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SSTN Interviews John “Mac” McGrath of North East Streaming Sports

SSTN: Today we are here with John “Mac” McGrath of the Mac and Jack Show, a program on which I am fortunate to be a frequent guest.

John is also the founder of North East Streaming Sports a growing network of programs that focus on sports in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Mac, it is great to have this discussion with you. Thanks for coming to Start Spreading the News.

Thank you for having me on the blog for interview. Your Start Spreading The News blog is my favorite Yankee site to visit for the great coverage of the greatest dynasties of all sports.

Thank you! Please begin by telling us about Northeast Streaming Sports. How did this idea come about?

The North East Streaming Sports Network idea came about because like blogs there are literally thousands and thousands of podcasts. I thought that if all these individual sports podcasts could come together under one umbrella, it would increase the chances of them either being discovered, make them more popular, and give sports fans a single place to go and watch these independent shows in one place. It could also give these shows a better chance at getting advertising doing something they love doing.

It is great that you have partnered with the famous boxing writer Jack Hirsch. How did you two connect and build this great partnership?

Jack was a guest on a previous show I was cohost on. When I booked him on that show as a guest, he basically took over the show. He has great insight on all sports, and when I left the prior show, I asked him if he would be interested in being my cohost when I started the Mac Sports Show. He agreed and it became the Mac and Jack Sports Show.

Your network is continually growing, please tell us about some great things you’re looking into to grow the network even more.

The Network is on all video and audio platforms, and we have just partnered with the East Conference Semi Pro Football League. We will be carrying all the 26 teams’ games, and will be calling one of their teams live every week. We are also looking to carry other sports leagues so that we can provide viewers with 24 hours of live sports coverage year round. We are also starting the process of having our own Global Sports TV Channel.

You have an extensive background in sports. Please tell us about your own career as a player and coach.

I played Football and Baseball both for 10 years. In football, I was the Quarterback & Strong Safety on my High School team that went to play the state playoffs. 8 players got scholarships to college, 2 of them went on to play in the NFL. I was in top 5 rushing as a QB with 1,006 yards threw for 15 Touchdowns, but my during the last game of season took a big hit to the knee and that ended any chance at going to college. As a baseball player, I pitched and played the hot spot at 3rd base. I still have Senior League record for 16 strikeouts in one game. I batted around 320 and had 4 HRs in my last year

In coaching – I coached both football and baseball, primarily football started at youth level. I became Head Coach of the town football program 160 kids and 23 coaches. I won 3 championships. In High School as offensive coordinator, I had the #1 offense in league and as the freshman head coach 13-0 (undefeated) same year. I interviewed and was offered a coaching position at a Division-3 college, but personal situations prevented me from taking the job.

You are a big Yankees fan, but football is your first love. What is it about football that makes it so exciting for you? My father is from New York and I was raised a Yankee fan growing up in the lean years of mid to late 60s when the Yankees weren’t so good. When they turned it back around in the mid to late 70s, I was so excited that my team was back on top and it wasn’t just stories from my dad. I was living through my first World Series.

Football is my passion because of the unity of the team, where every player on the field must do their job or that play is destined for failure. The strategy, the schemes the individual matchups during the play, and the game, make it like no other. Even if you win every battle and every matchup, one turnover or one penalty can lose the game. It’s so player dependent. My first head coach called it a violent chess game or a controlled war.

Baseball, like a lot of sports, is more individualistic. A great pitcher can win the game with little help from the defense, a great hitter can drive in 3 runs for the offense.

My father always said I was more a natural at baseball.

There’s a lot of talk about baseball needing to be “fixed.” Is baseball broken? If you were the Commissioner of Baseball what change(s) if any would you make to the current game?

There are way to many things that need to be fixed, most would be obstacles that would have to go through the WAY too powerful Players Union so I’ll give you a quick fix that the commissioner could do right now and I would do this first.

Bring young fans in – reach out to the kids. Pour more money into the minor league, go into communities and build and support the neighborhoods, have baseball camps, rebuild baseball parks, and more.

The NFL does it, the NBA does it. The fanbase of baseball is older, Playoff games and World Series are on too late. Make the MLB players available to the kids. They must make this a league effort, or the kids growing up today will not be big fans later in life.

On the Mac and Jack Show, you like to play “Who’s Better” with Jack. I’ll ask you a few…

Who (or what) is better…

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?

I’m not a big Beatles fan but I liked Lennon earlier in career and McCartney later with Wings.

Joe Frazier or George Foreman?

Smokin’ Joe is my favorite Heavyweight of all time, but head to head Foreman beat him twice, and made that great comeback in is 40s. So George Foreman.

The 1969 Mets or the 1986 Mets?

Talentwise, the 86 Mets. 1969 was unbelievable, but ‘86 was a team that should have won a couple World Series.

Joe Namath or Phil Simms?

Joe was more important historically helping to win that ‘69 Super Bowl and was a great QB for a short time. Phil Simms was better statistically and was the leader on the first Super Bowl the NYG ever won, and he played a major part to get them to the ‘90 Super Bowl team before getting injured. So I would say Phil Simms.

NY Pizza, a Philly Cheesesteak, or Boston Cream Pie?

I’d give the smallest of edges to Philly Steak. There is way to much pizza out there and I got to have my meal before desert.

In looking at the history of the Yankees, or baseball in general, what person or event would you like to see a book written about?

I know there has been one or more written already, but it would have to be a story about the greatest field manager of all time – Billy Martin. From when he was a player up to his tragic death, soup to nuts. All the great and bad things that he did… the people around him, his self destructive personality. It would be a great book to hear about Billy Martin fighting his demons while making losing teams into winners.

Our final question is really just a collection of short answers…

What was your favorite baseball team growing up? (We know this was the Yankees, so which Yankees team was the one you most enjoyed rooting for?)

I most enjoyed watching the the 1977 Yankees.

Who was your favorite player?

Roy White

What is your most prized collectible?

The song sheet cover of Batterin’ Babe (Babe Ruth’s Home Run Song while still with Red Sox)

Who is your favorite musical group or artist?

My favorite musical artist is Ray Charles. My favorite group is the Temptations

What is your favorite food (if it is pizza, what is your favorite pizza restaurant)?

Chicken Parm is my favorite.

Please share anything else you’d like with our audience:

Hope you all have a great day, and the Yanks make the moves they need to turn this season around!

Mac, it was great doing this interview with you.

I’ll see you on the program very soon.

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

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