For most people, a typical day on the job wouldn’t consist of a man pulling a beer out of his pants while being interviewed about sports trivia, but for content creators Joe Felix and Carter Stumpf, this is just another day in the office. 

It’s 9 p.m. when Felix and Stumpf pull into a dark and quiet parking deck in Athens, Georgia to begin their preparations for the night ahead. The average person would use the hours before an oncoming storm to hunker down with blankets, flashlights and spare batteries. For Felix and Stumpf, they have their own methods for this precious time in the calm before the chaos.

In place of safety measures, they rattle off sports questions. Their spare batteries and provisions are replaced by a camera and a tripod bag, and the tornado barreling towards them comes in the form of drunk college students stumbling through the streets.

The storm they are preparing for is an unconventional one. This storm is a typical Thursday night in downtown Athens. High heels walk alongside dirty sneakers and the yells of, “go home dude!” and “you need some water bro!” are accompanied by flamboyant costumes, Mardi Gras attire and semi formal clothing.

At the eye of it all is Joe Felix and Carter Stumpf.

It is 11 p.m. when Felix unlocks the legs of his tripod. The microphone is connected and ready to go, and Stumpf mounts the camera in place. By 11:15 p.m. the scene is officially set, and it is time for another night of Sports Trivia in Downtown Athens. 

 

Getting Started

Felix and Stumpf have been friends since they were 3 years old, attending daycare together and eventually working at EventWorks, an event rentals and wedding company in Atlanta, Georgia.

After two years, the pair decided to say no more to manual labor and try social media. They spend their time attending different sporting events, such as Atlanta Hawks games, and southeastern schools such as Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State and Miami.

However, they find that their best success comes from the videos they take in Athens, Georgia, despite the two attending separate colleges with Felix at Georgia Tech and Stumpf at Kennesaw State.

 Why It’s Newsworthy: “Man on the Street” Interviews have become a staple of social media platforms, such as Tik Tok, with places like Athens, Georgia becoming a hub for Content Creators like Joe Felix and Carter Stumpf. 

The concept of sports trivia downtown began a year and a half ago with pure luck when Felix was approached by a group of guys wanting to be in a video. Felix had planned to spend the night with a friend downtown and experience what life as a content creator was like. He certainly hadn’t expected to start his own journey with social media.

“Well, I don’t know much about anything, but I can ask you a couple of NFL questions,” Felix told the group.

To his shock the video took off on TikTok and continued to grow.

Man on the Street

“Man on the Street” interviews are not a new concept. People have been conducting street-side interviews with cameras and microphones since they were first able to be packed up and taken outside. This format may have started as a way for cable and network news stations to cover breaking news and weather reports on the scene, but it has developed into a phenomenon that has quickly become a staple across social media platforms such as TikTok.

These interviews have become a way for ordinary people to go viral overnight and capture authentic and spontaneous interactions with real people in their everyday lives, providing a look into the thoughts, opinions and experiences of a multitude of people just like us while connecting with diverse populations from all over the globe. 

“We want to create opportunities and publicity for people to enjoy sports as much as we do. It is a dream that we think we are getting closer to achieving every day,” said Stumpf. 

The camera captures Joe Felix as he interviews two UGA students about Sports Trivia in Downtown Athens. (Photo/Saylor Williams)

Growing a Platform

Stumpf has been dubbed “camera man” by Joe Felix, who has partnered with him to grow their respective presences on social media. One reason the two have gained popularity so fast is by doing just as Carter said: catering to their audience.

Not only did Joe provide questions that people wanted to answer, but he also grew a space with a larger meaning than just sports trivia. 

Fola Olujuyigbe is a student at the University of Georgia who appeared in one of Joe’s viral videos racking up an impressive 2.8 million views. 

“(This idea) is a great way to show that women can contribute to so many male-dominated fields, especially sports,” Olujuyigbe said.  

It is because of these tactics that in just a little over a year and a half, Joe has managed to gain over a million followers on his TikTok page and make a name for himself in the Athens downtown area. Where, in spite of the flow of liquor and stumbling feet, most passersby know exactly who he is, calling out his name, begging for the chance to appear in one of his videos. 

At 12:45 a.m, random people yell “Joe Felix! Joe Felix!” and Felix and Carter begin to pack up their equipment. “Next Thursday I’ll be there,” promised an eager young man as he stumbled past. “I’ll make you look good; I’ll make me look good.” 

As he zipped up his tripod bag, Joe laughed and shook his head, assuring the concerned young man he would be back next Thursday. 

 

Saylor Williams is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in film studies.  

 

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