The Other New Guy: With More Trains and Blueberries

Before I get to formally introducing myself to all of you wonderful people, I think the first matter of business should be to thank Kaiti and Greg for this opportunity. Greg actually kick-started my progression through the ranks at WMAR at Marist, and gave me the affectionate nickname “Stat-Boy Steve.” It all happened one fateful Saturday afternoon during a Campbell vs Marist football game. I’ll That’s the first time that sentence has ever been used, so on that note, I’ll leave the rest to your vivid imaginations.

My name is Steve Sabato, and I live in Hammonton, New Jersey, the Ronald Reagan-proclaimed Blueberry Capital of the World. Which is good news, because I don’t very much care for blueberries. He said that in a speech he gave in our town, which we commemorated with a large rock in the center of town. I always found that amusing. Ronald Reagan got a rock.

What do Charlie Brown and Ronald Reagan have in common?

My life as a sports fan started on a Sunday afternoon in Berlin, New Jersey. My dad was concerned that sports had not taken hold with me yet, and I was already a whole four years old. He pointed out to me that the Colts were on TV, and they were blue, like Thomas the Tank Engine. After that, it was all history. I cried real, five year-old tears when the Colts lost to the Steelers in the ’95-’96 AFC Championship Game, when Jim Harbaugh’s Hail Mary pass was ruled incomplete (it wasn’t.) I rooted for the Colts to take Peyton Manning in the draft after I had started to like him at Tennessee. That worked out, and it has been a great 12 years of pro football fandom for me. I am also a Purdue Boilermakers fan, because around the same time that I had started to like the Colts, I learned that Purdue’s logo was a train. So, I root for the Colts and the Boilermakers, all because of Thomas the Tank Engine. Weird, I know.

Thomas the Tank Engine is the primordial soup of sports for Steve Sabato

In baseball, my love lies with the Phillies. It started with the Diamondbacks, as one of my first sports heroes was Randy Johnson, but after he left, it just became a harsh charade of forcing feelings that weren’t there. Meanwhile, the Phillies were on TV every day during the summer, and by the time I was in 8th grade, I had already started to follow and like the Phillies more. In hockey, I like the Senators, because, in the first hockey game I ever owned, NHL 99, I discovered that their logo was a Roman Centurion, they had a dazzling Swede named Daniel Alfredsson, who I quickly fell in love with, and my best friend’s dad had nicknamed me the Senator, because as a kid, I enjoyed using big words. Jeff Friesen scoring the game-winning goal with 2:14 left in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to send the Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup ahead of the Senators is one of my all-time worst sports fan moments.

So that’s a background on why I like the teams that I like in sports. It’s a little different, but I don’t mind. I look forward to getting my opinions out there on this great blog that Katie and Greg have started, and that Schwartz and I have been added to. I can’t wait to get my first non-introductory post out there, and hope that it contributes to the growth of the site as a whole. Thanks for getting to know “Stat Boy Steve” a little better.

Steve Sabato is a staff writer for Home Field Advantage


About Home Field Advantage
We are two senior Sports Communication majors at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. We have launched this blog as part of our senior year capping project, with the goal of creating a comparative analysis and multimedia approach to the differing sports cultures in America.

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