Recent grad of the College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ -- captor of my unofficial "Most Generic Name of a Four-Year College Not Preceeded by 'County'" award.

Little misleading. But not like the Southampton Institute of Technology from "Accepted," either.

It's a real school.


And even though the school is withholding my two diplomas, in journalism and international business, because of unpaid parking tickets, I similarly promise that I earned them.

Or, at least fulfilled those ambiguous course requirements form they handed out in 2006, some five years ago this summer.

Crazy to see where my life has gone since. Started with two years of D-3 football, until my knees publicly declared retirement without consulting me, hanging up their "lateral agility" cleats in consecutive seasons.

Can't blame them. The pale green astroturf stage seemed as good a platform as any to officially explode.


(And yes. That hurts like hell. I'd rather be punched in the face by Kimbo Slice with his hands dunked in the honey and glass bucket in "Bloodsport."

OK. That's a little hyperbolic.

But feeling every major knee structure go in opposite directions was pretty uncomfortable, needless to say.)

My knees and I our mending our relationship, which has gotten exponentially easier given the opportunities our tension beget.

After a brief comeback attempt before the 2009 season (to hell with "doctor's advice"; and, apparently, disregarding "doctor's advice"), I recalibrated my focus and went from meat- to media-head, covering the team extensively for a web log entitled "The Pride of Trenton."

The team mascot was a Lion.


Anyway, the blog earned me internship credit with the College, a prerequisite for graduation, and taught me countless valuable lessons, not the least of which included:

1.) Don't piss off SIDs. They can be your friends, as mine were for far too short a time. That was undermined some, when I clearly demonstrated my misunderstanding of Rule No. 2...

2.) Don't publish injury information about D-3 athletes. It seems innocent, and for a guy dying to be a news breaker, a pretty sensible career move.

But others -- opposing players, coaches, et. al. -- might use those nuggets as ammo. I'm talking well beyond game-planning to exploit positional and schematic holes.

Like, twisting ankles and wrenching on elbows -- real shiesty stuff.

You can keep detachment (Rule No. 3), but unless you're devoid of a soul, you don't want to subject anyone to that.

3.) Keep detachment. You're not there to make, or maintain friendships. You have a job, if not obligation to your foamy-mouthed D-3 Football Forum leaders, to do.

Do it. No questions asked.

Unless they're the ones no one wants to, or wants YOU to.

That said...

4.) Nurture relationships. I can't tell you how fulfilling it was to cover a group of guys I a.) played with or under, b.) on the highest level of competitive football most of us would ever play, c.) during the core of the team's senior years, especially considering d.) we'd all entered school together.

Easily one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.

Something's telling me they -- a subpopulation of sports' most unglorified and underappreciated athletes, the D-3 guys who play their games for free and because they can't fathom life without them, who FINALLY got some pub and attention and respect through regular posts on a Wordpress.com blog -- would say the same.

And there are countless other lessons, like adhering to deadlines (big, exaggerated, rhetorical wink at my editors past, present and future) and overall professionalism (cough, Bruce Feldman, cough).

Lessons that I'm learning now, as a producer for a Philadelphia radio station that I haven't figured out whether I'm going to disclose, for obvious reasons.

Like, for example, hanging "chronic overachiever" on your mantle.

Really: 9-of-10 problems can be mitigated away with effort. Pure, genuine, unabated effort.

Write that one down...

As for that -- and doing part mop-up work for the Trenton Times on nearly every obscure high school sport conceivable (wonder if B/R has a badge for that...) and a few people might actually read, like football, baseball, basketball and others I've spent copious amounts of time to make 300 words jump off the page -- I love it.

It ends any debate over "applying what you learn in the classroom outside it" being easily the most rewarding experience ever, save for parenting and responsibility and a zillion other things I have no experience with, at the ripe age of 23-years-young.

If you're snared in the thrall of my stuff, please feel free to follow me on Twitter (below) and shower me with praise.

Or hate.

Or something suggesting you've actually a.) read something I've written, b.) long enough to remember, and c.) dedicate much-appreciated time out of your life to give feedback.



Bulletin Board

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  • Kyle Langan posted 1604 days ago

    Kyle Langan

    Hey, would you be able to send your e mail to klangan@omnipossible.com? I want to get the B/R community leaders on a mailing list for a press release on behalf of Sports Media 101.


  • G D posted 1633 days ago

    G D

    Hey man I wrote an article about the Top 10 Pro Athletes Who Would Make Good UFC Fighters. Would love to hear what you think man. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/817080-10-pro-athletes-that-would-make-good-ufc-fighters

  • Matt Hammond posted 1634 days ago

    Matt Hammond

    @ a b

    lol oh boy

    for one, notre dame... and boy, i'm pretty sure they don't

    following up: you fans crack me up, boy... the hell makes you think anything i write has to do with fandom... lol my opinions are pegged to my credibility... and boy oh boy does that matter in journalism

    but boy you sure are right boy: BOY, had my team better get the axe

    boy boy boy

  • a b posted 1639 days ago

    a b

    Your by far the worst and most bias online writer i have ever seen in my life question what team have you pulled for because no matter what you say they do they exact same things as other schools(cheat) and boy i hope your team gets the "axe" taking to it

  • Matt Hammond posted 1645 days ago

    Matt Hammond


    Hey bud, thanks for the kind words. Appreciate that you cared enough to point out mistakes, but I can't find any. Steer me toward one? Thanks dude.

    Again: Can't stress my gratitude enough. Thanks a ton, bro.

  • Bryson Treece posted 1645 days ago

    Bryson Treece

    Hey Matty, just finished reading Why Cowboys Aren't Worried - If you can slow down and fix your spelling and grammar errors, that would be a hell of a read! Nice work, but shape up a little and respect your writing. Subscribed...