A lot of things in this big world appeal to me — music and travel, consciousness and creativity in its wildest forms — but the thing I’ve been around the most over the years is sports. After more than 20 years in an enormously fun job as an editor for The Boston Globe sports pages, I left the paper and left sports entirely for five years. I still contribute to the paper as a writer, mostly for the arts pages, sometimes in sports.
The sport I mainly write about today is mixed martial arts. Since late 2010 I’ve served as MMA columnist for Sports Illustrated‘s online site. This is an invigorating job, putting me in a front-row seat to witness a young sport and its leading promotion, the UFC, growing into the mainstream. As an outgrowth of my coverage of MMA, I’ve become a regular panelist on a weekly online TV show and made numerous appearances on radio stations around the country.
During my time away from sports, I was a founding editor of the parenting magazine Wondertime, where for several years I wrote essays and feature stories on topics such as how to raise a crazed little sports fan. (OK, so I never really left sports.) I was a new dad when I took the job, and it was fun to intertwine my home life and work day. Shortly before the magazine bit the dust in early 2009, I won a national award for a (sort of) first-person account of the birth of my son. (I used to have a hyperlink here so you could read the story, but after they deep-sixed Wondertime, the empty suits at parent company Disney Publishing wiped the Internet clean of any DNA evidence that the mag ever existed.)
I live in the cultural oasis of western Massachusetts with my wife, Sarah Swersey, and our kids, Aaron and Rebecca. When I’m not typing something up about sports (or the occasional arts feature for The Globe), I’m hunting-and-pecking an essay or short story or something else for fun. Some of these end up as Friday morning news commentaries on New England Public Radio, WFCR (88.5 FM in Amherst, Mass.). I’m also on the radio on weekends, as several years ago I took over as host of a long-running, locally legendary American roots music program. Country, Blues & Bluegrass airs Sundays from 2-4 p.m. on the Happy Valley’s listener-supported FM station, WMUA (91.1 in Amherst, wmua.org). Radio, radio is a sound salvation.