Mom: Home in 5 minutes, hope you’ve taken the chicken out of the freezer
I used to get beat so much for...
I’ve been silent on this issue. Even though it’s consumed my thoughts, I haven’t...
Typically, native New Yorkers who migrate to the West Coast find themselves in one of two clear-cut categories, they either LOVE or hate, Los Angeles.
Me (far right) and Eddie Mata (2nd from left) with a few friends attending opening day at Santa Anita Race track.
He may not have a favorite local team, but Eddie Mata hearts the City of Angels big time, and it double hearts him back. The sports historian, actor, die hard Yankees fan and self proclaimed conversationalist, is also the host and creator of “Where Are They Now in Sports” on YouTube. It’s a refreshing approach to sports where as host, Mata goes right to the gut of retired professional players and titans of the sports industry.“My interviews represent the positive side of sports, I want kids to get inspired they can be a part of this world too.”
His show is as welcoming to die hard sport fanatics as it is to those who can’t, or never desired to throw a ball. Look no further than his interview with former Dodgers Outfielder, Billy Bean. During the 1990’s Bean beat challenge after challenge w/ a bat, to go on and have an 8 year career in the majors and became the first MLB player ever to come out as openly gay in 1999. “In professional sports, it’s not just getting there, its staying there,” Mata says. “Having a tenured career in sports is really the hardest part.”
While quite the character himself, Mata is able to deflect attention away from himself and on to his subject matter with wily charisma. More than pick the brain, he mines narratives from the hills of sports greats with a realism that is frankly, unreal. His interviews aren’t for boring people, people who hate being encouraged and detest stories of obstacles overcome. Mata seeks to take the negativity out of sports, his magnanimous personality took him all the way to the Red Carpet at the Emmy’s alongside Ryan Seacrest in ’07 and also led to a stint on the MLB fan cave.
Today he’s firmly riding the digital revolution with over 12,000 twitter followers and a growing subscriber base on YouTube.
“There’s always a scandal in sports, he proclaims. “But what about those classic sports stories that people don’t even know, they want to know.
Case in point. My own fascination with a tiny tidbit from his Jim Leyritz interview revealed the 1996 World Series Winning Yankees spent about $53,000 celebrating in Manhattan and also headed out for a little late night ice skating a Rockefeller Center.
The two retired players he’s staking his hopes on interviewing one sweet day are the great Michael Jordan of course, now Derek Jeter.
His personal favorite interview he’s done to date? John Starks of his beloved New York Knicks, whose iconic dunk on Michael Jordan and Horace Grant is one of his personal favorite moments in sports. “He’s a legend for the New York Knicks, that dunk, its’ a poster moment, it’s a classic moment. I remember watching that dunk live during the playoffs.”
Not surprisingly he’s a huge fan of UFC Champion Rhonda Rousey, his favorite sports movie is “The Natural” and he likens his on camera style to that of ESPN’s Chris Berman, the sportscaster he enjoys watching most. “Berm is always energized, like me!”
How does he get these great interviews from great players is the obvious question and the answer is, like the most successful athletes, this guy never gives up. According to Eddie, when people tell him “no”, what he hears in his head is, “not yet.” And as a result, he’s had some of the coolest and most candid interviews in sports. Check out Eddie Mata and definitely subscribe to his YouTube channel, Where are They Now In Sports, or follow him on the twitter @EddieMata.