My name is Brandon Thomas Mauk. I’m an 21 year old college senior at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. I am from Southern New Jersey, about 20 minutes from Atlantic City, an hour from Philadelphia, about and hour and a half from Trenton, and about three hours from New York City. So yeah, I’m pretty close to certain places.
Sports have been a big part of my life since I was a young boy. I first remember getting into baseball at a very young age thanks to my Pop-op who loves the Phillies and the A’s when they played in Philadelphia a long time ago. However, my loyalties were much different. Can’t remember what age, but one fall my mom took my aunt to New York City for her birthday, and they brought me home a New York Yankees cap. Being obsessed with the color blue, I became a Yankees fan that very day and that month they won the World Series, and I immediately fell in love with the likes of Bernie Williams, Roger Clemens, Mariano Rivera, and of course, my life-long idol Derek Jeter. Although I did not live in the NY market, I still watched as many games as I could on Fox and ESPN.
From here, my sports love grew into other areas. I became an Eagles fan as well as a Jets fan as my mom loved her Eagles and green was her favorite color, and I loved watching a young Donovan McNabb as well as Chad Pennington on the Jets. I also became a Knicks and Rangers fan near the end of the Ewing/Messier era at Madison Square Garden, so only now I am seeing the franchises return to relevance.
My love of sports has driven me to become a journalist. When I was 15, I was disillusioned when I didn’t make my high school baseball team, but I was kept on as a manager, filling out the book. I recall reading an e-mail from my uncle to my mom reassuring her that I could become the next Jack Buck or Vin Scully. When I became a sophomore, people began to notice my talents as a writer.
I am the younger of two kids. My sister Caitlin graduated from Boston University in May 2013 with a degree in political science. My mother raised both of us for the most part by herself, and she has been very successful, graduating late from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania while spending a career in marketing in Atlantic City. My father owns his own construction business in the immediate Philadelphia metropolitan area in New Jersey, but I haven’t spoken to him in seven years.
I have always been interested in my background, and I am a history nerd. My maternal grandmother was a first generation Italian American, with both her parents going through Ellis Island. I was even able to find my great grandfather Giuseppe Torelli’s name in their records! My materal grandfather John A. Smith grew up in Germantown in Philadelphia and delivered milk to A’s manager and owner Connie Mack. For a while after the second World War he was stationed in the former Empire of Japan His brother Thomas was in the battle of Normandy on D-Day and received two purple hearts for two injuries in the battle. Their great-grandfather came to America from an aristocratic family in the Kingdom of Prussia.
On my father’s side, it’s a little less clear, but my aunt helped me figure it out. The Mauks have been in America for almost 200 years, coming over from south Germany and settling in Pennsylvania. Technically they were Pennsylvania Dutch (but that’s a mistranslated term for Deutsch, which is German). Both of my parents’ paternal grandmothers were immigrant Irish girls. My maternal grandmother is mostly English, with her family being in the US for centuries. I am very proud to be American, and I see myself as an example of the melting pot of 19th and 20th century immigration.
I also like to post about politics, as I am a Republican with leanings toward the Tea Party and the Libertarian movements. I believe in a free market with no government entanglements and I am most definitely a constitutional conservative who is tired of the likes of the Bush and Obama regimes trampling on the Constitution. Unlike the rest of my family who are mostly Democrats. Am I black sheep? Nah, they love me.
In my spare time I love playing video games, particularly Nintendo and Xbox. I love Mario, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Star Fox, Super Smash Bros., Halo, Call of Duty, Madden, and NBA 2K. My all-time favorite video games include Super Mario 64, Metroid Prime, Paper Mario, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Mario Galaxy.
My favorite films include The Godfather Parts I and II, The Original Star Wars Trilogy, Goodfellas, the Dark Knight Trilogy, and Anchorman.
I love listening to classic rock and heavy metal music. My favorite bands include Metallica, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Iron Maiden. Watching sports is my biggest past time and the reason I want to become a journalist. Love those Yanks!
I hope to be able to finish my bachelor’s degree here at St. John’s and do grad school in journalism and get my master’s at Syracuse or Columbia. I want to stay in New Jersey but also be able to work in New York, the city I love, and Philadelphia, the city whose metropolitan area I will always call home. I hope to help restore the glory of the Jersey Shore lost in the terror of Hurricane Sandy.
As a journalism major, I am not entirely sure what exactly I want to do. I like to think of myself as very flexible. People think I am a very talented writer, so I guess I could be good writing for a newspaper. I also want to maybe be a radio host, as I love that sort of business and I have a LOT to say! I also love the internet, and running this blog is pretty fun, and I want to expand on it.
Hope you enjoy my blog and please follow me on this little adventure I’m on!