Sunday Six, Fitness for Regular Folks Debut at Rep-Am

One of the fun parts of being a sportswriter is that there are plenty of opportunities to do some fun stuff. Believe it or not, getting paid to watch and write about sports isn’t always the fun that some folks might make it out to be. So when we get chances to do something different, we have to take advantage.

Over the last few months, I’ve launched a couple of new weekly features for my newspaper, the Republican-American, and our website. They’re fun.

The first one is called the Sunday Six, which shockingly runs Sunday mornings on our commentary page (as well as a section on one of our blogs). Our world — at least the media world — is overrun by lists these days, and I’d be damned if I didn’t get involved myself. So every weekend, I choose a (usually timely) topic and rank the top six items of that topic. A podcast on our website accompanies each list with some debate among weekly guests.

I try to stay away from the trite, mainstream nonsense that usually pollutes sports cable TV — you know, top six quarterbacks and top six free agents and that sort of stuff — but rather have a little fun with things. My debut piece was about the six worst fashion statements in sports, and since then I’ve tackled topics such as short tempers, WrestleMania matches, fruit and Garth Brooks.

Yep, that’s right: I get outside the sports world in the sports section. Now that’s having fun.

The newest of the two features is called Fitness for Regular Folks, a weekly column in which I share some insight on how a regular guy like me has gone about getting back into some shape. (I’m down about 70 pounds from my peak weight thanks to P90X and good eating, among other things.)

I don’t claim to be an expert, but I often see fitness articles written from that expert point of view and sometimes experience a little bit of a disconnect. My goal is to share some of the tips I’ve picked up (mostly by myself) and what’s worked for me. I also produce a short video to accompany each column.

Between the Sunday Six and Fitness for Regular Folks, I’ve got a couple of regular features for our newspaper that go beyond the ordinary types of stories we often see that might only pander to small segments of our audience. It’s all about giving people content to which they can relate, right? (Not that they can relate to me. I’m weird. But still.)

2014 Connecticut High School Football All-Name Team

Awards season for Connecticut high school football (that’s #cthsfb on Twitter) is coming to an end as the New Haven Register’s 83rd All-State team came out this weekend. A hearty congratulations to all the players recognized on a season (and for many, a career) well played.

I decided that we needed one more set of state postseason honors, though, beyond the traditional All-State teams picked by the Register, the coaches and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. But we didn’t need another set of the state’s best player.

What we needed was a collection of the best names in Connecticut high school football.

Continue reading 2014 Connecticut High School Football All-Name Team

Know Your Bowls: Are These Games Real Or Fake?

A whopping 38 games are on the college football bowl schedule before the national championship game Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. These aren’t the old days where the schedule was limited to premier games such as the Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl. Now, just about anyone with deep pockets can host a bowl game.

Because I have long spells of insanity during the first few weeks of December (you can thank the end of high school football season and my coverage for the Republican-American), I devised a quiz to test the average sports fan’s knowledge of this year’s bowl schedule. It’s simple: Each game is either a legitimate bowl on this year’s slate or it’s not. The answers, along with plenty of explanation, are at the bottom.

Continue reading Know Your Bowls: Are These Games Real Or Fake?

Will the U.S. Finally Get the Olympics Again in 2024?

By the time the 2024 Summer Olympics come around, it will have been 22 years since the United States hosted an Olympics — and 28 years since we hosted the Summer Games.

Since the modern Olympics began in 1896, there hasn’t been a longer American gap under peacetime circumstances.

The United States first hosted the Olympics in 1904, when St. Louis hosted the Summer Games alongside the World’s Fair. The U.S. didn’t host again until 1932 (Los Angeles and Lake Placid), but that gap was lengthened by the hiatus taken during World War I.

We didn’t get the Olympics again until 1960 (Squaw Valley), but World War II forced the cancellation of two Olympics during that gap.

Since then, we’ve had another Lake Placid Olympics (1980), another Los Angeles Olympics (1984), the Atlanta Olympics (1996) and the Salt Lake City Olympics (2002).

Why hasn’t the United States — the nation that has hosted the most Games — been awarded the Olympics in such a long time? There are plenty of reasons, from the resentment displayed by other countries to the IOC’s revenue sharing with the USOC to some really strong bids by cities around the cities to the general feeling among the world that the United States shouldn’t get to host everything. Continue reading Will the U.S. Finally Get the Olympics Again in 2024?

What to Expect on My Blog

This is my first foray into a personal blog of sorts, so as things start to get fired up around here I’m sure I’ll figure it out. But here’s what I see happening as I go forward.

I’ve got three categories of my blog — country music, sports and sweet nothings. (Pardon the last of the three. I wasn’t about to leave it as “uncategorized” or “miscellaneous.”) The first two topics are things about which I think I have some deal of expertise, so I’m looking forward to sharing thoughts on them.

There won’t be any breaking news around here. It really pisses me off when some bloggers pretend to be actually reporting facts. I know nobody is going to be reading my blog for the latest news, and I know I’m not on the ground reporting anything. I might base a post on some current news, but it’ll devolve quickly into opinion. Why? BECAUSE I ONLY HAVE TO ANSWER TO ME.

I didn’t mean to yell at you. Sorry.

I imagine I’ll be snarky and sarcastic and borderline funny. I’ll probably write as though I’m expecting nobody to read my posts, and that’s usually when my best work comes. It’s like a weird diary for millennials.

As for the specifics as to what’s going to happen in these pages, I don’t really know. I haven’t decided if I want to do album or single reviews in my country music blog, and I have no idea what I’ll write about in the already over-saturated world of sports blogging. Whatever. I’ll figure it out eventually.

And please, comment away. It’ll get lonely here without you.