KD ... Also Known As Kevin Dern
A Little Bit About This Man: Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm a graduate of the University of Dayton with a B.S. in Sport Management. I've worked hours on the Channel 5 Sports Desk here in Cincinnati, and with the Anthony Munoz Foundation, and am currently looking for a new challenge.
Favorite Teams: I'll rank these in order:
1. Miami Dolphins
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Orlando Magic
4. Arsenal FC
5. Ohio State football/Dayton Flyer basketball
Top 5 Sports Memories:
1. The first time I saw Dan Marino play. As I mentioned, I first saw Miami play on Thanksgiving 1993 (Marino was out for the season at that point). He and Drew Bledose combined to put up almost 900 yards passing in one game as Marino came back and Miami won 39-35. Marino had 5TDs including this game winner on 4th and 5 from 36 yards out. Go to the 3:30 mark. And if you try and tell me he's not the greatest quarterback of all time, I will fight you. And you will lose.
2. Mike Richter stopping Pavel Bure in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. Bure, the league's fastest player, gets stopped by Ricther on a penalty shot. The Rangers slay the demons and win in 7. The Rangers were my first favorite team, but I stopped following hockey after the lockout; still, I'll not forget this moment as it turned the series for the Rangers.
3. The Dolphins 2008 Division title. They beat the Jets in week 17; not much sweeter than that coming off a 1-15 season, not to mention Chad Pennington getting revenge on the Jets.
4. The Dolphins beating the Broncos 24-22 in the best NFL regular season game I've ever seen. Ricky Williams ran wild; Chris Chambers got blasted; Jay Fiedler, yes that guy; led the game winning drive with a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Olindo Mare hits a 53 yarder to win it.
5. Going undefeated (10-0) my junior year in high school. That was the best team I've ever been a part of. We were beaten by eventual state champion Chaminade-Julienne 32-21 in a monsoon (we were a pass-heavy team), who had Javon Ringer, among 7 other DI recruits to our 0. Being part of a class that went 26-4 in regular seasons and 30-6 overall was a great memory, and if you're wondering how I got 30-6 when teams play only 10 games in Ohio, it's due to the playoffs. We went 7-3, 12-1 (10-0), and 11-2 (9-1) my three years, losing in the regional finals my junior and senior years.
Writing Influences: I enjoy reading any World War II book, especially Stephen E. Ambrose. Any Vince Flynn book is usually pretty solid, and I'm currently working my way through "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", the world-wide best seller by William L. Shrier which is easily most interesting and informative book I've ever read.
Rick Reilly pre-ESPN was outstanding in Sports Illustrated (yes, we get you have a man-crush on Tiger, get over yourself). Peter King and Dr. Z are two of my favorite SI reads; Peter King is still good. Simon Clancy of Universal Draft and SI is quite good if you can get past the British axioms.
CHIZZY ... Also Known As Chad Underwood
A Little Bit About This Man: Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Did my undergrad at The University of Dayton (GO FLYERS!!!) where I got a degree in Sport Management. It was at UD where I also met my partner in crime here at TGTS while taking classes together. I moved on to the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where I'm graduating in May 2011. I'm not exactly sure where life is taking me after that, but I'm ready to be a long-time contributer to TGTS.
I won't do any sort of ranking, but I have the following favorite teams:
Dayton Flyers Basketball (it's all we got there)
Ohio State Football (born and bred Buckeye baby)
St. Louis Cardinals
Columbus Blue Jackets
Top 5 Sports Memories:
1. Phil Mickelson winning the 2004 Masters. What can I say? After years of heartbreak in the majors including the 1999 US Open at Pinehurst, Lefty finally broke through with a 15 foot putt to win the Green Jacket. I was sitting on my couch at home, and will proudly admit that this is the ONLY sporting event that ever brought me to tears.
2. The 2003 BCS Championship Game. Clarett's strip. Krenzel's testicular fortitude. And Gamble's "pass interference" call. Still in my opinion the greatest upset and game in BCS Championship history, the Buckeyes took down one of the proclaimed "best teams ever."
3. Michael Jordan hitting the jumper to win the 1998 NBA Championship over Byron Russell. I loved basketball as a kid almost as much as golf, and MJ's Bulls were my favorite team. This iconic moment would probably be #1 if MJ hadn't been an idiot and returned to play for the Wizards a few years later.
4. The 2003 OHSAA Division III State Golf Championship. Following KD's lead, my greatest athletic achievement. As the captain my senior year, the team tied for the state championship. Even though we lost on fifth man score, it was a great ride and a group of people I'll always remember.
5. Tie - Mark McGwire's 62nd Home Run in old Busch Stadium and Albert Pujols' monster HR to demoralize Brad Lidge in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS. Regardless of your feelings on the Steroid Era, it's undeniable that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's HR race brought the game of baseball back into America's hearts after the 1994 strike. Watching that line drive skim over the wall in left field was a great moment. As far as the Pujols HR, I know the Cards lost Game 6 of the NLCS, but that moon shot in Minute Maid Park is my favorite Pujols moment. Brad Lidge wasn't the same pitcher for about two years, even though he was untouchable before that.
783. The 2005 Super Bowl. The only time in my life my Philadelphia Eagles played in the Super Bowl, I was too busy being forced to slam beers during the first half for an pledge case race for my fraternity. Let's put it this way: I watched the game, but don't remember the second half and Donovan McNabb's puke. Thanks Screaming Eagles. Assholes. At least I won the case race.
1,293,294. Finishing DFL (Dead F'ing Last) at my last ever intercollegiate golf tournament at the University of Dayton. Pure embarrassment. But kind of funny if you think about it. What a way to go out.
I really have three sportswriters that I always read: Bill Simmons, Peter King, and Jason Sobel. Bill Simmons is my favorite, hands down, and I'd say that my style probably closely resembles him. I read everything he writes, and love the way he integrates humor, pop culture and his real life examples into what he writes. My dream is to be a part of his new sportswriting web page that is in development for ESPN. Peter King has a way of being a great reporter, as well as providing an objective and thoughtful look into the game of football. I love his MMQB column. And Jason Sobel to me is very similar to Simmons, using humor to bring a take on the golf world that many people haven't seen before.
As far as writers in general, I've always been fascinated by Jon Krakauer's books. Into Thin Air and Where Men Win Glory are two of my favorite books, and I love the way he's able to tell a story. I also love Michael Lewis. I've read Moneyball and The Blind Side (I hate the movie) and his articulate way to look at two differing storylines and weave them together throughout a novel is breathtaking.