Sports Executive Set To Continue A Yankee Doodle Dandy Of A Streak
March 28, 2019
NYSportsday.com by Peter Schwartz
On April 11th, 1975, Steve Rosner was supposed to be in school, but the junior at Bayonne High School in New Jersey had other plans. Instead of going to classes, and without informing his parents, Rosner and a friend hopped on the 55s bus from Bayonne into New York City and then made their way over to Shea Stadium.
“A friend of mine and I decided that we were going to cut school and we’re going to make our way to the Yankee game,” recalled Rosner.
The Yankees were playing at Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated and it was in Flushing that year when Rosner began quite a streak. It was the Bombers home opener and the Yankees lost to the Tigers 5-3. That day was significant because it began a streak of consecutive Yankee home openers for Rosner that will stretch to 45 on Thursday when the Yankees host the Orioles in the Bronx.
Rosner is as pumped up for Thursday as he was for any of the 44 prior home openers that he’s been to.
“I’m always excited for opening day,” said Rosner, the Co-Founder of 16W Marketing and one of the sports industry’s top representatives for sportscasters. “For me, it’s come to be a big time tradition for me. Tradition is big for me. I’m a sports fan regardless of being in the business or not.”
45 straight Yankee home openers is a pretty impressive streak, but that’s not the only tradition that Rosner has been able to maintain. An avid Jets fan, Rosner has been to forty straight Gang Green home openers along with a thirty year run of going to games in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
After his Yankees streak started in 1975, Rosner skipped school again in 1976 to go to the Yankees’ first home opener in the renovated Yankee Stadium and for the second straight year, he didn’t tell his parents. Years later, as the streak began to grow, Rosner admitted to his parents just how the streak started.
“I had told them at one point when the streak started getting up there,” said Rosner. “I informed them that I did have a streak and it started in high school. I was a young adult by then so they couldn’t punish me.”
It should be noted that Rosner wouldn’t have been able to get away with playing hooky from school these days. Let’s just say if my son Bradley tried to pull a stunt like that when he gets to high school in a couple of years, my wife Sheryl and I will know about it because the school app on our phones will tell us he’s not in school and the Life 360 app on Bradley’s phone will tell us he’s at the ballgame.
So Rosner, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, was able to get the streak started successfully without his parents knowing.
Rosner, who represents the likes of Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason, Ron Darling and Bob Papa, will take his seat at Yankee Stadium on Thursday with his streak of consecutive home openers intact although the streak almost ended a few times.
In 1993, the Yankees home opener was on a Monday and Rosner was in New Orleans for the NCAA Final Four. He flew back to New York on Sunday night and then went to the Yankees home opener before getting on a plane back to New Orleans in time for the NCAA Tournament final which was the game when Michigan’s Chris Webber called timeout when the Wolverines didn’t have one.
The following year, it was a similar situation with Rosner attending the 1994 Final Four in Charlotte and the Yankees home opener again scheduled for Monday afternoon with the national championship game set for Monday night.
No problem for Rosner!
“I was in Charlotte and took a 6am flight (Monday morning) and went to the game and then flew back down,” said Rosner.
The third close call was in 2008 when Rosner was representing (and still does) Virginia defensive end Chris Long in his draft year. Rosner had to be at the NFL owners meetings in Florida for an evening meeting with Long and the Patriots. The problem was that the Yankees final home opener at old Yankee Stadium was scheduled for the same day at 1pm.
Rosner had only one option to take of business while also keeping his Yankees streak gong.
“The only way that I could get there was if I chartered a private plane which I ended up doing,” said Rosner.
As it turns out, the Yankees home opener was postponed because of rain, so Rosner headed down to the Florida for the meeting on that private plane and was back in the Bronx the next day for the rescheduled home opener. A lot of things have had to go right for Rosner to keep his home opener streak going and given how busy he is with his business you just never know what could come up.
So people recently started to make sure that he would be in the Bronx on Thursday.
“I started getting a lot of texts (Tuesday) with how many is this or tell my you’re going,” said Rosner. “All of my friends know about the streak so that makes it fun as well.”
Over the years, the Yankees have played some really memorable opening days that Rosner likes to reminisce about like the 1996 home opener in the snow with Andy Pettitte on the mound and the Yankees beating the Royals 7-3. Then in 1997, the Yankees won a 17-13 slugfest against the A’s. And in 2003, Hideki Matsui celebrated his first game in Yankee Stadium with a grand slam against the Twins in a 7-3 Yankees win.
This year, Rosner is hoping for another Yankees win on Opening Day to begin what is expected to be a season where the Yankees are one of the favorites to win it all.
“They’ll be in the mix,” said Rosner. “I have confidence in this management and ownership team. I think they’re really good. They have one of the strongest bullpens in baseball so the way this game is being played these days, that’s major.”
While Thursday marks his 45th consecutive Yankees home opener, Steve Rosner is not really that far away from trading in what would be a Sapphire Anniversary milestone for a Golden Anniversary celebration.
In five years, Rosner could be at his 50th consecutive Yankees home opener.
“I’m just hoping I’m here,” chuckled Rosner. “I take it a year at a time. Milestones are good things but it’s more about the totality of it than the individual number.”
Rosner’s streak of 45 straight home openers is very impressive and he’s certainly happy about it. But for now, Rosner has some other numbers and milestones in mind when it comes to the Yankees in 2019. 100 wins, an American League East title, a 41st American League championship and World Series victory number 28.
Did You Know?
NFL player Chris Long on advocacy and the role of influencers
Published on Devex: By Adva Saldinger / 22 March 2019
Chris Long founded Waterboys in 2015 and has since helped raise funds to provide more than 200,000 people with drinking water.
WASHINGTON — Chris Long may be a celebrity himself, but he also knows a thing or two about trying to get other influencers to back a cause.
Long, a National Football League player who has won awards for his accomplishments on the field and for his philanthropy, has been working for the past several years to help raise attention to the issue of clean water and use his position to fund bringing safe drinking water to communities in Tanzania.
“We don’t chase influencers. People who are really interested and committed will come to you.”
— Chris Long, founder, Waterboys
In 2015, Long launched Waterboys, an initiative that aims to bring clean drinking water by building 32 sustainable deep borehole wells through a partnership with WorldServe International. When the initiative hit that target in February 2018, the goals changed, and now Waterboys is working to provide clean, accessible drinking water to 1 million people.
“We've had a number of challenges and also a number of realizations over the past few years,” Long told Devex. “When we got into it I had a very specific idea of how we were going to do it. I was very confident that we would get a rep from each team, we were going to get the biggest names and it was going to be great.”
But that wasn’t the case — and he changed his strategy, deciding that chasing other influencers wasn’t effective. It’s a lesson he thinks others can learn from: “I don’t want to chase anybody because that means they're not interested, so we don’t chase influencers,” he said. “People who are really interested and committed will come to you.”
Bringing people to see the work the organization is doing and the conditions in some of the communities has been a powerful tool, though it hasn’t always been easy working around NFL schedules. Waterboys organizes an annual fundraising climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, which helps to create a deep commitment, he said.
Long is quick to add that influencers should recognize their limitations, and he describes himself as a “megaphone person,” whereas Waterboys partner WorldServe International is the working arm of the partnership.
He said he got involved in clean water because of “the efficiency, measurability, the ability to sell that to people who don’t understand the crisis.”
Long is looking to recruit champions from other sports; last year Milwaukee Bucks point guard Malcolm Brogdon joined the effort, which Long said was key to getting the message to new audiences.
For Waterboys, the choice of a partner was fairly straightforward. Long met John Bongiorno, the president of WorldServe International, by chance at a bar in Tanzania and it was him along with a few others already involved in the provision of clean water who convinced him to look into the issue.
Long is now partnering with the U.S. Agency for International Development and Coca Cola as part of the Water and Development Alliance to provide safe water access to 70,000 rural Tanzanians through community-managed, solar-powered water systems. The project will provide technical support to train local entrepreneurs to perform maintenance on the systems that are installed, with an emphasis on training women in those roles.
As for working with USAID, Long said it was “different,” but served as a great opportunity for Waterboys.
“With the help of partnerships like that, we can gain a lot of momentum, a lot of legitimacy, and I love the model, I love empowering women, I love the ownership component of it, the holistic component of it,” he said.
Moving forward, Long wants to engage more women in the fight for clean water and help draw attention to the link between women’s empowerment and clean water, expand into new countries including Kenya, and consider doing work domestically in the U.S.
Once Long retires from the NFL, he knows his visibility will diminish and the cause will need new champions. Long is already on the lookout.
“When we get the next big influencer, like some of these young players that I'm going to have to pass the torch to when I retire very soon, it’s going to be key to meet their needs and what they’re excited about,” he said.
Chris Long, Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End, and founder of Waterboys @WaterboysORG speaking at the US State Department on #WorldWaterDay2019
March 21, 2019
NBCA Teams Up With Pro Football Hall of Famer Harry Carson During Blood Clot Awareness Month
The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) is excited to announce that it is teaming up with Pro Football Hall of Famer Harry Carson to help raise public awareness about life-threatening blood clots during Blood Clot Awareness Month in March. Carson, whose illustrious career culminated in a Super Bowl XXI Championship in 1986, has experienced two blood clots in recent years, including a blood clot in his lung.
“It’s a good thing that I took myself to the hospital and didn’t just brush this off,” Carson says. “That’s what a lot of people might do, particularly men or people who are very fit or athletic. Instead, I listened to my body, got the medical attention I needed, and avoided a real crisis or something really much more awful.”
BLOOD CLOTS AFFECT EVERYONE
As a two-time National Football League (NFL) Linebacker of the Year, Carson is no stranger to pain. He spent 13 seasons playing in the NFL, and was selected by his NFL peers nine times to play in the Pro Bowl. Despite his history as a professional athlete, and his current fitness level, Carson is not immune to blood clots. For Blood Clot Awareness Month 2019, Carson is collaborating with the National Blood Clot Alliance to help raise awareness about blood clots by sharing his personal story with others and demonstrating that dangerous blood clots can happen to anyone.
“Each year, NBCA orchestrates a robust communications effort to coincide with the recognition of Blood Clot Awareness Month in March,” says NBCA’s Director of Communications & Health Marketing Lisa Fullam. “NBCA is honored to have Mr. Carson lend his voice to our work this year, as we know that his story will help us amplify these public education efforts and be met with great enthusiasm among our constituents who also always step up their efforts to build awareness about life-threatening blood clots at this time of year.”
NEW NBCA E-MAGAZINE
Carson is sharing his personal experience with blood clots in the inaugural issue of NBCA’s new Blood Clot Awareness Month e-magazine. This digital magazine was unveiled today, and can be read here Personal Perspectives: My Blood Clot, My Life. In addition, Carson will share his story on NBCA’s website, as well as across the organization’s social media channels, throughout the month of March.
“I consider myself lucky, because I listened to my body and I survived,” Carson notes. There are others, including some of my contemporaries in the professional sports world, who have not been so lucky. I want everyone to understand these important health issues and the risks that exist.”
Today, Carson, who received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education before kicking off his professional football career in the NFL, is retired from professional sports, but remains active with numerous business and sports broadcasting initiatives, and also dedicates his time and talent to a number of charitable activities, including important health awareness programs that allow him to exercise his skills as an educator and health advocate.
Blood clots do not discriminate. They can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, or fitness level. Each year in this country, about one million people are affected by blood clots, and about 100,000 of these people will lose their lives, which is greater than the number of deaths due to AIDS, breast cancer, and motor vehicle crashes combined.
Chris Simms' New NBC Sports Digital Program "Chris Simms Unbuttoned" Debuts Today
March 4, 2019
Daily Long-Form and Short-Form NFL and College Football Content to Post Across NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App, NBC Sports’ YouTube Channel, NBC Sports’ Social Media Accounts, Yahoo Sports, and a new Podcast
Chris Simms Unbuttoned to Provide In-Depth Xs and Os Analysis from Extensive Film Study; Interviews with NFL Players, Coaches and Draft Prospects; Gambling Segments; and Much More
Chris Simms Unbuttoned Complements NBC Sports Digital’s NFL Content Featuring Mike Florio’s ProFootballTalk and Peter King’s Football Morning in America
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 4, 2019 – Chris Simms’ new NBC Sports Digital program Chris Simms Unbuttoned debuts today, providing NFL and college football fans with daily long-form and short-form content across NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NBC Sports’ YouTube channel, numerous NBC Sports’ social media accounts, Yahoo Sports, and a new podcast.
By utilizing Simms’ extensive film study, playing experience, and personal relationships, Chris Simms Unbuttoned will feature in-depth Xs and Os analysis; one-on-one interviews with players, coaches, executives, and draft prospects; game recaps and previews; gambling segments; extensive player analysis leading into the NFL Draft; and much more.
NBC Sports hosts Ahmed Fareed, Paul Burmeister and Liam McHugh will rotate as co-hosts of Chris Simms Unbuttoned, which will be shot primarily at NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., and occasionally on location.
It was announced last month that Simms was joining NBC Sports Group exclusively in March. Since 2017, Simms has been a regular contributor across numerous NBC Sports TV programs, including Football Night in America — the most-watched studio show in sports; Notre Dame Football; and PFT Live, which he regularly co-hosts with Mike Florio on NBCSN and NBC Sports Radio. But today is the first time Simms is contributing digital content exclusively for NBC Sports.
An eight-year NFL veteran, Simms played quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and Denver Broncos from 2003-2010. He also served as a coaching assistant with the New England Patriots in 2012. He played collegiately for the University of Texas from 1999-2002 and was named USA Today’s High School Offensive Player of the Year in 1998. He is the son of former New York Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms.
Chris Simms Unbuttoned complements NBC Sports Digital’s extensive NFL and college football content that includes live streaming of Sunday Night Football, primetime television’s No. 1 show, and Notre Dame Football; and must-read columns by the most respected NFL Insiders in the business — Mike Florio’s ProFootballTalk and Peter King’s Football Morning in America.