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As I lean into the 30, I like to think I have learned plenty about myself and the world around me in my 30 years on this planet. Every year on my birthday, I usually do some lagniappe posts to celebrate. This year is special because of it being the dirty 30.

I cannot reiterate this enough. People often times eye roll or sigh when asked about them hitting 30. My answers remains the same…

It has been a while (2 weeks) since my last post as I have been busy with my new job, more on that later. For this post, I want to celebrate my 30th with 30 facts about me. These facts can range from places I have been, people I have met, random quirks about me, thoughts I have and everything in between.

30. I did a Groomsman Draft for my wedding

For someone who loves the NFL Draft and Fantasy Football Drafts as much as I do, it shouldn’t come as a total shock that I did an actual draft for selecting my groomsmen for my wedding. That included my dudes’ custom made shirseys. I put together a slideshow for each of my friends with pictures of us plus random facts about our friendship. One of the most fun concepts I ever did. Feel free cringe. For every view, I get another shade of red.

29. My favorite genre of music is alternative

I have been on a high school kick lately listening to all the bands I loved in my high school years. It has reminded me how much I love the genre, especially punk rock / pop punk. I remember blasting bands like Simple Plan, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco and New Found Glory on my computer in high school.

28. I have been to Disney World a grand total of 14 times

I went twice to the most magical place on Earth as a child. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I became indoctrinated as an official Disney Dork and now a proud Disney Dad. My first trip was literally 3-4 months into our relationship. As they say, the rest is history. We have shared a dozen trips to our favorite place together. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. One of my favorite stories to tell about Disney is our trip before finding out she was pregnant. We were both frustrated that it hadn’t happened. We went behind Cinderella’s castle and made a wish in the well. Without telling each other, we both knew what each of us wished for. A few weeks later, I came home from work to the best news ever. Shortly before our first child was born, we had a babymoon in Disney of course. It was right after the debut of Happily Ever After. I remember watching, my arms around my wife placed on her belly. “You’ll be in my heart” starts to play with clips showing parents from Disney movies and I was floored. I told her “damn it, I’m gonna fucking cry.” She looked back at me and said “yeah I can’t talk about it right now.” Those moments are so precious and need to be held forever.

27. I have a photographic memory for sports

I have a unique ability to remember plays to the point of keeping my own stats. Literally, to prove someone wrong on something, my petty ass kept my stats for an entire beer league basketball season. Down to the field goal % and 3 point % just to prove a point. For the record, I finished the season averaging 18 points per game and shooting 53% from deep and 48% from the field. #Corner3AllDay

26. If I could meet any celebrity, I would want to meet Chris Jericho

He is THE GOAT of professional wrestling. He has such a unique and great story. I love that he shares so many interests similar to mine in terms of podcasting and writing due to his pursuit of journalism. He obviously left his mark in professional wrestling and music.

25. I collect Funkos

A former employer of mine bought me a Rob Gronkowski funko before the 28-3 debacle. I had no idea what the hell a funko even was, but I thought…”well this is pretty fucking cool.” I left it in the box until the Patriots were down big in the 4th and then the comeback happened. I started digging at what other people or characters I could find. Now, I am sitting on about 90 or so.

24. I love Georgia

Moving here was something I never expected. When my wife lived here in 2013-2014, we both enjoyed it and she absolutely fell in love with being here. When the opportunity presented itself, one of the best decisions we made was making this move.

23. I love Karaoke

Even though it sounds like cats dying when I sing, it doesn’t make it any less fun. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Shortly after graduating college and running the gauntlet with a miserable job, my friends and I used to spend weekends in New Orleans doing Karaoke. It was always a good time. Fun fact, here are my 3 go to songs…

I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys
Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne
I Just Had Sex – Lonely Island

22. I am awful at math, but love sabermetrics and numbers

For someone who failed a math class in high school and took 5 years just to get past two math courses in college, I sure do love numbers. One of the common compliments I get for my sports columns is the deep dives into the numbers of players or teams where I break down situations to fit the relevance of the conversation. That stems from my curiosity on creating linear paths to why something may be happening.

21. I was a miserable student

I was never, and I mean never, a great student. I always did what I could to skate by. I ended up finishing high school with a 2.5 GPA and college with a 2.9. Both methods of finishing with above a 2.5 were strategic methods to inflate my numbers.

20. Friends are family

One of my favorite Mr. Feeny quotes from Boy Meets World is simple and powerful. “You don’t have to be blood to be family.” I have some of the greatest friends in the world who are more than that to me.

19. I’m obsessed with Hamilton

With over two dozen watches and countless listens, Hamilton is always a solid go to choice when I want to listen to music.

18. I despise people who are afraid to say “I don’t know.”

It is three of the hardest words for many people. I don’t understand why. There is no sense in having ego and being ashamed for the things you don’t know.

17. I believe consumers/people are a bigger problem than the media

This should be a more obvious conundrum our world faces daily. I think the media has become such an easy target for people, meanwhile people forget the media is a byproduct of their consumer habits. We want objectivity, except most people can’t decipher their ass from a hole in the ground. Objectivity gets lost. Then you have situations of widespread panic such as the recent gas shortage.

Experts: “Don’t hoard gas.”
People: *Hoards gas*
Also people: wHy CaN’T i FiNd GaS

16. Random movie/tv quotes pop in my head all day

It is a sickness really. Someone says one word and it can instantly spark a quote to pop in my head. Once it is there, I feel like it has to be said. If not, it becomes like not scratching a really bad itch and hoping it will go away shortly. It doesn’t.

15. White Claw has become my saving grace

I always joke that I hit a wall at some point in the last 2 years where IPAs, craft beers and all the snobbish shit no longer works for me. It is a crap shoot if I drink anything heavy because it can lead to indigestion to heartburn. I had one selzter and that was all it took. People think shower beers are a wonderful treat. You’re missing out on the shower seltzers. Just last night, I drank a blueberry acai Truly in the shower after a long day of work…just delightful.

14. Don’t Mess with Owls

I was playing flag football one Sunday night a year or so ago. An owl landed on the field, so I attempted to scare the owl off by walking toward it. I got within maybe 10 yards of it before it flipped it’s fucking head around death stared me. My immediate reaction was “nope.” It flew off once I turned around, but I thought for a tiny second I may actually die.

13. I love personality tests

From Enneagram to Myers Briggs to the absurd what kind of french fry are you. I love them all. It’s always fun what your answers will yield and say about you. I try to take them somewhat regularly. As people, we evolve mentally. I go back and forth between two types for the Myers Briggs. Nonetheless, it is part of the journey of self discovery.

12. I wish I would have taken a bigger interest in soccer and basketball growing up

Around 8, I decided baseball was the only sport I wanted to pursue. I tried football when I was 10 and didn’t like it. I hated being a glorified tackling dummy. I am not into all that Rudy shit. Now that I am older, I just enjoy the game itself more with basketball and soccer. I feel I missed out on those two things in my childhood as I never played organized basketball until I was 19 and I stopped playing soccer at 8.

11. I shamelessly love boy bands

Always have. Always will. The first concert I ever went to was N*Sync. The 90s was filled with great music including the boy band scene. That clearly left an imprint on my taste in music. From N*Sync to Backstreet Boys to New Kids to Boyz II Men to Jonas Brothers to One Direction, I am all in.

10. I have a Barack Obama bobblehead sitting on my desk

One of my favorite novelty items that I own. I bought it in New York in 2016, mainly to troll someone. But, I am also a big Obama fan. If you’re reading this thinking about saying something, let the hate flow through you.

9. Although I rear back in certain settings, I don’t think politics and religion should be unmentionables

I have always been open about my political and religious beliefs. There are certain situations where I won’t openly discuss unless it is absolutely necessary i.e. racism, sexism or prejudice in any sense of the word. If I lose a friendship because of a fundamental difference of political or religion, so be it. At the end of the day, the people who say they hate politics or hate talking about it…most are full of shit. They don’t hate talking about it when it begins to apply to them. It may not even be directly, see sports protests.

8. Despite my loud writing style, I am not the same in person

I am very much extroverted. What I mean by not being the same, strong personality often gets mischaracterized as loud personalities. I write with conviction and seldom mince my words and I am very much the same in person. What I mean by loud, I have no interest in shouting matches. There are people who I choose to just sit back and listen when in the same room. Why? Because I have no interest in talking over someone who is mouth breathing. That is why I love social media. It is easy to figure out who those people are.

7. I love trash talk

Despite what I wrote in my last post, there are situations where being loud is necessary. Often times, that is in the face of competition. When playing sports or something competitive, there is nothing more fun than living rent free inside someone’s head. I have become relatively good at that. I can’t even count the number of times someone has wanted to throw hands either during or after some sort of competition. Unless I am friends or friendly with the person, I usually don’t initiate the trash talk. The second someone starts, let the floodgates open. My favorite incident was during a flag football game in college. We were playing some freshmen who loved to play on the B court for pick up and attempt to humiliate people. We ended up hanging 40 on them and completely shut down their offense. During the game, we were near our goal line. I gave one them the patented pump fake making him jump out of his cleats. Then I proceeded to back pedal into the endzone while point the ball at him singing Taylor Swift. This led to him getting up in my face while I laughed at him as he talked about throwing hands.

6. I despise the people who whitewash MLK

One of my favorite political figures in American history is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While it is great to see recognition for someone who truly deserves, I hate how misquoted he is by so many people, namely white people. They use his quotes about peace to justify their position on racial divide. It is evident they know very little about his legacy and what he actually believed, especially those who don’t believe in systemic racism.

5. I am bandwagon sports fan

Being someone who worked in sports and writes about sports, I have emotionally detached myself from most teams. I watch for the enjoyment of the games and leagues. If team A isn’t entertaining me, then I start following the team that is entertaining.

4. I freeze up around celebs

I have stumbled into multiple celebs in public. My reaction is always the same. I internally scream “oh holy shit.” However, I try not to fanboy out over it. At the end of the day, I would hate to be bothered by people constantly if I was in the limelight. A couple of my favorite interactions or lack thereof was with Whoopi Goldberg, Jesse Eisenberg, Paul Wesley and Reggie Bush.

Whoopi Goldberg was on my honeymoon. She was coming out of the elevator at the Grand Floridian in Disney World as we walked in. All I could see was her eyes peering at me over her dark shades with a look of “boy, I dare you to make a scene.” This was because I was picking my jaw up off the floor when I saw her. It was just unexpected.

I was walking to the Dome in New Orleans when Jesse Eisenberg passed. Myself and friend looked at each other and went…”that was fucking Jesse Eisenberg. Cool.”

My wife and I did a vampire tour in New Orleans because of our love for The Vampire Diaries (currently re-watching actually). We ended up seeing Paul Wesley and a few of the other cast members who were in NOLA for one of the other cast member’s wedding.

The last and probably my favorite is the time I was a bar-back at a night club in New Orleans. Reggie Bush came in and went up to the VIP section. I was a huge Reggie fan when he was with the Saints. Our VIP server asked if I wanted to bring them their Vodka and Cranberry. Of course I did. When I got up there, he was making out with a girl on the couch. That girl was not Kim K who he was dating at the time. I walked out laughing and said out loud “that wasn’t Kim.”

3. I have often thought about therapy for myself

I love that therapy is no longer looked at by most as a negative. Seeking help for yourself when you need it is important to mental health. We all have battles that we face. It is important to overcome those and sometimes it takes a little extra help. This past year or so hasn’t been the easiest. So many major life changes and decisions. Some by choice and some not so much. From covid to moving to job hunting for 8-9 months, it’s been a battle. Due to the jobs I held, there was financial inadequacy (at least in my own mind). Although, I never followed through. It certainly would have helped.

2. I love hard and hate hard

We can talk about the golden rule of treat everyone as you want to be treated. I hate that rule if I am being transparent. Some people aren’t worth the time. Some people aren’t worth the energy. Keep in mind, I find more people who are worth the time in energy. But in my relationships, I give my all to people. If that relationship lacks reciprocity, game over. People will always know where they stand with me.

1. My wife and kids are everything

When you spend half your life with someone by the age of 30, that is pretty remarkable. I barely remember what life was like without my wife being part of it. We have grown up together. We have shared many firsts together. It’s a pretty special bond. Sure, we have our ups and downs. Who doesn’t though? Thinking about the idea that we met as kids and now we have our own kids is mind numbing. Those 3 people are my entire reason for existing. Despite my personal struggles recently, they’ve been there every goddamn day. My wife has supported me every single step. That makes me a pretty lucky man at 30.

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