My Blogapalooza Experience: Raj Prashad
It is very difficult to put into words what exactly Boston Sports Blogapalooza means to me.
Originally, I thought Blogapalooza would be a great opportunity to finally meet the BST&N family, as well as network with a few other sports fanatics like myself. When Joe Gill, the mind behind the event, asked me to be a part of the Celtics panel, I severely underestimated what exactly he could put together.
Well over 100 people showed up representing areas all over the East Coast. West End Johnnies seemed to be the perfect venue with the right combination of drinks, great people, and Boston sports. It was amazing to me how a group of people from up-and-running bloggers, like the guys over at Boston Sports Rant, could mesh so well with the likes of established media personalities, such as Mike Reiss and A. Sherrod Blakely.
This was my first Blogapalooza event and I am thrilled to have been a part of it, even if it meant making the long trek from Atlanta. I finally met Carl Desberg and Joe Gill, the guys who brought me on with BST&N and helped me adjust during the first months. I was also able to meet Jon Fucile and Will Woodward, the other mainstays from the site. All four are stand up guys and I couldn’t be happier writing with them.
After meeting the four and getting ready for the doors to open I took a minute to take everything in. Joe worked for months to set up the huge event, complete with a silent auction, raffle, and live music as sports fans and media personalities entered the spacious location.
Right as the event began, Carl introduced me to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss. I have met a decent amount of media members since I started writing over the last year and I can honestly say Reiss was the most down to earth, humble person I have ever met. Reiss took time away from his vacation to speak with whoever would listen to him. His conversations ranged from what was going on with the Patriots to what and where we, the fans, read our sports news. He was easy going and wouldn’t refuse to take a picture with anyone. Before leaving he sought me out and wished me a safe trip back to Atlanta. Honestly I can’t say enough about how great of a guy he is.
As the event grew on, I was finally able to meet A. Sherrod Blakely, the Celtic’s correspondent from CSNNE.com. I had been a huge fan of his since he started covering the Celtics and was looking forward to meeting him. Blakely took time out of his schedule to come to Palooza and speak with the many Celtics fans that look up to and respect him. Blakely spoke about any offseason moves the C’s might make, to what he thinks about the lockout, and even about how aspiring journalists could advance in the profession. He went on to discuss what I could do to intern with CSNNE.com next summer and exchanged business cards to help me with the process.
Being a part of the Celtics panel that afternoon was just icing on the cake. It was a great experience to be talking to a crowd of people next to such respected media members as Blakey, Jessica Camerato (CSNNE.com) , and John Karalis (RedsArmy.com). We thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the panel and shared a laugh or two before being done for the day.
All-in-all Blogapalooza was a very humbling experience. Without Joe Gill and the great event he puts on I might not have ever made the connections, thus opening the window for my future.