When Athletes Go Out: Cooley and Caron Advice
Chris Cooley co-hosted this party thing last night for the movie he's co-executive producing, Ghosts Don't Exist. It was the first time I had ever been in a K Street club while an NFL player tries to raise $5,000 investment chunks from rich people interested in making an indie horror movie.
There was lots of talk of LLCs and ROIs and OTC STCs, which was about as pulse-pounding as a typical Ravens drive. And there were several moments where Chris took the mic; 'When they said, 'Do you want to executive produce our movie?' I said, 'Well, this is kind of crazy,' " Cooley told the crowd of rich people at the beginning of the night. Later, he told them he had volunteered his house to serve as the set.
There was also a fine address by another producer, James Mercurio, who began with a joke. "An Eagle, a Giant and a Cowboy jump out of a plane; who hits the ground first?" he asked the crowd. No one answered. "Who cares?" Mercurio noted.
Anyhow, after we all thought about whether we had $5k to invest into a Cooley-backed indie horror film, the lights were eventually turned down and it was just your normal gathering of TV personalities, bloggers, indie filmmakers, potential indie-film investors and NFL players hanging out on a Sunday night. Since I'm something of a newcomer to the athlete night-out scene, I asked a few notable D.C. sports personalities for advice.
1) Lay off the hard stuff.
"Everyone wants to drink a shot," Cooley explained. "Don't drink whiskey. I used to drink Jack Daniels. Bad decision. You get too filled up."
I asked for more details about the former problem, and he said it continues to be an issue, with patrons lining up to offer him a shot.
"Everyone wants to do a shot with me," he said. "I don't know if that's my image or what it is, but I can't drink shots any more, because it wound up being 20 shots. Everywhere I go, 'Do a shot with us!!!' No more. That's my tip as a pro athlete, don't do a shot. And don't dance if you're [bad] at it, because everyone watches."
To show his self control on the latter issue, Cooley stood immobile while his wife, a former Redskins cheerleader, danced in front of us and attempted to involve her husband. True to his word, there was no dancing.
As for what you should drink as a pro athlete, Cooley suggested beer, though he said he frequently drinks nothing at all when he goes out. For example, when he's at a club on a Sunday night pitching investors on indie horror films.
2) In fact, if you're feeling mature, you might want to avoid the dance floor entirely.
"If you have a table, go WAY in the back," DeShawn Stevenson advised. "When you get older, you don't want to be in the middle of the scene. The young guys do that; they want to be in the middle of the dance floor. When you get older, you just want to be different. I just want to have fun and get out of the house."
3) More dancing advice, courtesy of local sports celebrity Lindsay Czarniak: Watch out for the cell phone cameras.
"It's not always a good idea to bust a move," the WRC personality told me. "Unless you have confidence in YouTube." (Though she told me her worst YouTube moment remains calling the Caps the Craps.)
I asked whether this embeddable video age means that she longer dances in public.
"Oh, I dance," she assured me. "I like Neil Diamond. There's nothing you CAN'T do to Neil Diamond."
4) Footwear remains important, and sneakers, despite what you might have heard, are acceptable.
"Me being wild, I'll wear anything," Nick Young explained. "I try to stand out a little bit. You've got to have some bright shoes, maybe some red shoes. Sneakers are ok. It depends on who you're with. I never really wear a dressy-dress outfit to the club. I like to keep it bright red, or do a bright royal blue. I can't wear dressy shoes; I don't think I own but one pair of dress shoes, and that was my draft outfit. If I have to go to a dressy-dress casual thing, I might wear 'em, but I might wear some nice sneakers."
Young, by the way, estimated he has 80 to 100 pairs of sneakers, including just about every pair of Vans he's ever seen.
5) "Be cautious," Caron Butler said, when I asked for advice. "Really be aware of your surroundings, and know where both of the exits are."
That seemed like sound guidance, of the Plaxico Burress variety, but I wasn't sure how well it would apply to a Sunday night indie-film gathering. I explained I needed something funnier.
"Watch out for the big girl," Butler added. "Everybody knows what that means. It's true, the big girl always wants to dance with you."
January 12, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
Categories: Redskins , Weirdness , Wizards
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