My dominant image of Redskins TE Chris Cooley will always be the picture painted in the first paragraph of Mike Wise’s Washington Post feature on him from a few years back. I don’t want to give too much away — and it’s seriously right there in the first paragraph — but it involves Cooley hanging around in cut-off sweats on which he’s drawn the logos for AC/DC and Slayer. The piece doesn’t portray Cooley as an especially intellectual or engaged guy — he also has the logo for Poison on those sweatpants, so…yeah — but he at least came off as an exuberant meathead, as opposed to a glowering, self-important, self-defeating meathead. But I have to take my hat off to Cooley, though: the guy has figured out how to make money from blogging, which is sure more than I can say for myself. The key, according to Joseph White’s article on Cooley’s blog from USA Today: already be famous, then sell a bunch of autographed mini-helmets. GC, you’re listening, right?
“The Cooley Zone” could be described in many different ways – refreshing, entertaining, a PG-13 look inside the world of an NFL player – but two adjectives apply above all others: different and profitable.
How profitable? Cooley’s early rough estimate: $250,000 by the end of the year, much of it from sponsorships and memorabilia sales. Not bad for a Web site run entirely by three people – Cooley, his younger brother and a friend – and created with the simple goal of making enough money to send the brother to medical school.
“We’re going to way over-generate,” Cooley said. “Everything that I don’t give to my brother and my friend, I will donate to charity. I don’t have a foundation. I don’t have a cause. I don’t have something that I care about enough to spend the rest of my life having a foundation. But I feel strongly about giving back.“
Look, that’s still a better reason for having a blog than the Sports By Brooks guys have ever offered. Cooley goes on to swear that he’ll “never say anything to embarrass the Redskins.” But this bit highlighted by Jeff Johnson over at Fitted Sweats — in a post headlined “We’re Thinking Maybe You Should Wear the Helmet in the Offseason, Too, Son” — suggests that Cooley is almost certainly not going to be able to do that.
Being tax day, Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley decided to post online the check for about $86,000 he was preparing to send to the government. Naturally, he made sure to edit out his personal details.
“I posted it – but I posted the pre-edited check,” Cooley said. “Thousands of people saw my check, my home address, my account number, my routing number, everything. My brother calls me and says ‘What are you doing? I had to cancel my whole account, order new checks, do everything. It’s not like you can take it back.”