I want to just give a few quick shout outs to the people who made me this way.
My mom. She’s a die hard Mets and Giants fan. I’m talking about a woman who yells at the TV and really dislikes coaches and players. She used to love the Knicks, Bill Bradley especially, but when they signed Latrell Spreewell after what he did to her boy PJ Carlesimo, she dropped them and hasn’t followed the NBA since. Every Christmakuh, my gifts were sports related (I say were because I’m 38 now, and my gifts are more practical now, like flashlights and tools and coffee machines) and my house is filled with sports swag because of her.
My dad and my Uncle Billy. They introduced me to the world of trading cards and collectibles and this got me into statistics and card shows. We went to endless card shows all over the area and met some of the all time greats: Mantle, Ford, and LT just to name a few. It was a huge part of my youth.
My bro. I mean come on, he’s 35, I’m 40. We have been talking sports for pretty much 30 years together. We’ve been to baseball, basketball, football, and hockey games all over the east coast. And he gets as fired up as I do. We are two peas from the same pod except that we don’t share a single allegiance to any sports team. Cubs and Steelers? Ugh.
THE THREAD. Kid Robot, Saucy T, Nomi the Greek (no relation to Jimmy), The Englishman, Nick and Sperry. It started out as a group text conversation about fantasy football and it has evolved into just about everything you will read here. Every day, someone throws out an idea and we debate all day. Seriously… ALL… DAY. My girlfriend hates it. Several people have joined the loop and had to leave after one day. It is the total Dungeons and Dragons of sports. We are geeks and I love the fact that I have them because it helps me realize I’m normal. So basically, this blog is our blog, and one day I hope it expands to have each of us involved.
The Nitro League. 18 years ago, in a Ground Round on the campus of The University of Delaware, 9 friends and myself started a fantasy football league. 18 years later, we have expanded and owners have relocated, but all of the original owners are still involved. It is the best four months of the year and it keeps me in touch with friends near and far. We have a trophy and a Taco… And a few lawyers now, so stop stealing our lives The League!
Benny Smalls. Pretty much, he’s my other brother. He has the coolest job in the world, and it’s perks have allowed me to enjoy some pretty cool sportIng events. We moved down here to Atlanta together. We are Nitro rivals and I have spent nearly every Sunday with this kid for 15 years.
Q-Tip. He is my biggest rival in the history of fantasy sports. We are the Yankees and Red Sox, the Blue Devils and Tar Heels. But when it comes to golf and college hoops, this kid is on another level altogether.
Big Lar. My fantasy team mate in both the Nitro League and our baseball league. His wife is amazing because we literally talk every day of the year about fantasy and she not only tolerates it, but seems to know more and more about our teams each year. We’ve been at this 16 years as a team now, and we have come up with the rule that from after the Super Bowl until Big Lar’s birthday in March, we only talk in case of emergency. Big Lar is who I got the Yankees season ticket packages with when I lived in New York. He took me to the Texans and Jets Monday Night Football game. He is one of my longest and closest companions.
Cochran and JD. Another two guys I have to cut off communication with in the off season because of how much we talk from March until the Super Bowl. They are both born and bread Georgians and Cochran is the biggest homer I have ever met. I love pushing his buttons and getting him riled up. JD is my team mate in one fantasy baseball league and against me in one of my fantasy football leagues, so it’s quite the conundrum. Cochran is my ultimate nemesis in fantasy. My playoff record would be astounding if it weren’t for him, but on an annual basis he knocks me out. We were all co workers at a sports bar for a few years as well, so you can only imagine how much talking went on!
Jay. Jay has been my room mate, my co worker, my boss and also one of my closest friends since the day I stepped foot in Georgia. We share no loyalty to any team we root for and have literally yelled in each other’s faces defending our teams. But in the end, it’s all washed away because, after all, it’s only sports… And my teams are better!
Nikki. My WIFE makes the list, because if she didn’t, she would kill me. But one of the main reasons I am with her is her passion for sports. She is my complete opposite in that she loves the Sawx, the Pats, the Bruins and the Celtics, but we make it fun and keep it respectful… Most of the time.
Amelia. Emily has been my coworker, my confidant, and one of my closest friends for years. She’s also the poster child for YOLO. Her blog has given me the push to get started and she also has been helpful with the tech side of this new world I’m jumping into. If you’re a vagabond, a world traveler, or someone who wants to live an amazing life vicariously through someone else, check out her world travels.
Pooch, Bisach, Bret and Varrass. Four of my oldest and closest friends. One lives in Manhattan, one lives in New Jersey, one Connecticut and one I drove cross country with to move to Portland. But it doesn’t stop the weekly emails with links from Barstool sports, or Deadspin, or YouTube discussing the absurd and bizarre of the sports world. I have never received an email from these guys that didn’t leave me laughing.
Mary. She was my first friend when I moved to Atlanta 13 years ago. She is a fellow Cuse fan. But she has been instrumental in helping me learn Twitter and making a name for myself. I would be lost without her.
And lastly, Corenthal James. He’s my most casual sports fan friend, but knows his stuff. He’s also been a Dolphins fan forever, so he deserves a shout out.