He's a CNBC sports business superstar, but Darren Rovell is also big-time stalkee–more than 175,000 people shadow him on Twitter, craving his morsels about athletes' numbers, blunders, and dollars.
I caught up to Rovell at his "tweet-up," a makeshift event held Wednesday night at the Tomlinson Taproom upstairs at Indy's downtown City Market (222 E. Market St.). Naturally, he was 45 minutes late–this is a man in demand. So I sampled the spicy breaded-catfish bites that Papa Roux's Art Bouvier was handing out to antsy comers, sipped on the Malus from local Sun King Brewery–praised by Sports Illustrated's Peter King this week–and waited with a couple chums.
Once he arrived, Rovell himself heaped praises on Indianapolis, marveling at how compact the downtown is (as he had before–via Twitter, of course) and saying, "The people here really want it. I don't think they could say that in previous Super Bowl cities." Asked to expound on that, Rovell noted how the "North Texas" Super Bowl last year was variously considered to be in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. "Those cities are an hour apart," he said. Conversely, as he said on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" show this morning, "Indianapolis is eight blocks wide." (Note: He jokes. He kids. He's been here 10 times previously, basically in-and-out operations for NCAA basketball Final Fours.)
Tweeting up a storm even during his own scheduled gathering, where he himself was the man of the hour, Rovell sometimes couldn't pry his eyes off of his smartphone. "This is my cocaine," he said. That's when his CNBC show producer, Karen Stern, stepped in, pulling him to and fro to meet eager young social media types, some of them the local Twitter titans involved with the exceedingly successful #Social46 group. (Disclosure: I am one of those 46, though I wouldn't say "titan.")
One last thing: Rovell is a man of his word. He said he was heading to a St. Elmo shrimp cocktail sampling outside the steakhouse in the 11 o'clock hour. And that's just what he did–as evidenced here by photo exhibits A and B.
Everything this guy does is probably planned, and not in a bad way. He has his fun.
You can follow Rovell on Twitter here, and his producer Karen Stern is here. Both are well worth your stalking. In fact, they invite it.
Photos of Rovell at St. Elmo Steak House courtesy of his Twitter page