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 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 8, 2017




Tony Gale


Which team do you play for and who is your captain?
I play for Force led by Ethan Sobel.

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I’ve been involved with the league since 2003. My favorite position is blocker or center.

Have you won a League Championship? If so, when?
No. I came close a couple of times, but not yet.

How many Gay Bowls have you attended? Tell us about your experience.
I have never played on a tournament team but am an avid supporter. I have gone to NYC, DC, Chicago, and San Diego.

What is your favorite pastime?
I’m kind of a geek... so my favorite pastime involves anything technology oriented.

Where did you go to school and what do you do for work?
I went to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and now work in the customer service group at Dell Technologies.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in now?
I grew up in small town in NJ, just outside of New York City, and now I live in Dorchester.

Tell us about your family and your upbringing.
I grew up in a coven with witches and warlocks... kidding. I had a fairly banal suburban upbringing with one younger brother. I went to an all boys high school which for some reason appealed to me. My mother and father are divorced and live in FL and CT, respectively.

What is your home life like now?
Probably like most others... I sleep, eat, and work. But I cherish doing things with my friends, many of whom I’ve met through the league.

Where is your favorite place to visit or that you have visited?
My father worked in the airline industry so I travelled in Europe a lot as a child. I was also in international sales at one point in my career, where I did a lot of travel in Asia and Latin America, so it is hard to pick one place. Some of my favorites are Rome, Mykonos, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Larchmont, NY.

What is your favorite aspect/part of the league?
There is so much I love about the league. Many people would likely say the socialization (since I think I won the very first “First at Fritz” award) and I do enjoy that, but I love how the league creates a safe space for anyone, of any skill set, to belong and builds real community.

What is your favorite memory from your time playing in the league?
My favorite memory is... hmm... I’d say when I was in the year-end video playing the role of Sally in “When Harry Met Sally”, across from Chris Poulos and nailed it on the first take. Lol. “I’ll have what she’s having!”

Story time …what is your most embarrassing moment?
After being over-served after a long day of drinking in Provincetown, I found a truck on the street with an unlocked door, got into the drivers seat, and slept until being woken up by the owner going to work.

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I quit working for 7 years and went fishing;
2. I like grilling in the summer;
3. I’ve had formal vocal training to remove my accent.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Trustworthy, unflappable, affable

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I am a sucker for an auction – silent or otherwise.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I used to be good at doing math problems in Roman numerals.



Tom Maguire


Which team do you play for and who is your captain?
I play for Pink (Flaming(h)oes), captained by THE David Lopes.

Why did you join the league?
I recently moved to Boston from DC and was looking for a way to both meet people and exercise. So far, FLAG Flag is exceeding my expectations as to both criteria.

How did you hear about the league?
Not going to lie, I absolutely Googled Boston sports leagues… and then I did some investigating. I showed up to open play day and did not know a soul, but I quickly felt welcomed and part of the family (but also impressed by how talented everyone was!).

What is your favorite position (in football)?
So far, I’ve been rushing it out! The best part of being a rusher is having an amazing tag team… shout out to Alex and Chris!

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I grew up in Reading, but just moved to Boston (South End) this summer from DC.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I went to NYU for undergrad in Finance, then went to Georgetown University for my MBA and Foreign Service degrees.

Tell us about your family.
My parents still live in our childhood home in Reading, and my brother and sister-in-law live in Medfield (aside – they got married on my birthday).

What do you do for work?
By day, I am part of the Uber Technologies team here in Boston. By night, I’m still part of the Uber team and usually in the office.

Specifically, I’m the GM for Uber New England. Before heading to Uber, I was in the foreign exchange world at Goldman Sachs (with short stints at Amazon and in consulting).

Did you play sports before joining the league?
In the past, I played soccer and baseball. Most recently, I was a part of the Stonewall Kickball league in DC.

What is your favorite pastime?
Perhaps not a pastime, but I constantly have the itch to travel. Last year, I was on 129 planes (vast majority work-related, but also some pleasure). Sign me up for a foreign adventure any day!

Aside from that, I love competitive exercise classes – anything with a running/biking/competitive angle and I’m game!

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
It is rare to find people who are so welcoming, but the league, and my teammates in particular, have made me feel like I’ve lived here for years in just a few short weeks.

Story time … what is your most embarrassing moment?
This could be a laundry list, but one recent one occurred during a gym class. I tripped over my own feet on the treadmill and landed on my face on the machine. I tried to pick myself up and walk out but it wasn’t pretty.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
Having known ZERO people before joining the league, I must say this league has impressed me from the very first minute. My captain, David Lopes, has raised the bar for being an inclusive captain for sure.

What is your home life like?
So, this is way too simple because I live by myself in the South End and finally have settled in to call it home – but would like to make this a more complicated answer soon! ;)

I also am pretty minimal when it comes to my home life. In the past, I stored extra shoes in my oven.

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. Elected student government president in college;
2. Have lived in 4 countries but only speak English;
3. Hate watermelon with a passion.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Goofy, genuine, relentless-smiler

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I’m the really annoying cheerleader who yells “C’mon PINK” all game without fail.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
When I was younger, I wanted to BE Kenny G. Yes, the saxophone player. That hair, that talent… I thought that could be me. Fast forward to college, aside from trying to be an investment banker, I took classes on Jazz. This annoyed my roommates, as the saxophone isn’t the quietest instrument. One very bizarre Jazz class I took was entirely on ‘circular breathing,’ which is the concept of being able to seemingly hold your breath but also play a note. A skill I don’t know why I thought I needed to put my college credits toward… but again, who didn’t want to be Kenny G?

 

FEATURED OCTOBER 18, 2017




Brad Uhlmann


Which team do you play for and who is your captain?
I am on the G.I. Glow Sticks: Hop On! captained by Dave Connelly and Dave Hamilton.
 
When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined the league here in Fall 2015, but prior to moving to Boston I played in the Atlanta league for seven years and the DC league for one year. My preferred position is receiver, where I’m a pretty big threat due to my excellent speed.
 
Have you won a League Championship? If so, when?
Not yet, but I did make it to the championship game my second season here. I did win one my first season playing in Atlanta and my trophy is proudly displayed in our living room, where it is dwarfed by Lance’s many referee awards.
 
How many Gay Bowls have you attended? Tell us about your experience.
This year’s Gay Bowl in Boston was my ninth and third playing for the Bulldogs. My other six I played as part of the Atlanta team. It’s amazing to see how much it’s grown over the years… my first Gay Bowl in D.C., I think we only had five fields total running simultaneously, and this year we had 13. All have been great experiences and I’ve met some of the best people I know through the tournaments.
 
What is your favorite pastime?
If I’m naming just one, I’d have to say cooking. I’m a pretty avid Food Network and cooking show watcher and am always looking for new recipes to make and new cooking tools to add to our collection.

Where did you go to school and what do you do for work?
I went to the University of Florida and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. I work as a Project Manager and Senior Engineer focusing on air quality control and compliance, mainly at DoD facilities around the country.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in now?
I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida (Tampa Bay area), which is where most of my family still lives. My husband Lance and I live in the South End, where we have lived since moving to Boston three years ago.

Tell us about your family and your upbringing. 
I have a relatively small family. I am the youngest of two, although just by six minutes since I’m a twin. Both of my parents were teachers. My dad taught Health at my high school, where I had the good fortune to be in his class for sex ed, and my mom taught ESOL and then was an elementary school Principal.

I grew up in a great neighborhood in St. Pete where there were lots of kids my age to run around with. My parents divorced when I was in sixth grade, but my brother and I were lucky that they agreed to live only a couple of miles away from each other, and we’d spend half the week at my mom’s and then half at my dad’s. I played soccer and baseball from the age of seven until high school and then switched to football, where I was probably the smallest center in the county. Apparently the QB said he liked how I hiked the ball.

What is your home life like now?
During the week, it usually consists of a trip to the store after work for dinner supplies, then cooking a lovely meal for my husband Lance (and whoever else may happen to stop by), then watching a couple shows and cuddling on the sofa with our dog Kona. We may throw a Jeopardy! drinking game in there if friends are over. Lance and I are both night owls, but it’s not strange for me to fall asleep on the couch with a partially consumed bourbon resting on my chest (I think I’ve only spilled twice).

Where is your favorite place to visit or that you have visited?
Hawaii. We’ve been to all the main islands there and love how each is unique, and just love the lifestyle there. As of now, that’s our retirement spot.

What is your favorite aspect/part of the league?
I’m competitive, so just playing the games is great, but honestly for me the best part is the friends you make from the league. This is the third flag football league I’ve joined due to moving to different cities, and each time we’ve moved we’ve basically only known one or two people in each city prior to moving. It’s amazing with a league like this how fast you can meet people and make great friends. I love seeing how it changes people’s lives for the better too.

What is your favorite memory from your time playing in the league?
I have to say seeing Robert Kraft speaking at the Gay Bowl closing party and talking about FLAG Flag football and the national league was pretty amazing. I’m not usually overly emotional but that brought tears to my eyes.

Story time…what is your most embarrassing moment? 
I have a pretty big fear of roaches. Luckily, up in the north, I don’t really see them, but down south in the heat they were all over. I’d have to get Lance to kill them for me. Anyhow, I made the mistake of telling a couple friends in high school I was afraid of them, which was pretty obvious if one crawled close to me, and one afternoon I went to get a book out of my locker and they had taped one to my lock. I had to get my chemistry teacher to get it off for me.

Two truths and a lie…go!
I went to an acting school over a summer in college.
I’ve never eaten a Wendy’s hamburger.
I’m very fast.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be? 
Laid-back, quiet, competitive.

What is one thing the league should know about you? 
Lance and I have been married now for a little over three years, but we have been together over 14. We told family and friends that we were going to get married in a private ceremony sometime in the future, but we wanted everyone to celebrate with us at an engagement party since we weren’t going to do a wedding ceremony. About half way through the party, we announced that we were going to get married right then. We’d only told two people at the party ahead of time what we were going to do… our friend that married us and his partner. I thought it was a pretty perfect way to do it.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 
I’ve always had a fascination with wolves since I’ve been little, and I have a bit of a collection of books, magazines, and little sculptures of them. I’ve also “adopted” one as part of a wolf recovery program, and have a tattoo of one on my shoulder.



Becky Allis


Which team do you play for and who is your captain?
I play for Navy, captained by Marc Smith.

Why did you join the league?
I enjoy flag football and was impressed with how organized this league is.

How did you hear about the league?
My friend Tyler (also a rookie this year!)

What is your favorite position (in football)?
Safety and receiver

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I grew up in Michigan and I currently live in Cambridge.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I did my undergrad at Ohio State University in exercise science, then got my doctorate from MGH here in Boston.

Tell us about your family.
My parents and my dog still live in Michigan; I also have 2 older sisters who live in Michigan and Minnesota.

What do you do for work?
I am a physical therapist.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I played ice hockey and soccer growing up, and I’ve dabbled in flag football here and there over the years.

What is your favorite pastime?
Very nerdy but I really like reading.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
Everyone is so good looking…

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
The first time my (now) girlfriend stayed over at my house, I made coffee in the morning and managed to spit/spill it all over myself right in front of her.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
Everyone! My team is comprised of a great group of people, and everyone else has been so kind and welcoming. It’s a great atmosphere here.

What is your home life like?
I live with 2 girls that I went to school with and a dog named Bailey.

Two truths and a lie…go!
I love themes;
I played hockey in college;
I drive a motorcycle.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Smart, silly, and forgetful

What is one thing the league should know about you?
Flag football is my new favorite sport!

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I have good hair.


 

FEATURED OCTOBER 11, 2017




Aaron Blaine


Which team do you play for and who is your captain?
I am on the Boys ‘N Berries with “Daddy Captain” Mike Lorrey.

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I first joined the league in spring 2015 and played on the Kelly Green “Jalapeño Business” team, with captain Joel Sanchez. It was a great team dynamic and you never forget your first time... We went undefeated until the Rosie Bowl championship game, which was still unforgettable despite having lost.

I enjoy playing rusher and corner but have also jumped in to block once or twice. Kris Riley and Patrick Santos taught me everything about rushing my first two seasons.

If I could learn to read the field and run a decent route, I’d love to play on offense! Mike Lorrey has been a phenomenal teacher these past two seasons and during the summer off-season. He has the patience of a saint to answer my game logic questions. I'm excited to put what I have learned into practice and see how the rest of the fall season unfolds!

Have you won a League Championship? If so, when?
I’ve experienced the sweet taste of a League Championship while playing on the fall 2015 Texas Orange team, the “Pumpkin Spice LatGAYS” with Kathy Sutkowski. Kathy is a great captain who put together an amazing team. I will always remember fondly being (almost) brand new and having a few great team members take the time to stop for some “teachable moments” with me my first fall season. Some even went on to become awesome captains later (Duane Gosley, Andrew Shinner, and Chris Serwacki).

How many Gay Bowls have you attended? Tell us about your experience.
This fall will actually be my first time spectating at Gay Bowl! I’m excited to see how the Boston teams stack up!

What is your favorite pastime?
I enjoy the great company of my hubby and friends for cookouts, movies, theater, traveling, and P-Town (to name a few). I also enjoy trying new things and (try to) never say never to new experiences. Life’s too short.

Where did you go to school and what do you do for work?
I went to school at UC Berkeley (not Berklee) and finished my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara in Business-Economics and Accounting. Shortly thereafter, I earned my CPA license before moving to Boston. I finally finished my MS in Taxation at Northeastern this summer and I’m thrilled to be done!

I spent 8 years in public accounting working mostly in the tax practice before I left the woes of middle management and went to work for a forensic accounting firm here in Boston. I am the Accounting Manager for the internal operations team.

What is forensic accounting you ask? It’s just like CSI: Accounting – high octane stuff… for the accounting profession. If you want to know more about forensic accounting, buy me a drink and we’ll talk… *crickets*

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in now?
I grew up in Southern California. You’ve heard of the Valley Girl and now you’ve, like, totally seen one up close and personal, OMG!

I live in DOT now. My husband and I bought a place in 2015 in Meeting House Hill (right up the street from Dbar!) We had the good fortune of buying Patrick McCarron’s place before he set off to the west coast. Robert Saurer used to be on our block too, but he has since moved on… and now the property values are skyrocketing, imagine that ;)!

Tell us about your family and your upbringing.
Does this survey come with a drink or dinner? Kidding aside, I had a loving mother who unfortunately passed when I was 13. I’m an only child, so I put great value in my close friends who are my chosen family.

What is your home life like now?
I live with my hubby in Dorchester. We made the move to Boston for his 2-year grad program 6 years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun!

We recently adopted a little bundle of fur baby joy – rescued a hound mix from Last Hope K-9 rescue in Boston. He came with the name Bob McKenzie… we kept it secretly hoping he had a wealthy previous owner… maybe said owner died and left him a trust fund that is now waiting to be claimed. It could happen!

Where is your favorite place to visit or that you have visited?
To date, Lisbon, Portugal was a phenomenal experience. I’m heading to Paris in November and hoping it will be everything I’ve heard so much about! I would love to go back to New Zealand someday as well. Another travel type of activity that is equally amazing is hot air ballooning – the calm from up in the air is something wonderful to experience.

What is your favorite aspect/part of the league?
The friendships and camaraderie are important aspects of what I love about the league. The fun and competitive nature of the game is also part of this fantastic experience. I definitely have withdrawals once fall and spring seasons end.

I believe that a community that comes together for fun and for cause is stronger and healthier. The outreach and volunteerism that our league supports is so fundamental to who we are. It is important to give back to those in vulnerable positions within the community. I don’t have to think back too far for a very personal example. When Alberto went through his surgeries earlier this year, it was a very scary time for both of us. We felt very fortunate to have the support of our friendships/family we had made through the league. For this we are forever thankful and pay this kindness forward at every opportunity.

What is your favorite memory from your time playing in the league?
My favorite memory from playing in the league is the late fall afternoon of the 2015 Super Fabulous Bowl games. It was the longest day of football that I have ever played with I think 4 games, start to finish. No (real) food or booze all day long. All we wanted to do by the start of the last game was to finish playing so we could sit and drink with everyone. I smile and feel tingly when I remember that first moment when we all realized we won. The ecstatic grins, cheers, and jumping all around was electric!

Story time…what is your most embarrassing moment?
Oh boy… most embarrassing league play moment was catching my first INT while rushing. It was probably the first time I had held the ball during game time. The ball came right down and landed right in my hands with no effort at all. I panic and start to run… the wrong way! I’ll never forget the look on Kathy’s face, it was priceless!! The ref’s were merciful and measured yards from where I caught the ball *smh*. We did go on to win the championship that season so… it had to be good luck, right?

Two truths and a lie…go!
I learned to ride a bike in P-Town this summer
I am a Trekkie at heart.
Peanut butter is my favorite food.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Great blackmail material here, lol. Friend sourcing the answer and the survey says…

Kind, funny, the-right-amount-of-shade
Chatty, Nasty, Pig
Friendly, Inclusive, Cute
Gentle, Kind, Strong
Thoughtful, Sweet, Attentive
Caring, Intelligent, Personable
Hard-working, Reliable, Considerate
Sexy, sweet, devilish
Outgoing, passionate, devoted

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I try to do the best I can at everything I commit to. On and off the field, I try to do what I can to help where needed. Not like a superhero but in ways that still make a meaningful positive contribution.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Apparently a friend thinks I am a chatty, nasty pig and I love him for it, hahaha. I also love Oreos… how I haven’t worked that into this spotlight response yet is beyond me. If you want to know more, lets chat!



Shigeo Iwamiya


What team do you play for?
Forest Green… All Tree All Shade! :)

Why did you join the league?
I joined because I really enjoy connecting with the LGBT sports community. I played Flag Football in New York and Denver before moving to Boston, and I figured I would continue here. I love being part of something that makes me feel connected to people and community. I am also not a huge bar/club guy, so meeting new friends through sports is fun.

How did you hear about the league?
Having been part of the New York and Denver leagues, I had seen the Boston teams play in various tournaments and Gay Bowls, so I decided I would reach out and see if I could get registered. As luck would have it, it was right around registration time when I showed interest, so I was able to join right away.

What is your favorite position (in football)?
My favorite position is middle linebacker. I really like being able to see what is happening on the entire defensive side of the ball. I am not exactly the fastest player, so I like being able to scheme with the rushers to confuse the opposing offense and disrupt their flow.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Tokyo, Japan and I grew up on an Air Force base there. My father is Japanese, and my mother is American, so I am biracial, which is the reason for the unique name. Interestingly, the name “Shigeo” is an old fashioned Japanese name that was also my great grandfather’s name that got passed down to me.

I currently live in Boston in Bay Village. I am super excited to be living in the heart of the city.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I went to undergrad at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota where I majored in Leadership Development. People say it’s kind of a fluff major, and maybe they are right, but I had a great college experience.

I also got a Master’s Degree in education from Salisbury University in Maryland. Because it was tuition free for me to attend, it was hard to pass up the opportunity.

Tell us about your family.
I don’t have too close of a relationship with my biological family, so I firmly believe that my family consists of the communities that I am a part of and the people I choose to surround myself with. I tend to have strong support networks that I work hard to build because of my family structure, and I always look out for folks that aren’t close to their family to offer support as well. Around Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, I try to invite folks out to dinner or invite them over because people may be kicked out of their homes for who they are, and I want to make sure I always provide support and a network for those who don’t feel like they can be themselves around family or aren’t welcome home.

Having said that, I have one younger brother (we are nothing alike) and my parents live in Florida.

What do you do for work?
I run Residence Halls at Suffolk University. I am in charge of all on-campus housing. I have been doing this type of work for 17 years now and enjoy every minute of it.

Yes, I have my fair share of stories (the things college students will do in the residence halls…)! Feel free to ask me about some crazy things over a drink and I’ll be happy to share (without names of course). Also, to know that some of the students I work with now were born when I started working in this field freaks me out!

Did you play sports before joining the league?
Yes, I played softball, tennis, volleyball, and soccer. I like to try new sports. I tried ice hockey in college (a must-try in Minnesota) but I never figured out how to stop on ice unless I ran into something, so I ultimately decided that it might not be a good fit.

What is your favorite pastime?
Honestly, my favorite thing to do is to play sports with my friends. I do like a good board game or card game too, and I recently learned some fun games that include red solo cups thanks to my Forest Green teammates (thanks Max!). Ironically, it made me feel like a college student a little, but it was pretty funny and fun. I also like movies and plays. Overall, I am pretty easy going and spending time with small groups of people is always a good time for me.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
I love how people always seem to want to do things together. Also, I absolutely LOVE the community service aspect of this league. I went to my first community service event with my teammates and some others from the league and it was an amazing experience. I am really glad the league gives back to the greater Boston community and I am excited to be a part of that!

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
Honestly, I am not embarrassed much. I do get really nervous a lot, especially in new environments and sometimes it takes a long time for me to get acclimated to new surroundings (usually I am one of those people that is told that I’m “too nice”).

It is embarrassing, however, that I tend not to remember names very well (I usually remember faces super well though!). You know those moments that when you realize you don’t know someone’s name, but it has been WAAAAAAAY too long for you to ask, “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” That happens to me ALL THE TIME. I really feel bad when it happens, but I am just too embarrassed to ask someone’s name again when they have told me before.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
Speaking of not remembering names, I haven’t met too many people yet. However, all of my teammates are super awesome! I have also met some of the folks from the Boston Gay Bowl planning committee and it was really cool to feel included in that amazing experience. Through community service, I met Dave Herman, which was awesome. Being able to experience volunteering with another rookie was pretty neat. Also, one of my teammates, Zhan, is an absolute hoot. He is amazingly kind and very excited about life. My team also had a combined social with the Navy team and they were tons of fun too.

What is so great about this league is that most people are kind, generous, and really excited to get to know one another both on and off the field, so it’s been a pretty great experience thus far. Rookie clinic day was absolutely fantastic as well.

What is your home life like?
I am single, so I tend to lead a very boring home life. I like to cook for myself, go to the library, work out, Netflix and chill, play video games, watch Monday Night Football, drink coffee, and work on the computer doing graphic design.

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I was once a die-hard Yankees fan, but since moving to Boston, I switched to becoming a Red Sox fan.
2. I can pretty much recite the entire movie “The American President”.
3. I’ve flown in a C-5 Air Force plane.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Kind, Loyal, Fun.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
That I LOVE to talk football, especially flag football. I enjoy a good conversation about defense or offensive plays. I’d like to say that someday I will make a good coach, as I am always think about strategy.

I also love to do things outside of going to the bars. I tend to get really nervous and anxious in large groups, so I really enjoy things like movie nights and board game nights and wish those were more prevalent in the gay community. I’m always up for a “Cards Against Humanity” night, or a solid game of “Trivial Pursuit”.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m bilingual and bicultural (Japanese and English). I grew up with my Mom being Christian and my Dad being Buddhist, so I was all sorts of mixed-up when it comes to that. I also grew up on an American Air Force base, but went to K-12 at a Japanese school. Because of this, I think I struggle with classic bi-racial identities (I am never sure where I fit in). When I was in Japanese environments, I would always be called “the American kid” and when I was in American environments, I was referred to as “the Japanese kid”. So, as a child, I grew up thinking I don’t belong.

Luckily, joining LGBT athletic programs has provided me with a sense of community and the feeling that I “belong” to something, which is something that was missing for most of my childhood. It’s been a hard road not feeling like I really belong anywhere, but slowly I am getting more comfortable in new environments. I’ve never been the most popular guy, or the coolest guy of the bunch, but I’ve been told often that I am one of the most kind and caring people, and I really pride myself on being that person. I am an educator by nature, so I am always looking to teach people. I really value when people feel like they are better because they learned something new, or understand something better. I feel an overwhelming amount of pride when those moments happen and I have contributed to them. It’s corny, but it’s me. :)

 

FEATURED SEPTEMBER 27, 2017




Will Peterson


Which team do you play for and who is your captain?
I play for Teal it to my Heart with captain Chris Serwacki.

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined in 2015 and first played for David Lopes “Rambo Brites”. David ran a great team and was a perfect ambassador for the FLAG Flag Football league.

As to preferred positions, anything but center and rusher.

Have you won a League Championship? If so, when?
No – I blame Franny.

How many Gay Bowls have you attended? Tell us about your experience.
This is my first year participating in a Gay Bowl and I was placed on the Hancocks. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to represent Boston in the national tournament.

What is your favorite pastime?
Skiing, the beach, and playing any and all sports possible.

Where did you go to school and what do you do for work?
I went to Northwood Prep in Lake Placid, NY and Elmira College.

I currently work for Bain Capital as a Sr. Systems Analyst. Financial systems is my forte. I work with Uncle Bain/Grampy Dave.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in now?
I grew up in Newburyport, MA. For a short time, I also lived in Newport, RI. Presently, I live in the South End.

Tell us about your family and your upbringing.
My mom was a total “tom-boy” at heart. I get my competitive drive in sports from her. Connie can throw a football better than most. She grew up with six sisters and a brother. Her brother was the high school quarterback and my mom was the sibling who always played catch with him.

My dad was also very accomplished. He served as a coach during the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, was featured on the cover of Ski Magazine in 1967, and was a semi-pro water skier and recreational cycler. I was very proud to have a father like him and miss him every day. Sadly, he passed due to cancer.

What is your home life like now?
Always playing music and full of puppies!!

Where is your favorite place to visit or that you have visited?
Vail, Colorado and P-town – hence why going skiing and to the beach are my favorite pastimes!

What is your favorite aspect/part of the league?
I love the completive play and am glad to be playing in my 3rd fall season.

What is your favorite memory from your time playing in the league?
Looking at all the funny-faced pictures that Patrick Lentz posts. Also, tailgating during last years Rosie Bowl!

Story time…what is your most embarrassing moment?
Being on Franny’s spring teams… j/k, love you girl. ;)

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I love to play Warhammer;
2. I have an older brother;
3. Club fans are my favorite thing EVER.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Too juicy for eyes to read, but here’s the PG13 version:

Moody, resting b**** face, an overgrown orangutan.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I am so excited to be a father one day and watch Disney movies with my kids.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I really enjoy fantasy, anime, sci-fi, everything Disney, Marvel, and anything related to art. When I am not out with friends, or hitting the gym, you can find me painting and playing Warhammer. Anyone who plays the game, let me know, I would love for you to introduce yourself. Also, if you every want to talk about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, Game of Thrones, or Harry Potter for hours on end, I am here for you!



Daniel Magalotti


What team do you play for?
Texas Orange – the Jock-Ho-Lanterns

Why did you join the league?
I’m just a Khaleesi looking for his Khal. But really, I’ve been in Boston about a year, and I wanted to meet more gay people.

How did you hear about the league?
Julio Ortiz, who I know from DC, joined the league in the spring. He posted some pictures on Facebook, and it looked like it would be a lot of fun, so I asked him about it.

What is your favorite position (in football)?
Well, I learned the positions about two weeks ago. So far I’ve been playing rusher, which I’ve enjoyed, so let’s go with that.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, and I spent some time in DC before moving to Boston. I’m now living in Cambridge.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I went to George Washington University in DC and got a degree in Middle East Studies.

Tell us about your family.
My parents and my only brother live in Pittsburgh. My dad is a civil engineer and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. He’s a big Pitt fan and has season tickets. My mom, who used to be a social worker, is a HUGE (not “yuge”) Yankees fan. They’ve had a cardboard cutout of Derek Jeter in the living room for about 15 years. My brother is recently married and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife.

What do you do for work?
I’m currently in law school. After I graduate, I want to do litigation, first at a firm and maybe eventually shifting to the public interest sector.

Before law school, I was at the Department of Defense in DC where I worked with senior foreign military officers from allied countries in a partnership-building program.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I was thinking about this, and I don’t think I’ve played a team sport since I was about 10 or 12 years old, unless playing clarinet in the high school marching band counts…

What is your favorite pastime?
Crying about the state of our country? But actually I like following all things political. You’ll constantly see me reading Politico or the New York Times. The night of an election is basically my Christmas morning (though this past one I seemed to get coal in my stocking).

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
The people. The guys on my team, and everyone I’ve met from the other teams, have been extremely welcoming. For an introvert like me, it’s really great that people will just come up and introduce themselves at games or The Blarney Stone.

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
I went to Peru my senior year of high school for a school trip. The night before we left, I very stupidly left my passport in my bag at a club, and the passport got stolen. Getting out of the country involved a photocopy of my passport and making myself cry at the airport when they tried to stop me from getting on my flight.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
My two captains – Karl Ames and Tony Pivero – have been absolutely amazing. Both take the games seriously enough for us to do well, but not too seriously so that everyone has a good time.

What is your home life like?
Not that exciting. It involves a lot of slow cooker meals and reading Supreme Court cases. Usually after class I come home, make dinner, read for class, and (lately) watch either Golden Girls or Will & Grace.

Two truths and a lie…go!
Real Housewives is my guilty pleasure.
I hate coconut.
I’ve sat on the Iron Throne.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
I texted some friends, and they said “scruffy-pup (is that one word?), yinzer, and rascally.”

I’ll go with kindhearted, sarcastic, and political.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
If I come off as antisocial, it’s only because I’m an introvert and have RBF! I’m usually not one to strike up a conversation, but I actually do enjoy meeting new people.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
During undergrad, I spent 10 months in Jordan and a summer in Morocco, so I speak Arabic fairly well (it was definitely better five years ago when I was in Jordan though). I got to travel all around the Middle East too, including to Syria about two weeks before the first protests in 2011.

 

FEATURED SEPTEMBER 20, 2017





David Richard


Which team do you play for?
Pink “Flaming(h)os…Beach, Please!”

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined in Spring 2016, but only played a couple weeks because I tore my Achilles and needed surgery. I’ve only played on a David Lopes team (Spring ’16, Spring ’17, and now Fall ’17), I guess he really likes me. I’ve played every position, I’ll play wherever!

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Last Spring season 2017 with Captain David Lopes and “The Librarians…Gurl, You’ve been Re(a)d!” We only lost 1 game early on and made an unbelievable run throughout the rest of the season and playoffs to win the Rosie Bowl title.

How many Gay Bowls have you attended?
This will be my first one and I’m excited to be playing for the Longfellows.

What is your favorite pastime?
Flag Football, DUH! Anything active, trying new restaurants, traveling to new places.

What do you do for work?
I teach Physical Education at Medford High School. I’ve also coached high school football and track & field.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in?
I grew up in Medford, MA and work at the high school that I went to (I just couldn’t get enough of it). I now live in Malden. I bought a house to fix-up with my sister last December and have a pet dinosaur (dog) named Rocky.

Tell us about your family. What is your home life like?
I am the oldest of 3 kids. My brother, sister, and I were always super competitive in any sport we would challenge each other to in the backyard (sometimes a little too competitive). My parents were there for almost every game or event whether they were running the fundraisers, selling concessions, or just being a crazy fan in the stands. My mom is excited that our Pink team is flamingo themed (she loves flamingos)!

What is your favorite thing about the league?
I’ve played high school, college, and semi-pro football so I was curious to see how this league would be. I was really surprised at how competitive it is, I love it! I’ve met so many new people and made many new friendships. And who doesn’t love a hot tub social or getting “Blitzed at Blarney”?!

What is your favorite memory from the league?
Winning last Spring’s Rosie Bowl was awesome, love my Librarians! “You’ve All Been Re(a)d!”

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
Tearing my Achilles playing flag football is pretty embarrassing.

My friends and I are competitive about everything. We always go bowling and even have a bowling pin as a trophy for whoever won top score that night. One night I was on the last frame and needed a big score to win. Me being a “hardo” and wanting to “punish” the pins, I wound up with all my might to roll as hard as I could. As I was about to let go, I stepped over the foul line onto the slipperiest part of the lane causing me to nearly do a backflip and put a hole in the ceiling with the ball. I landed hard on my butt, lost the game, and my friends peed their pants laughing the rest of the night. Reenactments are made every time we play. Moral of the story: don’t be a “hardo” and don’t step over the foul line of a bowling lane.

Two truths and a lie…go!
I could watch Food Network all day long.
I love going sky diving.
Mayonnaise makes me nauseous.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
One friend answered: “Big Booty Judy” haha
I’d say: Laid-back, caring, and loyal

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I’m extremely competitive. I played tackle football for 15 years so I might be a little too physical at times but I promise I won’t tackle anyone (fingers crossed). I also still love to coach and help teach anything football related. If anyone wants some help (especially on defense), just ask.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m actually really good at drawing.




Dave Herman


What team do you play for?
I am on the G. I. Glow Sticks: Hop On! (captained by Dave Hamilton and Dave Connelly).

Why did you join the league?
I moved from Chicago to Boston about 2 years ago. I like playing sports and wanted to meet people, and the league seemed like a great opportunity for that.

How did you hear about the league? 
I first heard about the league through Andrew Shinner and Aaron Savoie, whom I met out at a bar when I first moved to Boston. Each time I tried signing up for the past couple of years, I missed the deadline. So, this year, I made sure I knew the date and time and was at my computer ready to go!

What is your favorite position (in football)? 
So far I’ve been playing safety and I like it a lot.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Buffalo, NY. Locally, I live in the South End.

Where did you go to school and for what? 
I did my undergrad at Cornell University in materials science and engineering. After that, I did my Ph.D. at Northwestern University in the same field.

Tell us about your family. 
I’m the 3rd of 4 kids and we’re all close. Two of my siblings live in Boston, which is why I moved here from Chicago. All of my siblings are married and have kids. I love being an uncle!

What do you do for work? 
I’m currently taking a few months off to learn French, deep-dive on machine learning, and brainstorm new startup ideas. If a new idea doesn’t take off, I’ll go back to doing business strategy consulting, which I’ve been doing through my own company for the past two and a half years. If you have any business ideas you want to kick around, let me know, I’m always up to discuss!

Did you play sports before joining the league? 
I grew up playing a lot of sports, including rowing and playing varsity ice hockey in high school. Before my move to Boston, I was playing ice hockey in Chicago with the gay hockey team. Since coming to Boston, I’ve mostly done CrossFit.

What is your favorite pastime? 
My two favorite past times are CrossFit and learning languages. I especially love living abroad. I was an exchange student in Germany when I was 16 years old and worked there again when I was 20. A few years ago, I lived in Perth, Australia for 6 months and I loved it! I have my sights set on living in Paris for a few months next.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far? 
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the league and especially love meeting up at The Blarney Stone after the games on Saturdays and hanging out. I’m also big into the volunteer activities that the league offers.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you? 
I had a great time volunteering last week at the St. Francis House with James (Zhan), Shigeo, and Brad Badgely. That was a really fulfilling experience and a great opportunity to get to know those guys better.

What is your home life like? 
I have a small spot in the South End that I love. The main things in my apartment are athletic shoes (lifting shoes, CrossFit shoes, running shoes, football cleats, etc.), books, and tables. I love having tabletops to spread out all of my hobbies and projects.

I’m on the cusp of introvert and extrovert. It’s a tough call for me whether to stay in and finish a personal project, or head out to meet up with friends. That being said, I do like to dance if the music is good!

Two truths and a lie…go! 
I speak 4 languages.
I play the piano.
I’m left-handed.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be? 
Playful, sincere, inquisitive

What is one thing the league should know about you? 
Although some people started calling me “straight Dave” to differentiate me from the other two Dave’s on our team, I think it’s important to state that I’m not actually straight. No idea how that nickname got started!

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 
I like reading books on mindfulness, meditation, dreams, and myth.

 

FEATURED MAY 17, 2017





Patrick Lentz


How did you learn about the FLAG Flag Football League?
Marc Davino once asked me in 2006 or 2007 if I would photograph FLAG Flag Football, but after he revealed that I would have to take a bus into Southie, I told him to forget it.

How did you become the official league photographer?
Matt Ottaviani, who played softball and was a FLAG Flag board member, asked me again if I would shoot football. He promised me that he would pick me up at the Broadway train station and drive me the rest of the way to the old fields at M Street. I wanted to try something new, so I agreed. On the first day, I told Marc Davino that I had no idea what I was doing and he said, “… Just follow the ball.” So that’s what I did.

Share with us one of your favorite memories related to your time as league photographer.
This occurred off of the field but I was asked to photograph the wedding of two of our FLAG Flag Football players, Andrew Shinner and John Aaron Savoie. It was an absolute honor to be their photographer.

What is your favorite pastime when you’re not editing photos?
I’m primarily an artist and went to art school for three years. Professional photography was something that developed later in life for me. So, I am trained as a painter and sculptor and I dabble with that on occasion.

What do you do for work?
I’m a photographer, which means I’m also poor.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in?
I grew up in Revere. I have lived in several cities over the years and eventually moved back to Revere about 17 years ago. I presently live with my brother.

What is your home life like?
Nothing that interesting – I’m usually editing photos, watching TV, or doing yard work.

What is your favorite aspect of the league?
I enjoy how individual teams come together each season and form a sense of camaraderie and family.

Tell us about your favorite league related photo shoot.
I like all of the shoots I have done in my studio with our volunteer football models. I get to assemble groups of players in uniform and see what they come up with for poses. Some of these photographs made it into a book I had published. One of our daring players once posed naked with only his flags on… it was scandalous! Oh, and anyone who would like to participate in my football photo shoots, feel free to let me know!

Tell us about your favorite non-league related photo shoot.
Any shoot I get to work with Nick Sandell is fabulous. I love him to pieces. On one occasion, I was shooting at Walsh Park and I had a shoot scheduled with Nick later that afternoon. He picked me up at the fields after the games and as we drove away, he mentioned that he had to use the bathroom. We were approaching the Blarney Stone at the time so I suggested we stop there. I explained that it was our league sponsor and that the teams gathered there after the games to eat and drink. We stopped there for him to use the bathroom but he mentioned that he was hungry as well so we decided to stay and eat. Before we entered, we were outside and he was wearing a tank top that was open all of the way down on both sides. He asked me if he should put on a better shirt and I said “NO! The shirt is perfect.” I warned him as we went in that the entire restaurant was full of gay men and that I expected heads to turn when he walked in. As I opened the door for him and he entered, every head turned and a ton of people approached us to say hello. When we left he said, “That was fucking amazing!”

Story time … what is your most embarrassing moment?
No joke, the first day I stepped onto the Southie fields, I actually thought the name of the league was “FLAG Fag Football.” I kept thinking that it was a rather tasteless name until finally someone corrected me!

Two truths and a lie… go!
1. I’ve only been to P-Town once;
2. I’ve flown on a plane twice in my life;
3. My mother’s cousin was the Boston Strangler.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that we may not know.
I’ll most likely find and photograph a Virgin Mary statue before I step onto the fields on Saturday morning.

Provide us with three of your favorite photographs that you’ve taken (one must be related to the league!).
[Displayed to the right].








 

FEATURED MAY 10, 2017





Joey Giorgianni


Which team do you play for?
Royal Prince Alberts

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
Receiver

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Yes! Spring 2016 – my first spring season - with the Baby Beluga Homosexuwhales! We also won best name that year.

How many Gay Bowls have you attended?
I’ve been to one Gay Bowl in 2016 down in DC – I was part of the Longfellows. We didn’t win that year, but I’m excited to bring home the title this year in Boston!

What is your favorite pastime?
Probably sitting on the couch after work and watching Netflix (I’m looking for a new show to watch, so if anyone has recommendations, let me know!)

What do you do for work?
I am a digital analytics specialist at an agency out in Quincy.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in?
I grew up in Waltham, which is just outside of Boston. And I still live in Waltham; I’m that guy who never left, lol! But my partner and I are in the process of buying a new home out in Framingham.

Tell us about your family. What is your home life like?
I am one of three children. I have an older sister and a younger brother, which makes me the middle child. My brother and I are pretty close in age (three years apart) so we grew up always competing against each other; whether it be whiffle ball in the backyard, or playing Super Smash Bros… whatever the game was, it would always end in a fight. I definitely owe my competitiveness to my brother; so if you see me having a hissy fit on the fields, blame my bro, lol. I am very close to my family and I’m so thankful that I have such a solid support system.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
I love just playing football and competing against really talented people. When I first joined the league I did not think it would be this competitive! I also love that I have an excuse to day drink on Saturday’s and pig out on chicken fingers.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
Winning it all last spring after losing the first three games of the season. Also, puking in the middle of the field during a game.

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
My first job out of college was at a local startup company, so there were maybe ten people that worked in the office. And most of the workers were downstairs in a basement office. The bathroom, which was only one stall, was located upstairs. Because of this, I would do my best to avoid going number 2 at work, but one day I had a big lunch so I had to bite the bullet and go number 2… I not only clogged the toilet, but it also started overflowing, and water began leaking through the ceiling onto some of my coworkers’ desks. They never let me forget it.

Two truths and a lie…go!
I used to play the clarinet; I was first chair in middle school band.
I’ve watched A League of Their Own probably a million times.
I speak Latin fluently.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Funny, awkward, cheap.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I take flag football way too seriously, and I hate to lose – with that, I’ve probably yelled at some of you at one point during my three seasons of playing… if you have felt my wrath, I’m really sorry!!!

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I have really bad road rage, so if you see me on the road, just get outta my way.




Matt Swingler


What team do you play for?
Watch Me Whip, Watch Me Navaay!

Why did you join the league?
Being semi-new to the Boston area, I wanted to do something to meet others in the LGBT community.

How did you hear about the league?
When I moved to Boston, Sam Englert was the only person I knew as we went to college together. He told me that the league is how he met so many people here and encouraged me to do the same. And the rest is herstory.

What is your favorite position (in football)?
Corner on defense. Snatchin’ flags is my forte.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois (Montrose, IL: population 201, according to the 2010 census and Wikipedia). After high school, I moved to Indiana for college and had been there for the past 8 years before moving to Boston in July of 2016. I currently live in Brighton but am moving to Somerville in September.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I attended Indiana State University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. I’m currently finishing up the last few classes for my Master’s in Human Resource Development, also through Indiana State.

Tell us about your family.
I am the middle of 8 children (Mom says none of us were planned) and I have 7 nieces and nephews with an 8th on the way. My siblings and I are all very close even though we are miles apart. I have 56 first cousins. I was raised in a Catholic, conservative area but now refer to myself as a recovering Catholic.

What do you do for work?
Since my dreams of fame and fortune don’t seem to be coming true, I have settled for a career in Human Resources. I am currently a Human Resources Generalist for Veolia North America, an environmental services company headquartered in downtown Boston.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
Yes. I played football and soccer in high school and intramural flag football and volleyball in college. I was also a dance minor in college and on a dance squad for a few years.

What is your favorite pastime?
Looking at maps and watching Harry Potter.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
I love how inviting everyone has been thus far. I actually started the season on the waitlist but before the first week of games, the Navy team was lucky enough to have me grace their roster with my presence. Since joining the team, I’ve felt very welcomed and have already developed great relationships with my teammates.

I believe that every single week thus far I have met new members of the league, which shows a lot about the welcoming community the league values itself on.

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
I don’t really get embarrassed too much so this is the best I can come up with.

In one of my classes in grad school, everyone had to make a list of tings about themselves that they valued. Being the only one in my family to not only obtain a Bachelors degree, but to also continue on to grad school, I value my education, so “Education” was on my list. My professor asked a few students, myself included, to write our list of values on the board and discuss them. Let’s just say that if you want to brag about how educated you are, you should probably spell “Education” correctly… #eductation

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
This may sound cliché, but like, whatever… I have met so many great people both at the fields and at the Blarney Stone. Many have been in the league for a few years now and have been very welcoming to a little nobody rookie like me. Collectively, the first impressions from the members I have met so far have been incredibly helpful in making me feel like I belong.


What is your home life like?
I grew up on a small farm raising cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs, and goats. Being one of eight kids, we were never bored. My hometown (Montrose, IL) is very small, and everyone knows everyone. I was one of 72 kids in my graduating high school class and my high school was the high school for the entire county. Small minds; big-ish hearts.

Wait, did I answer this correctly?

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. Once had a pet chicken named Cornseed;
2. Matthew is actually my middle name;
3. My favorite animals are cows.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Shameless, Princess, Trash

What is one thing the league should know about you?
Not sure this is something the league absolutely NEEDS to know about me but I have always wanted, even to this day, to be in boy band.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I was the first person in the history of my high school (and still ever from my high school) to ever be selected for the Illinois All-State Honor Choir, which consists of the top 250 high school vocalists in the state.

 

FEATURED MAY 3, 2017





Dave Hamilton


Which team do you play for?
The Donald Dumps captained by THE Jon Richardson.
 
Have you ever won a League Championship and when?
Yes, in 2004.  It was my very first season in the league. Probably before 40% of the current league was eligible to play! The team was The Juice (Orange), captained by Marc Davino. The only other current player who was on that team is Steve Jacobs… at least they are both older than I am.

How many Gay Bowls have you attended?
This year will be my 10th. It has been an amazing experience to participate in a competitive tournament on the national level. By traveling to a different city each year, you get to meet so many new people and experience the vibe of each host city and local league. Oh yeah, we’re hosting this year and we need to step it up!
 
What is your favorite pastime?
I’d say flag football, but that would be cliché. Honestly, it’s being around my friends. My friends are my family and getting together to cook, drink, and give each other a hard time about the stupid things that each of us may do in our lives is my favorite thing to do.
 
Where do you work?
I work for a private investment company and lead the global IT business systems and development teams.
 
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?  
I grew up in Stoughton, which is about 30 min south of Boston. Stoughton is known for three things: Town Spa Pizza, Club Alex’s (and its infamous Legs 'n' Eggs breakfast), and the lesser known adult porn store in the center of town. Growing up, every time my mom drove us through town, she felt uneasy as we passed the picket line of priests, nuns, and desperate homemakers (pre-housewives) broadcasting the names of every townie who tried to go in.

I’ve have lived in the South End for the past nine years and have worked in the Back Bay for the past 17. Yes, I get to walk to work now, but the previous eight years were spent commuting in on the Mass Pike from Natick and then Southborough.
 
Tell us about your family.  
I grew up in the burbs in a blue-collar family. I feel very fortunate; I was adopted at a young age and grew up with very generous and hardworking parents who provided me with whatever I needed whenever they could. I feel that it’s important to try to be the same type of person in my adult life towards others. 

What is your home life like?
Right now, I live with a roommate, his dog, and my cat. I guess you can say I take in strays. 
 
What is your favorite thing about the league?
My favorite thing about the league is the effect that it has in so many people’s lives – mine included. I have been lucky enough to be part of an ever-growing community of players, refs, and families. I’ve met so many friends from being involved in the league, including some of my closest friends.
 
What is your favorite FLAG Flag memory?
Seriously? This fall with by my 18th season and you want me to pick one?!?! Okay, if you were to ask me a week ago I may have had a different answer, but last week’s PFLAG Pride and Passion event might be the most impactful. Besides the fact that we were giving out the league’s fifth scholarship to an amazing individual, the league got an amazing surprise endorsement. Robert and Josh Kraft were present and Josh, who was receiving a PFLAG award himself, spoke about FLAG Flag Football and read our mission statement aloud from on stage.

Or, I guess you could say it was the time when we played in South Boston, BBQ’d after Friday night games, and were egged by some punk kids!  
 
Honestly, it’s the same thing every season. It’s the look on someone’s face the first time they catch a pass or score their first touchdown. Nothing beats that.
 
Let’s get personal … what is your most embarrassing moment?
In high school my mom fished through my stuff to find my address book to find my friend's number. She called his house to ask why their son was spending so many nights at our house and told them that he was sleeping in my bed!
 
Two truths and a lie… go!
1. I used to make furniture for a living;
2. I used to play the organ. (Get your mind out of the gutter, a real musical organ);
3. This is actually Mike Stef answering all of these questions, Dave would not respond to me after my “Grampy” comment in last week’s recap, so I totally made all this shit up. Do we really think Dave can play the organ?
 
If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Sarcastic, giving, and… sarcastic. Haha.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I’m single.
 
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m 53% European and 47% African. Thanks, Ancestry DNA! I’m also 9% Irish… I guess that explains my Saturday’s at Blarney!




Matt Busekroos


What team do you play for?
I play for the The Librarians…Gurl, You’ve Been Re(a)d captained by the fierce David Lopes.

Why did you join the league?
I moved back to the area from NYC last fall, and I wanted to challenge myself in every way imaginable. This league provides an amazing opportunity to test my strengths and weaknesses athletically, while introducing me to so many new people I would not have met otherwise. I also love how active and involved the league is in the greater Boston community through service and philanthropic events.

How did you hear about the league?
There were a few sports leagues I wanted to join when I lived in NYC, but my work schedule didn’t permit much time for me to sign up. I looked up different leagues when I moved back to Boston, and FLAG Flag Football appealed the most to me. I’ve never played football before in my life, except for gym class in the fourth grade (and it shows!)

What is your favorite position (in football)?
Pertaining to football, my favorite position is rushing. I just got my first sacks ever last weekend and it felt incredible to finally contribute something to the team. I’m lucky to learn from some of the best in the league.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Shrewsbury, MA. Now, I’m usually bed hopping and/or couch surfing between my friend’s places in Charlestown and Cambridge. If I’m staying in Charlestown, you can typically find me eating all of the pizza at Brewer’s Fork.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I went to Quinnipiac University in good ‘ole Hamden, CT. I studied journalism and history.

Tell us about your family.
I am the youngest of three. My nana was one of five girls, and then she had five girls (including my mom). My mom had two girls, and my aunt had three girls before I was born in 1990. Congrats! The family finally gets a boy…and he’s gay! My older sisters are both married with one son each. My parents are amazing. They have done (and continue to do) so much for me and my siblings.

What do you do for work?
Before leaving NYC, I worked as a producer and editor at ABC News for the overnight news shows and “Good Morning America” (congrats team on the Emmy win!) I’m currently a freelance journalist pursuing a career change in higher education. I’m also an aspiring Instagram thirst trap (those abs will come in one day!)

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I was the David Beckham of Shrewsbury Youth Soccer before I turned to a life of gluttony and excess. I attempted to join the soccer team in high school, but I didn’t make it past the first captain’s practice. This is my first team sport in more than 15 years, unless you want to count lifelong experience dipping chips as an individual sport.

What is your favorite pastime?
I like to stay active since I spent my formidable years growing up so sedentary. I love to run outside and I try to do yoga at least once a week. I would travel more if I had the money. I love exploring new places. My favorite trip to date was Italy where I ate and drank my way through Florence and Rome.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
My favorite thing about the league so far is the camaraderie developed on and off the field. It’s so great seeing tight bonds formed between people through experiences playing this game together.

Story time…what is your most embarrassing moment?
I went out to this club Toad’s in college. Toad’s is where good decision making goes to die. Anyway, I’m dancing with a young woman I never met before. We start making out, but eventually she pulls away and steps back. I turned around to my friends.

“Boozy, your nose is bleeding.”

It wasn’t just bleeding, but more or less, gushing blood. I thought I was dying.

You could say that was the universe’s way of telling me I should stay away from the opposite sex, and I’ve never looked back.

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
There have been so many genuinely nice people I’ve met so far in the league. However, I want to take this opportunity to shout out my fellow Librarians and all-around amazing team, including fellow rookies Julio Ortiz and Sam Zurn. Plus, I want to mention our supremely talented vets Gregg Dunn, Steven Azar, David Richard, Tony De Louise, Jill Prisco, Patrick Aftim, Mike Salvi, Kyle Mango, Max Milder, our commish Danny Tyrrell, and fearless leader David Lopes. Thank you for your patience with me. I love learning from each of you every week. I’ve been having the greatest time on (and off) the field with you guys. I hope everyone in the league has a chance to play with you all on a team at least once. I couldn’t ask for a better introduction to FLAG Flag Football.

What is your home life like?
I’m usually throwing solo dance parties in my bedroom to Robyn and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I got separated from my family at Epcot in Disney World when I was in elementary school.
2. I’ve had my arm pulled out of its socket three times.
3. I auditioned for the PBS children’s show “Zoom” when I was 10.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Your next boyfriend.

Just kidding!

Loyal, thoughtful, and playful.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
My last name isn’t actually pronounced “Booze Cruise,” but I get called that a lot. Most of my friends from college call me “Boozy,” so my nickname is derived from my last name and not because I’m a drunken lush (most of the time).

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I don’t know if this is interesting, but I’m very introverted. I really didn’t know anyone before joining the league, so throwing myself into a group with this many new people at once has been super intimidating and scary. It takes a little while for me to open up and get comfortable around new people. I am doing my best!

 

FEATURED APRIL 26, 2017




Marty Martinez


Which team do you play for?
I play for the Royal Prince Alberts.

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined in the fall of 2011 and my preferred position is blocker.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Yes, I played on the Purple Monstars in spring of 2013; we went undefeated and were victorious!

What is your favorite pastime?
I love watching college football!

What do you do for work?
Save the world… I actually run a non-profit working to help young people reach their full potential. It is called Mass Mentoring.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in?
I grew up in the Midwest but I have lived in Boston for almost 20 years. Presently, I live in South End.

Tell us about your family. What is your home life like?
If you can’t tell, I am the youngest of five kids – I am the baby.

What is your favorite thing about the league?
My favorite thing about the league is the friendships and connections that people make that last beyond one season. Although we can always do a better job with having more diversity in our league, I do enjoy meeting different people and learning about where they come from and why they joined.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
My favorite memory is forcing my team to change our name to Nickel Minaj – classic season!

Story time … what is your most embarrassing moment?
I am rarely embarrassed. But I am always working to pull off my best Miranda Priestly moment on other people.

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I have run for political office before;
2. I have been on a game show before;
3. I have been married before.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Smart, Aggressive, Loyal

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I don’t do bullshit – what you see is what you get. I think the league knows that by now. ;)

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
One interesting thing… but there are so many…well lets see…With my siblings, I started a scholarship fund in honor of my mother who passed away in 2015. I have been and always will be a momma’s boy and I learned everything I could from her – including her strength and courage – so we started a scholarship to be awarded each year to a young person who lives our mother’s spirit through their actions. This is something that I think is interesting and something that I am very proud of.



Matt Martel


What team do you play for?
The Kellyanne Conway Bowling Green Massacres! We’re undefeated if you consider the “alternative facts”.

Why did you join the league?
The league offers an incredible combination of things I’ve been missing since moving to Boston. 1) Volunteer Opportunities: I volunteered all four years on campus for the American Red Cross since I’m not able to donate blood. The league has a ton of diverse service offerings and since joining, I’ve helped pack meals for individuals house bound due to illness. I already can’t wait for the next shift. 2) Social Component: I’ve met sooooo many awesome guys so far and can’t believe that’s probably just a small fraction of the hundreds of people who play in the league. 3) Football is my favorite sport! I haven’t played football for fun since college and haven’t played competitively since high school; the league offers both fun and competitive opportunities that I’m really stoked about.

How did you hear about the league?
I actually saw a couple guys on dating apps playing football in their photos. I eventually looked up the league from the logo on the jerseys, joined the email list, and got an email about the Snow Bowl. I came out to play that Sunday and had an absolute blast! Shout out to Patrick Lentz for the amazing work!!!

What is your favorite position (in football)?
In pads, I’d say running back but in flag, I enjoy playing wide receiver, specifically slot.

Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m from Lexington, MA and currently live in Jamaica Plain.

Where did you go to school and for what?
I studied Marketing with a Concentration in Event Management at UMass Amherst.

What do you do for work?
I’m a fulltime Event Planner for a string of venues (3 nightclubs, 4 restaurants, 1 concert hall) owned and operated by Pasha Entertainment. I also own a company on the side planning a few events a year including my flagship festival Oktoberfest Massachusetts, which had over 2,000 attendees last fall.

Tell us about your family.
My family is fairly young which is great because they come party at my events from time to time! I’m very close with my mom who works in real estate, while my dad owns his own company (likely where I get my entrepreneurial spirit). My older brother is a crane operator for a local tree service while my younger sister is entering high school next fall and interested in pursuing fashion.

Did you play sports before joining the league?
I’ve played sports since before I can remember! Football, lacrosse, wrestling, baseball, soccer, and I even danced for a few years.

What is your favorite pastime?
I love to travel. My favorite country is Spain, where I lived for a summer, favorite city is Lisbon, and my favorite trip was to Split, Croatia.

What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
I love all the events we have, even if I’m hurting from them the next day at work! I had so much fun bonding with my team and league members at the Meet Your Team Party and am looking forward to another Sunday Funday at Dorchester Brewing. I’m also super excited to help produce the Dudes 'N' Drag Queens Auction on May 18th at Venu Nightclub, one of the venues I manage!

Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
I have the pleasure of playing with Phil Clawson this season and I must say that guy is impressive. He’s one of the original players in the league and has been involved for over 15 years! He also commutes every week – four hours round trip from Western Massachusetts. Did I mention he still looks good out there!? He already has multiple touchdowns on the season and more on the way.

Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I planned a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign.
2. I played on the Main Stage at Ultra Music Festival in front of 100,000 people.
3. I have two back stage passes for Lady Gaga live at Fenway in September; can’t wait!

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Driven, organized, and social.

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I’m competitive AF. Sorry in advance if I get frustrated on the field, I’ll be sure to buy you a round at Blarney after!

 

FEATURED APRIL 19, 2017




Craig Haas


Which team do you play for?
Maroon

When did you join the league and what is your preferred position (in football)?
I joined the league in 2003.  I prefer to play QB.

Have you won a League Championship and when?
Yes. My first year in 2003.

How many Gay Bowls have you attended?
I started attending them in 2004 in Atlanta when we lost in OT of the Championship.  I took a few years off in the middle somewhere, but I think I have attended about 9.

What is your favorite pastime?
Hanging out with my wife and children. They mean everything to me.

What do you do for work?
I am the District Administrator for Arlington Public Schools. This is my first year in Arlington. I was previously in Boston Public for 16 years. My focus is on special education.

Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you live in?
I grew up in NY in a small town named Bayport, on Long Island. I currently live in Brookline.

Tell us about your family. What is your home life like?
My family consists of my wife Priya, 8 year old son, Addie, and 3 year old son, Veer. We also have a dog named Simi. My wife is brilliant and hot! She is the executive director of the Office of English Language Learners for BPS and was just awarded one of five full scholarships in the country to pursue her doctorate! My kids are full of energy and keep us on our toes. My life is spent either at work, at my children’s sporting events, or watching Big Bang Theory or The Office with my wife. It is a very busy life, but also a great one!

What is your favorite thing about the league?
My favorite thing about the league is the people. Pretty much all of my best friends have come from the league. Each year I seem to make more and more friends. They are truly some of the most wonderful and interesting people I have ever met. Although I have a major passion for football, it is secondary to being able to spend time with everyone. I also have really enjoyed watching some of the more inexperienced players develop confidence in themselves. It is just such a welcoming place where people can feel comfortable to make mistakes and put themselves out there.

What is your favorite memory from the league?
My favorite memory from the league goes all the way back to when we played in Southie. The night before the final day of play, after the league met to have dinner at Bertucci’s, my team, the Orange Lady Marmalades, went to Home Depot, picked up orange spray paint and proceeded to paint the fields with our name and colors. We had a great time doing it. Unfortunately, one of our more exuberant players also decided to paint public property. We made him go back and clean it all off.

Story time… what is your most embarrassing moment?
My most embarrassing moment has to be my participation in the films each year. Ordinarily, I am not someone who likes a lot of attention. However, I enjoyed being a part of the filming. Watching it was a whole different story. Additionally, I am not a very gifted performer, so all of my “acting” was pretty poor.

Two truths and a lie…go!
I do not have a Facebook account.
I have never used Instagram.
Serendipity is my favorite movie.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be?
Stubborn
Sincere
Open

What is one thing the league should know about you?
I took a couple of seasons off to devote more time to my children, but in doing so I realized how much I missed it. The league for me is like therapy. I love being there every Saturday and getting to enjoy everyone’s company. I just want people to know how much the league has meant to me for so many years.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I spent a large part of my childhood crabbing. I would spend day after day crabbing under a bridge in my hometown every summer with my friends. I would then bring the crabs home and my parents would cook them for me and my friends to eat. Every time I return home to NY, I take my children and nieces and nephews crabbing, and it is just as much fun as it was when I was a kid.



Raheem Lee


What team do you play for?
I play for Black – “Cash me ousside, howboh’ blak,” captained by Duane Gosley… so cash us ousside!

Why did you join the league?
I joined the league for many reasons. First, it’s extremely social and the potential to meet incredible individuals is exponential. Before joining, I had met so many just watching on the sidelines in the fall, and it made signing up that much easier. Second, I love the game of football and I have played since I was a kid, so what better way to play the sport you love AND meet new people. Finally, it’s not just about playing football, the league is very multi-faceted, including offering us opportunities such as volunteering and fun social events!

How did you hear about the league?
I had never heard of any gay sports leagues in Boston until I ran into a friend of mine (David Baggs) at Club Café and he mentioned FLAG Flag Football. He introduced me to Jon Richardson and they both spoke highly of the league and suggested I sign up next season. Shortly thereafter, I came out to most of the fall games (even when it was below freezing) because I was that intrigued. It was shocking to me that I connected and socialized so organically well with many of the guys considering I was just a sideline fan girl. Therefore, it made me extremely excited to eventually sign up and become a part of the fun and play in the spring season. 

What is your favorite position (in football)?
My favorite position in football is wide receiver, but I also love playing quarterback!
 
Where are you from and where do you currently live? 
I was born and raised in Mattapan/Milton and Lower Mills, moved around a lot, and am now back in the same area I grew up in. 
 
Where did you go to school and for what?
I went to CCRI (Community College of Rhode Island) to start my pre-requisites for nursing, and will be starting at Quincy College this fall in their nursing program. 
 
Tell us about your family.
I am the oldest of 11! Yeah, I know, some number right? I was raised solely by my grandparents after both of my parents remarried. We are very much an outgoing, outrageous, extremely LOUD Portuguese family!

What do you do for work?
I work for a medical transportation company that is subcontracted under MassHealth, transporting patients to appointments, clinics, hospitals, etc. 
 
Did you play sports before joining the league?
Yes! I've played football and basketball throughout my adolescence. I was way more into football than I was basketball, and not because of boys in tight pants. 
 
What is your favorite pastime?
I love to travel! If I can escape to any place that is higher than 85 degrees everyday with a beach, that’s where I want to be! I also love to read and sing. I am a member of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and enjoy fun times with friends and family. 
 
What's your favorite thing about the league so far?
My favorite thing about the league so far is how much you're immediately surrounded by a social network. It’s extremely exhilarating when you can turn to your left, and then turn to your right, meet people for the first time, and continue a conversation at Blarney after the games. You meet so many people, learn so many stories, and discover so many interesting things about each other other than football and sports. I also love how the league seems to be very family-oriented, like everyone is part of one large family. Also, let’s not forget how much fun playing football is! 
 
Whom have you met so far or what has made a good impression on you?
Tough question! I would say the people whom I have met AFTER joining the league who have had the most significant impact in terms of welcoming me thus far would be Damien Holden-Smith, Daniel and Scott Lynch-Williams, and David Bruce. Of course, there are so many more who have already made an impression. I would say that one thing that has me impressed about this league is how well-organized it is run. I truly would like to thank the Board for all the hard work they put into making this an amazing organization and for all of the little things, like open play and these spotlights, that add up to making this a phenomenal and warm experience for a new player. 
 
Two truths and a lie…go!
1. I’ve been a dancer for 7 years and an apprentice dancer for a contemporary company named “Jo-me”.
2. I played quarterback all 4 years of high school and won 2 state championships. 
3. I graduated from an arts-focused high school in 2013.

If your friends had to describe you using three words, what would they be? 
Gregarious, loyal, funny.  
 
What is one thing the league should know about you? 
I'm fun and energetic! I live everyday like there is no tomorrow, because it’s never guaranteed! Always keep a smile on and conduct yourself with positivity.

 

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.