No this is not an April Fool’s joke but I am certainly smiling. Today, I have multiple reasons to be in a good mood. This morning while doing reports for my clients at my SEO company Elite Rank Marketing, I ran the usual daily report for SportsRantz and saw that we were now #1 in Google for “sports radio shows”. A truly unbelievable achievement and a great indicator that a small group of dedicated sports fans that just love talking sports can go toe-to-toe with the likes of ESPN and Fox Radio, at least in the search engines.
Aside from that we are also celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of SportsRantz.com. Yes, last year on April 1st I officially launched the website.
It amazes me to see where things have gone from Day 1 to Day 365. When I first came up with the concept I wanted to combine social media and sports talk in a fun and easy format that empowered fans. No more being buried in comments, no more filtering, just pure intelligent sports talk. It has brought together multiple cultures, races, belief systems and people from all walks of life for the common theme of talking sports. In my firm belief I really think sports is the universal “common ground”. Where we all can find a bit of togetherness despite our differences in opinion and our differences in lifestyle.
It has been a crazy year for me personally and professionally.
On the professional level I have had a heck of an uphill climb to get to this point. Tons of website issues when we first launched led to a lot of stress, but in the end I learned invaluable lessons and learned how to make the site better and more fan friendly. Luckily, I have the benefit of working with UnTame, a company that understands my vision and has been a great friend to SportsRantz. I also am lucky to have been an SEO/Internet Marketing Specialist with several years of experience. It’s helped me structure SportsRantz in a way where I can easily say I truly believe we have a “leg up” on other websites. The understanding of what works and what doesn’t, the experience to employ it and the freedom to test my theories has been invaluable.
No company launch comes without a few bumps in the road. Aside from the website issues I have also been the target of some plagiarism where someone decided to take a ton of my hard work and post it as theirs (including my ideas, writings and concepts) but I figure it comes with the territory at times. At the end of the day if someone is copying you, you must have done something worth copying right? While most would retaliate I just used it as motivation to rise above it and I have. Just like every single obstacle that comes SportsRantz’ way, we do our best to clear it, learn from it and become better for having faced it.
If you had asked me last year where I thought SportsRantz would be in 2012 I would have probably said “I don’t know”. The truth is it was a hobby, something that was a fun outlet for me. I got to cover some local sports teams like the Albany Legends, Adirondack Phantoms and Siena Saints. I got to interview some cool athletes in the process. I would have never anticipated the group on Facebook (SportsRantz.net), SportsRantz Radio or SportsRantz Magazine being as successful as they have become.
I see something bigger than what SportsRantz currently is and due to the widespread acceptance and popularity I have decided to go “all in” on this. I am taking this concept and going to push it as far as it can go. There IS something bigger, better and more interactive out there for sports fans to talk sports. Where we can eliminate the personal attacks when two sports fans have differing points of view. Some call it “Smack Talk” or “Trash Talk” but I just call it unintelligent sports talk.
I have more faith in sports fans and their perspective than to buy into the perception that we can’t legitimately talk sports on a large platform and have it be successful. I have more faith in all of you and all of us than I do the major networks. I would rather give the fan with the jersey and face paint and outlet/voice than tune into a suit and tie reporter giving me a slant report. More often than not, the substance is with all of you!
That is why I live, breathe and bleed this. You all make it possible. You all believe in this concept, buy into it and participate in it. You all expect better sports talk, more involved sports talk and know you deserve the appropriate outlet to share your thoughts and opinions. It gives me the confidence and motivation to go stronger every single day on this. It has also inspired me to properly construct a business plan to get adequate funding to launch this as a full-fledged company. I’m not sure if you are all aware so consider this my official “announcement” but in the next year or so I am hoping to have a full staff working side by side with me to bring SportsRantz to heights I cannot even fathom at the moment.
I am so blessed for all of this, the ability to be able to launch and maintain an idea, the support of all of you and the amazing team of people that have worked with me throughout this. I cannot say enough how valuable Kristina Chambers has been, she has been here since Day 1 and has blossomed into one of the most talented ranterz I have ever come across. I knew it as soon as I read one blurb from you a year ago. Now she has a popular radio show on SR Radio and I couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishments! Thank you Kristina.
I couldn’t have done the show without my co-host Katy Mitchel who is equally as talented. Most of you do not know this but Katy and I have never physically met. But we had instant on-air chemistry and I couldn’t imagine doing this without her by my side. She is extremely passionate, intelligent and dedicated to sports talk radio and knows her stuff! Thank you Katy!
SportsRantz Radio wouldn’t have been possible without Frank Maniscalco who taught me a lot about radio and conducting a radio show. Thanks Frankie for believing in my idea and helping me construct SR Radio. I cannot say thanks enough!
To everyone else who has helped me out in any way shape or form in regards to SportsRantz this past year, thank you!!! In particular I want to thank Michelle Katz, Diamond Joe, Anthony Aniano, JR Enterprises, Melanie Madden, JR Rickert, Lei Clark, Holly Vuich, Steve & Lisa Miller, the Albany Legends family, Adirondack Phantoms, the IBL, all the callers into our shows, our bloggers, contributors to SR Magazine, all the groups on Facebook who let us share our stuff, our Twitter followers and every one else I may be forgetting! Thank YOU
I also want to thank the people who sent me nasty emails, plagiarized me/us, bashed me on air and everyone else who had something negative to contribute. Thank you! You motivate me to never quit and to strive to rise above all your negatives to produce a bigger positive and I will. WE will. I wish you all the best, every one of you, but as The Rock would say; SportsRantz is putting “Boots to Asses” in 2012 and moving forward!
The next year will be exciting and full of great things!
Thank you all for being along for the ride and continuing on this journey with all of us at SportsRantz!
Trust me, we will accomplish something extraordinary here at SportsRantz and we plan on changing things for the better!
25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event
The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.
Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.
At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.
The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.
Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.
I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”
In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”
And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,
Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”
Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”
Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”
Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”
Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”
Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.
“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”
About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.
The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.
Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23
Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.
“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.
Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”
Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl
It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.
A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.
Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic , As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.
The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.
In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”. Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?
I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.
Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.
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