When it comes to the NBA
finals there’s no shortage of trash talk. Of course, the cries of “Kobe’s
a crybaby” and “Pierce is a faker” extend far beyond the arenas
where the games are played to pubs, dorms, offices and the vast number of
online getaways across the Web.
Basketball fans love their teams.
But in one instance Cupid
has apparently kicked aside the Celtic’s famed Leprechaun, and brought two
rival fans together. John Madden and Lizzie Walters met last month on WooMe,
the online speed-dating site I wrote about last year, that features video and
voice chat sessions. She’s the diehard Celtics fan from New York (go figure),
he’s the diehard Lakers fan (who once worked at the Lakers’ Staples Center arena).
The playoffs were just
beginning, but as the long distance, online relationship grew, John threw out a
crazy idea to Lizzie: If the Celtics/Lakers made it to the finals and she flew
out to L.A., he would get them tickets to a game. Well move over Jack Nicholson
and Will Smith, coz that’s just what happened. The two rival basketball fans
are slated to finally meet in person this Sunday in L.A. for what could be the
deciding game in the series (the C’s are up 3 games to 1).
“This is more than a
blind date, we’re already pretty comfortable with one another,” said John.
“It’s a great site to
interact with people because it takes away some of the uncomfortable aspects of
meeting someone for the first time,” Lizzie said. “But it still has a
date feel, we’ve had fun.”
There are no expectations
beyond the game, though Lizzie said she expects John to “buy the drinks
after the Celtics win.” She flies back to New York Tuesday.
WooMe CEO Stephen Stokols
said the site’s generated plenty of offbeat stories related to online
introductions. “We’re calling it an introduction platform,” he said,
noting WooMe is not just for dating. For example a lot of people are using it
for travel planning and looking for car pool partners. In addition to
information in your profile, you can name a session related to your interests — e.g. Dinner in Des Moines?
Stokols said the site’s
doing great, and investor’s seem to recognize its potential; WooMe just
announced $12.5 million in Series B funding.