We all have a story.
Full disclosure, I don’t find my story to be any more interesting than yours or any of the millions of other people across the country that listen to #jaymohrsports or #mohrstories. My hope is that in participating in this blog, we can expand the community that JJ has established with love, care and #WE.
In the #jaymohrsports universe we are all incredibly and beautifully diverse. However, we have made a choice to gather around two common interests: sports and Jay Mohr.
Growing up, sports was one of the biggest aspects of my life. I played almost everything until I eventually settled on my two favorites, basketball and baseball. I really enjoyed playing and experienced a modicum of success. However, during high school in particular, sports for me became more than a hobby or just something to do.
Sports was my true north.
During my freshman year, my father was diagnosed with Cancer. In a matter of months, he was gone.
Sports became my teacher. A refuge. An outlet.
My true north that in many ways kept me from spiraling out of control. As long as there was a pitch to throw or jumper to shoot, I was going to be ok. Everyday it gave me something else to think about, something else to do, something else to cling to and find purpose in. Sports allowed me to have an identity beyond what happened to me. Sports isn’t a person. But if it was, I’d owe her a lot.
Like many of you, I knew of JJ from his time on SNL, movies, TV and stand up. However, it was through his guest hosting for Rome and occasional calls that I came to know of Mohr Stories, his weekly podcast. One day in May of 2014 I was mowing my lawn, earphones in, listening to JJ talk to Uncle Dan about getting married. They decided during the podcast to have a bachelor party and invite a few guys that listen to the show. To get invited, you had to tweet JJ with a creative (not expensive) gift you’d bring Dan for his bachelor party. I ran in the house, grabbed a billion dollar bill I recently brought back from Zimbabwe and tweeted to JJ saying that “I’d make Uncle Dan an instant billionaire.”
Somehow, a few days later, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Santa Monica with Jay Mohr (& Trash Truck), Uncle Dan, some of his buddies from back east as well as eventual friends Justin, Derek. and CJ. We sat around, ate, drank, talked about sports and life. It was fantastic.
My first impression of JJ was shaped by our first conversation. He was talking over his shoulder to me with the bathroom door open while he took a leak. Later I watched him hold Meredith in the pool, giggle and play with him. Oh, OK. He’s just a normal guy. Like me, like you. Loves life, loves his family, loves sports.
At one point JJ asked me about the work that I do and he seemed legitimately intrigued, interested.
I told him I was headed to Haiti in just a few weeks and he asked me to send him pictures and let him know how it went. From there, emails, green rooms, podcasts, text messages, phone calls.
We’ve talked about sports, faith, family, life. I am indebted to him for the friendship he continues to show me.
It’s also a testament to JJ that he’s created a culture, a community that has brought people from across the country together. I’m looking forward to hearing more about many of the people that make up this community.