Friday, September 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Sports fans, you may already know Eric Drobny

By
From page B1 | December 02, 2012 |

DHS graduate Eric Drobny stands near a picture of Bill Walton at his office at Bleacher Report. Courtesy photo

If you happen to be one of the millions of American sports fans with a Bleacher Report app on your cell phone, you already know Eric Drobny.

What? The name Drobny doesn’t ring a bell? He’s a 2004 graduate of Davis High. A lifelong sports fan. A pretty good athlete himself. And now a prolific tweeter and supplier of all things sports.

You see, when your B/R message comes in — “Mets Sign David Wright Long-Term” — the alert could have come from former local kid Drobny. He’s been one of that site’s key online editors since August 2010.

“We have a popular app … (it’s) my job to send out push notifications (text alerts),” Drobny told The Enterprise over lunch this week across the street from Bleacher Report’s Kearney Street digs in San Francisco.

“Say you’re a Giants’ fan. You subscribe to what’s called Team Stream. We take stuff from all over the web, television, radio and our own writers … it’s a mix that our clients get: Here’s what our guys think … here’s what everybody else thinks.”

Bleacher Report — the 2007 brainchild of four Atherton sports-freak friends — is a performance-enhanced ESPN.

Drobny’s home office employs 50 onsite editors among its 100 paid staffers. Another bazillon contributors surface from around the country.

Drobny’s work is to follow literally hundreds of sports stories and glean the top information to post on B/R’s website or channel for a phalanx of subscribers.

Bleacher Report’s headquarters consume two floors of a 130-year-old building in the heart of The City. Three giant rooms house more than 35 flat-screen TVs, more than 100 computer-occupied work stations and meeting rooms named after sports figures ranging from Charles Barkley to Tim Lincecum to soccer icon Pele. (This year, someone pasted Vogelsong over the Lincecum Room nameplate.)

Bleacher Report was purchased last summer — for a reported $200 million — by Turner Broadcasting System. The marriage hooked B/R up with access to HBO and Time Warner for outreach and revenue streams.

“It’s given us a lot of new opportunities,” Drobny explains of the takeover. “We didn’t have that kind of ability to market before … it was all kind of word of mouth.”

When Bleacher Report started, the Atherton quartet scrambled for content and accepted blogs and articles from almost anyone.

While Drobny says Bleacher Report remains a terrific starting point for many writers, contributors are now “rated and stacked” according to individual ability and importance of subject matter. Drobny says there is a commitment to solid editing and paying top contributors to remain in the fold.

Bleacher Report has evolved into one-stop shopping for sports fans.

Drobny’s journey from Davis to his train-station-busy desk was circuitous.

The son of Paul and Catherine Drobny of Davis, Eric was a member of the Blue Devil 2004 Sac-Joaquin Section baseball championship squad and also played club soccer and some basketball.

After graduation, he moved to Hungary.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could go off and do it,” he explains, adding that his dad’s side of the family has Czech lineage, but there were no jobs teaching English in the Czech Republic, so he wound up in Hungary.

“If I could survive in a random country where I didn’t know the language, or anybody, I’d have no problem here.”

Apparently, he was right.

Returning to the United States, he wound up attending college in San Francisco, volunteered for AmericaCorps and began working at Leadership High School in The City.

Despite charting a study course in history, Drobny says he remained a huge sports fan. Writing was second nature to him and “I’ve already read a lot.” He stayed connected to sports by coaching baseball and basketball at Leadership and playing softball and soccer in local leagues. He also played pickup basketball and worked in the Junior Giants program.

Did he always know his career would be in sports?

“I think so, but it wasn’t conscious,” Drobny explains. “Sports have been the only constant in my life; the only thing that I’ve always enjoyed and always been into.”

Drobny is delighted that he hooked up with Bleacher Report.

“Writing, coaching, reading, journalism … I was trying to figure out how to put it all together in sports,” he adds. “I knew I wasn’t going to take a traditional journalist’s route with the emerging electronic world of communication.”

He knows Bleacher Report is that perfect fit. The omen is just feet away from the man’s work station — a portrait of Big Red.

“That’s a giant mural of Bill Walton who sits right next to me every day. His game is exactly the way I always wanted to be,” Drobny says. “He was always a ‘pass-first’ guy, which … was rare for a center at that time. It’s a complete coincidence that we have this in our office, but I’ve always liked the guy.”

In his own way, Drobny has become a center of attention with “pass-first” mentality. At least when it comes to sports information.

Notes: Drobny’s married sister Emily lives in San Francisco and teaches grade school in Marin County. … Bleacher Report has a New York City office of 50 and, if B/R ever opens a London office to follow European soccer, Drobny says “I’d move there in two seconds … two seconds!” … Drobny is about to finish his master’s degree in sports management at the University of San Francisco.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Grant means new push for moving tracks out of town

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Some say council needs to reconsider MRAP

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    UC to create $250 million venture capital fund

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

     
    School district may redevelop downtown site

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    Master Gardeners share their wisdom at free workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Scots vote to stay in UK

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    France strikes Islamic State group’s depot in Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Man faces arson charge in huge California wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    DUI suspected in crash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Storyteller will draw on music, dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Woodland Healthcare offering flu shots

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Bike Path to close temporarily

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Little Free Libraries open at Montgomery

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Rabid bat found at Holmes Junior High

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Students invited to apply for Blue & White grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Telling tales, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free workout class set at library

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Explorit: Lots of ways to be a volunteer

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Sierra Club remembers longtime walker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    DHS Classes of 1954 and 1955 will hold 60th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Nonprofits can get DCN’s help

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis maps available at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Reception benefits endangered gorillas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Downtown history tour planned in October

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Sutter Farmers Market offers local goods

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Wolk applauds approval of stronger rules for olive oil

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Davis hosts its own climate change rally

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Qigong classes available for heart health

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Sick of being the bad guy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cheers and Jeers: Not the end of the rainbow

    By Our View | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Return to previous plan

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Save the ‘pine cone place’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Affirm our community values

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Project has safety risks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Learn more about Paso Fino

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Educate homeless with dogs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil volleyballers hold off Herd

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies’ new energy could be scary for Big West

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    No rest for the weary: Aggie TE Martindale busy on and off the field

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils hope the light bulb turns on at Edison

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    River Cats and Giants sign two-year deal

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Take Zona and Bama this week

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Mustangs are no match for DHS boys in water polo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    A’s slide continues as Rangers sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Awards keep coming for UC Davis retiree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    Redesigned 2015 Escalade remains breed all its own

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Carol L. Walsh

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, September 19, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Taylor Morrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Norcal Land

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Robin Garland

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Dana Hawkins

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Martha Bernauer

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Remax

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Marcelo Campos

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Bob Bockwinkel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Juan Ramirez

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    James Hanna

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    Susan von Geldern

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

    Lisa Haass

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

    First Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER24