Wasn't sure what to expect from the Blogs with Balls conference. Was it going to be a room full of snarky dudes who think they know everything about sports, and then spend their days/nights blogging from their mother's basement, (as Raul Ibanez might say)? You know, the stat-loving guys that we here at GameFace try to steer away from? Sure, there was a bit of that. But overall, it was an extremely cool event. The programming was well thought out and the speakers were impressive ... the place was constantly buzzing (mostly because I think bloggers are not accustomed to listening to others, but instead, love to hear themselves speak) ... and the event did provide lots of inspiration for us out there trying to bring our voices to the sports blogosphere.
>> Cool Women Panelists at an Event Dominated by Men: Kathleen Hessert of Sports Media Challenge talked about how she taught Shaq how to twitter, and that someone like Petyon Manning doesn't need twitter, really. My sister Christa, fellow Blogs with Balls attendee, interviewed Petyon and she agrees. Also loved hearing Sarah Spain of Mouthpiece Sports talk about her eBay antics ... about having thick skin ... and about staying true to your voice, no matter what others are saying all around you. And I will reiterate, I do not think Sarah is a "heinous bitch" at all, but pretty freaking cool, actually.
>> Guinness 250 Anniversary Stout Lunch: Including sliders. Mmmmmmm, sliders.
>> The Dugout Sports Show: Appearing on Glenn and Brock's radio show was a highlight, even though Glenn continues to diss my fair city of Pittsburgh!
>> Hanging out with Amanda of Play Ball!: I met Amanda a few weeks ago at the AWSM convention and was beyond impressed. She is a muckety-muck at ESPN by day, and hosts a podcast on sports with her friend (and fellow sports fanatic) Melissa. Check them out at PlayBall! (And check out their interview with Selena Roberts.)
>> Cool Male Panelists: My favorites were: Pete Vlastelica of YardBarker.com, Micah Baldwin of lijit and Learntoduck.com, Jeff Pearlman of SI.com, Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko.com (among many other things), A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin.com, Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post's D.C. Sports Blog, Amy K. Nelson of ESPN ... and of course, Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV (among many, many, many other things), who was hilarious and inspiring and made me want to CRUSH IT!
>> After-Party Sponsored by my alma-mater, GQ: Being that I used to work at GQ, this was my two worlds to coming together as one! Take one great divey sports bar, toss in a bunch of opinionated bloggers and also add a healthy dose of free beer (not to mention, chicks in matching white wigs handing out free tequla shots) — and life is good ... even for a blogger who doesn't technically have balls ... but figuratively does, for sure.