Michael Gartman - Founder, Senior Writer
He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.
He has also worked as the Managing Editor of NFLTouchdown.com with Andy Benoit of the New York Times and CBSSports.com. Michael’s work is regularly syndicated to FOXSports.com and has also been seen at CBSSports.com, NFL.com, NationalFootballPost.com, SFGate, SeattlePi, Chron.com, the USA Today, etc.
In addition, he was mentioned by ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky on April 30, 2010 and a featured guest on CBS Sports Radio (SportsRadio 610) on July 3, 2010.
Education: Open-minded and driven to learn and grow as much as possible every day, Michael is a recent homeschooled high school graduate (May 2012), but doesn’t believe it’s God’s plan for him to attend a four-year university and he understands it’s a pretty poor investment with our country’s current circumstances, the sky-scraping price of tuition and the fact that there are more alternatives to studying and succeeding in your chosen profession than ever before with the advancements in technology.
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”—Albert Einstein
Personal: Michael is a 19-year-old writer, editor, entrepreneur and future inspirational speaker. He has discovered why God put him on this earth—to inspire, innovate, captivate and share the truth and that’s exactly what he will do for as long as he lives.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”—Ghandi
His favorite writers and broadcasters include Mike Florio (PFT/NBC Sports), Peter King (Sports Illustrated/NBC Sports), Rich Eisen (NFL Network), Dave Dameshek (NFL.com), Steve Wyche (NFL Network), Scott Hanson (NFL Network), Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports), Pete Prisco (CBS Sports), Andy Benoit (NY Times/Football Outsiders), Andrew Siciliano (NFL Network), Chris Collinsworth (NBC Sports), YouTube Sensation JRSportBrief (see his interview w/ Collinsworth) and just about everyone I’ve had the chance to work with at Gridiron Grit.
“Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it.”—Ron Paul
Tanner Thoms - Co-Founder, Senior Writer
Experience: Former Minnesota Vikings Featured Columnist and Senior Analyst with Bleacher Report. I’ve also worked for NFLMocks and I’m a Co-Founder, Senior Writer and the NFC North Lead Writer for Gridiron Grit.
Education: Graduated from Roosevelt High School (Sioux Falls, SD) in 2012.
Personal: I’ve always imagined what it would be like to walk a day in somebody else’s shoes. Likewise, I’ve always dreamed of what it would be like for someone to walk in mine.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, you can’t just switch lives with another person. That said, you can still learn a few facts about me, Tanner Thoms. I was born to my mother, Kaye Bruns, and father, Tom Thoms, on February 26, 1994. I was blessed with a loving sister that I was able to socialize with when we were in the house.
Here we are, 18 years later. I’ve been an avid sports fan since I can remember and have been pursuing my passion for sportswriting since I was 10-years-old.
Ryan Cook - Co-Founder, NFL Senior Writer
Experience: Co-Founder, NFL Senior Writer and AFC West Lead Writer for Gridiron Grit. I’ve also worked for Bleacher Report, as a Featured Columnist and Community Leader for the Packers, where I’ve also covered several major sporting events such as the US Open, US Masters and Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Along with having numerous articles featured on the likes of NFL.com, CBSSports.com, The Dallas Morning News, Philly.com, NationalFootballPost.com, ESPN.com, the USA Today and Huffington Post, I’ve provided hourly Green Bay Packers updates for Sirius Radio Channel 98 “The Score” on January 21, 2011 and have been mentioned by ESPN.com’s Jerry Greene.
Education: Currently pursuing a Bachelors in Journalism at Griffith University.
Personal: As an American sports fan living in Australia, I’ve been writing about the NFL for at least three years now. I’m 19 years old and trying to make my way into the industry. My favorite writers are Jason La Canfora, Adam Schefter, Peter King, Mike Wilbon, Woody Paige, Bill Simmons and John Clayton.
“Writing’s a trade, like carpentry. You have to do it everyday to be good at it.”—Peter King
Dan Vasta - College Football, NFL Senior Writer
Experience: Bleacher Report Correspondent. You can find my personal blog, here.
Personal: I am a die hard sports fan that is full of pageantry. Regardless of the sport, I attempt to watch and follow it all. Like all fans, I have my favorite teams that I religiously watch. I do try and follow every single team in every sport so I can give as much of a non-bias opinion as possible. I do bleed Carolina blue for North Carolina basketball as well as garnet and gold for the Florida State Seminoles in college football. I also grew up as fans of all the Chicago teams. I’m a determined person that is willing to go the extra mile to become the best person that I can.
Oren Shiri - Creative Director, Analyst
Experience: Oren Shiri is a College Football and NFL Analyst and the Creative Director for Gridiron Grit. His articles are regularly syndicated to FOXSports.com and have also been linked to ESPN and CBSSports.com, among other major networks.
Education: University of Colorado at Boulder Graduate and earned his MBA in Business Management at the University of Pheonix.
Personal: A Los Angeles-based sportswriter and an analyst during baseball, basketball and football season and beyond, Oren writes on the Pac-12, AFC North, NFC South, AFC West (check out my column Oren’s Observations On Oakland) and the NFL Draft.
Barry Barnes - NFL Insider
Experience: I was an NFL Writer at AOL FanHouse, covering the AFC North Division before Sporting News bought out the company. Since then, I’ve covered everything D.C. sports-related (mainly football and basketball) for Examiner.com as the D.C. Sports Examiner and provided content for the Sports Journey Network, along with other media outlets.
Since 2010, I’ve co-hosted a televised post-game program catered to the Redskins, The Sideline Report. For the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest as an NFL and NBA analyst for countless sports radio talk shows, both national and international. I joined GridironGrit.com as an NFL Insider in October, 2011.
Education: Studied Sports Administration at Morgan State University.
Personal: I’m happily married to LaTia Barnes and we have four outstanding gifts—all boys in Zaire, Zachari, Zaelin, and Zanye Barnes.
My passion for sports span from the womb to the playing fields (unfortunately, not professionally) to sports storytelling. The hard-work of pursuing a career in sports media allowed me to enter locker rooms of many NBA and NFL teams to gather information in order to give my readers and fans other perspectives about their favorite teams and favorite athletes’ situations.
The experiences and bumps during my journey towards becoming a full-time sports journalist has made me stronger and more determine to battle through rejection. Given the chance, I know I will be a great asset for any major publication. With chapters of my career yet to be written, I hope to provide great content, be informative and challenge my readers and fans to think “Big Picture” and out-of-the-box along the way.
Louis Musto – NFC East Lead Writer
He is the NFC East Lead Writer for Gridiron Grit and also covers pop culture and the NFL in general after joining the site in June of 2012. He also co-hosts the brand spankin’ new Civil War Sports Show podcast with Alabama native and fellow sports fanatic Paul Stockman. You can find the podcast here.
Education: Studied Media Communication and Technology at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (Class of 2007). Also studied Art Studio and Marketing at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (Class of 2010).
Personal: Child of God. Hip-hop connoisseur. Just trying to change the world like everyone else.
Contact: You can shoot Louis an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @LouisMusto_.
Stephanie Graves – Contributor
Stephanie Graves is a Los Angeles based mutli-platform sports journalist and a member of the Football Writers Association of American (FWAA). A Southern California native, Graves has a passion for the people in sports and their unique stories.
Experience: She has covered everything from USC and Pac-12 athletics to Laker Girl auditions and the CIF -SS football playoffs. During her tenure, she has written about an athlete in almost every sport imaginable.
Most recently, she followed the USC football team through the 2011 season carefully covering the Trojans’ rise to prominence after devastating sanctions and began covering Pac-12 basketball for FoxSportsWest.com.
Education: She holds a B.A. in Communication and a Masters in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. While earning both degrees, she interned at a variety of media outlets allowing her to develop a unique understanding of how the world of NCAA Division I athletics operates.
Personal: When not writing about sports, she is pursuing her passion for dance (everything from ballet to salsa) or reminiscing about her time as a collegiate marching band member. She is also involved in a new movement called “I am Second” as the “head coach” for the Los Angeles area. Numerous collegiate and professional athletes have supported this movement and she is privileged to be part of it.
Contact: Please feel free to contact Stephanie at Stephanie.E.Graves@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @StephEGraves! You can also visit here website at http://stephaniegraves.net/.
Brian Jones – NFL & College Football Contributor
I have published stories for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Chuckoliver.net, Hooters Magazine, Bleacher Report, Score Atlanta and 790 The Zone.
In addition to covering the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs, I’ve also covered events such as the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and Wrestlemania.
Education: I graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2004 with a Bachelor in Science. My major was Communication with an emphasis in Media Studies.
Personal: My favorite sport is football, but I love to watch and play all sports.
Stix Symmonds - College Football Analyst
Experience: I have been following and analyzing the football landscape since I was a wee lad back in 1981. Despite having a life-long affair with the written word, I didn’t start writing about football until 2008, focusing my early creative juices on music and short stories.
Since 2008, I have worked my way from the FOX Sports community blogs through a short stint with cfb-campus to become a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. I was a member of the Kickoff Extravaganza Team and Bowl Coverage Team for B/R in 2011.
My writing has been syndicated to numerous national media outlets and sports sites, including CSBSports.com and the Washington Post. I’m excited to add my experience to the GridironGrit.com family!
Personal: I’m a huge college football fan that hails from the great state of Iowa. As a big Hawkeye fan, it was some shock to me when I moved to Virginia in 2007 to be surrounded by a sea of Hokie maroon and orange!
I’m the father of a soon-to-be 15-year-old free safety / tight end, whom I’m sure will one day set the college football world on fire. If not, he may just set the world on fire…literally. He’s my reason for breathing and I’m excited to impart as much knowledge on him as he is willing to accept. Being 15, that’s not much.
I offer a viewpoint that has seen college football transition from the days of odd bowl pairings and meaningless polls, through the pre-BCS nonsense, to the BCS and now to a version of a playoff.
I’ve seen programs rise and fall, conferences come and go and the landscape change until it’s unrecognizable from what it once was. I gladly offer that insight with a pinch of humor and an unabashed dose of opinion for your perusal/debate.
Michael Taglienti - Analyst
Experience: Michael Taglienti covers College Football and the NFL for GridironGrit.com. He’s also a Texas A&M Aggies Football Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
Contact: Follow him on Twitter @miketag98.
Blake Silvers – Contributor
Education: I have a background in History, with a degree from Kennesaw State University.
Personal: I’m a lifelong Braves fan, Georgia native and an Iraq Campaign veteran with the United States Army.
I’m married with one young daughter and a Labrador Retriever named Bear and currently reside in northwest Georgia.
Contact: Follow Blake Silvers on Twitter @JBlakeSilvers.
Experience: Justin Ebright covers College Football and the NFL in general, as well as the NFC West, AFC West, Pac-12 and Mountain West for Gridiron Grit, after joining the site at the end of July, 2012.
Education: Justin is studying for his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Marketing and Media at Full Sail Online.
Personal: An avid lifelong football fan, Justin hails from a small town in northwest New Mexico. He’s pursuing his dreams and working his way into the sports media career field, with a strong focus on the NFL.
Colby Lanham – Contributor
Experience: An aspiring sports journalist, I’m currently a Clemson football Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report (awarded 97 badges) and will be primarily working with the team at Gridiron Grit covering the Green Bay Packers and NFL and College Football in general.
Education: 2012 Graduate of Seneca High School and currently attending Clemson University to pursue a degree in communication studies.
Personal: I’m a South Carolina native and thoroughly enjoy both the NFL and College Football and enjoy watching the NBA. I’m also gradually learning and watching more soccer, the other football. When I’m not writing, I enjoy time spent with family and friends. If I’m not trying to make a basket or score a touchdown on Madden, NCAA, or NBA game, I’ll pick up a book and relax, though sleeping is always good for me. I’m always ready for a game of ultimate frisbee or a pick up game of basketball, football, or what have you. My Ipod is never too far away, as I enjoy listening to hip-hop,R&B, rap, jazz, and a small hint of others, except country.
Nicholas Moffitt – Contributor
Experience: Nicholas Moffitt covers College Football, the NFL and Fantasy Football for GridironGrit.com. He has contributed to Bleacher Report, Big Ten or Bust and The Fantasy Wire, among other sites. He also runs NYKnicksTape.com.
Education: Sophomore Journalism and Economics student at the University of Iowa.
Chris Batchelder – Contributor
Education: Chris is pursuing his Communications degree at the University of Phoenix.
Personal: He has a family of four and has been coaching for over 13 years. Chris coaches high school soccer — boys in the fall and girls in the spring and plans to coach for the rest of his life. He loves helping these young men and women to become great leaders out in the world.
Chris has decided to turn his love of sports into a writing career, as he has started writing for multiple sites and pursues his degree. Sports are his life, so being able write about them is a dream come true.
Brian DiTullio – Contributor
He has written for several sites, including two years at Bleacher Report, before joining GridironGrit.com in August 2012.
Brian contributes articles to the Cleveland Browns and occasional work on the NFL in general for Gridiron Grit.
James Williamson - College Football & NFL Analyst
Experience: James Williamson is a College Football and NFL Analyst for GridironGrit.com. He’s also a former Dallas Cowboys Featured Columnist and Senior Writer for Bleacher Report and former Fan Voice for the Cowboys at NFLTouchdown.
Education: Studied Journalism and Communications at Angelo State University.
Personal: James is a guy that got into football too late to play in high school or college, but loves it too much to give it up, so he intends to follow his dreams and do what the inspirational films tell you to. He wants to become a great sportswriter on the NFL and perhaps be on the Hall of Fame Committee as well. He also strives to become an analyst for ESPN or the NFL Network and will never give up no matter what.
He has studied Hall of Fame ballots, selection processes, listened to the thoughts of Hall of Fame voters and can probably explain why any player has been left out of Canton. James Williamson (also known as Stephen Cognator) now plays semi-pro football and is learning more about the game and is coming to grips with the fact that it’s becoming more scientific like Tom Landry said it would be.
Contact: Follow James on Twitter @WilliamsonJimmy.
Ryan Lester - Fantasy Football Analyst
Experience: Bleacher Report Featured Columnist, owner of LestersLegends.com, a fantasy sports site dedicated to helping you win your fantasy football, baseball and basketball leagues and former Minnesota Vikings Fan Voice on NFLTouchdown.com.
Education: Studied Marketing at the Syracuse University (Class of 1997).
Personal: Enjoy spending time with my wife and kids and all things sports. I’m from Zimmerman, Minnesota and am happy to represent Gridiron Grit as the leading Fantasy Football Analyst.
Chad Minton - Contributor
Experience: Chad Minton is a Tennessee Titans featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a contributor for GridironGrit.com. He also travels around the state of Tennessee reviewing sports venues for a site called StadiumJourney.com.
Education: Studied Media Management at Middle Tennessee State University (Class of 2010).
Contact: Shoot him an email at email@example.com or find him on Facebook.
Troy Ballard – Featured Guest Correspondent
Experience: Aspiring sports journalist, future novelist and the Founder of The Beard and Stache. I started writing around five years ago and have had my work featured on ESPN, Philly.com, FOXSports.com and several other major media outlets.
Education: Attended Penn State University as a communications major before transferring to the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a Journalism major in Honolulu, HI in the fall of 2012.
Personal: I have a strong passion for all Philadelphia sports teams and may or may not be guilty of throwing snowballs at Santa.
Contact: You can shoot me an email at TroyBallards@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter @TroyBallards!