Monday, January 24, 2022
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Celebrity Jersey Cards is a weekly series featuring celebrities wearing sports jerseys. Today I salute teams ousted from the playoffs last week.
Born in New York, Billy Crystal rose to fame on tv's Soap and Saturday Night Live. He went on to an excellent movie career, including City Slickers, one of my favorites. I don't know the circumstances of him wearing the Dallas Cowboys jersey, but I know he earned a Celebrity Jersey Card for it. The #9 was most notably worn by Tony Romo.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Erika Piancastelli, softball star of the Italian National Team and Athletes Unlimited. Erika is part of RISR, a venture which is about to launch in early March. Erika was kind enough to take time from her busy schedule to discuss all of that with me.
Born in Modena, Italy, Erika's family moved to California when she was five. Softball is in her blood, as her mother Loredana Auletta competed for Italy in the 2000 Olympics.
Erika starred at McNeese State University, where she racked up many awards and accolades. She was the Southland Conference Player of the Year four times. She finished her career there with a .401 batting average, with 75 HRs, 212 RBIs, 70 steals, and an .868 slugging percentage.
In 2020, Erika played in the inaugural season of Athletes Unlimited Softball. Last year, she played for Team Italy in the Tokyo Olympics, followed by her second season with AU Softball. In our interview, she also confirmed she will return for AU Seasons Three and Four!
Our interview started with Erika talking about playing in the Olympics, I know she has been asked about that experience many times, but I don't often get to talk to an Olympian and I had to hear it directly.
I then asked her for her thoughts on the unique scoring system and play of AU Softball. As GWSR readers know, AU utilizes a scoring system where points are awarded for team and individual statistics. Teams are redrafted every week. At the end of the season, one champion is crowned. Erika had nothing but praise for the league, system and players. Obviously, if she is signed for two more seasons, she must enjoy it, but it says a lot to have a softball lifer embrace and endorse groundbreaking setup of AU.
Last and most timely right now, Erika talked about RISR. Launching in early March, RISR is an app connecting the viewer with athletes through training content specifically tailored to meet all levels of players. The four instructors are Erika, Amanda Chidester, Haylie McCleney and Janie Reed. That's an elite quartet, made of four Olympians.
RISR focuses on hitting and mental training. The content is designated for specific ages and levels of players. RISR has individual lessons and specific goal-oriented training programs. RISR will fit perfectly with a player's coach and private instructor.
Next Tuesday, January 25, the RISR Team of Erika, Amanda, Haylie and Janie will present an exclusive Live Mental Training Panel. Subscribe to RISR for access to this unique Zoom opportunity.
Our interview can be found at On the Beat With Erika Piancastelli. I plan on doing more updates with the elite athletes of RISR. Until then, go to RISRapp.com to learn all about this upcoming app.
Friday, January 21, 2022
Terri Runnels has had a fascinating career in wrestling. She started in World Championship Wrestling as Alexandra York, leader of the York Foundation, a group of wrestlers who used high tech computer info to defeat opponents. She moved to the WWE as Marlena, valet to then-husband Goldust. The cigar-smoking Marlena added a new layer to the intriguing Goldust character. Eventually, Terri assumed her true identity and became a manager for others. The little she-devil even won the Hardcore title once.
Terri has kept a bit of a low profile since leaving wrestling, although she does make appearances at various conventions and events. At the Motor City Comic Con many years ago, Terry started calling me "Jay Leno," a name I heard fairly often those days. This brought frustration to The Honkytonk Man, who was also there and thought he was the first to make that connection. Since then, I have seen Terri many times. She has been kind enough to give me a few interviews, a promo and even wore my shirt.
I will see Terri again Saturday at Great Lakes Championship Wrestling's Golden Days in Cedarburg, WI. It will be a great night of wrestling action, featuring Terri in a pre-show meet-and-greet. Will Terri get involved in any of the wrestling action? Will Terri attempt to mix it up with Linda Kay, the unexpected star of last month's Blizzard Brawl? I don't know, but I will find out while I am "On the Beat" there. I will report back here on all the action.
Go to GLCWWrestling.com for more info on Golden Days and other GLCW events. Check back here for my recurring coverage of GLCW.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
I have seen artist Enerjax at comic cons, but I never had the opportunity to talk to her at length due to the usual chaos of those events. We chatted a bit at C2E2 2021 and I told her I wanted to interview her. Yesterday, I finally had the chance to interview her about her career and art. Our interview can be found at On the Beat With Enerjax.
Enerjax was born in Indiana, but currently resides in the Chicago area. She studied animation and Japanese in college. After college, she actually taught English in Japan. She draws her favorite characters, as well as creating her own.
At comic cons, with literally hundreds of artists displaying their work, it is not easy to stand out. Enerjax and her beautiful art stand out. This is why I wanted to interview her and fortunately she graciously agreed to give me some time via Zoom.
Enerjax talked about how she got started, making a career of art, her style, her favorite characters, and much more. It was such a fun introductory interview. Enerjax has a lot of positive energy (hence her name) and made it very easy. It was just like having a conversation with her.
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Monday, January 17, 2022
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Celebrity Jersey Cards is a weekly series featuring celebrities wearing sports jerseys. Today, I celebrate the two worst teams in the NFL (although I would argue the Chicago Bears belong in this discussion).
A native of Dearborn, Michigan, Matt Giraud sang and played drums all through school. Giraud finished in fifth place on the eighth season of American Idol. Giraud sang the national anthem for the Detroit Lions, earning his Celebrity Jersey Card.He wore the #66, most notably the number offormer guard Bob Kowalkowski.RatedV.net.
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Merritt Kersey played his college ball at West Chester, before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles before the 1974 season. He played two season with the Eagles, punting 97 times for a 3.5 yard average with no blocks.
For his efforts, Topps gave Kersey a card in the 1975 set, but left him out of the 1976 set. Spike Jones took over for Kersey in the '75 season and got a card in the '76 set. Still, I felt the need to give Kersey a "career capper," especially since I found an action shot of him.