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Interviewing (and Chatting with) Zach

Hey BFTBers.  Time for another look behind the curtain to see what makes this blog tick.

My favorite thing about bringing on Zach and Sam as BFTB writers is that they're ALWAYS online and willing to chat.  Part of the reason is because they apparently are so smart they don't need to pay attention while they're in class.  Another part of the reason is probably because they're two guys that (like me) just never shut up.

So since they've been brought aboard, I've had a bit of a running conversation going with both of them.  I'm online so much because my real job requires me to almost always be in front of a computer, and so around noon (Eastern) each day they usually pop online and we go right into the sports discussion.

I've been thinking, since all the writers around here are gaining fanbases, that I would try to interview everyone on the staff so that you can learn a little bit more about each one of them outside what they write and post at BFTB.  Since I was already talking with Zach, I decided to just pop some questions in there and let him run wild with the answers.  I also left the conversation we were having leading up to the questions, just so you can see that even when we're not at BFTB we're constantly thinking and talking about a team that won't be playing a game for another 6+ months.

11:43 AM Zach: i wonder what they can get for cromartie
11:44 AM me: 2nd rounder probably
11:45 AM maybe not even (Editor's Note: The Jets sent a 2009 5th round pick and a 2010 conditional pick to the Eagles for Lito Sheppard. The Chargers could expect something similar.)
  although starting CBs are as hard to find as NTs these days
 Zach: then why are we trading one?
 me: because of cason
  it makes no sense for him to sit on the bench when he's probably as good as cromartie
  and it makes no sense to give cromartie a long-term deal with a ton of money for the same reason
11:46 AM Zach: i dont know that he's impressed me that much in limited playing time on the outside
  what happened to "you need 3 good corners nowadays"
 me: its changed
  you need 2 good corners and 1 good nickel guy
11:47 AM it took 5 years, but everyone finally realized that they're different positions
 Zach: i guess
11:48 AM me: cason's good. the team loves him on the outside. i think he needs to just get more consistent, but cro and jammer both had that issue and got over it
 Zach: well, we have cro for two more years, cason for four more. are we that desperate for picks?
11:49 AM me: cro has one more year
  next year is a contract year unless he's dealt
 Zach: he'll only have 5 years of service time
  so he's under team control for 2 more years
11:50 AM me: isnt that only true under non-cba rules?
 Zach: yes
11:51 AM i figured we were all pretty much assuming that would be the case
 me: if there's no CBA after next year there's a lockout
11:52 AM so either cromartie is a free man, or nobody is playing football
 Zach: hehe
  well not necessarily
  other things can happen besides lockout
 me: like....
11:53 AM Zach: well, they can come up with a new CBA after 2010, and who knows what that would do to RFA vs UFA. i'm no so sure it would automatically revert back to being 5 years of service time, when you'd have just had a bunch of players be stuck for an extra year
  and i guess i dont know what would happen besides a lockout
11:54 AM me: hehe
  i think there will be an agreement during the next offseason, right when things start getting scary
11:55 AM either way, i don't think Cro would take kindly to being under the Chargers control another year. he'd definitely holdout
  and then Cason's still on the bench
 Zach: there may yet be an agreement this year
 me: impressed by him or not, only stupid teams draft players in the first round and leave them on the bench
11:56 AM Zach: losing the cap would probably be worse for the players than the owners
  sure, and so we can question the wisdom of drafting a 3rd CB in the first round when you already have two quality starters
  2008 was the year when we didnt have any 2nd or 3rd rounders and traded up to get hester
11:57 AM woulda been nice to trade out of the first and pick up a 2nd or 3rd
11:59 AM me: yeah....i think the idea was that we were losing Florence (and somebody else too i think) and we needed to add more talent to the secondary to stay even
  cant argue that it wasn't a silly pick though
12:00 PM hey, do you have class today?
 Zach: nope
  was planning on writing that piece we talked about last night
12:01 PM me: i want to interview you for that "get to know the BFTB staff" thing. but i'm thinking an interview via chat would be more fun tha via email
 Zach: hahaha
12:02 PM totally fine with me
 me: i have no questions at all, but i can make them up as we go along. you cool to do it now?
 Zach: absolutely
 me: age and location?
12:03 PM Zach: I'm 25, just had my birthday in December. As of right now, I live in the City of Orange.
12:04 PM me: everyone knows you're going to law school. which school?
12:08 PM Zach: I go to school at Chapman University School of Law. It's a pretty small school, I think we have around 200 students in my class. It's also a relatively new school--the undergrad portion has been around for a while, but the law school opened in...1995 I believe. It's not a really high-ranked school, but that's mostly because it's so new. A lot of law school rankings come from reputation, and it takes time to build that up. Chapman strives to be at the same level as USD and Loyola Marymount (the top two private law schools in Southern California).
12:09 PM me: Do you hope one day to be the head of Marketing for Chapman?
 Zach: Ha ha, no. Usually people haven't heard of it, especially those who don't live in Southern California, so I wanted to explain a bit. Especially for Sam, who will likely comment and claim his school is better than mine.
12:10 PM me: If you could say one thing to Sam without him being able to respond, what would it be?
  (I'd also like to note that Sam is living in a basement in 30 degree weather right now)
12:11 PM Zach: That's a good point. I'd probably say something like that, about the weather or something, I don't know.
12:12 PM me: Who was your favorite Charger in 2009?
12:13 PM Zach: I don't think there's any doubt that it would be Philip Rivers. I went out and bought a Rivers jersey when LT was coming off his MVP year. I've always been a huge fan.
 me: Is it the accent, the charm or the chiseled good looks that reeled you in?
12:14 PM 
 Zach: I'd have to say the chiseled good looks.
12:15 PM (Don't tell me wife that.)
12:16 PM me: Haha. I'm drawn in by the incredibly short sleeves. I think he has the shortest sleeves of any QB in the league. It's like he gets his jersey cut like an offensive lineman's.
 Zach: i noticed that
 me: oh, i forgot a good question!
 Zach: Yes?
 me: what type of law are you going for or eventually aiming to practice?
12:17 PM (Sam confided in me that he has hopes of eventually being Scott Boras)
 Zach: Anything's possible. But the fact that Scott Boras already exists means it'll be difficult for anyone else to be him.
12:19 PM As for myself, I'm planning on practicing criminal law. My ideal job would be as a public defender. I've interned at a couple different offices, in Orange County and Ventura County. It's one of the more thankless jobs in the legal community, but absolutely vital to making sure justice is done. Also, what I really love is trial work. You get more of that as a public defender than any other legal job.
12:20 PM me: you sound like Batman
  how long have you been writing?
12:21 PM Zach: Writing? Well, I learned my ABCs back in kindergarten...
12:22 PM me: did you do any sort of blogging before BFTB/Gaslamp Ball?
12:23 PM Zach: No. While I was in college I made a short-lived attempt to write my own blog, but I got lazy and it only lasted a few weeks.
  I've been writing for fun since grade school, though I'd like to think the quality of my work has improved since then.
12:24 PM me: what does your username mean?
  (or stand for)
12:26 PM Zach: I've been asked that a lot. I picked this one up back in 7th grade I think, and stuck with it ever since. At the time I was playing a video game (one of the Wing Commander series, in case anyone's interested), and one of the characters, a fighter pilot, had the call-sign "Maestro". I was into that sort of thing at the time, and "Maverick" was already heavily used and cliche, so I wanted something different. The "876" simply comes because someone on AIM had already taken plain "maestro", and I needed something to tack on to the end. One of my friends had the "876" at the end of their screen name, so I decided to borrow it.
12:27 PM me: your friend must've been pissed. that's like two girls wearing the same dress
12:28 PM Zach: Heh, I don't think he cared too much. His screen name came from some sort of anime character, I can't remember. It's been over 10 years.
12:29 PM me: back then i was way into Rage Against the Machine and came up with the screenname RAGEhateFREEDOM. it scared my parents.
  two part question.....
  1. Will Tebow be a QB in the NFL?
12:30 PM 2. Do you think he's faking being sick now that he's not doing well at the Senior Bowl?
 Zach: This is probably a horrible question for me because I know so little about college football. I've probably seen Tebow take about two snaps in an actual football game.
12:31 PM But to answer your questions, I suppose anything's possible. Someone desperate enough to make a splash and generate some interest will probably take him in the first (looks at Jacksonville) and throw him out there in a year or two.
12:32 PM me: I'd like to see him used like Vick was this year
 Zach: As for faking being sick, everything I've read about him says he's a real stand-up guy with a great work ethic, so it seems hard to believe that he'd fake being sick because of a bad performance.
12:33 PM me: yeah i agree
  what was your favorite BFTB thing this year? Podcast? Bolts & Dolts? Power Rankings analysis?
12:35 PM Zach: Tough one.
 me: how about Gordietoe adding Spanish trash-talk? that was a fun new wrinkle.
 Zach: I'd say Bolts and Dolts, because it provided an outlet to vent after games. After that, the Podcast.
12:36 PM These are all after my own articles, of course.
 me: yeah, if you picked your own stuff i was going to fire you