Casey Carroll’s Homecoming Season

Originally published in Lacrosse Magazine:

Casey Carroll would rather it not be about him.

Plenty of Army Rangers and other military personnel continue to put their lives at stake in Iraq or Afghanistan or somewhere else where there’s a threat to the U.S. And there are 43 other members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team, he said, that deserve their time in the spotlight.

It’s hard to realize the weight your story carries when you are living it, but as Blue Devils defenseman Henry Lobb said, “I’ve never heard of a story like it in college athletics.”

At 29 years old, Carroll is a sixth-year, redshirt senior defenseman at Duke. With four Middle East deployments behind him, a wife and two kids at home, two season-ending knee injuries and a two-year graduate business degree nearly complete, he’s not exactly a college kid.

Continue reading

Top Ravens Staffer Had To Convince Tom Brady He Actually Won Super Bowl

Originally published on Baltimoremagazine.net:

No, the Ravens weren’t in the Super Bowl. But, yes, that was the guy who works for them shadowing Tom Brady at midfield on Sunday night, amid the confetti, photographers, and reporters in the moments after the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons. His name is Chad Steele, now in his 15th year working in media relations for the Ravens. He’s tall—6-foot-7—and a former star basketball forward at Winthrop University in South Carolina in the mid-1990s. You might normally recognize him from post-game TV cuts, as the guy in the suit next to Joe Flacco when he marches onto the field to shake hands with an opposing quarterback and do interviews. “I get it quite often,” Steele said when asked if he’s recognized around town.

Continue reading

Ray Lewis Says He’s Never Seen Joe Flacco’s Passion

Originally published at Baltimoremagazine.net:

In some ways, saying Joe Flacco doesn’t have passion is not breaking news. Even Flacco admits he’s certainly not the life-of-the-party type. In fact, he said exactly that in a podcast on BaltimoreRavens.com this week. But to hear the biggest icon in Ravens history say it, in the context of a critical analysis, is somewhat jarring to hear.

Continue reading

The Best Football Team Baltimore’s Never Seen

Originally published on Baltimoremagazine.net:

This is certainly not the big money world of college football. The 834 fans at Homewood Field who watched Johns Hopkins’ 52-20 rout of Western New England on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Division-III playoffs attest to that.

So does the two hours and 34 minutes of real time it took for the nation’s sixth-ranked Division-III team to handle business against a top-20 opponent. There were no television timeouts or pre-packaged, in-game entertainment, unless you count what happened on the field. By the end of the first quarter, the Blue Jays led by two touchdowns and were on their way to a 38-0 halftime lead.

Continue reading

Great Day to be a Tar Heel

Originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Lacrosse Magazine

The ghosts of North Carolina teams of the past quarter century — the talk of not winning the big game and why — were nowhere to be found at 4:35 p.m. on Memorial Day Monday in the visiting locker room at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Joe Breschi’s last dab, the Cam Newton-inspired dance that made the Tar Heels’ coach Internet famous a week earlier after the program broke a 23-year final four drought, brushed those bad vibes out for another generation.

“Dad’s like the dab guy now,” Breschi’s wife, Judy, said, standing nearby, with three of the couple’s four daughters in toe. They had all just spent time celebrating on the field of the NFL’s Eagles. “I cried … and I cried again,” 10-year-old Lucy said in a stream of consciousness to no one in particular.

Beneath the south end zone seats, a party raged. Most of the 46 members of the 2016 edition of the Tar Heels gathered in the center of the long room, doing a dance of their own, gyrating in unison to house music that would make most DJs proud. Equipment, sweaty white-and-Carolina blue jerseys and other garments were scattered about, soaked by the perspiration of North Carolina’s epic 14-13 overtime win against top-seeded Maryland in an instant classic title game.

“We just won the national championship!” Breschi said, as if he couldn’t believe it.

Continue reading

Brentwood stunned in Class AA state final

Originally published in Newsday (N.Y.):

ONEONTA, N.Y. — This was a sound rarely heard at the end of Brentwood boys soccer games: silence.

The drums rocked and cowbells clanged during yesterday’s Class AA state final when the Indians went ahead early and even when they fell behind late. But after the 2-1 loss to Newburgh Free Academy, Brentwood’s shocked players stood quietly, not sure what to make of the end of the season.

Family members and friends walked from across the field to clap and encourage. Coach Ron Eden repeated, “Keep your heads up,” but the players were in no mood.

Continue reading

Federer has Five Good Reasons to Love NYC

Originally appeared in Newsday (N.Y.):

Roger Federer’s practice wardrobe yesterday backed up his words. He loves New York.

A day after saying he feels more relaxed heading into this year’s U.S. Open than in summers past, Federer smacked shots in a near-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium yesterday afternoon wearing a black T-shirt that read, “LOVE NYC,” on the front in red letters.

Pretty easy to say when you’ve won five straight U.S. Open titles.

“I used to struggle here a bit more because the conditions were really difficult, but then I started to embrace everything,” Federer said. “I enjoyed the wild city, New York, the way the crowds are and how loud it is. Now I love everything about it.”

Continue reading