BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
Rochesters own Jon "Bones" Jones successfully defended his heavyweight title over the weekend with a unanimous decision over his former training partner Rashad Evans at UFC 145 in Atlanta.
Jones is the best in the world at what he does--Ultimate Fighting. As great as he is, he cannot fight in front of his home fans, at least not yet. That's because New York state still has a ban in place for the sport.
This is becoming increasingly ridiculous. New York loves to pride itself on being cutting edge on everything. Gay marriage, social issues, human rights. New York loves to say how understanding and liberal it is. Yet for some reason, New York is one of only three states that currently ban sanctioned UFC or Mixed Martial arts events.
How can a state that calls itself so open to so many things and ideas, still be so puritanical about MMA? It defies logic.
UFC and MMA have become legitimate sports since their early beginnings in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Back then, I could see it. Those early days were especially brutal. Disclaimers were put on videos that were sold, and early live events had the taste of olden days duels of Roman gladiators.
In those early days, MMA events prided themselves on the tagline "There are no rules". Eye gouging, hair pulling, limb breaking, groin kicking and other unspeakable acts were commonplace, and actually encouraged it seemed.
States took notice, and by the mid 90's, 36 states took action to bar "no holds barred" fighting events. Senator John McCain railed against it, calling UFC "human cockfighting". In response to that, UFC began working with many state athletic commissions to clean up the sport, and establishing numerous rules for the competitions, removing the less palatable but keeping the core elements of striking and grappling.
In response, most states began to come around, lifting their bans, except New York. The popularity of the sport continued to grow in the 2000's, and the rules continued to evolve. The Nevada state athletic commission currrently lists 31 rules for UFC fights. If broken, the referee has sole discretion how many points may be given to a fighter in penalties.
For all its detractors about how violent the sport is, UFC has never had anyone die in the ring or the cage. Compare that to the legal sport of boxing, which has had several tragedies in the ring where fighters have died as a result of their beatings.
With the sport of mixed martial arts and Ultimate Fighting in particular achieving legitimacy, and their ability to modify and enforce rules, it is about time that the state of New York got on board. Not only because they are extremely "behind the times", but because of the potential for being a "cash cow" for the state.
Hey, you still think the sport is too violent and brutal? Well then, legalize it and slap some kind of "violence tax" on all ticket purchases for live events. Why not? New York taxes everything else, so why not MMA events too. That way everybody wins! Fans get to see and pay for live events, and the state makes money also to help solve their massive debt problems.
Imagine a sold out Madison Square Garden, with tickets going from $50 to $500 each for a major UFC event with numerous titles on the line. I'm sure the state could find a way to grab some of the pay-per-view dollars for the event as well. Not to mention being able to stick the state's hand in the pot for all the other smaller MMA events that surely would be held at venues like Rochester's Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, the First Niagara center in Buffalo and other arenas across the state.
At least now, some politicians are realizing this. Assemblyman Joe Morelle of Rochester is sponsoring a bill to legalize MMA events in the state. If it passes through the assembly, then it would go to the state senate. It would be about time.
Fans of the sport deserve the ability to attend sanctioned live events for this sport, instead of just watching them on pay per view or even on free network TV.
I've said it before that I am not a huge fan of MMA and UFC. Not because it's too violent. Because it's too boring. Too many of the fights I have seen are poor matchups in styles and are over before you can go grab a bowl of popcorn. Or the two combatants end up on the mat for five rounds and there seems to be more spooning and limbs locked together than a young newlywed couple. But despite that, I realize the popularity of the sport, and all that they have done to make it safer and more legitimate.
It's about time that New York realizes that too.
to donate to clinical trials for my blinding eye disease, go to www.curechm.org