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 — and right back into sports (while also expanding into the arts and other areas as a regular contributor to the Globe).

The sport I mainly write about today is mixed martial arts. From late 2010 until the summer of 2016, I served as MMA columnist for Sports Illustrated’s online site. I still write about MMA, but now for The Washington Post, where I began contributing in 2015. 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 have made numerous appearances on SiriusXM and radio stations around the country as well as in TV documentaries about the sport.

In addition, I’ve also returned to sports editing. My departure from SI.com coincided with my hiring by ESPN.com to join the blog desk, a job in which I edit the work of writers following each team in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and college football and basketball. After spending a decade away from the editing desk and on the other side of the fence, I have a greater appreciation for the challenges that sportswriters face. (Please don’t tell the Globe writers I occasionally went to war with with over word choices that I’m now empathetic.)

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 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 editing late into the night for ESPN or typing something up for the Post or the Globe — for my old paper, I co-author a monthly 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 used to also be on the radio on weekends, spending several fun years as host of a long-running, locally legendary American roots music program, Country, Blues & Bluegrass. I yearn for those days. Radio, radio is a sound salvation.