On Leslie Nielsen and BobbyBoswell.com
Dan Steinberg here. And this isn't about college basketball.
So it was a big night for parties last night. First was ROCK THE HILL, a welcome to the 110th Congress featuring Leslie Nielsen, the Stanley Cup and award-winning country artists Emerson Drive, sponsored by the Canadian Embassy, taking place at The Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, and starring a lot of young Hill staffers wearing bow ties. With all the criticism of my TV attire and/or fedora, I shouldn't go here, but do Congressional offices pass out bow ties to their most tousled hair male staffers during orientation or something? At one point I said something extremely, profanely non-complimentary about bow ties, and it turned out a bow tie wearer was standing directly behind me.
Anyhow, the Reliable Source was there, with video camera, although one of the Reliable Sourcers refused to appear on camera with us, us being myself and producer Adam Littlefield from Comcast SportsyNet. So we wandered around, stared at the Stanley Cup and at the people hugging and posing with the Stanley Cup, watched the guy in the cowboy hat playing the violin, and ate cookies bearing the Canadian flag's emblem.
"It's a good one, eh?" Philip Pritchard said of the cookies, Philip Pritchard being the guy from the Hockey Hall of Fame with the white gloves who's traveled around with the Cup for 19 years and has probably suffered through thousands of dumb interviews like the one we conducted last night. He was being plied with bottles of Molson while we chatted. I was still sort of trying to figure out what had brought the Cup, Emerson Drive and Leslie Nielsen to the Hill; "to do an event on Canada you've got to obviously have hockey involved somehow," Phil said, which explained one-third of the guest attractions.
Phil said he'd noticed Bruins and Pens fans coming up to search for their team's name on the Cup. I asked about Caps fans.
"Well, they're searching still," he said.
I asked about all the smudge prints from all the grubby-handed staffers who were touching the Cup; "Yeah, I know, and I've got to clean it tonight," Phil said. "That's ok. They're having fun."
I asked whether this was the best party the Cup had attended, and Phil instead mentioned some sort of sauna party on the Baltic Sea featuring Jere Lehtinen and, I'm guessing, some assorted friends. "It was pretty cool," Phil said. "Why?" I asked. "You can't write those parts," Phil said.
Anyhow, we left the Cup with the staffers and went out in the lobby, where young people were clustered around Leslie Nielsen, taking picture after picture. A very nice PR person arranged for us to have an interview, during which Leslie Nielsen displayed a keen appreciation for the double entendre, and made a lot of references that soared over my head. Littles, being a TV person, naturally asked an O.J. Simpson question. Nielsen countered by asking us how far it was from D.C. to Denver. I'm telling you, it was all quite weird.
Plug alert: Tune in tonight from 5-6:30 on Comcast SportsyNet to watch more of Leslie Nielsen and the Stanley Cup! Make sure you have plenty of soda, chips and arsenic to increase your viewing pleasure!
Then we encountered some people outside the party who were insisting that the Cup we had seen was fake, and also that we had probably just interviewed a fake Leslie Nielsen. One of the guys gave me his badge. It said "Claudio Felix." We also got gift bags, featuring maple syrup, hockey pucks, a compressed Canadian t-shirt that say "We've Got Your Back," a squeeze cow that says "Udderly Canadian," a CD from the 2007 JUNO awards, Canadian GovernMints and a chocolate bar that says "America, where do you get all that energy? Canada is your #1 supplier." Oh, and a map showing U.S.-Canada trade routes and a card promoting MeetMeAtTheBorder.com.
So I took a gift bag to give to Bobby Boswell, the D.C. United defender who was throwing a launch party for Bobby Boswell.com last night at Play Lounge, or Play Club, or Play Ball, or whatever it's called on Connecticut Ave. We got there at 8:30. Inside, there was a guy with a cigarette in his mouth who told us the club was closed. Then another guy arrived, figured we were the party planners, and asked what we had planned.
Then we went outside, interviewed somewhat tipsy folks from nearby bars who had never heard of Bobby, interviewed midfielder Devon McTavish who said he'd looked at Bobby's site but hadn't read any of the words, heard rumors that Brian Sutherby of the Caps and Antonella Barba might be appearing, and met Leslie Deak, who has known Bobby since he was 7 because he was teammates with her younger brother on the Carrollwood Lightning.
Leslie actually roomed with Bobby's mom during a trip to South Africa, and Bobby's mom, Bog friend Susan Boswell, e-mailed her to let her know about last night's party. I figured she's have hilarious stories from Bobby's youth; instead, she said things like "Bobby's a great guy and I really wish him luck," and also things like "Oh this is so dorky, I can't believe I'm being quoted." Then she asked to go off the record. Classic Washington interview.
We also interviewed a fair number of D.C. United fans who offered their reasons for coming out to a club on a Tuesday night for a Web site launch party.
"Because he's hot," said DCU fan Jenny McCarthy (really).
"Because we think Bobby's the greatest soccer player in the world," said Danielle Heiberg, who was joking. "He's gonna give David Beckham a run for his money. In the looks department, definitely. And hopefully he'll get someone a little less plastic as his wife. Did I just dis Posh Spice?"
Yup. The word was 450 people had RSVP'd for a club that holds 200 people, although we left way before the cool kids had come out. We did see representatives from several blogs: D.C. Sports Chick, 1/2 Asian Man, As Smooth as Sandpaper, Just a Nats Fan, Wings for Wheels, and The Far Post, many of which have party summaries that are worth reading, inasmuch as they actually stayed for the party. Please go here, at a minimum, to see professional soccer player Bryan Arguez dancing. And go here to see Bobby's wardrobe, which proves he'd be a better bet for a television career than some shlubby blogger.
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