Below is a combination of podcasts that I've been featured on and/or edited, followed by my favorite sports writing piece I've done in recent memory.
"Future NBA Players to Look Out for in the NCAA Tournament - ft. Carter Ferryman"
"The Fro and The Flow: Watch the Throne, First Place Jazz, and the New-Look Rockets: Playoff-Bound? ft. Carter Ferryman"
Conor McGregor’s Return to UFC was Something out of a Movie.
Though its specific origin remains a source of debate, “The Foggy Dew” is one of Ireland’s most important calls to arms. The ballad chronicles the Easter Uprising of 1916. It encourages Irishmen to fight for the Irish resistance, rather than the British Empire - a decision many were making at a time when WWI was in a full-fledged swing. It’s a call-to-action for the country they adore, a source of pride for many that call the small northern UK nation home.
For Conor McGregor, the song remains the same.
On January 18th of this year - over a century since its inception - “The Foggy Dew” blares through the high-arching speakers at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena. Eager spectators wait anxiously, peering over their neighbors shoulders at the tunnel burrowed between thousands of fans. Orange, green and white stadium lights hanging from the rafters shine over the masses, painting the fight-goers under a blanket of Irish nationalism. Throughout his career, McGregor has entered his UFC quarrels to the tune of this folk classic. Tonight, however, carries an added weight - one of uncertainty in return to the throne that he once called his. In fact, even in victory, the belt will not be retrieved by its former owner.
It’s been two years since Conor’s last appearance in the octagon. That night, Ireland’s crown prince was beaten to a pulp in front of millions by the current champion, Russian grappler Khabib Nurmagomedov - a force in which many believe is unstoppable. Conor won’t be vying for his rightful heir this evening. Tonight, McGregor stands just 10 paces away from a different kind of opponent. A cowboy, if you will.
If you were to ask Donald Cerrone what his greatest pleasures in life are, he’d probably give you three things: “my dog, my faith and smashing people’s teeth into their skull.” The first is tattooed on his back, the second is tattooed on his front, and the third is the four limbs that surround these markings. “Cowboy” Cerrone is donned as an octagon legend. He holds the records for most UFC wins and finishes, two feats that cement the 37-year-old’s storied legacy. This dog, however, has lost his bite with age. A string of losses from MMA’s wild-western hero lead up to this night’s event. As Cowboy removes his black-velvet rancher’s hat and hands it over the cage, many wonder if this is his last rodeo. He knows he has nothing to lose. His story is written. Cowboy beams at Conor with unwavering intensity. The camera pans to McGregor. He’s staring right through Cowboy. It’s as if his existence is irrelevant. The Irishman’s hair is slicked back to perfection, like a young Michael Corleone. In many ways, he is. After the fight, McGregor calls his preceding actions “business.”
Bruce Buffer, the UFC’s notoriously spine-chilling ring announcer, makes the pre-fight formalities. He introduces Cowboy, the crowd mildly cheers for the grizzled veteran. Buffer turns to McGregor and gives his call. Conor struts to the center of the octagon and with an unwavering swagger. Buffer howls into the microphone, “THE NOTORIOUS.” The camera cuts to a man who earned that nickname. A man who's fighting style and polarizing demeanor lifted the UFC into the forefront of major sports media. A spotlight casts a blinding circle over the former champion. He assumes the pose of Christ the Redeemer and looks up to the sky. The skycam sweeps in circles around him. This image will forever be etched into my memory.
In the Summer of 1968, Olympic long jumper Bob Beamon leaped 29 ft. 2 ½ in. To this day, this record-breaking jump remains one of the greatest feats in modern athletic history. Beamon would later describe his mindset on the running approach to his jump. “In that moment,” Beamon explained, “I felt alone.” Over a half-century later, we find ourselves enamored with a different world-famous athlete on the cusp of greatness. In some ways, Beamon and McGregor loosely stand for the same thing: the well-being of their people. These are two athletes that stand for something greater than themselves. Two humans whose drive wouldn’t exist without the communities that raised them. At this moment, however, McGregor is anything but solitary. As he returns his arms to his sides and enters his fighting position, it feels as though he’s anything but - like the flag that drapes his shoulders just five minutes before, there’s an entire country on his back.
The bell rings.
Forty seconds later, McGregor stands over his barely conscious, blood soaked opponent. The crowd is deafening. Roars can be heard from across the Atlantic. His face is expressionless. His hair is untouched.
This is business as usual, after all.