ST. LOUIS—Area resident Denny Wetzel, 29, dedicates 60 percent of his workday to the pursuit of sports fandom, sources reported Monday.
"Cards, Blues, Rams, and Bulls—those are my teams," said Wetzel, a project manager at Energis Information Networks. "I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Pack, since I lived in Wisconsin until I was 10, but if they're playing the Rams, I'm backing Kurt and the boys, no question."
Though Wetzel estimates that three-fifths of his workday is spent on sports, he acknowledges that the figure may actually be higher.
"I start the day with coffee and the sports page, of course," Wetzel said. "Then I listen to SportsCentral AM on KFNS while eating breakfast. After touching my signed J.D. Drew baseball, I'm off to the office, where I try to squeeze in a little work between visits to ESPN.com."
Aside from a small photo of his family on his desk, Wetzel's cubicle is largely decorated with sports memorabilia, including a Green Bay Packers helmet, St. Louis Blues team pictures, and a bobble-head doll of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Albert Pujols. His desk features a state-of-the-art workstation in a hodgepodge of team colors.
Coworkers say Wetzel has smoothly integrated his fandom into his professional life. In addition to organizing office sports pools, hosting the annual Super Bowl party, and acting as commissioner of the office fantasy-baseball league, Wetzel is widely recognized as the person with whom any employee can talk sports.
"Denny is our go-to guy for helping clients develop tech-driven business-development strategies, or 'plays' as he calls them," said Don Hewson, Wetzel's supervisor at Energis. "And when it comes to sizing up the Rams' offseason personnel moves, Denny is unsurpassed."
While 60 percent of Wetzel's workday is devoted to fandom, a whopping 90 percent of his home life is devoted to sports-related pursuits.
"As soon as he gets home, it's SportsCenter during dinner, then whatever game is on," wife Julie said. "Then, it's usually an old game on ESPN Classic, or reading Sports Illustrated or the Street & Smith season-preview guides."
Wetzel said he makes an effort to devote any remaining non-sports time to his family.
"You know, we'll have some quality family time, because it's important," Wetzel said. "I'll go out and toss a ball with [son] Cameron, or huddle with Julie on the couch."
"I mean, cuddle," Wetzel added. "Cuddle with Julie."