A Few Words

JWprofile2A 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 in order to help launch a magazine. I’ve since moved on from that fun venture — back into sports, though expanding into the arts, sometimes even contributing to The Globe.

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, The MMA Beat, and made numerous appearances on SiriusXM and radio stations around the country and in TV documentaries about the sport.

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 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, the amazing musician Sarah Swersey, and our kids, Aaron and Rebecca. When I’m not typing something up for SI.com or The Globe — I cover college basketball and football, co-author a regular column for parents, and occasionally contribute arts features — 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.

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