I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. My father grew up a Willie Mays fan and despised the New York Yankees. He passed that trait down to me.
My grandfather was a Ted Williams fan and while living in Syracuse, NY, somehow “managed” to get the Red Sox cable channel. I would watch games with him when I would come to visit. I was quickly hooked on the Red Sox.
Around that same time, in that same house, my grandfather had a sports bookie working out of his basement. I would often get the latest lines and parlay sheets from the bookie in the basement and bring them upstairs to my father and uncle who were watching and betting on games from the comfort of the living room. It was glorious and I thought it was completely normal. My fascination with the point spread started there.
I played four sports in high school and was good enough to get the opportunity to play college football at the University of South Carolina. We would take vacations yearly to Myrtle Beach as a family. I loved the south but as a kid I used to think there was a law that prevented us from staying there for more than a week.
When it came to time to make my college decision it dawned on me that I could actually go to school and live in the south and not have to leave after a week. The University of South Carolina just felt right to me. It also didn’t hurt that on a recruiting trip I was shown around campus by young lady who was easy on the eyes and had the best southern accent this yankee boy had ever heard. When she left to head to the restroom at dinner, my father turned to me and said “if you don’t come here, I am coming here”.
My football career at Carolina didn’t amount to much but it did provide me with some incredible experiences and a lot of stories. I graduated from the University of South Carolina and live in Columbia, SC to this day with my beautiful wife and four amazing kids.
I have lived down south for half my life and it feels like home but strangely it felt like home the very first time I ever stepped on campus.
It didn’t take long for me to also come to the conclusion that Clemson fans are a special breed of folks and I don’t mean special in a good way.
I have been blogging for years. I started a Baseball Prospects blog where I covered and interviewed a young Hanley Ramirez and a young Scott Kazmir. I started The Pesky Pole, which was a Red Sox blog that turned into a Red Sox and Gamecock blog. I started The Garnet and Black, which was strictly a Gamecock blog. The Basement Bookie is also a website I run where I am a verified sports handicapper.
The Big Mike Blog is going to be a combination of all those blogs. If you love the Gamecocks, you will like this blog. If you love making fun of Clemson, you will like this blog. If you love the Red Sox, you will like this blog. If you love making fun of the Yankees, you will like this blog. If you are just a baseball nerd in general, you will like this blog. If you love to gamble on sports, you will like this blog and if you love the world of simulation sports games, you will also like this blog.