From NYC to SF, a Zog Perspective

 Going from East to West, John McCartney knows a lot about making moves. Though he left his NYC team behind, he was able to continue his ZogSports journey in San Fran. Today he shares how it all began…

It has been a thrill to be involved with ZogSports for all these years.  I was first introduced to the league by a friend who informed me her team, “Rule 76: No Excuses, Play Like A Champion”, had some open spots on the roster. I was glad I made the cut.

Being involved with the “Rule 76” team had a profound effect on my life as it afforded me with the opportunity to meet some really kick ass people, most of whom have become dear friends of mine. After having an enjoyable first season, I continued to play in as many seasons as possible. Granted, a few injuries here and there couldn’t compare to the joy of being on the same field as my friends. I was always looking to get that win week in and week out and then, of course, hit the bar for some Flip Cup, Beer Pong, Civil War, and Ring of Fire.

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Few of the Rule 76/Lock It Up members from throughout the years, Social Bar & Grill, NYC, December 2010

From my first NYC Zog football team in 2008 to my last one in 2013, “Fargin Iceholes”, I am so lucky to have had so many memories over the years through Zog. The competition, the rivalries, making the playoffs, and of course happy hour made my NYC lifestyle all the more exciting!

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Fargin Iceholes, Octagon Field, Roosevelt Island, NYC, March 2013

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Fargin Iceholes & Tom Brady’s Tears, Tammany Hall, NYC, March 2013

When I made the decision to move from New York to San Francisco for work towards the end of 2013, I knew that somehow I would get involved with the Zog SF league.  I introduced myself to Nick, the SF General Manager, inquired about the winter season and the potential to become a league football referee.

No Punt Intended

No Punt Intended

We’ve just finished the third week of the ZogSportsSF winter football season and I’m fortunate to be part of “No Punt Intended,” a team comprised of individual players. From top to bottom everyone has been so supportive of each other and we are having fun along the way. In addition to playing I now have been able to become a part of the “Zog Referee” family.

Realistically, I know there’s no difference between the New York and San Francisco Zog leagues.  However, I will make three general observations having been lucky enough to experience both:

1. Weather. This winter season I am definitely happy to be on the West Coast! The weather has been very good, sunny and mid 60s. I’ll gladly take this weather over what I experienced in New York!

2. Level of competition. Being a newly minted Zog football ref has given me the chance to see a number of teams play, and I have to say that there are a few San Francisco teams who would give the New York teams a run for their money. On the other side of the spectrum, there are a number of new teams with no prior Zog experience who could use a little extra practice time! The San Francisco league is still pretty brand new, all in good time.

My new Zog ref shirt, Galileo Field, San Francisco, February 2014

My new Zog ref shirt, Galileo Field, San Francisco, February 2014

3. Happy hour. It saddens me in a way that there is no “Parlour” in San Francisco. I truly believe that the Zog happy hour is an absolute important piece to the overall experience; it’s where you can meet other Zog players, make new friends and new memories! I am looking forward to recreating this and calling a local bar a ZogSports home of our own.

The San Francisco league has so much potential for growth and it’ll be exciting to see where we end up in the years to come!

A ZogSportsSF Vegas Vacation

Our special guest Zog blogger this week resides in sunny San Fran. Kyle Smeallie is here to tell us what really happened behind the scenes in Vegas.

“Have you seen the setup downstairs?” my teammate asked at Friday’s happy hour. I’d been distracted by the sun setting over the Vegas strip, Honey Gobbler cocktails, and that guy on team New Jersey whose hair was just so Jersey. “Look through the pool.”unnamed

From water’s edge, through the windows lining the pool’s base, you could see the display downstairs: ping pong tables, corn hole set ups, a dozen pool tables, the works. All for us. That’s when it dawned on me: we were in for an insane Vegas weekend.

The ten of us on team San Francisco were all the fortunate winners of social media contests put on by ZogSports. Our prize was a weekend trip to the City of Sin, where American Honey had invited social sports leagues across the country to compete in the first-ever Bar-sity Athletics World Championship. Airfare covered, two nights in the Hard Rock Hotel, a little somethin’ to throw down on the tables, no-cover at over-the-top clubs, all sorts of perks. (American Honey, your marketing team: Doing It Right.)

Saturday started with eye black, game planning (i.e., drinking) and getting pumped for the main event, a kickball tournament. Winning team would take home $10,000 along with a billboard (!) in their hometown. Sixteen teams from cities around the country, no one out-and-out saying it but there was certainly some regional pride on the line. This made it all the better when our team, the fearsome squad from San Francisco, tasted defeat immediately, after we gave up 10 runs in the first inning. We ended up bringing it back to 10-7, but in the end we couldn’t get past Frankenstein’s fat foot. (Looking at you, Dallas.)

In at least one other respect, though, we absolutely crushed. That was in the category of impromptu interview skills, because when the dudes at BroBible asked our teammate Charlie, “why is playing in a kickball league awesome?” he knocked it out of the park.

With our kickball dreams dashed, we did the only responsible thing we could: We rocked out, threw dice at the craps table, doubled down on Blackjack, went all-in on Hold ‘em, and downed American Honey like they were giving it away (because they were). Then we hit perhaps the wildest club I’ve ever been to, Surrender. There was a pool with little floating pads for lounging, a mini-casino in the club and Zed’s Dead on the decks.

Basically, it was Vegas Vacation, and we were all Nick Papagiorgio getting the royal treatment we didn’t deserve. (Am I right?) All because we play ZogSports.

So hey, thank you Zog, and thank you American Honey. But most of all, thank you, Nick in a Box.

5 Awesome Reasons To Work At Home

Ever wanted to know what ZogSports GMs are up to in their ‘free time’? Luckily, San Fran’s GM, Nick Cruit, has brought us right into the comfort of his own home…

For those of you who play ZogSports in NYC or NJ you’ve probably heard about or been to the Zog headquarters offices. I’ve had an opportunity to spend a few weeks at HQ and there’s never a dull moment to say the least – YouTube videos being shared, balls flying around, and sometimes even refrigerators falling apart. fridge

But for those of us who run ZogSports in other cities our co-workers consist of me, myself and I. When I tell people I work from home by myself I get, “Oh my god I could never do that!” or, “how do you get anything done?” or my favorite, “aren’t you lonely?” Well maybe I’m crazy but I LOVE working from home. Here are my top 5 reasons why working from home as a ZogSports GM in SF is awesome!

That's me on the bottom right!

That’s me on the bottom right!

1) No distractions: Most days I wake up around 8 am, pour myself a cup of coffee, and before I know it it’s 1 pm and I have to remind myself to eat lunch. That time warp has a lot to do with the demand of managing all the aspects of our co ed social sports leagues, but another huge part of it is that I can get into a solid work zone with very little distractions, which is something I haven’t had with any other job. Don’t get me wrong, I miss hanging out with co-workers and talking about the latest pics we’ve seen on Reddit, but there’s something about having peace and quiet during the critically busy parts of my day that makes this job so much more manageable. It also helps that part of my job is to meet new people, play sports, and play bar games every week!

2) Video meetings: To give you guys a little insight into our workflow, all of the GM’s get together every day via video conference to chat about what our priorities are and other interesting things going on in our respective cities. I hated these at first but have now come to enjoy them quite a bit. Most internal meetings in past jobs had a tendency to linger on, but for whatever reason video meetings are quick and to the point – most times. The funny part about video chats is that when the remote general managers end up getting together in person, which we do a few times a year in NYC, we joke about how nice it is to see each other from the shoulders down. We also joke that none of us wear pants during the video chats, kind of like news anchors do.

3) Saving money: The other great thing about my job is that I save a ton of money (and a few inches on the waistline) by not eating out. There are plenty of days where I lazily graze on whatever snacks I have around the house, but having the option to fire up the grill and make a solid home-cooked meal during work is awesome. I also spend way less on food than I used to, which gives me more cash to spend at the happy hours! Now more than ever I’m understanding the importance of the latte factor.

4) Flexibility: After nearly a year working out of my house I’ve realized an important fact about myself: Working at my own pace makes me way more productive. I work most days within the same hours I would if I had to go to an office, but there are those special occasions where I’ll take an hour or two in the morning or afternoon when I get stuck in a rut or am not feeling productive. Just having the flexibility to step away when I need to clear my mind is such a big bonus of this job and has increased my productivity ten-fold.

5) Naps: I can’t lie to you guys; I occasionally take naps during the day. Where I’d normally rely on a strong cup of coffee to push through that period when my brain just wants to shut down, now I close my eyes for 20-30 minutes and have way more energy than I would if I try to force down a 5 Hour Energy.

Well, there you have it, a little insight into my life and why I love my job.  Am I crazy for loving to work from home? Sound off if you have any comments or similar stories. I’m curious to hear what you have to say!

Cheers,

Nick Cruit

ZogSportsSF GM