by Marcus A. Williams
Sunday’s OT Magazine Athletes Ball & Game Watch Party. The media alert said it would be co-hosted by the Hip-Hop Caucus and athletes such as Santana Moss and Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins and Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys. It sounded like it would be a great event.
According to the D.C.-based WKYS 93.9 radio station, the line for the ball was “wrapped around the corner” of Ultra Bar in downtown Washington, D.C., and the inside was “packed from wall-to-wall.”
Well, that turned out to be a lie.
The truth is that there were only four people in front of Ultra Bar during the second quarter of the NFC Championship game between the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. The “crowd” outside the bar was actually a small group of bar employees, rather than patrons.
As for the inside, well, “packed wall-to-wall” … not quite. It was more like 15 average Joes who decided to go to the bar and watch the game as an opportunity to get a break from their nagging girlfriends or wives.
Several touchdowns later, not much had changed. The station that touted itself as the “Obama Station” did five hours of marketing for this event and still got nothing. Then we got word from a local photographer that Santana Moss had been spotted in D.C.’s Chinatown, a nearby neighborhood, eating wings at Hooters.
When we attempted to re-enter the ball, our access was quickly denied.
Why you ask? Not because it was filled to capacity—because there was still no line and there were only a few extra clubgoers in attendance as compared to earlier in the day—so the bar’s focus seems to have been on making a profit, not getting good press.
However, club promoters were still insisting “the football players are coming later on tonight.”
When asked what athletes had stopped by throughout the day, the response was silence, coupled with an awkward and dumbfounded stare.
Needless to say, an event that had the potential of being a beautiful celebration of President-elect Obama’s inauguration turned out to be none other than an overhyped hot mess.
Hopefully they can brainstorm and better strategize over the next four years.