Washington Redskins tight end and blogger extraordinaireChris Cooley, who has become a Hot Clicks staple thanks to an every-guy persona, chatted with SI.com's Jimmy Traina on Wednesday afternoon.
SI.com: OK, I gotta start with the penis incident. You OK with that? [Eds. Note: For those of you who don't know, Cooley accidentally posted a picture on his blog in which he was slightly exposed.]
Cooley: Yeah, dude, I don't care. The whole thing just sucked because obviously it was an accident. I was trying to get a blog post up and I was hurrying because I had to get to a game. My brother Tanner, who does the blog with me, always edits stuff really well -- but we were in a hurry. So it was an accident, but it sucked because we were both at the game all day and we didn't know it was on the site.
SI.com: Do people still give you a hard time about it?
Cooley: Only in interviews. Only people like you. But the NFL made me undergo a psychiatric evaluation. They treated it really seriously. Please. It was an accident. If I wanted to post a picture of my penis I wouldn't have been all hunched over.
SI.com: What was the result of the psychiatric evaluation?
Cooley: I don't even know, dude. I had to do a call with some lady. I thought it was gonna take two minutes, but it was like an hour. It was horrible.
SI.com: You have one of the most popular athlete blogs out there. Were you expecting that?
Cooley: As far as starting, me and Tanner just thought we could do something different and kind of interesting. When it started, I thought it was just a Web site. I didn't even know what a blog was. My brother and I just thought we could do a cooler Web site than other guys. So we started telling little stories about what was going on. And Yahoo's Shutdown Corner really helped us out. I learned what people like. And I'm not the type of person who's not upfront. I'm open about everything. We continued because everyone seemed to like it and we had a lot of fun doing it and we've enjoyed it.
SI.com: Have you gotten in trouble with anyone for anything that's been on the blog?
Cooley: Nah, but I think that's because everyone knows me and knows how I am. When I do or say something, the reaction is just "That's Chris." I know people in the Redskins organization are concerned because I have unlimited access and an arena where I can put anything I want out on it, so I'm sure people are concerned with the possibilities, but I'm not gonna embarrass anybody or give anyone a hard time. Plus, what I do on the blog usually is just about me.
SI.com: Hot Clicks recently linked to a great video that was said to be a trailer for your upcoming reality show.
Cooley: Yeah, that wasn't really a trailer. A lot of people thought it was. We talked about doing a reality show and shopping it around, so some people came and filmed some stuff. But there's not a reality show in the works. But there's a possibility that somewhere down the line it could happen. I wouldn't lie to you and tell you there's no possibility, but it's unlikely.
SI.com: One of the opening shots in the trailer is a picture of you and your wife with little clothing on in a compromising position, which caused some buzz.
Cooley: I was surprised by the reaction to that. First of all, we were not having sex. Second of all, we didn't have someone take that picture. Cameras have a 10-second delay. But she wasn't happy that the picture was filmed and the trailer opened up with that.
SI.com: One of the best videos you ever posted was your fantasy football draft from last season. None of your Redskins teammates knew how to play fantasy football. That was unbelievable.
Cooley: I know. It's unreal. No one knew how to play. What's worse is that they didn't stay up to date with their teams throughout the season. A couple of guys did, and they really enjoyed it and really had a good time because fantasy football is f---ing awesome. I mean, who wouldn't have fun playing it? But most guys didn't care and had no clue.
SI.com: Are you playing fantasy baseball this year?
Cooley: I used to. You wanna know what's actually crazy in my life? I don't have Internet in my house.
SI.com: You don't have Internet?
Cooley: At. All.
SI.com: Why not?
Cooley: I live in the boonies and I had satellite Internet and it was horrible. I couldn't get a connection. So, for two months it hasn't worked at all and I'm too lazy to fix it. So I can't really play fantasy baseball. When I have to work on the blog, I have to go to Redskins Park or my brother's house.
SI.com: Are you working on getting Internet back?
Cooley: There's no cable Internet for me. There are no cable possibilities. I tried to make contacts, I tried to ask how much I could pay or do for the company. But they won't do anything.
SI.com: You don't have Internet, yet you have more than 4,200 friends on Facebook.
Cooley: I'm gonna be honest with you. Tanner runs it. I don't even know my password. He's shown it to me and I'll give him my status updates and he'll post them. I looked through it with him one day and saw a bunch of my old friends from high school and thought, "Man, I'm a d--- for never talking to them." But it's for good networking or if you have a blog. My mom recently had a charity event for breast cancer. We ended up getting 250 guests to show up and more than 100 were from Facebook.
SI.com: So I guess you don't Twitter, either?
Cooley: I don't. Everyone thinks I'm a computer savvy guy or a technology junkie. Technology is my kryptonite. I'm horrible with it. I got the blog thing down. I can do the updates and I can do the video, but beyond that I have to work at it and it's a pain in the a-- for me. But I think I have a Twitter account. I don't know.
SI.com: I had a bunch of questions about the Internet and blogs ready for you, but now you tell me you don't have Internet.
Cooley: (Laughing) I watch the news and read the Washington Post a lot these days.
SI.com: OK, I'll improvise. Who are the funniest athletes in sports?
Cooley: Clinton Portis is so spontaneous. When you ask him to do something for you, it can be really funny. Fred Smoot is the same way. I think Jason Campbell is a funny guy. For some reason, when he's talking to me or Tanner, he's really open. But he's so straight-forward with the media. So we've gotten a lot of good feedback from Campbell. Alex Ovechkin is HILARIOUS. He's hard to get to know, but he's a good dude.
SI.com: You're a big Capitals fan. What did you think of their first-round series against the Rangers?
Cooley: Dude, that was awesome. I think that's what they needed because they were playing poorly toward the end of the season. So to have a little bit of a scare and then play hard and get back into good hockey puts them in real good shape.
SI.com: And their series with the Penguins?
Cooley: I think they're gonna start much stronger. I think they're a fantastic team, and I think it was a big change to have Jose Theodore sit down. You never know. I don't know enough about hockey, but I didn't think they played hard in Game 1 and 2, so I think they'll come out and play much harder.
SI.com: It was just announced that the Bengals are going to be featured on Hard Knocks. Thoughts?
Cooley: Seriously? Well, they're usually the highest crime-rate team in the NFL, so they'll have plenty of characters to choose from and they could have plenty of drama.
SI.com: That reminds me, another memorable blog incident was your tiff with Browns' fans after you said "I would be pissed if I got my ass shipped to Cleveland."
Cooley: I just said I didn't want to go to the Browns. It wasn't anything about the city of Cleveland. But that's the thing about blogs. Everybody can comment. And a lot of times people are really commenting on the comments. So a bunch of Cleveland fans were d---s, and at first I wasn't going to respond to it, but I got one of the most ignorant e-mails I've ever read and I published it.
I had so many things I really wanted to say, but I think I handled it in a sarcastic way and was pretty straightforward without saying too much. And if you read that post, I didn't really get much response from Cleveland after that. Honestly, what can you say if you're a Browns fan? You can say I'm a d---. What else can you say? Telling me I suck at football doesn't really hurt my feelings. And saying stuff about my wife isn't going to bother me, either. But this was just one incident, 99 percent of blog comments are good.
SI.com: Is it still cool to be married to a cheerleader?
Cooley: I think it would be so cool if she were still a cheerleader. But it's still awesome. My wife is amazing. She's so cool, she let's me do what I want to do, she loves football.
SI.com: Do women and groupies approach you more when they know you're married?
Cooley: You wanna know what? I expected there to be some sort of groupie something to be going on at the hotel, but it does not happen in NFL hotels. There aren't girls hanging around, no one is waiting around for guys. And at that point, you can't get anyone in your room. There's security on all the floors. Before I came into the league, I thought there would be something there, but there's not. That's the thing about the NFL. The road trips aren't really anything crazy. Plane rides are always fun. But we don't spend days on the road.
SI.com: Tell me a good road-trip story.
Cooley: The year we won five in a row at the end of the season to make the playoffs, we played the Rams in St. Louis, and that morning six or seven of us had a bacon-eating contest. I had 39 pieces of bacon. And dude, if you've ever been to St. Louis, the bacon is UNBELIEVABLE. It's mandatory to eat bacon in St. Louis. It's amazing. Anyway, we won the game, and it was the best game I played all year. I felt like s---, but I had seven or eight catches.
SI.com: Let's get back to women for a second. If I put you in charge of Hot Clicks, which celebrity would we see in the lead photo?
Cooley: Let me think, because you go through different cycles. I just had one I was talking about the other day. Who's the Mormon girl on Dancing with the Stars?
SI.com: Julianne Hough.
Cooley: Yeah, she's smokin'. Or, actually, you know what picture I would want up, to be honest with you? Megan Fox in Transformers looking under the car hood.
SI.com: We can do that. Last question. You guys have mini-camp coming up and before you know, it'll be time for training camp. As a veteran, do you despise camp?
Cooley: I don't dislike training camp. It gets easier and easier. The only thing I don't like about it is there's so much enthusiasm from so many young players. We have like 40 rookies in camp and they have so much enthusiasm about being part of the team, and everyone's so excited and they play so hard, and to me it's like "F--- guys, it's just a practice."