ESPN Boston

On Nov. 30, 2009, Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation making my home state, Massachusetts, the 42nd in the country to regulate mixed martial arts. I knew this would be a big deal for the sport’s top organization, the UFC, given the Boston roots of its president, Dana White. So I contacted ESPNBoston.com and pitched a Boston-centric feature on Dana, which ran in December 2009 and led to me getting the call the following August to cover UFC 118 — the fight promotion’s first event in Boston.

What I most remember about that night at TD Garden was that the UFC’s PR folks stuck me up in the auxiliary press box, the one used for hockey games. From way up there, the octagonal cage looked like a matchbox, the fighters like little black belt ants. Luckily for ESPN Boston readers, I snuck down to a seat near cageside so I could see what was going on.

After that, ESPN Boston asked me to cover Boston College football — who would have suspected it would come to this for a BU boy? — and I did so for one season before moving on to cover University of Massachusetts sports for The Boston Globe. Before I left the ESPN gig, however, I had the opportunity to write a very fun piece in which I chose the five greatest college athletes in Boston history. (Even though he did play a season of soccer at BU, Jeff Wagenheim was not among them.)

Anyway, here’s some of what I did for ESPN Boston:

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Better Duck, Dana White Is Coming Home: UFC president looking forward to tapping Boston’s ‘fighting vibe’ with card at Garden.

Marcus Davis Gets to Fight on his Turf: New Englander will have home-cage advantage at UFC 118 in Boston.

Nothing Like Home Cooking for Florian: Local fighter can’t wait to climb into the cage in UFC’s maiden Boston event.

UFC 118 Has Grand Appeal in Boston: Local ties create large fan base for mixed martial arts.

Local Fighters Leave Crowd Wanting More: Only one of three Massachusetts-based fighters gets win at UFC 118 at TD Garden.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Shinskie Shows his Maturity: BC sophomore quarterback, best known for his age (26), displays leadership skills in BC win over Kent State.

Buzz Kill at BC: The Eagles have high hopes, but they’re shut down by visitors from Virginia Tech.

Future of BC Football Must Wait: Freshman quarterback Chase Rettig makes his debut vs. Notre Dame, but injury makes it s a brief one.

Fresh Start for BC: Freshmen help the Eagles become bowl-eligible for 12th straight season in win over Virginia.

The Mark Herzlich ‘Miracle’: With his game back in top form, BC star and cancer survivor’s story just gets better.

Boston’s Greatest Collegians: Doug Flute is a shoo-in, but who else deserves a spot in the ESPN Boston top five?

One Response to “ESPN Boston”

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