In the News
By: Steve Wyche and Jamie Dukes
By: JR Rickert and Ray Brownwell
NY Daily News
By: Manish Mehta
JetsTwit Guest Post
By: Max Strauss
Redskins’ Blog Article
By: Brian Tinsman
Sports Man Cave
By: Phillip Lentz
Extra Point Show
By: Jeff and Danny
Before the days of the Internet and cable television, running any kind of sports-journalism enterprise from a small town in Pennsylvania would have been difficult at best—if not impossible.
Luckily for Max Strauss ’12, technology has enabled him to create a fledgling football-themed blog, Pro Interviews (prointerviews.org), which features his interviews with National Football League players, from the comfort of his Mercersburg dorm room.
Since he created the site in March, Strauss has interviewed more than 35 players, ranging from rookies to former All-Pro standouts Kerry Rhodes of the Arizona Cardinals and Shawn Andrews, an offensive lineman who played for the Philadelphia Eagles. Strauss posts the interviews on the site along with pertinent biographical and statistical information for each player, and is continually updating the site as his schedule allows.
How does Strauss, who just completed his second year of high school, get in touch with NFL players? In today’s technologically savvy world, it’s easier than ever: Twitter, Skype, email, or telephone. Strauss even attended a charity event in June near his South Florida home at the invitation of Cleveland Browns safety Abram Elam (one of his interview subjects), where he met Elam along with Browns defensive end C.J. Mosley and Green Bay Packers defensive back Atari Bigby.
“Last year, I never would have dreamed of doing this,” says Strauss, who played organized football for the first time in 2009 as a lineman on the Blue Storm’s junior-varsity team, and also helped film varsity games. “It’s amazing the way the Internet connects people.”
Strauss is a fan of the New York Jets, while his father, Marc, supports the Miami Dolphins. So it’s fitting that the first NFL game Max saw in person was a 2002 Dolphins/Jets matchup at Miami’s Pro Player Stadium (now called Sun Life Stadium) with his dad.
Since then, the younger Strauss has been to at least one game each year and has spent much of the time in between talking and dissecting football online. He dreams not of becoming a sports journalist, but an NFL head coach—and, as a model, points to Browns head coach Eric Mangini, who broke into the league as a public-relations assistant in Cleveland before the first incarnation of the Browns franchise moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens. (Mangini later served as an assistant coach for three different teams before replacing Bill Parcells as head coach of Strauss’ beloved Jets in 2006. He was fired after the 2008 season but resurfaced in Cleveland less than two weeks later.)
Football is Strauss’ specialty; he says he doesn’t have much interest in baseball, and will watch a pro basketball game if it involves the Miami Heat, but otherwise it’s all-pigskin-all-the-time for his sports interests. As such, it isn’t likely that Pro Interviews will expand to athletes from other sports anytime soon. “There are 1,800 NFL players, and 600 of them are on Twitter—and I’m trying to interview them all,” Strauss says with a smile.
This summer, Strauss is spending six weeks in a summer program at Syracuse University’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Alumni of the Newhouse School include, to name a few, sportscasters Bob Costas, Dick Stockton, and Mike Tirico; Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports; and 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft. Strauss was one of 20 high school students to be selected for the course.
Article By : Lee Owen
Mercersburg Alumni Magazine Summer 2010
“Tweeting” with the Stars
Ask anyone at Mercersburg about what Max Strauss is best at, and they will tell you he loves offering his opinion on just about everything. With the creation of his new website, prointerviews.org, he is now able to express his views to National Football League (NFL) players. Using the social networking site Twitter, Strauss can ask questions of current NFL players about their daily lives.
As a lower-middler [sophomore], Strauss has done his best to fulfill his dream to work in the NFL. Last year,at his previous school in Boca Raton, Florida, Strauss took a class in television production that he says has helped him become more confident and more thorough in completing interviews. Despite having a heavy workload at Mercersburg, Strauss has been able to take the next step towards his dreams by talking to current NFL players. However, he acknowledges that although a career in the NFL would be incredible, his current goal is to show students at Mercersburg how to get in contact with their personal heroes.
The turn of the 21st century has shown advances in technology that were unimaginable in previous years. The development of Twitter, a constantly updated status feed, has allowed friends to stay in touch despite distance. Recently, celebrities and professional athletes have been using Twitter to stay in touch with fans and have quickly gained followers in the millions. This easy contact with professional athletes has allowed Strauss to talk to some of the people he admires most. However, despite society’s demand for winners, Strauss has concentrated on interviewing low drafted or un-drafted players. He feels that the drive of these players on the fringe is one of the purest emotions of sports and want to support these players by enlarging their fan base. Through back and forth communications with these verified NFL players, Strauss has been able to ask questions that deal with much more than football.
While Strauss is reluctant to ask questions about steroids, the labor agreement, or the suspension policy, he gives readers an inside view on what players in the NFL are truly like. Strauss has asked players like Darrell Reid, a member of the 2006 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts, Kerry Rhodes, an All-Pro member of the Arizona Cardinals, and Albert Young, a running back for the 2009 NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings, questions about everything from their favorite television show to their favorite memory in the NFL. However, as Strauss will admit, his favorite question for the athletes is about the advice they would give to aspiring players. Through the creation of this site, a side of NFL players that is normally kept hidden is now available for the general public to see.
Over the past few weeks, Strauss has added five interviews to his website and plans to add many more over the weeks ahead. With over a thousand views already, Strauss is pleased with the progress he has made, but “invites everyone to check out this rare look at the NFL”. However, this driven lower-middler has some advice for everyone who has a famous role model: “Use whatever inspires you to connect to a role model and take advantage of every aspect of their lifestyle. Twitter gives our generation a chance to connect to those who we could only see on television. The relationships that we build now will be immensely helpful in the future.” So, if it’s a Sunday afternoon fifteen years from now, you flip to an NFL game and Max Strauss is standing on the sideline, don’t be surprised. And remember, his favorite television show is C.S.I. Miami.
Article By : Aric DiLalla
Sports Editor of The Mercersburg News.