Player Spotlight

As you know, one integral part of our league’s vision is to build community. In furtherance of this goal, we will be featuring a player spotlight on a weekly basis throughout the course of the fall season. Each week, we will choose a rookie and veteran player to get to know better. We hope that this will assist our league, both rookies and veterans, in getting to know those who make up our community and that this exercise will provide league-wide exposure to players whom you may not have had the chance to meet through your own team or circle of friends.

 

FEATURED NOVEMBER 16, 2016


philclawson

Phillip Clawson


Which team do you play for?
Teal-a-sauras Wrecks! With 247 years of combined flag football experience and 600+ years of combined life experience, some reporters have called us “vintage” or “experienced” or “pre-historic” or “old as f*ck”. We may be vintage, but I think we’re like a fine wine, and there’s a lot of thirsty people in this league. Drink up, and we’ll see some of you in the finals!

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
So 19+ years ago, this guy Robert placed an ad in Bay Windows asking if anyone wanted to play flag football…I was the first person to call him. We both brought a bunch of our friends to a small field in JP, and started playing pickup. So, I joined when I helped start the league. I am currently, and have always been, an offensive lineman, or a blocking tight end. On defense, I occasionally pretend to play middle linebacker or corner.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Unfortunately, it has been a long time since I‘ve been on a team that has won a championship (fingers crossed that this is our year!). But there have been 5 years I’ve won the Superfabulous Bowl! This includes the Navy team the first year we had formal teams (with Greg Packy), another Navy team a few years later (2004 or 2005?) with Tony Stuart, Dominic, Sean, and Chris Yu, Tropi-can-a Whoopass in 2007 (with Benoit Denizet-Lewis and Chad Rowland), the Perps in 2009 (with Benoit, Greg, Matt McDonald, Ryan Adndaluz, Scott Williams, and Mario Nimock), and the Flaming Hot Commodities in 2011 (with Eric Taylor, Chuti Prasertsith, Chris Chernicki, Marc Davino, and Mike McLaughlin). Apologies if I’ve missed mentioning other teammates still playing in the league!

How many Gay Bowl’s have you attended?
I’ve actually been to all but 2 of them (the two in DC). I have coached and played on amazing Boston Brawlers, Hancocks, Bulldogs, and Longfellow teams over the years, and I highly recommend it! I also helped organize Gay Bowl III in Boston, and served on the NGFFL board for a couple of years. We are part of a bigger movement, and I’m so excited to welcome the National LGBT Flag Football family back to Boston in 2017!

What is your favorite pastime?
I love travel, sports, time with friends, good food, bad TV, live music, movies, and lots more, but one of my all-time favorite places/vacations is ‘Camp’ Camp, an LGBQT summer camp for adults in Maine. It is so much fun, so much laughter, play, and good people.

What do you do for work?
I am a Corporate Responsibility leader, “doing well by doing good”. I just left a large Fortune 100 company where I helped lead philanthropy, volunteerism, and responsible business practices. I’m looking for my next opportunity, and in the interim, I am doing some CSR strategy consulting. If you know of a company that needs help with CSR, let me know!

Which neighborhood do you live in?
My partner Ken, me, and our two Akitas live in Wilbraham (Western MA, near Springfield), but we are very open to moving back to Boston (or elsewhere for that matter!)

What is your favorite thing about the league?
The fact that from the very beginning, this has been a league built on inclusiveness, camaraderie, and fun, welcoming everyone who wants to play!

What is your favorite memory from the league?
Wow, way too many to choose, but one of my favorites was the Superfabulous Bowl day in 2011 when my Flaming Hot Commodities won the championship, and then at the fields I was also awarded and presented with the Gary Sherr Service Award, which was awarded at the fields because I was flying out on vacation the next day and had to miss the year end party (also, my team made a “flat Phil” photo on a stick so I could be at the party in spirit).

conortreacy

Conor Treacy


What team do you play for?
Forest in Peace, Harambe (Forest Green)

Why did you join the league?
Knowing a few guys who have played in the league for years, I only ever heard really good things: from the competitiveness on the field, to the friendly atmosphere off it. It sounded like a really great community to be a part of and I am really glad that I joined.

How did you hear about the league?
I first heard about the league through a friend, David Lopes. To see his excitement when the flag football season rolled around spoke volumes about the league. I went out to support him a couple of times last year and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. After that, it was only a matter of time before I got involved.

What is your favorite position (in football)?
I have enjoyed playing receiver. It's probably been the easiest position for an Irish guy, who doesn't understand the rules, to play.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Dublin, Ireland. I moved to Boston 4 years ago.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I've played football (soccer) since I was 3 years old. To say I'm obsessed would be an understatement.

What do you do for work?
I'm a project manager for a construction company. I've been involved in the construction a couple of high rises around town.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I've been in the North End for the last couple of years but I'm due to move out to Charlestown next month.

What is your favorite pastime?
Outside of sports, I love to travel. I've been to almost every country in Europe. Keen to start seeing more of America and South America now.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
I've really enjoyed trying to pick up a new sport. I'm competitive by nature, so it’s been fun trying out something completely different that is somewhat outside of my comfort zone. Unfortunately, I have not had the best of luck with injuries, but it has still been great to be able to enjoy the social side of the league in spite of that.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
The entire Forest Green team has been awesome. I knew my captain, Tony Ardolino, from the soccer league but I met most of the guys for the first time at the opening party. I'm glad to have had the chance to meet such a good group of lads, that I probably wouldn't of had the chance to get to know otherwise.

What is your home life like?
I live with my brother. We both moved to Boston around the same time so it is nice to have some family around.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I've been on stage with U2 at two separate concerts in front of more than 80,000 people on both occasions. Oddly, I wouldn't even consider myself a fan of the band.

 

FEATURED NOVEMBER 9, 2016


jimmycrocker

Jimmy Crocker


Which team do you play for?
I play for Jason Muth and the Texas Orange Butternut Squash Ems. Watch out for us – we are starting to click at the right time and league vets know that it is all about team chemistry on that final weekend of play!

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined the league back in its second year (all the way back in 1998!) This is actually my 18th season playing and I keep coming back year after year because it is such a great experience. I am the longest tenured “non-founder” player in the league!

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Surprisingly, in all my years in the league, it has always escaped me. But this is my year, right Squash Ems?!?! However, I have played alongside champions over the years. Each year I am truly amazed by the level of athletic talent in this league. Every year, it seems like the talent gets better and better… or maybe I am just getting older ;)

What is your favorite pastime?
Cliché, but hanging out with friends and family. Add food, drinks, beach, and being outside to the equation and I’m happy.

What do you do for work?
I am an auditor for a bio pharmaceutical company.

Which neighborhood do you live in?
I actually live in Sandwich on the Cape. It’s an hour from Boston and an hour from Provincetown. “Gay purgatory.” The league is worth every minute of the commute.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
Definitely the people. I have met so many amazing and interesting people over the years and have forged some great friendships. It was not until I joined the league that I felt a part of the Boston gay community. Also, it’s cool to watch all the other friendships and relationships develop and flourish.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
My favorite memory was when I was the recipient of the Robert Saurer Sportsmanship Award. I was utterly blown away to be recognized for such an honor and was incredibly moved by the experience. I totally had a Sally Field’s moment “you guys like me, you really, really like me” on stage. That isn’t the only award that I’ve won over the years though – one year, I was awarded “Best Hair” and another “The Wrong Way Award.”Yep, that would be because I caught the ball and ran in the opposite direction of the end zone we were trying to score in. Complete baller move!

benchont

Ben Chont


What team are you on?
Yellow From the Other Side… because an Adele reference was much more PC than urine.

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I just moved back to Boston in June and it was a very sudden transition. I didn’t have any friends when I got here and my boyfriend told me that if I didn’t find a social activity and give him space that he would strangle me in my sleep, which would be funny if I was joking. ;)

How did you hear about the league?
A retired board member and great friend of mine, Dr. (John) Love recommended it.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I’ve been playing receiver a lot but I love when I get to play corner as well.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Wellesley but I tell people Metro-West Boston so they don’t judge me.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I grew up as a very competitive runner, participating in cross-country, and indoor and outdoor track in high school. I got a varsity letter for Academic Decathlon too. More recently, I’ve run a few half marathons and have done a few fun runs.

What do you do for work?
I’m a classically trained chef and I’m currently on the opening team of a new restaurant. (Ruka in downtown crossing. It’s going to be great and I can get you reservations!) I can also cater events and dinner parties so feel free to PM me for that.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Chelsea. People say it’s up and coming. I’d say it’s less ‘up’ and more ‘coming’.

What is your favorite pastime?
I’m a huge nerd. Superheroes, fantasy books, video games – you name it, I do it. Sometimes I go on 5-6 hour benders watching blind auditions from The Voice on YouTube.

What is your favorite thing about the league thus far?
The camaraderie both on and off the field is really amazing. I’ve never in my life felt so quickly accepted and appreciated than I did when I joined this league. I was so nervous at open play that I almost didn’t get out of my car. Then within three minutes of being there, I received a friendly hello and a handshake from Jon Richardson and it’s been an amazing experience since then.

Whom have you met, or what has occurred, that has made an impression on you?
Tough Question. I’ll start by saying that Marc Smith is an amazing captain. He makes sure everyone plays where they want to and looks out for the interests of the players. He also coordinates some great social events with other teams. Having two vets like Robert Saurer and Jonathan Fenelon has also been great; they both give tons of excellent pointers and sometimes some much needed tough love. My team in general is great, we have an excellent dynamic and it will be even better when we clinch the title!

What is your home life like?
I live with my boyfriend in a loft in Chelsea. Our home life is pretty quiet, but I don’t mind that at all. I spend a lot of time cooking and therefore eating.

Tell us something about yourself?
I am sadly a pretty boring person. I spent 10 years as a Boy Scout and spent most of my life being pretty embarrassed by it. When I finished, I was pretty well decorated and I still belong to a leadership organization within the community. So, if you’re ever stranded in the wilderness, I’m a good companion.

 

FEATURED NOVEMBER 2, 2016


dannylynch

Danny Lynch


Which team do you play for?
I play for the Camo-Toes, captained by the beautiful and fabulous, Kathy Sutkowski.

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined the league back in 2010 and I prefer to play center.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Yes, in 2010 – my rookie season! I was on the Maroon Marauders captained by the handsome Ken Westermann!

How many Gay Bowl Tournaments have you participated in and when?
Zero, but I am hoping to join a team next year when we host the tournament here in Boston.

What is your favorite pastime?
I grew up playing baseball, which turned into playing on a competitive softball team here in Boston. I have been to a number of awesome cities for various softball tournaments and have won two Gay Softball World Series, one with the Club Café Crew (Seattle) and the other with Boston Blizzard (DC).

What do you do for work?
I’m an Information Technology Manager at a downtown law firm. I provide firm-wide support for technology-based issues.

Which neighborhood do you live in?
I live in HELL (I mean Hull) on the South Shore. It is actually very gay-friendly and progressive. The town has its own gay pride committee and parade in late May. I also just completed a renovation of my backyard, complete with new patio and hot tub—perfect for team parties!

What is your favorite thing about the league?
My favorite thing about the league is even though you haven’t seen people that you previously played with in a while, you always pick up right where you left off. It’s a GREAT feeling. I have met so many different types of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met and made so many unexpected friends. Oh, and the year-end video is pretty awesome too.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
My favorite memory from the league was from back when we were a lot smaller and were able to play on the M Street fields in South Boston. It was there that I met my husband, who also plays in the league, Scott Williams.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
Here are a few nuggets about me: I grew up in Somerville; I love Color Guard – Go St. Ann’s! I am the youngest of three siblings in my family; I am a Libra; My favorite color is Carolina Blue; I make a cat noise; and my husband and I rescued our dog, Gracie!

alexreimer

Alex Reimer


What team are you on?
14 Deadly Zins. It’s a wine pun from what I hear.

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
Though I have been out for a few years, I didn’t have a single gay friend. I decided to change that this spring when I signed up for softball, where everyone kept telling me about this great football league. You guys have lived up to the hype.

How did you hear about the league?
I kept seeing all of these #masc profile pictures on Facebook and figured I had to be a part of it.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
(In football), I like to rush or play cornerback.

Where are you from?
Massachusetts born and raised: Grew up in Natick, went to school at BU and now live in Brookline. Exciting stuff, huh?

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I played baseball during high school, but spent more time on the bench than on the field. They allowed me to wear a uniform, though, which was nice. I also ran cross-country during high school and am still an active runner today—as in, I jog around the reservoir once in a while. I played softball this past spring.

What do you do for work?
I am a freelance journalist, so feel free to buy me a drink next time you see me at The Blarney Stone. My bank account would appreciate it. These days, I write for Forbes, Boston Magazine, and SB Nation. I am also a host on WEEI’s morning drive show, Kirk & Callahan.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Cleveland Circle. The highlight of the neighborhood is restaurant row, featuring Chipotle, Pino’s Pizza, Eagle’s Deli, and plenty of panhandlers.

What is your favorite pastime?
When I’m not chasing after closeted BC bros on Grindr, I’m either napping or muttering angrily to myself while watching cable news.

What is your favorite thing about the league thus far?
Everyone whom I have met so far has been friendly and encouraging. I didn’t know this many nice people were out there. In just two months, I have made more friends and connections than at any other period in my life. Now I see why it’s so hard to sign up.

Whom have you met, or what has occurred, that has made an impression on you?
Wow, that is one serious question. My entire team is great; just a warm group of guys. Bobby is also a terrific captain who maintains a positive attitude on the sidelines and buys fireball for us—hard to go wrong with that combination.

What is your home life like?
I live with my best friend from college in a lovely ground-level apartment. We have a nice view of the mulch outside of our building.

Tell us something about yourself?
When I was 12 years old, I was a guest on The Tonight Show and got into a fight with Larry the Cable Guy about steroid use in baseball.




 

FEATURED OCTOBER 26, 2016


tony-de-lousie

Tony De Louise


Which team do you play for?
Coral Isn’t Cheating! Led by the very fair and unbiased, Mike Lorrey.

When did you join the league?
I joined the league back in 2010. This is my seventh year with the league.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Not only have I never won a league championship… I don't think my team has ever made it out of the first round! Maybe once… I think one year we made it into round 2… This year is gonna be different! But regardless, I always stick around to cheer on friends and fellow footballers as we build a strong community! (I think I'm using that phrase right…)

How many Gay Bowl Tournaments have you participated in and when?
Zero! It actually pains me to put that down in writing, I can't believe I've never been! I know how much fun it is to travel and shower with everyone! Wait… I mean, “build a strong community!” (definitely used it right that time!)

What is your favorite pastime?
I love to laugh! I crack myself up A LOT. If you know me at all, you can imagine how many chuckles I've had writing this so far! I play a lot of games, and like getting outside for physical activities.

What do you do for work?
I’m a Manufacturing Engineer. I implement continuous improvement strategies to support the production of reagents used for R&D by hospitals, universities, and pharma companies… which is a lot of corporate jargon to say I build robots, and I have a blast doing it!

Which neighborhood do you live in and where did you go to college?
I live in the Frontier! What? Haven't heard of it? You will soon, its totally up and coming… There's a lot of pride here, I heard fireworks go off almost every night in July! Okay, its Roxbury. I live in Roxbury. I went to college at Northeastern, and I'm actually back there now for grad school!

What is your favorite thing about the league?
This is a tough one. There's so many things I love about the league! The camaraderie, the competition... The environment created by the league promotes lasting friendships, and experiences that truly impact the community for the better. It's hard to put into words what the league means to me, but coming from organizing another gay sports league in the city, I can really appreciate all the hard work that's put into the league to make the it run as smoothly as it does. It is nothing short of a miracle!

What is your favorite memory from the league?
Oh wow, I thought the last question was hard. Seven years of memories distilled into just one favorite?! There are just too many, and they’re almost all in part due to the role captains play in the league. The captains really do an amazing job! So, I will say one of my favorite times in the season is right in the beginning… at the Meet Your Team Party! (which is a little ironic, since I wasn’t able to attend this year). At the beginning of each season, I always start to get really excited to find out who my captain is and who’s on the rest of my team. It’s reminiscent of going back to school after summer break! You see lots of fun familiar faces... “Hi! How was your summer?!” etc, etc. It’s also exciting to see all the new players every year. I have to say, I think this is the most competitive freshman class the league’s ever had!

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
Something interesting about me? I can put my whole fist in my mouth! Haha. Seriously, I do love to travel. I’ve taken road trips with my parents around the country when I was a kid, and we’ve been to almost all the contiguous states! 44 to be exact! And I’d do it all again, who wants to go on a road trip?!

ross-pytko

Ross Pytko


What team do you play for this season?
The most socially coordinated, codependent team out there, Captain Jason Tarzia’s Will & Grays.

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I’m always looking for new ways to burn calories and meet potential one-date wonders.

How did you hear about the league?
How didn’t I hear about the league? You queens have been coming for me for years! I’ve held out because I’m allergic to temps below 60 degrees. I get it now. I’ll never complain about flag football players missing another Studs softball game for a football event ever again.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
How many people said bottom before you had to add the parenthetical? I prefer to be the person in the end zone catching the ball all the time. Hasn’t always happened, but I have a strong preference for that.

Where are you from?
The Wu! I grew up in the ‘burbs of Worcester (central Mass).

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I blacked out most of a college tennis career and have been a fixture in the tangled web of the Beantown Softball League for the past 7 seasons.

What do you do for work?
You aren’t going to show them my answers, right? On my better days, I’m a lawyer; other days I’m just a really flexible paperweight.

What neighborhood do you live in?
The Frontier (Roxbury)! It’s not really a neighborhood quite yet, but if we host a few more parties we’re hoping you all move over there and cause the property values to skyrocket.

What is your favorite pastime?
Answering questions sarcastically. Also, any sort of physical activity (that I don’t suck at).

What is your favorite thing about the league thus far?
So far I’m enjoying the fact that my team has a great record and the other teams my friends are on (cOral doesn’t count), well, don’t. Ya. I’m enjoying that…so far.

Whom have you met, or what has occurred, thus far that has made an impression on you?
Compound question, but I’ll answer anyway. That’s easy; same answer to both, my team. I was that bitchy gay that showed up to the meet-your-team event, just knowing my captain (after 2 seasons of softball), and unsure how much I was going to enjoy spending a season with group of people I didn’t know. Boy, was I off base. In what seems like the fastest two months of my life, through the hard work and total dedication of our captain and other social chair, it’s been an amazing experience playing on the W&Gs. We have people from all walks of life whom I have enjoyed getting to spend time with tremendously. I know no matter how we end up finishing on the field this season, I’m going to carry these friendships with me for life. That’s the type of “community building” (a term that I was totally coached to use, but it is spot-on) that I haven’t seen in other groups in this city, and it has certainly made an impression on me!

What is your home life like?
My codependent weirdo, Tony De Louise, and I bought a big ‘ole gay townhouse and have been hosting parties there pretty much every weekend for the past 6 months. If you haven’t been over yet, you will soon!

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I’m wrapping up Mr. Duval; I promise.

Instead of picking one obscure thing that will bore you, I’m going to use this response to thank everyone that has anything to do with making this league as truly awesome as it is. Could I come up with some gripes? Sure. My shorts aren’t bedazzled, for one. No one blasts Taylor Swift as soon as I catch the ball in the end zone. We’ve got some room to improve here. But, after coming into this season expecting, well, a mystery bag at best, I can say that my experience has been nothing short of fantastic. I attribute that to all the hard work the players, captains, refs, and other volunteers who run this league put into it. To all you, I say brava, and a huge thank you from this “rook.”

 

FEATURED OCTOBER 19, 2016


mike-salvi

Mike Salvi


Which team do you play for?
I play with … I mean for… Jon Richardson’s Royal Family Jewels.

When did you join the league?
I joined the league back in 2009. This is my eighth year in the league.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Unfortunately, I have not been part of a Super Fab Championship. Winning the title is not an easy task, as there is a lot of great competition. Perhaps this is the year. But, as so many teams with good (even the best) records at the end of the season know, it’s all about who shows up to play to win that final day.

How many Gay Bowl Tournaments have you participated in and when?
I have not been to a Gay Bowl Tournament yet but I am thinking about playing next year when we host the tournament here in Beantown.

What is your favorite pastime?
My favorite pastime is watching the NFL on Sundays with my Dad and family. I really enjoy the family time and, of course, as anyone who knows me is aware, I am a big Pats fan. I also enjoy cooking Italian, as many of my teammates from the past can tell you. I enjoy hosting dinners at my home for my teammates, past and present, and I make one hell of a lasagna.

What do you do for work?
I am a State Director for two small companies that provide services to people with disabilities. I have also been a volunteer fireman with The City of Somerville since 1987.

Which neighborhood do you live in and where did you go to college?
I currently live in Quincy, MA. I grew up in North Cambridge/Somerville. Growing up, I didn’t have time for school because I was always working to support my family and myself, but I did go to Bunker Hill Community College for my Emergency Medical Technician Certificate.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
What I like most about the league is twofold: (1) how well it is run and organized and (2) how the league can make a difference in so many lives, including mine. By joining this league, you meet so many genuinely kind people and develop friendships over the years that truly last a lifetime. I don’t know of any organization that people wait at their computer to join and hit refresh for minutes, over and over again, like they do to get a spot in this league. It says a lot about what the league means to people and what it’s all about. When you’re on that field, it’s like nothing else really matters, it is just such a great feeling.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
My favorite memory… that’s a tough one since I have many incredible memories from my time in the league. I would have to say that the season I played with Tony Vaccaro as my captain on the White Team was my favorite. Playing with Timmy Walsh, Joel, Trevor, Keith B., they were all such a great group of guys and the camaraderie was so strong. But, every team I have played for has provided me with memorable moments. So far, this year is amazing as well and, thanks to our director of play and the author of these spotlights, I was given the nickname “The Bus” last fall, which I really enjoyed, and it carried over to this season. Watch out for The Bus!

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
Beginning in 1997, I was the victim of workplace discrimination based on my sexual orientation and was constructively discharged from my employment with the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Department due to a severe hostile work environment. My sexual orientation was involuntarily disclosed throughout my department and I was the subject of vicious attacks, including being called “fucking fag”, “pussy”, and other names by my commanding officer and co-workers. Children's toy blocks spelling "FAG" were sent anonymously to my home, which I shared at the time with my domestic partner. My conditions at work were changed so that I was given different assignments and was made to feel as uncomfortable as possible on a daily basis for being gay. I knew that the way I was being treated was wrong and luckily, I lived in a state where that type of discrimination was prohibited by law but there weren’t a lot of sexual orientation based cases back then. I fought the establishment and filed a lawsuit against my employer. I ultimately prevailed almost a decade later, in 2006, and the court’s decision in my lawsuit is often still cited as precedent today in cases of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Sexual orientation protections had only been in place in Massachusetts for about a decade when I became a victim of discrimination at work by a state, public employer. To bring it back to the league, when I joined, I found a safe place where I could be myself with other men who accepted me for who I am and allowed me to be myself. The Court of Appeals decision in my case can be found here:
http://masscases.com/cases/app/67/67massappct596.html

alihi-weight

Alihi Weight


What team do you play for this season?
I am on Hilary’s UnRED Emails with Karl Ames.

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I really enjoy playing football and meeting new people and the league seemed like a good place to start.

How did you hear about the league?
I heard about the league from my co-worker, Mike O’Brien, who I threw a pick six to a couple of weekends ago on the first play of the game (yes, I've moved past this). He told me that the league was fun, competitive, and very well organized. I have learned that all of what he promised is true.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I prefer to play QB.

Where are you from?
I am from Northern California.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
Yes, I was an all-season athlete and played a variety of sports.

What do you do for work?
I am a Business Manager for Boston Sports Clubs.

What neighborhood do you live in?
South End.

What is your favorite pastime?
I enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, snowboarding, and anything where I get to enjoy time with my family!

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
As an ally, I really have felt so welcome in this league. So many players have made it a point to say hello and introduce themselves to me. There is such a strong sense of community within the league that I appreciate. My teammates take the cake though. I feel as though we've built great camaraderie. We lift one another up on the field and back each other up in our games as we fight toward one common goal, to win the championship!

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
The level of organization in this league is beyond impressive. From the volunteer work that is done, to the down and distance chains, to the fields being set-up and painted for us each week. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of this league.

What is your home life like?
I have another team at home that I also love being a part of, Team VAN (My wife Veronika, Ahili, and my daughter Nika)! My family is everything to me and I spend all the time I can with them, outside of work and football of course. :)

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
When I first moved to Boston, I was an extra in a movie called "The Game Plan". It was a cool experience. I was able to walk on the field at Gillette Stadium, met Eddie George, Paul Pierce, Jamal Duff, Morris Chestnut, Kyra Sedgwick, and the Rock.

 

FEATURED OCTOBER 12, 2016


erictaylor

Eric Taylor


Which team do you play for?
I play for the Carrot Tops.

When did you join the league?
I joined the league in 2007. This year marks my ninth year as a member of the league, and I’ve played during both the fall and spring seasons.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
My team won the league championship in 2011. I was part of Phil Clawson’s team—The Hot Commodities. That was a fun season with a great group of guys who are among the toughest I’ve played with in my nine years in the league.

How many Gay Bowl Tournaments have you participated in and when?
I have been to a total of three Gay Bowl tournaments: 2009 in Washington, D.C, 2015 in San Diego, and 2016 in D.C. I’ve also played on travel teams that have competed in the Pride Bowl in Chicago during the summer. Each tournament has given me the opportunity to play against elite athletes from across the country and to build some really amazing friendships with other members of our travel teams. The tournaments also have provided me with a greater appreciation for the level of commitment and support we have within this league.

What is your favorite pastime?
My favorite pastime is watching professional football. On Sundays, I enjoy putting on NFL RedZone and not moving from the couch from 1 p.m. until midnight.

What do you do for work?
I'm an electrical engineer at Raytheon.

Which neighborhood do you live in and where did you go to college?
I currently live in Dorchester. I earned my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and, in addition to my position at Raytheon, am pursuing a master’s degree in engineering at Northeastern University.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
What I appreciate most about the league are the people and the friendships. This league has given me the opportunity to meet so many friends who will remain a part of my life forever. The league gives me the rare chance to spend time with close friends while at the same time fulfilling my competitive drive.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
There have been many good memories, so it’s difficult to pick just one. And while I’m hesitant to single out one team, I’d have to say that my favorite memory is of playing with my green team— Gettin’ Jalapeño Business—during the spring 2015 season. That experience allowed me to form a team with close friends, and to play with both new players and skilled veterans. Each weekend, we had a blast together on the field. It brought together, for me, what I think our league is all about: football, fun, and friendship.

nicholascecchini

Nicholas Cecchini


What team do you play for this season?
I am on the Functioning Aquaholics with David Lopes.

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I recently moved back to Boston and felt that it was a great way to meet new people. So far, so good.

How did you hear about the league?
I heard about it through a few friends who have played in the past, coupled with some independent research. 

What is your preferred position (in football)?
Corner.

Where are you from?
Weymouth, MA. 

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I played both basketball and soccer in my younger days. 

What do you do for work?
By trade, I’ve worked as a Project Manager for various banks/hedge funds; however, I recently left that world to start selling real estate in the South End/Back Bay area.  

What neighborhood do you live in?
South End.

What is your favorite pastime?
I love the spontaneity of traveling and exploring new cities with no set itinerary. I also enjoy cooking (mainly Italian) and hiking. 

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
Without a doubt, the team camaraderie. We have such a great group of guys and our captain does an excellent job of planning events and fostering communication and cohesion both on and off the fields. 

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
Open Play was an extremely positive experience for me and made a strong first impression on someone new to the league. Also, for someone with little playing experience, the clinics were very well run and the captains and board members were all super friendly and helpful throughout the course of the day. 

What is your home life like?
I tend to stay pretty busy (chalk it up to having a short attention span). A typical week consists of checking out local bars/restaurants, working out/running, and trying to visit my family on the South Shore whenever possible. 

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
One interesting fact about me is that I hate this question because I never know what to say! But second to that, I spent the last seven years living in New York City and try to visit as much as possible. 

 

FEATURED OCTOBER 5, 2016


dannadeau

Dan Nadeau


Which team do you play for?
Teal-o-saurus Wrecks

When did you join the league?
My first season was 2004. I was just "coming-out", trying to figure out my place in Boston. I had met Tony Gale, Patrick McCarron, Ernie Bean, and Paul Bacigalupo and they all encouraged me join, suggesting that the league would be a great place to enjoy playing football and, more importantly, meet a diverse great group of people. The Old NAVY Morgan Fairchilds captained by Chris Swank was my first team. Chris and I have been reunited for the first time this Fall! Despite tearing my ACL during the semi-finals of the Super Fabulous Bowl that year, I had an amazing experience.

What roles have you held and when?
I was a Captain of the "Bloody Marys" (Red) in 2005. I also served on the Board of Directors as the Director of Captains during the 2013 and 2014 seasons and I continue to "unofficially" help with a couple of our league sponsor relationships.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
NO!!! Don't get me started. I have been to Fall Super Fabulous Bowl once with the Black Team (Greg Pakhladzhyan was the captain) in 2008 but lost to Orange (Robert Sauer). That year, it was 15 degrees outside and the windchill was below zero. The ground was frozen solid and your cleats couldn't penetrate the turf. This past Spring (2016), my team lost in the Rosie Bowl Finals to Baby Blue Ryan Black & Tony Ardolino.

How many Gay Bowl Tournaments have you participated in and when?
I have only played in one, 2009 in Washington, DC with the Hancocks. It was an incredible football experience. The level of play was impressive and it was even more fun off the fields. I highly recommend players who have not participated in a national tournament to play and/or attend at least one. Fall 2017 in Boston is a good opportunity!

What is your favorite pastime?
Hmm, just one? My favorite and most rewarding is being a Dad and spending time with my 14 year old daughters Bella & Bailey. I have really enjoyed helping coach their basketball team the past couple of years and coaching them through their first dating and "crush" experiences. Summer vacations to Disney World and Ogunquit Beach with my BF Michael McEvoy and the girls have also been really special. Otherwise, I love traveling (just got back from Amsterdam and Croatia), playing golf, skiing, going to the gym, and experiencing new breweries and distilleries. Always enjoy a quality IPA or Bourbon.

What do you do for work?
I'm the head of HR for John Hancock Insurance.

What neighborhood do you live in and where did you go to college?
I live in Jamaica Plain. I attended Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
I love that we have a competitive football experience that is anchored in community, sportsmanship, and social/developing friendships. I think changing teams each season is key. It has afforded me the opportunity to meet new friends that I may not have had the opportunity to get to know and develop some level of a relationship through the routines of life. I have played in other Boston sports leagues for years and met very few new people. The majority of my friends today are connected at some point through the league.

What is my favorite memory from the league?
So many.... LOL, I think one of my new favorite memories is Jake Barker and my daughters, Bailey and Bella, sharing pics of guys that they each found "hot" on the patio at Blarney a few weeks ago. It really sums up the inclusive experience of the league that a father can bring his daughters with him to social events and they are made to feel welcome by the players. I also remember my first interception of QB Craig Haas in 2009...only happened once. I also have so many fond memories of "Swank Films". Being a part of my BF, Michael McEvoy's first playoff win as a player and/or captain was also a memorable moment for me. I love when new players to the league or football over the course of a season put themselves out on the field, learn, try new positions, and realize that can really play football and make big contributions to the team. I love the annual memories of playing deep into the Rosie or Super Fabulous Bowls, or just hanging around enjoying the tournament with a beverage and friends.

aripehkonen

Ari Pehkonen


What team are you on?
Optimus Lime

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I knew playing in the women’s league, which I did last season, wasn’t something I wanted anymore as I came to identify as a man. Yet, I love flag football and didn’t want to put my life on hold while I transition, so joining this league has been on my radar for some time.

How did you hear about the league?
My [amazing, funny, handsome] friend Andy Lescynski who plays on the Gold team described the league to me and assured me that everyone is extremely nice and welcoming to people of all kinds and identities.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
Despite usually playing receiver and catching passes, I’m more passionate about defense. I love to break up passes as a corner when I get the chance and I live for interceptions. But I definitely haven’t learned how to play defense in this league yet.

Where are you from?
I’m from Finland and moved to the United States 11 years ago for college.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I was a really serious hockey player. I played in the 2006 Olympics and I have 2 World Championship bronze medals. I played D1 hockey in college, which brought me to New England. Since those days I’ve played hockey much less seriously in various adult leagues but I was so excited to find flag football as a new sport a year ago.

What do you do for work?
I’m a financial analyst for a medium-size software company.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Jamaica Plain and really enjoy the diversity and all-around queerness of the community.

What is your favorite pastime?
Besides Saturdays at FLAG Flag, I try to spend time with friends and out in the (LGB)T community. My go-to outlet is reading, but I’m trying to be creative and write more during my free time.

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
I’ve been so impressed and positively surprised by how warm and welcoming everyone in the league is. I had lots of hesitations and nervousness about joining and showing up for open play, but I’m so happy I did it. Meeting so many great people and being welcomed with open arms has been a really positive experience so far.

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
In addition to everyone on my team and Captain Koko (Kory), I’ve met so many nice veterans of the league and many of the other captains. I had a blast at ExDragvaganza, all the queens were superfabulous!

What is your home life like?
I live with my wonderful girlfriend Sydney who can usually be found on the Optimus Lime sidelines. (Say hello if you see her, she loves to meet new people!) Mostly though, it feels like I spend very little time at home as I’m either at work, at the gym, or out with friends. I also recently became a substitute ESOL teacher.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I have an unhealthy obsession with anything birthday cake flavored. Like birthday cake ice cream, birthday cake donuts, birthday cake cupcakes, birthday cake gum…

 

FEATURED SEPTEMBER 28, 2016


jonathanfenelon

Jonathan Fenelon


Which team do you play for?
I play on Marc Smith’s Yellow from the Other Side this season. 

When did you join the league?
I joined the league eight years ago. I remember having a discussion with someone from the Beantown Softball league who mentioned the flag football league as a great opportunity to meet new people. As a lover of football, it was a no-brainer. Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I could have made!

What roles have you held and when?
I was a captain for the first and only time in the spring of 2016 (#ShockTops4Lyfe, whoot whoot). But informally, I am known for being an active volunteer for the football community service efforts, contributor to the FLAG Flag Football League Charitable Auction (please, please bid me up!), and my non-sanctioned football social events. ;)

Have you won a League Championship and when?
No. The closest I came was with Robert Saurer during my first year in the league. From then on, you can measure my successes by the fun I have had over the years. Who knows, maybe this is the year?

How many gay bowl tournaments have you participated in and when?
2015 – San Diego, Boston Longefellows

What do you do for work?
I am currently a project manager for a design-build firm in the South End. We focus on high-end residential, boutique, commercial, and restaurants. I am probably better known in the league for my restaurant experience in my previous life as a chef and sommelier/wine maker at some pretty cool places in town.

What neighborhood do you live in and where did you go to college?
I have lived in the South End for almost fifteen years and went to Syracuse University for my undergrad and Temple University for grad work in architecture, real estate, and development.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
This league has offered so much to so many. For some, the league is a source of incredible competition. For others, it has procured rich and meaningful relationships. You can learn a lot through sports – instilling confidence and teaching you humility, pushing yourself, and working with others, in both victory and defeat. And when all is said and done, we find the equalizer in alcoholic beverages!

What is my favorite memory from the league?
As with all of the profiles before me, it is hard to isolate one memory. I have benefited from so many experiences over the last eight years. But the part that I love the most is the pay-it-forward attitude of the members of the league. Whether it is through community service, mentoring on the fields, or through social activities, everyone shares these important moments with one another. These are the memories that we hold so dear.

davidbaggs

David Baggs


What team are you on?
Functioning Aquaholics

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I joined for fun. The social and community aspect that the league offers within the LGBT community is a great opportunity.

How did you hear about the league?
Jon Richardson let me know about the league via Facebook. In addition, Tom Ensminger who used to play here had told me about the league.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
Offensive line, or middle linebacker on defense.

Where are you from?
Reading MA.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
Football, baseball, and ran track in high school.

What do you do for work?
SR Manager of the Red Sox Sales Academy. The goal of the Sales Academy is to grow future leaders within the sports and entertainment field. Day to day I manage 15 sales reps who are selling Red Sox season tickets, suites, group outings, and special events held at Fenway Park.

What neighborhood do you live in?
The Fenway.

What is your favorite pastime?
Spending time with family, friends, travel, and attending sporting events.

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
The people. From returning players, new players, others involved in the league, everyone has been welcoming, friendly, and there is a strong sense of community.

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
During open play, I quickly realized that there are a lot of talented athletes in the league. In addition, the league is well organized.

What is your home life like?
Living close to work is great, but I’m a bit of a recovering workaholic. When home, I’m chatting with family, friends, cooking, and catching up on shows.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
In June of this year, I came out publically at work through an outsports.com article. The following day I threw out the first pitch at Fenway before the Red Sox annual Pride Night alongside former MLB player Billy Bean, MA Attorney General Maura Healy, and Chad Gifford from Bank of America. I’ve been fortunate to have worked for or on behalf of four sports franchises, (LA Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco 49ers/Legends, and the Red Sox) and historically the sports world has been behind the times on social issues, but those times are changing for the better.


 


FEATURED SEPTEMBER 21, 2016


garysherr

Gary Sherr


Which team do you play for?
I am on Steve Gianquitti's Golden Receivers this season.

When did you join the league?
I joined in 2003. (You had me at ‘hello’). Like a lot of newbies, I was nervous about my skill level, if I would be any good and, most importantly, what to wear on the first day. I still remember that first day of open play. It was very informal back then, no clinics, but we played scrimmage games and it calmed all my nerves. I felt welcome and never looked back.

What roles have you held and when?
In 2004, I was a team captain. The very next year, I began serving on the Board of Directors and acted as League Commissioner from 2005-2010. During my first year as Commissioner, we had only 12 teams. Games were played in South Boston at M Street Park and we had only 3 time slots—10am, 11:15, and 12:30pm. This year, I am on the Boston Gay Bowl Committee responsible for organizing the tournament in Boston in 2017!

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Yes, I (finally) won in 2013. It took about 6 or 7 years playing in the league for me to actually win a game in the playoffs. When I won, I played on the Orange ‘Man-on-Mandarin’ team with Victor Sandman as captain.

How many gay bowl tournaments have you participated in and when?
2005 – San Diego
2006 – Dallas
2007 – NYC
2008 – Chicago (the 1st Pride Bowl)
2015 – San Diego

What do you do for work?
I am co-owner of a family practice specializing in wealth management and financial planning for individuals.

What neighborhood do you live in and where did you go to college?
I live in South Boston and attended Northeastern University.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
When you join the league, you are not just playing a sport—you are joining a community. I think it’s that feeling of belonging to something—something fun, something special, something that allows you to grow and become a better person. Yes, that it my favorite thing!

What is my favorite memory from the league?
It’s hard to pick just one. The year-end parties were all really special and fun. I think I remember moments from all of them. As Commissioner, my favorite memories were on Friends and Family Day, when I got to meet many of the parents watching their kids play a sport or catch a ball—for the first time! The players who invited parents were so proud to share the experience with their families—and many parents had no idea that a gay sports league like ours was in existence. I believe that these moments helped break down barriers and became the foundation of our future non-profit mission.

colingibbons

Colin Gibbons


What team are you on?
Optimus Lime

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I played intramural flag football in college and was excited there was a well-run and competitive league in Boston. I recently moved to the area from New York City and thought this would be a great way to meet new people and make friends. I could not pass up the opportunity to indulge in the greatest gift known to man, American Football.

How did you hear about the league?
You can blame Matt McAndrews and Bobby Gillenwater for introducing me to the league.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I played QB, WR, and CB throughout college and those are definitely my favorite positions (in football).

Where are you from?
I grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. I went to undergrad at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA and just finished my MBA at Columbia University in NYC.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I’ve been playing sports my entire life. I played golf, basketball, and baseball up until college. I had never played football competitively until joining my fraternity’s flag football team my freshman year but I’ve loved it from day one. I consider myself pretty competent in all of these sports, but I am probably one of the worst volleyball players you will ever meet.

What do you do for work?
I work as a Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. I mainly do strategy consulting and M&A for pharmaceutical companies (I’m one of the bad guys Bernie Sanders warned you about).

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Davis Square in Somerville with two of my fraternity brothers. If you’re ever in the area I strongly suggest going to Sound Bites on Broadway.

What is your favorite pastime?
Definitely have to go with traveling on this one. Most recently, I spent two and a half weeks in Vietnam and it was unbelievable. I don’t want to get too deep here but seeing other parts of the world and how different they are in comparison to our little bubble here in Massachusetts really makes me appreciate how many amazing places and things there are to experience out there.

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
It’s only been one week but I have to say the social aspects of the league have been great. I’m really looking forward to all of the upcoming organized events and getting to know more of you! Although it was stressful, I had a really fun time before, during, and after open play and definitely enjoyed being taken off of the waitlist.

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
My first game playing quarterback, I was intercepted twice by one of the safeties on the camo team. That left quite the impression on me, especially since it was my first shot at QB. But it's okay, come playoff time, I’m gonna leave that kid in the dust.

What is your home life like?
Somerville is certainly not NYC but I’ve really enjoyed the first four months of being in Boston. I still have a close group of college friends in the area who I regularly watch football and play poker with. On weekends, I usually try to keep things interesting, as I visit friends in Portland, Providence, and NYC pretty frequently.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I have two different colored eyes. One is blue and one is green. If you ever see me on Saturdays come stand uncomfortably close and check them out!

 


FEATURED MAY 18, 2016


AlexCai

Alex Cai


What team are you on?
I am on the hardcore Maroon 8.5 +.

When did you join the league?
I joined the league in spring 2015. It has just now been a full year of great memories for me.

How did you find the league?
I had a friend who had recently moved to Boston at the time who was constantly sharing his great social and playing experiences in the league. I decided to try it out and see if a little guy can also play what I saw as a big man's sport. Joining the league was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. I am proud to be a FLAG Flag Footballer!

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I have only played rusher since my very first game. I want to eventually learn to play on both sides of the ball.

Have you ever won a championship?
I’ve never won a championship. I think by doing my best every game, I will help my team to win the championship one day.

What do you do for work?
I am a management consultant for one of the Big Four professional service firms. I help our financial service clients streamline their business process and improve efficiencies. You will see me wearing tank tops and shorts a lot since I am tired of wearing suits on weekdays. I am on the road Monday to Thursday. Say hi to me when you see me at the airport!

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in the South End, a few blocks from Club Café and Trophy Room. I don’t recall going there much though. I prefer to enjoy the historical side of Boston. ;)

What is your favorite pastime?
I am still a fraternity guy at heart. My fraternity – Sigma Chi - is very important to me. In the future, I’d like to spend more time organizing events to make it easier for our Boston alums to get together for lunch, bar hopping, or general networking. Recently, I attended a seminar at MIT with undergraduate brothers from our MIT chapter, Harvard chapter, and UMASS colony. It feels great to give back to my general fraternity and brotherhood.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
My favorite thing about the league is the level of competition on the fields. I think the organization of it all is phenomenal: from having a designated group of board members to run the league to having official referees to manage the games. We can be friends, family, or lovers off of the field, but when we put that flag on and the ball is snapped, we become so dedicated to the team we are on. I love it.

Tell us about a special memory from playing?
Without doubt, I can say playing flag football has become part of who I am and an important part of my life. My favorite moment was at Gay Bowl 2015 in San Diego. It was the end of the last Hancock’s game and one of the very last games that day. The sun was setting, field was cooling down, and players from all over the country were tired and getting wrapped up by the trainers. After the Hancocks cheered for their opponent and the referees, they yelled 'thank you Alex for cheering for us!’. I was grateful that my brothers appreciated the support. This is a league where people value and cherish the little things that we do for each other.

MichaelPetruzzi

Michael Petruzzi


What team are you on?
VersaTEAL

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
I figured it would be a great way to meet some people in Boston with similar interests. I also had been looking for a fun rec football league to play in since I moved here a couple years ago and this seemed like a great opportunity.

How did you hear about the league?
I had a couple friends who had participated in the league in the past and raved about how great of an experience it was. I kind of forgot about the league until the night of sign-ups when one of my friends texted me to remind me about it (thanks Pat Harrington!). After some convincing and taking my time to sign up that evening, my name made it onto the waitlist. I then was lucky enough to join Cadien Shaw’s VersaTEAL in the second weekend of games when he decided to take on a 15th player.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
In flag football, I love playing safety and wide receiver. I am happy playing whatever position though - besides QB; don’t make fun of me if you see me throwing a football.

Where are you from?
I grew up my entire life in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana. I also went to school at Indiana University, just an hour south of Indy. Boston is the first city outside of the state that I’ve lived in. I moved here about two years ago after graduating from IU.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I have played sports my entire life. If you name it, I probably played it (not necessarily well) at some point growing up. In high school, I played both basketball and football. Football has always been my favorite sport; I primarily played outside linebacker and a little bit of running back. Instead of continuing to play competitively in college, I played on my fraternity’s flag football team, which was an awesome time and still incredibly competitive.

What do you do for work?
I work as a strategic insights manager for Procter & Gamble at their Gillette headquarters in Southie/Seaport.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live on the west side of Southie off of West Broadway.

What is your favorite pastime?
Whenever I am asked this I feel like a really boring person. I love working out, whether that is simply going for a run or going to a Barry’s Bootcamp/Flywheel class. I also really enjoy going to different EDM shows and other concerts (country especially!). I’m always down to go to a new show if anyone has any suggestions!

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
All aspects of the league, from the competitiveness to the social aspects, to how well organized everything is, have really blown me away. I can’t really pick just one. It has been great to meet so many people and I can’t wait to continue to meet even more. I’m also really looking forward to seeing how the tournament unfolds this weekend.

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
I really can’t pick just one thing or one person as everything has been a great experience so far. I really do appreciate everyone on my team for welcoming me with open arms despite being a late addition to the team. They have all been incredibly supportive and inclusive, making sure I didn’t feel like a late addition at all. They’ve also taught me that there are a million different ways to include the word “Teal” in different sayings (ie. Bye TEALicia, TEALor Swift, TEALquila, the list goes on forever).

What is your home life like?
I live with one roommate. I’m typically not around a bunch, but if I’m at home I’m probably being lazy and watching some random show on Netflix or reruns of Modern Family. Most of the time I’m either at work or hanging out with friends. On the weekends you can most likely find me at a bar in Southie with friends using some unimportant sporting event as an excuse to do something.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I am a huge Indianapolis sports fan – yes that means even the Colts. I worked in the Colts Marketing Department all throughout college. My ultimate goal is to work in some capacity within the sports industry again at some point.

 


FEATURED MAY 11, 2016


JoeHykel

Joe Hykel


What team are you on?
I am on the Whitey Whitey Bostones.

When did you join the league?
I joined the league in 2007 after I moved back to Boston from Los Angeles.

How did you find the league?
I had played against the Boston travel teams in a few Gay Bowls, so I knew that Boston had a league. When I moved back to Boston, one of the first things I did was sign up to play for this league.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I prefer wide receiver, linebacker, or cornerback.

Have you ever won a championship?
I previously won three Gay Bowl titles before returning to Boston, but I have not won a league championship yet. This spring season may be the one!

Have you ever attended a Gay Bowl?
I played in the first 10 Gay Bowls before I adopted two boys.

What do you do for work?
I am a math teacher. I have taught 8th grade for the last nine years and will be teaching in a high school next year.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Wakefield with my husband and two children. It’s a great town, just north of the city.

What is your favorite pastime?
I spend most of my time with my two boys and my amazing husband. We love to fish, ride bikes, hike, swim, play basketball, play board games, and gardening. We have yet to successfully grow anything, but if I can get the kids to water the veggies once per day (instead of five times) I think we’ll be in business.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
I like that we can just show up and play. Everyone is there to have fun. The league is competitive but maintains a positive and friendly environment. I love bringing my boys to hangout on the sideline. Every team has welcomed them as part of our team.

Tell us about a special memory from your playing years?
I have so many memories related to playing football in the league, but one of my favorites was when I coached the Kelly Green Bay Packers. We finished the regular season ranked 17th but ended up finishing 4th in the SuperFabulous Bowl!

But my top memory, without a doubt, was when I convinced this guy I was dating to join the league. He always wanted to but didn’t have a car. I gave him rides to the fields each week and ended up marrying him two years later.

What is your home life like?
My husband Jim and I got married in August 2009. We moved to Wakefield and adopted two boys in November 2013. We love our house in the suburbs. Our son Anthony is 10 and our son Ahmir is 8, so they get a lot of use out of our big backyard. We spend as much time outside as we can. The boys take after their dads and play lots of sports. They play basketball, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. This spring, they decided to play flag football like their dads. I am fortunate enough to be able to coach Anthony’s team.

Tell us something that we should know about you…
Our lives changed forever in the greatest way possible when we adopted the boys. Jim and I both used to play basketball and football. Now, I play football and Jim plays basketball. The boys have made our house a real home and we couldn’t be happier. To celebrate all that adoption has done for our family, we are taking part in an adoption walk. We are raising money for the wonderful organization that brought our family together. If you’re interested, follow this link to learn more about our team or to donate to this incredible and life-changing cause. http://www.jordanswalkforadoption.org/participantpage.asp?uid=4803&fundid=2532

MeiissaReddick

Melissa Reddick


What team are you on?
Blurred Limes!

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
To meet good people and have some fun! I came to Snow Bowl this year and it was a great time. Also, everyone I met was giving me advice to make sure I didn’t miss sign-ups, so how could I not join?

How did you hear about the league?
I was looking for a social sports league, and when I Googled ‘flag football’ this was one of the first results that popped up. When I checked out the website, I learned what the organization stands for and was very impressed. It looked like a very fun and inclusive group of people to get involved with, and when I showed up for Snow Bowl it was even more fun than I imagined! I knew I had to get in on the spring season after that experience.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I don’t really know yet what my favorite is. I’m typically put in as a center. I really like playing as a receiver and blocker, sometimes rushing. I also got a chance to play QB during the scrimmages at the start of the season. I had a lot of fun and discovered I’m great at throwing interceptions. I don’t know if I would do it again during a game anytime soon, but it would be fun to hone my skills so maybe I could be a secret weapon one day.

Where are you from?
This always feels like a loaded question, because I’m never sure where to start. I am currently living in Watertown, I moved to MA about 4 years ago to be closer to my extended family. I grew up an Air Force brat: born in Las Vegas and raised in Virginia, Iceland and New Jersey.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I wasn’t too into organized sports growing up, and other than playing in a flag football league last summer I really haven’t been on any other teams in my adult life. I did gymnastics, played soccer and floor hockey when I was younger, but when I moved to New Jersey in 5th grade I wasn’t really interested in those things anymore. I got into strength training in high school because I could do it on my own, and now I typically stick to individual stuff like workout/dance classes, and yoga. I like the change of mindset that comes with playing on a team. I tried an adult dodgeball league last fall, but it was not my type of fun.

What do you do for work?
I’m a project coordinator for Tufts Health Plan, so I spend a lot of time initiating and tracking change within my department. I like to think of it as creating organized chaos :)

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Watertown, close to Cambridge. I think it’s considered East Watertown, but I don’t know very much about the area in that way. 

What is your favorite pastime?
Traveling with my family is very important to me. My father has shown my brother, my sister and me a lot of new and exciting places during our lives, but my favorite vacation repeats every year. My immediate family and aunts/uncles/cousins from my dad’s side go on vacation to Lake George, in upstate New York. Hiking and other outdoor activities like a tree top obstacle course and horseback riding in the mountains, being on the lake, enjoying the sights, good food and family never gets old. It’s a great way to escape, refresh and get ready for autumn to settle in.

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
Honestly, it’s the social aspect of it and the community involvement. Not only have I met genuinely nice and interesting people through the league, with whom I hope to have long and healthy friendships, there are also a ton of volunteer opportunities and other events to connect with people you might not get a chance to on the field. I wish I had time to attend everything!

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
There are quite a few people that I met at Snow Bowl who were really enthusiastic about me joining the league, even though I didn’t know anyone when I showed up. It really encouraged me to sign up, and it’s awesome to see so many familiar faces on the field even though it’s my first season. Spencer was the first person I met when I showed up, and he has made the biggest impression on me; he’s so warm, enthusiastic and inclusive, he really makes me feel good about being a part of the group. Also, my teammates are very cool and supportive even when we’re having a bad game, and I had a great time with them on the scavenger hunt.

What is your home life like?
The typical cooking, cleaning, binging on Netflix. I have two chill roommates, and between the three of us we spend about 80% of our time at home on the couch. To be fair, we have some pretty comfortable couches. I feel better when I’m active though, so I usually have friends over or find a reason to go out when I can. When I was younger I rarely spent time at home, but as I get older I am really learning to enjoy the peace and quiet of my own living room.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
My loftiest goal in life is to run my own alternative healing business, where I am able to help others connect with their highest selves and understand their own inner natures through the use of astrology, healing crystals, meditation and other energy healing methods. I want to live life as a sage from an old spiritual tribe, but I don’t think my peaceful attitude really serves me on the football field. 

 


FEATURED MAY 4, 2016


MarkCestari


Mark Cestari


What team are you on?
Batshit Navy

When did you join the league?
Hard to believe this is my 11th consecutive season! I joined in the Fall of 2010, back when we played at good ole M Street. While I miss the set up there, the league has done a good job of accommodating growth and keeping the friendly intimate environment, even at two locations.

How did you find the league?
I was hanging out with my buddy, Damien Holden Smith (who is now happily married and lives in NY), and he kept talking about FLAG Flag Football and how much he loved the league. So I went to watch one of his games and then on to Fritz (now Trophy Room) for the post-game brews, brunch, and bragging. At Fritz, I met Robert Sauer, the founder of the league. When he asked me about playing, I told him no, that I hadn't played football since high school, and that I didn't think I should play. He said, "You can definitely compete and you will be awesome." Well, Robert, you were half right and thanks for pushing me to dive in!

What is your preferred position?
I love playing center. Being not very tall, not very fast, but fairly solid and strong, I find it to be the best position for me. I have good hands and a high catch rate. I have also played blocker, rusher, and corner. As center, I try to be the "physical and meta-physical" center of the team. Keeping folks lined up onside, watching the play clock, and—most importantly—staying consistently positive and calming down the QB, or teammates who are upset or freaking out. At my very first open play, Ken Dussinger was my QB and I have never forgotten how inspiring he was. Now, after eleven seasons, we are finally on the same team and having a blast!

Have you ever won a championship?
Yes. I won in the spring of 2013 with the Purple MonStars. We were undefeated at 13-0, and Joel Sanchez was an awesome and fun captain. We were, of course, the team everyone loved to hate.

Have you ever attended a Gay Bowl?
Yes, but as a spectator. I attended our games in San Diego in 2015 and cheered all three of our teams on.

What do you do for work?
I am Marketing Executive VP for a regional airline, Southern Airways Express. We are a Ft. Lauderdale & Memphis-based company with a hub at Pittsburgh and (soon) Baltimore-Washington. I absolutely love my job as it brings together everything I enjoy professionally: flying, travel, advertising, politics and community relations. I work 60-70 hours per week and travel at least 15 days a month. But football comes first for me, on Saturdays at least, in the fall and spring.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Newtonville. Ten minutes from Club Cafe, but still feels like village-y New England. I'm active in politics there and as a conservative/Libertarian, I sometimes feel like a dissident in the former Soviet Union. But, I love a good fight and my neighbors!

What is your favorite pastime?
Traveling is my favorite pastime and my passion. I have visited 50 countries and 49 states: all but Alaska (I guess I am waiting for Sarah Palin to invite me to go hunting with her). Between my biz trips and my fun travel, I never actually unpack. I am more a "traveler," than a "tourist." I have never been to an all-inclusive resort, on a cruise, or on a planned itinerary/group tour. I have also not checked a bag in over 20 years, including on trips to Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Sweden and Costa Rica. My favorite trips so far in 2016 were to London, with my sons Craig and Calvin, and Palm Springs/LA with a very special someone.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
Gay life can be very tribal and dividing: the jocks, the twinks, the bears, the daddies, the A-listers and average Joes, all in their own little circles and never the twain shall meet. The greatest thing about this league is that we all check "who we are" off the field and show up ready to embrace all of our new teammates each season under a common purpose—to play ball, have fun, make new friends, and maybe even win a game or two along the way. I have, literally, met hundreds of great guys/girls in this league, many of whom I know I will be friends with for life. And what could be better than that?

Tell us about a special memory...
There are SO many special memories, on and off the field. But I have a feeling the most special memory is being created this season. Having my son Calvin, not just playing, but on my team as the first "father/son" combination in the history of the league is definitely a ground-breaking milestone. Calvin knows how much FLAG Flag Football means to me, and as a straight son, what an unbelievable act of love and respect it is for him to spend this special time together, something I will always cherish and remember.

What is your home life like?
Working and traveling as much as I do, I really look forward to my precious time at home. I live in an almost 100-year old English Tudor style house and have a big yard. I find "house-husbanding", working inside or in the yard, extremely relaxing and satisfying. I enjoy cooking, entertaining and hosting friends from all over the U.S. and world. Having been happily married (to Calvin's mom) for over twenty years, I now view every day of my new life as a spirited adventure, whether it be a grindr-date-gone wrong, or a flirtatious and fun fling. I am gleefully single at the moment, but all that could change if the right rusher or receiver comes along!

CalvinCestari


Calvin Cestari


What team are you on?
Batshit Navy

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football league?
Ever since I started playing flag football with my fraternity in college at the University of Miami, I’ve loved the game. I couldn’t find a league around here that I enjoyed until I joined FLAG Flag Football. It seems like a perfect competitive/fun balance similar to the environment we had in our Greek league back in Florida.

How did you hear about the league?
My Dad started playing in the league after he heard me raving about the game when I was in college (this was a dozen seasons ago) and ever since then, he’s been the one doing the ranting and raving. There are literally pictures and awards from FLAG Flag Football all over his house, so it’s was pretty hard for me to avoid the league.

What is you preferred position (in football)?
In college, I only played offense. My QB was Matthew Stafford’s (of the Detroit Lions) backup in high school, and we ran a hyper-organized pro-style offense in which I played the slot position and running back. Until I joined this league, I had never played both ways (LOL), but so far in my first few weeks, I have really enjoyed playing safety . . . so we’ll see if that sticks going forward. I will play wherever I am needed.

Where are you from?
I was born in gun-wavin’ New Haven, CT, but I grew up in the safest city in America: Newton, MA.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
Since college, I’ve been in a bowling league with some friends from high school and I coach my company’s softball team.

What do you do for work?
I work for the Game Show Network on a team that makes online and mobile games. I probably spend more time playing video games and watching re-runs of Family Feud at work than most people, which isn't terrible. I also work part-time as a server at Hojoko in Fenway.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Southie, right between East and West Broadway.

What is your favorite pastime?
I have two: running and traveling. I started running about 2 years ago at a friend’s insistence that “anyone can run a half marathon.” To my surprise, I was actually able to do it and since then I’ve done five half marathons and run over 1,000 miles in total. On the travel side, when I was young, my family traveled all the time and I definitely caught the bug. Unfortunately, once your parents stop buying your tickets and paying for your hotels, the logistics get more complicated. I still find a way to make it work though: thus far in 2016, I’ve been to 16 states, with trips to Delaware and Wisconsin on the books before the summer!

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
The immense amount of ORGANIZATION that is evident throughout the league. I’ve never been a part of such a well-run team/group/league in my entire life. It makes it very easy to incorporate the play aspect/games and the social events into an already chaotic work/life balance.

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
It’s hard to pick one person because everyone has been so nice and friendly that I still can’t get over it, especially my teammates and captains. Whenever I meet people through the league, they’ve taken time to ask me about my team and me. They actually remember me too and will say hi again the next time. I don’t know why the rest of Boston/the world isn’t more like that, but I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed into such an outstanding group of kind people.

What is your home life like?
I still live with 4 friends from high school and a dog. When we’re not stuck at the office or out at the neighborhood bar, we’re either drinking keg beer on the couch, watching sports, or out running around Castle Island. My girlfriend describes me as a “Man Cub”, which I think sums it up accurately.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
According to my father, he and I are the first ever father-son teammate combo in league history! On top of that, one of my captains, Steve Gianquitti, currently works at the same high school that I went to, which is weird! My other captain, Karl, looks like he might actually be my Uncle. Oh yeah, and we’re 5-1, so come get it league! #navyfamily

 


FEATURED APRIL 27, 2016


KenDussinger


Ken Dussinger


What team are you on?
Batshit Navy

When did you join the league?
I joined the league in 2008. Since then, I have captained one year and took this past fall off to work on my house, which I just sold!

How did you find the league?
I actually joined the league by accident. I had just graduated from college and moved to Nashua, NH. I was looking to meet people and thought sports would be a great way. I had never played organized football before and always wanted to, so I looked for leagues in the area. I couldn’t find anything in Nashua and thought Boston was close enough. I looked online and BAM – FLAG Flag football showed up: Rules, refs, a lot of players, everyone gets drafted onto teams instead of one dominant team of jerks. And at the time $50 dollars! What a deal! I sent in my money and didn't think twice. The next day, I was looking at the website and was thinking, “this is just too good of a deal. Something is up here, most leagues are $150+ a person, 6 teams, and 8 games.” After looking around, I finally read the whole top header of the website: FLAG Flag Football . . . for the LGBT community. For those in our community that don't know, I am straight. I immediately sent an email to the Commissioner at the time, Gary Sherr, to ask if the league was for those who identity as LGBT only or if it was okay for a straight guy to join. Gary said, "Absolutely you can join.” I then asked how many straight players are in the league and he responded, "Out of the 130, I think probably 8 to 10." I said, “Sounds good, I’m in!” And the rest is history!

What is your preferred position (in football)?
I prefer quarterback, wide receiver, and linebacker.

Have you ever won a championship, spring or fall?
I have been to the spring Rosie Bowl championship game three times and won once. I have also been to the fall SuperFabulous Bowl championship three times but have lost all three.

How many Gay Bowl tournaments have you played in and when?
I played for the Hancocks in Phoenix (2010), Houston (2011), Denver (2012), Phoenix (2013), Philadelphia (2014), and San Diego (2015). I also went to Chicago Pride Bowl in 2015.

What do you do for work?
I am a computer engineer at Haemonetics. I'm a big geek.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I just sold my home. When I joined the league, I commuted in from Nashua, NH. From there, I moved to Abington, MA. I will be moving to Hanover, MA at the end of May but for the next month, I'll be living in a rented place in Hull, MA.

What is your favorite pastime?
Playing football, playing with my dogs, or just sitting down and eating chips. I love sitting down. I also love throwing things – that’s the only reason I started quarterbacking in the league. If it weren’t for my affinity for that, I would have probably played receiver instead. I’m the type of person who gets really excited if I got to a store and see a bin full of bouncy balls. I will grab one and bounce it through the whole store and throw it against things until checkout.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
How welcoming and friendly everyone is. I have made so many friends through this league. One of my best friends, Dave Lopes, I met through the league. He was my captain the first year that I played. Years later, he was part of my wedding party. My current captain, Karl Ames, and current teammate, Steve Kubiak, and myself go to all the home Patriots games together. The best part about how this league is run is that every year you know you will make more great friends because the teams are drafted new every season!

Tell us about a special memory you have from playing in the league?
My favorite story to tell people about the league demonstrates why I love the league so much. I was playing quarterback and Mario Nimock was rushing for the other team. If you don’t know Mario, he is gigantic, and when he runs at you, it’s scary. Well, he was rushing and knocked me over. In any other league, the person probably would have laughed and or celebrated and high-fived his teammates. Instead of doing either of those things, Mario genuinely said, "I'm so sorry, are you ok?" He helped me up and gave me a hug. That’s right: a person from the other team gave me a hug. That happened very early in my time playing in the league and it is the reason I continue to play. We all want to win, but first and foremost everyone in the league is family and cares for one another. We are here to have fun and make friends.

What is your home life like?
I have a wife, two dogs, and a cat. I love cooking. When I was growing up, I was either going to go into cooking or computers. Two very different things, but I chose computers because of the work schedule compared to being a chef. I also love making things. For example, with the house we just sold, we did major work on every room. At our new house, I am excited to work on projects that I have wanted to for a while, such as a chicken coop! I want chickens badly for some reason.

WaynePearson


Wayne Pearson


What team are you on?
The Shocktops

Why did you join the FLAG FLAG league?
I joined the league after years of being a spectator and finally having the free time to truly dedicate to a full season. I also wanted to step outside of my comfort zone by participating in an activity that I'm not particularly accustomed to doing.

How did you hear about the league?
I heard about the league from one of my friends in graduate school.

What is you preferred position (in football)?
I'm a rusher.

Where are you from?
I am from Chesterfield, Virginia, which is located right outside of Richmond.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I did not play any sports growing up so this season is my first real experience playing competitive sports.

What do you do for work?
I am a substance addiction coordinator. Basically, I provide psychiatric rehab to individuals who have a psychiatric diagnosis and/or addiction issue. I assist these individuals by helping them live successful lives in the community.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I currently live in East Cambridge.

What is your favorite pastime?
I don't know if I can pick just one, but I really enjoy cooking and traveling. Last year, my New Year’s resolution was to take a trip every month and I fulfilled that. It was extremely satisfying. And cooking is something that I was always around growing up, and I find it very calming to do after a stressful day at my job.

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
My favorite thing about the league so far is the overall sense of community.

Whom have you met or what has occurred so far that has made an impression on you?
One of my first impressions of the league was the scavenger hunt and the crazy antics that ensued. Some tourist from Tennessee bought us fortune cookies, we got berated at BSC, we ran all over the city, and ended up just having a really great time. That experience really helped unify us as a team.

What is your home life like?
My home life is very entertaining. Since my job can be very taxing, I like my home life to be more free and positive, whether that means having a party or just lounging in front of my TV.

 


FEATURED APRIL 20, 2016


ScottKesterson


Scott Kesterson


What team are you on?
Baby Got Black

When did you join the league?
I joined the league in 2002. I've played every year since then but one, when I took the year off to coach my son Dylan's soccer team.

What is your preferred position (in football)?

Wide receiver and safety. But I have been a QB, middle linebacker, and a blocker.

Have you ever won a championship, spring or fall?
No. I'm the Dan Marino of FLAG Flag Football.

How many Gay Bowl tournaments have you played in and when?

Three. (Boston, Atlanta, San Diego).

What do you do for work?

I work for The Boston Globe in the circulation department.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I reside in Waltham, MA.

What is your favorite pastime?

Being a father.

What is your favorite thing about the league?

It is hard to narrow it down to just one thing. Playing football and the draft (wondering which captain picked you to be on their team) are both fun. But if I had to pick one thing, I would say the fact that the teams are not the same every year. I often look forward to playing on the same team as someone who I have always wanted to play with but had not yet had the chance. Meeting new players and teammates is probably my favorite thing about this league.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
Bringing my son Dylan with me to the field every Saturday in the fall for the past several years. It has been something that we look forward to every week. He loves coming down to the fields with me. Over the years, many players in the league have made him feel welcome. Hell, more people in the league know him than me! I am now referred to as "Dylan's Dad" rather than Scott. We are looking forward to 2017, because it will be his first time playing in the league with me!

What is your home life like?
Busy! I am an only parent with a full-time and part-time job. I try to maintain some kind of social life, which the league helps me do, but it's not too often that I am able get away. That's another reason I decided to play in the tournaments: it provides me with a break from work and home but I still get to play my favorite sport and socialize over a beer with my friends.

AaronSullivan


Aaron Sullivan


What team are you on?
MaliBlue Barbies

Why did you join the FLAG Flag Football League?
A lot of my friends from Denver play in the league out there and talk about it obsessively, so I thought it would be a fun way to get to know more people in Boston.

How did you hear about the league?
Haha, hasn’t everyone heard about it? I knew Boston had a league and I learned more about it through a couple friends who’ve been playing for a few seasons now.

What is your preferred position (in football)?
Safety

Where are you from?
Wichita, KS

Did you play sports before joining?
Yeah, I grew up playing soccer and running track. I play volleyball, softball, and kickball, as well. Pretty much anything but basketball.

What do you do for work?
I'm a social media market coordinator and copywriter for PaintNite Boston.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Union Square in Somerville

What is your favorite pastime?
I love being outside and exploring, and I’m really looking forward to lots of warm weather activities around New England this summer.

What is your favorite thing about the league so far?
The people. Everyone seems to be friendly and welcoming.

Who have you met or what has occurred thus far that has made a positive impression on you?
I’m most impressed by the league’s focus on community work and involvement. And our team captain (Franny) has also done a great job at arranging social events for us to get to know each other and other teams.

What is your home life like?
Busy but fun. I work a lot and tend to fill up my free time with activities that mostly involve hanging with friends, drinking beer, reading and writing, and trying things for the first time.