April 19, 2014

Contributors

Joe Williams:

Joe is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Leatherheads of the Gridiron. He is a life-long fan of the New York Giants. His first football memory is the Miracle at the Meadowlands game in 1978 when he watched Joe Pisarcik, in the closing seconds of the game, trying to handoff to Larry Csonka and then seeing Herman Edwards scoop up a fumble for a TD run and an Eagles’ victory.

A former season ticket holder for the defunct Hartford Colonials of the UFL, Joe has great interest in overlooked candidates for halls of fame. He belongs to various sports organizations, including the Canadian Football Research Society, the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association, the National Football Foundation, the Professional Football Researchers Association and the Society for American Baseball Research. He also contributes to Seamheads.com.

Joe, a native of Poughkeepsie, New York and lives in East Hampton, Connecticut.

Follow Joe on Twitter @lheadsgridiron.

 

Mike Lynch:

Mike is the Founder and President of Leatherheads of the Gridiron and its sister site, Seamheads.com.  Though a long-time resident of the Pacific Northwest, Mike is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts and therefore a die-hard fan of the New England Patriots. His first memories of the NFL came in 1975 when his father took him to Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, MA to watch the Pats take on the Minnesota Vikings in an exhibition game. The Pats won, but managed to go only 3-11 in the regular season.

That all changed in 1976 when they reversed their record and went 11-3 before being screwed out of a chance to go to the Super Bowl on a ridiculous call of roughing the quarterback on “Sugar Bear” Hamilton in the divisional round of the playoffs. Whenever Raider fans complain about “The Tuck Rule,” Mike reminds them about their good fortune in ’76. And, yes, he realizes the Patriots would have had to beat the Steelers in the conference championship game first, but insists they would have.

These days he snickers at the thought that the Pats are despised around the country, mostly because they were bumbling idiots when he was a kid, going 2-14 in 1981, and again as a young adult, going 1-15 in 1990 and 2-14 in 1992, but also because he remembers how everyone rallied around them in Super Bowl XXXVI when they took the field as a team instead of as individuals, then upset the heavily favored “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams. When Mike isn’t waxing poetic about Tom Brady, he’s busy running his small business to pay the bills, and Seamheads.com, the best baseball site on the Internet.

Follow Mike on Twitter @Seamheads.

 

David Boyce:

David is a native New Yorker, but his taste in football is in the East Bay Area of California. David has been a fan of the Oakland Raiders since 1974. He’s been with them through the great years, the good years, the horrible years and the mediocre years. David got his first shot at writing about the Raiders in 1998 at Raidernews.com, where he wrote pregame articles through 2005. He simply loves to write about the Silver and Black. Now you can see why he is called “The Raider Guy”.

In the Spring of 2012, David took some time off from sports writing and wrote a children’s book entitled Two True Blue Dragons. Check out his website to learn more at http://www.twotruebluedragons.com.

 

Arne Christensen:

Arne grew up cheering for the late ’80s 49ers, an experience that led him to (much later) write a chronicle of the ten San Francisco teams headed by Bill Walsh. His blog, Recalling the San Francisco 49ers’ Glory Years compliments his chronicle The San Francisco 49ers Under Coach Walsh. He has also written about the Green Bay Packers, including The Packers’ First Six NFL Title Game Victories.

Aside from football, he runs a baseball history blog called Misc. Baseball and contributes to Seamheads.com. Also, fittingly for a West Coast resident, he has a blog called Remembering the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

 

Karon Cook:

Karon Cook is the daughter of a U.S.M.C. Drill Instructor, who also played QB for the Marines…Sports are in her DNA! Ms. Cook has been credentialed by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons during the 2011 and 2012 Seasons. She has appeared in major motion pictures, dozens of commercials, world-wide print ads, magazine covers and in corporate video. In addition to contributing to Leatherheads, Karon covers the Steeler Nation for Her Game Life and blogs at Karon Cook Sport Page.

Beginning in January 2013, she will act as host for a new sports competition show that will air on Georgia television. Karon also has a “NFL: Where Are They Now?” series in development. An athlete in her own right, Ms. Cook has held a few track & field records. She is a mentor and consultant for girls, covering subjects: “Body Image & The Media,” and “Girls + Sports = Success!”

Karon loves the Steelers and Pirates, March Madness, the NBA Playoffs and October baseball.

Follow Karon on Twitter @karoncook or visit her website at www.karoncook.com.

 

Ken Crippen:

Ken is the executive director of the Professional Football Researchers Association, a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to pro football history. He has written two books: Turmoil vs. Triumph: The History of the Syracuse Athletic Association Football Team (1890-1900) and The Original Buffalo Bills: A History of the All-America Football Conference Team, 1946-1949, and has published numerous articles on pro football history.

Ken has won two PFRA writing awards, as well as winning the Professional Football Writers of America 2012 Dick Connor Writing Award for Feature Writing.

Besides contributing to Leatherheads, Ken also writes for Cold, Hard Football Facts at Football Nation, has contributed to The Packer Report and keeps a website at kencrippen.com.

He spends his free time interviewing players, coaches, owners, administrators and other people throughout the NFL community.

Follow Ken on Twitter @KenCrippen and follow PFRA @footballhistory.

 

Jon Daly:

Jon is a life-long resident of the Greater Hartford area in Connecticut. His writing is inspired by James Burke, Fed Exley (by way of Josh Wilker), and the old parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Jon, a guerilla sportswriter of sorts, is the Designated Sitter. In his free time, he works in the financial service industry.

Follow Jon on Twitter @designatedsittr.

 

Mike Dreimiller:

When fellow members of the Red Sox Nation question Mike’s allegiance to the New York Giants, which he inherited from his father Tom, he points out that when he first started watching football the Patriots (18-1) weren’t even in the NFL. In his youth, he collected the football cards of Tucker Fredrickson, Homer Jones and Spider Lockhart and despised the Redskins. He remembers the dismal 1-12-1 season in 1966 and spent the next five years pretending to be Fran Tarkenton during neighborhood pick-up games.

Mike’s own football career was brief. After a stellar season as the 3rd string running back on a Pee Wee team in 8th grade, he retired abruptly during double-sessions the summer before his freshman year at Ledyard High School when he realized that there were guys on his team who weighed 3-times as much as he did. Lacking the desire to be crushed to death, he put down his helmet (which the coaches kept telling him wasn’t a chair) and picked up his golf clubs and never looked back. Mike lives in Gales Ferry, Connecticut, attended UConn, and is the Help Desk Manager at Connecticut College (which unfortunately does not field a football team). He doesn’t write often but, when he does, he uses a lot of words.

 

Ronnie Foreman:

Ron has been a football fan since early childhood and grew up in West Virginia watching the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings on TV. His favorite player was Walter Payton, admiring him for the way he played the game. He’s written for numerous sites, covering some Ohio State football for Bleacher Report, and has done some video segments for newspaper websites on WVU football. An avid player in his school days, he has always followed the West Virginia Conference, from when it was in the NAIA until now in NCAA Division II.

Follow Ronnie on Twitter @rkforeman.

 

Chip Greene:

Chip is a lifelong resident of the Washington, D.C. area. As such, he’s also been a lifelong fan of the Washington Redskins. Having cut his teeth as a football fan on, first, George Allen’s Over the Hill Gang, and then the Hogs of the initial Joe Gibbs era, he was spoiled from an early age by lots of wins. Sadly, however, the Daniel Snyder decade (just like the Peter Angelos years of his beloved Baltimore Orioles) have dramatically lowered his expectations and made him appreciate winning all the more.

In his day job, Chip is a management consultant for an IT firm in Rockville, Maryland. After that lifetime of living near D.C., he moved to Waynesboro, Pennsylvania (primarily Steelers country) in 2008. Yet he still retains his love of the ‘Skins. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research and contributor to Seamheads.com, this is Chip’s first foray into football writing.

 

Matt Haddad:

Football runs in Matt’s blood. In 1937, his Grandfather Haddad took the train to Chicago to see Sammy Baugh and the Washington Redskins beat the Chicago Bears, 28-21, for the NFL Championship.

Matt spent his growing-up years in Washington, D.C., and Savannah, Georgia. He came of football age in 1977, at age 10. He rooted for the Washington Redskins and the Savannah Country Day Hornets, a high school team. The Hornets finished #4 in the state in ‘77, as Matt’s sister Elizabeth was born while he and his brother Joe were at a Hornets game. Country Day won the game, 13-0.

Matt has spent his adult life in Savannah and Columbia, South Carolina. In the summer of 1999, Matt adopted the Tennessee Titans as his second favorite team. He then enjoyed watching the ‘99 Titans make their run to the Super Bowl.

In 2008, in the world of fantasy football, Matt raised eyebrows when he picked Titans rookie Chris “Lightning” Johnson with the #26 pick of the draft. In 2009, Matt’s team, the Columbia Overdrive, won the Championship. His signature players were Johnson and Clinton Portis. “Playing for Matt is the highlight of my career,” Portis said in an interview with The Imaginary Newspaper.

Matt has graduate degrees from two schools in Columbia: a Master of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Divinity from a Protestant seminary called Columbia International University. Since 2007, he has been covering high school football in the South Carolina Lowcountry (Jasper County Sun) and Savannah (Savannah Morning News). Matt is now laying the groundwork for How Beautiful the Feet, his personal blog on theology and football.

 

Frank Jozsa:

In 1941, Frank P. Jozsa, Jr. was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. While living there, he graduated from Indiana State College in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and played baseball and basketball for the Sycamores. After his discharge from the United States Air Force in the late 1960s, Frank worked at various companies and continued his education during the 1970s by earning a Master of Business Administration degree followed by a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, both in economics.

During his career as a college professor and researcher, he authored articles about the sports industry and in addition, several books on the commercial operations, economics and financial issues of professional team sports. In 2010, Football Fortunes: The Business, Organization and Strategy of the NFL was published by McFarland. Among his many other books are Baseball In Crisis: Spiraling Costs, Bad Behavior, Uncertain Future, Big Sports, Big Business: A Century of League Expansions, Mergers, and Reorganizations, Major League Baseball Expansions and Relocations: A History, 1876-2008, and The National Basketball Association: Business, Organization and Strategy.

In 2011, Frank wrote A Hoosier’s Journey. The book discusses his experiences, priorities, and values as an athlete, student, teacher and author. Visit his website to learn more about Frank and his life’s journey. The long-distance runner and Vietnam veteran retired from full-time teaching at Pfeiffer University in 2007.

During 2012, Springer published College Sports Inc.: How Commercialism Influences Intercollegiate Athletics. Frank’s book discusses the business and financial aspects of athletic programs in schools of higher education and the impact on athletic departments and their directors, and on teams, coaches, student-athletes, and sports events and facilities.

Scarecrow Press published Baseball Beyond Borders: From Distant Lands to the Major Leagues in October 2013. The book is a timely, compelling study of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born players and their lasting contributions to the sport. In addition, there are chapters about international coaches and managers, and minor league baseball players.

In addition to authoring books, Jozsa writes essays about the business and economics of college and professional baseball on Seamheads.com.

Frank lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina.

 

Terry Keshner:

Terry is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan who has worked as a writer, producer and reporter for television and radio in New York, Atlanta and Chicago. When not contributing to Leatherheads of the Gridiron, he contributes to CBS Chicago and Seamheads.com.  He also blogs at Planetback and shares links to the best of Chicago at Chicago Interocean.

He formerly hosted the defunct show The Windy City Walk-Off Hour on the Seamheads National Podcasting Network.

Terry has read George Plimpton’s Paper Lion six times so far!

Follow Terry on Twitter @tk9710.

 

George Kurtz:

George has been an NFL fan since the 1970s. Born in Queens, New York, he moved to Long Island at the age of five. While growing up, his father wasn’t a football fan so he didn’t see his first game until Super Bowl XIII on January 21, 1979. It was the second Super Bowl between Dallas and Pittsburgh (the one where Jackie Smith dropped the easy touchdown pass from Roger Staubach). His father asked him before the game to pick a team and made a quarter bet on the outcome. George picked Dallas, loving the colors and the star on the helmet. Hey, he was only an 8-year-old.

Currently, George still resides on Long Island and is married with two beautiful daughters. He writes for various websites, including Rotowire.com, The Fantasy Sports Forum, FFReport.com, Gotham Gridiron and Seamheads.com. He has also written for CBSSports.com and FantasyPros911. Being versatile in other types of media, George appears each Saturday morning on Fantasy Pros 911 on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and has made appearances on ESPN Radio out of Jacksonville, Florida. He is also a regular on the Seamheads National Podcasting Network. George is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA).

Follow George on Twitter @GeorgeKurtz.

 

Bob Lazzari:

Bob is an award-winning sports columnist for Connecticut’s Valley Times and a contributor to Seamheads.com. He is also a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance and host of “Monday Night Sports Talk“–a cable show on CTV-14 in Connecticut–where he has interviewed various former football players.

Follow Bob on Twitter @Bob_Lazzari.

 

Jim Lefebvre:

Growing up in the crucible of football history that is Green Bay, Wisconsin, it was natural that Jim Lefebvre (La-FAVE) became a student of the game’s origins and early development. He later covered lots of bad Big 10 football in the 1970s as a young sports reporter in Madison. But it was always those early Green Bay football stars, such as Curly Lambeau and Jim Crowley, and their connection to Notre Dame, that kept his fascination. When his own two daughters matriculated to Notre Dame, becoming members of the Band of the Fighting Irish, it was time to revisit the story. The result was his award-winning 2008 book Loyal Sons: The Story of The Four Horsemen and Notre Dame Football’s 1924 Champions. Jim writes primarily at his website Forever Irish.

 

Dan McCloskey:

Dan grew up in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley and has been a fan of the Giants since the Joe Pisarcik days. Obviously, his devotion was eventually rewarded, and a photo exists somewhere of he and a couple close friends holding hands while the television screen at Leatherheads Managing Editor Joe Williams’ Hartford apartment shows Scott Norwood lining up for his ill-fated defining moment.

As a current resident of Boston, Dan walked around town with a smug look on his face for a few months in early 2008…and 2012.

These days, Dan is more of an overall fan of the college game, although his enthusiasm has been tempered somewhat by the controversy that has devastated his Penn State alma mater recently. Still, that doesn’t change his lasting memory of playing a post-snowstorm pickup game versus a team that included former NFL #2 draft pick Blair Thomas.

Dan also blogs about baseball for High Heat Stats, and he writes about his baseball fanaticism, music obsession and craft beer enthusiasm at his personal blog, Left Field.

Follow Dan on Twitter @_LeftField.

 

Andrew McKillop:

Andrew has been conducting sports research for the last six years. His primary focus early on was high school athletics in the state of Wisconsin. In 2010, he began conducting research on college and professional football. His first football research project was historical NFL training camp locations. Andrew’s first blog, SportsDelve.com had over 100 posts of original sports research. In 2012, he launched FootballGeography.com that focuses on football and the places the sport has impacted. Although he researches other sports, football has always been his favorite sport. It’s his hope that you will find a number of interesting facts and trends in each of his contributions. He strives to provide the type of content you might see and hear in a television or radio broadcast.

Andrew is a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association and the chair of PFRA’s Football Geography Committee.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @FBGeography.

 

Sam Miller:

Sam is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he worked with various teams in sports information and received the Freedom Forum – NCAA Sports Journalism Scholarship for his achievements. At the University of Illinois, Miller regularly wrote feature stories about the football team. He has also served as communications intern for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate. Prior to that, he worked as a communications intern for USA Basketball and as an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Follow Sam on Twitter @samtrifecta.

 

Tex Noel:

Tex is a freelance college football statistics historian (StatHistorian) with over 30 years of experience. He has researched every level and all seasons of college football with his specialties being national champions, schools that have scored 500 or more points in a season, pre-1937 statistics, polls and anything on Parke H. Davis.

Born and still lives in the state of Indiana, Tex went to college in the “Lone Star State” because he wanted to be around others who were as crazy about football as himself. While in college, he kept football statistics by “running the sidelines” before moving to the press box for his final three years of school. It was while working for the media relations offices that he caught the research bug and found his true calling in life. He has researched the football histories at all four colleges he has attended in Texas and Oklahoma.

He currently holds the position of Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association and serves as editor of its monthly newsletter, The College Football Historian. He has written four books on the sport’s statistical history. Also, he has revised the Rose Bowl’s records section in the Bowl’s annual media guide and is considered the StatHistorian of the Rose Bowl. In addition, he serves as StatHistorian for SEC Sports Fan that includes a page called “From the Archives” where he answers college football questions.

Additionally, his work has appeared in the NCAA and NAIA record books, USA Today, Gridiron Greats Magazine, College Football Data Warehouse and RSFC. Tex contributes to college and conference media guides and releases, as well as newspapers and electronic media.

His latest book, Stars of an Earlier Autumn, is a record/history book covering the 1869-1936 seasons.

 

Bob Swick:

Bob, a football memorabilia historian, is the editor and publisher of Gridiron Greats Magazine and is the host and producer of Gridiron Greats: Football History and Its Memorabilia, which airs every other Wednesday night at 8 P.M. EST on BlogTalkRadio.com. His passion for collecting football cards and memorabilia began in 1965, which led him to writing about the treasures of the game. Since 1990, he has written for several major sports collecting publications, including Sports Collectors Digest; where he had a column entitled “Turning The Pages.” He self published Bob Swick’s Football Times in the 1990’s, a newsletter featuring the history and memorabilia of football.

He has also been a contributor to the Beckett Annual Football Card Price Guide and has been interviewed by several memorabilia publications, including Beckett Football Monthly Magazine and Tuff Stuff. Besides writing about football cards and memorabilia, Bob has been writing about sports since high school; it all started in 1976 with him covering baseball’s West Haven Yankees of the Eastern League. Additionally, he is a longtime member of the Professional Football Researchers Association and a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

Bob is a native of Connecticut, graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Economics. He currently resides in Wallingford with his wife Brenda. When not living and breathing football, Bob is the finance director for a small Milford transit agency, and has taught business and economics classes in Connecticut colleges for around 30 years.

 

Andrew Tuttle:

Andrew has been writing for more than 13 years, including five seasons covering high school football in Southern California. When he was too young to know any better, he developed a passion for the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins–though today the Jets are a heavy favorite. When not writing about football, Andrew is a contributor to Seamheads.com.

 

Tony Williams:

Tony has been an NFL fan since the early 1980s. Despite being born and raised in Northern NJ, he was never really a fan of any of the local sports teams — and to this day that holds true. The last time he rooted for local teams was in the early 80′s when he cheered for the Jets and the New Jersey Generals, when they were around in the old USFL. But something happened in the early 80′s to steer him away from rooting for home teams like the Jets, as most of his friends did.

Besides the USFL unfortunately folding, the 1983 AFC Championship was really the final straw in ending any homerisms. Richard Todd’s two pick-sixes against the hated Dolphins at a muddy Orange Bowl (damn you, A.J. Duhe!!) brought a young seven-year old to tears. He was watching the game at his grandparents’ house and when the Jets lost (14-0) he ran into the den with tears streaming down his face. His grandma, truly the tough one in the family, came to him and said something to the effect of, “Boy! Why are you crying over a football game??! You’re too young to be carrying on like that!” Even back then he realized having an ulcer over sports wasn’t healthy for a youngin’ so he decided to change teams — for good!

The NFL draft had just happened and he remembered his uncles raving about this “Elway guy” so he decided wherever Elway went that’s the team he would root for from that point on. And since the Fall of 1983, his NFL allegiance has stayed in the Mile High City. Judging by the fates of both franchises, he thinks his switch from the Jets to the Broncos back in ’83 worked out for him. Those same friends he had as a kid are STILL suffering through fan-ulcers every Sunday, while he has had the pleasure of watching the greatest QB ever (in his opinion and he will back that up with a GREAT argument, sans homerisms and bias!); TWO Super Bowl wins; some classic postseason wins; the wildy-underrated Jake Plummer era (look it up, only Peyton Manning and Tom Brady won more games than Plummer while he was a starter in Denver); the short-lived Cutler-to-Marshall era; the even shorter-lived Tebowmania (still smarting over that trade, by the way!); and now the ever-curious, exciting Peyton Manning Era.

Currently, he still resides in Northern NJ (a stone’s throw from former neighbor Peter King) and is married with one son (who, by the way, is named after Jake Plummer!). He writes for Metro New York, covering the Giants and Knicks. He went to three colleges (Grambling [LA] State University when he quickly found out GSU was no place for a wannabe walk-on QB, whom Eddie Robinson had 8th on the depth chart; Ramapo [NJ] College, where the football program was dropped the year before he got there; and finally sticking it out at William Paterson [NJ] University where he played fullback and quarterback in the Wing-T option). Following college he first cut his teeth at The Bergen Record (1998-2006), covering local high school and college sports and has been at Metro ever since. He also makes weekly appearances for local sports radio stations and podcasts from as far out as California, Cleveland, Nebraska and Louisiana, as well as local shows in Harlem, Manhattan and college radio shows.

He is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and was a finalist for the Black Press Radio “Sportswriter of the Year” award, ultimately given to Stephen A. and Carla Peay, so he guesses he has that going for himself.

Follow Tony on Twitter @TBone8.

 

Keith Yowell:

Keith has been a lifelong pro football fan – or at least since following the Philadelphia Eagles during the 1964 season as a third grader. He first started attending games in 1965, sitting on the long wooden benches at Franklin Field, and later was present at both the first and last pro football games played at Veterans Stadium (he doesn’t anticipate outlasting Lincoln Financial Field, however!).

Always interested in the history of the game, and a packrat with a large library of books and pro football publications, he is a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association and has written specifically on Philadelphia Eagles’ history for Concretefield. Since October 2009, he has devoted most of his time and attention to his blog, Today in Pro Football History. Keith has a background in reference publishing and resides in Flemington, New Jersey.