in one of the rougher areas of Hartford. You should have seen the look on our opponents faces. My team ended up going 3-1 with a fluke loss.
Time to get back to work. Check back in the next couple days for another update.