Greg Galant – Long Island’s Social Media Visionary

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Greg Galant and his buddies watched in dismay, day after day, as the parade of vessels barreling through Huntington Harbor sent the sea creatures they were trying so desperately to hook scurrying for safer waters.They continued to cast their lines for an entire summer, hoping something would bite; anything. Yet the season passed to no avail—the group with nothing to show for their determination.“I was never an expert fisher by any chance,” Galant laughs.No worries; he’d be reeling in a much, much bigger catch soon enough.The Huntington-born whiz kid cast a much wider net, turning his real love—technology—into a social media-inspired juggernaut that now carries him across the globe, worlds away from the North Shore waterfront village where he first began developing websites for local businesses.It was the mid-’90s, and many Americans—at least those who owned computers at the time—were just getting acquainted with the World Wide Web. Galant, however, the son of two Newsday journalists, had already been dabbling with coding and the inner workings of the Internet and was more than ready for the oncoming revolution about to sweep the globe. He credits suburban melancholy.“Growing up on Long Island I was always very much into tech,” he says, “very bored like a lot of kids were.”At 14 years old he began drilling into local businesses the importance of creating a website. Local newspaper The Long Islander and a French philosopher, of all people, were among his first patrons. His client list would soon be replete with businesses the world over—willing to take a shot on someone not yet old enough to drive because “nobody knew what they were doing on the Internet,” at the time, he says.Galant, now the CEO of Sawhorse Media, the umbrella company for Muck Rack, a social media site for journalists, and the Shorty Awards, which annually honors the best in social media, is an unassuming 30-year-old who wears a full dark beard and carries himself with quiet confidence.Social media drives everything he does. The Shorty Awards, which appeared on the scene in 2008, went viral on Twitter, forcing his team to make accommodations for more journalists than they initially expected. Shorty Awards was also one of the first to use Twitter as a nomination site.Galant wasn’t sold on Twitter at the social media site’s outset and actually admits he didn’t think it would be a success, but he became one of its first million users—his Twitter handle @gregory putting him in its exclusive “first name” club. It’s because of his initial skepticism that Galant chose the famous Big Duck in Flanders as his profile picture instead of his own headshot—an icon of his roots which he keeps to this day.A lot of what Galant has done in his short and wildly successful career has been on the whim.And to think, it all happened because he was a bored teenager on Long Island.last_img read more

For some Badger seniors, reality of final home game in Camp Randall yet to sink in

first_imgAs Wisconsin’s 16 seniors were introduced prior to Saturday’s game against visiting Cal Poly, mixed emotions swirled around Camp Randall Stadium. With plenty of cardinal-and-white memories in mind, the last players to play for Barry Alvarez wanted to create one more, end their careers on a high note and go out with a bang.Although a one-point overtime victory over the Mustangs of the Great West Conference may not have been what they had in mind, the 36-35 victory did better their chances to earn a bowl game appearance, whereas a loss could have ended their season entirely.“It [would be] a great reward, especially for the seniors,” said junior defensive end O’Brien Schofield. “We all strive hard for the season to get to the best bowl game possible. To pull one out after having that streak of losses, it’s real special for us.”“On Senior Day, [I wanted to] get them out with a big bang like they deserve,” redshirt freshman running back John Clay added. “The season didn’t go how we wanted it, but I’m glad we got the opportunity to give them a [good farewell].”Three offensive linemen played their final game in Madison Saturday, a corps with a combined 119 starts among them. Eric Vanden Heuvel (right tackle), Kraig Urbik (right guard) and Andy Kemp (left guard) will be leaving big shoes to fill, both physically and figuratively.“Those [three] big guys, our three senior offensive linemen, embody probably what our offensive linemen have always been here at Wisconsin since coach Alvarez’s arrival — just big, solid, believing in what they practice every day,” said head coach Bret Bielema. “It’s interesting to see [Urbik] and Vanden Heuvel from the same high school (Hudson) being able to do what they’ve done over the course of time. All three of those guys have put themselves in a position, when this last game is over with, to have an opportunity to play at the next level.”Urbik made 49 starts in a Wisconsin uniform, but his streak of consecutive starts ended this season at 45.“My parents were a little emotional before the game, but I wasn’t very emotional. It still hasn’t hit me,” Urbik said. “I thought it was more of a sad thing, but it ended up being more of a happy thing.”“It was the last time playing under the lights at Camp Randall, which was a big thing,” Vanden Heuvel added. “Our last ‘Jump Around’ — we tried to enjoy that as much as we could. It turned out to be a very enjoyable experience for our last game.”The Badgers’ defensive line also saw three senior starters play their final regular season games Saturday. Matt Shaughnessy (end), Jason Chapman (tackle) and Mike Newkirk (tackle) make up another trio in the trenches that will be sorely missed next season.“Those guys are like my big brothers,” said Schofield, the only non-senior starter on the UW defensive line. “Next year I’ll have to be that leader with the new guys that will be replacing them, but those guys are going to be hard to replace. It’s a great group of guys that started for three or four years. That will take a hit on us because those guys are just amazing.”Like Urbik, Newkirk said the reality hasn’t quite sunk in.“I don’t think it’s really going to soak in until Saturday rolls around and I don’t have a game to go play,” the Ladysmith, Wis. Native said. “Or when spring ball comes and I don’t have to go to practice. It’s something that I definitely wasn’t looking forward to. Me and [Chapman] and Matt, we’re really close and we really enjoy playing together. It’s something that you’ve got to make the most of the time that you have. I think [we have].”Outside linebackers Jonathan Casillas and DeAndre Levy — both three-year starters — also played their final games in Camp Randall Stadium. And despite a disappointing final 7-5 campaign, Levy has no regrets.“Looking back, I always saw the seniors on the field crying and I said, ‘Aw, it can’t be that bad,’ but then you run out there and it hits you,” Levy said. “I was walking off the field when we got that [game-winning extra point] and it kind of sunk in a little bit. But I enjoyed it — I can’t really be down or sad or anything. It was fun.”Senior cornerback Allen Langford had the tough task of defending Cal Poly’s 6-foot-6 wideout Ramses Braden.“He definitely took it as a challenge,” Bielema said of Langford, who was making his 43rd start for Wisconsin. “Allen Langford is one of the most competitive, strong-minded players I’ve ever been around.”Saturday’s win all but locked up a December bowl appearance for Bielema’s Badgers. But more importantly for them, they were able to go “1-0” at home one last time.“I’m just glad we won; it says a lot for our seniors,” Bielema said. “To not send them out on a winning note would be a crime we didn’t want to commit.”last_img read more

No. 5 Maryland dominates No. 8 Syracuse just like it always has, 18-11

first_imgUPDATED: March 13, 2018 at 12:36 p.m.A win versus Maryland. Six years ago Saturday was the last time Syracuse got to experience it. Three final four eliminations, one national championship loss and 10 defeats separate the last time SU left the playing field on top.In the coaching staff’s pregame meeting, a different type of emotion painted the interaction. Handshakes were followed with smiles and laughing exchanges.When the pack separated, SU head coach Gary Gait and Maryland head coach Cathy Reese stayed behind. They looked up. It was just the eighth time in history “SYRACUSE” and “MARYLAND” graced the same scoreboard in the Carrier Dome for a women’s lacrosse game. Syracuse has never produced the highest score in any of them.“I’m not scared … Yes, I have never beaten them since I’ve been here,” redshirt senior Taylor Gait said on Feb. 27. “But, watching Maryland play UNC … it’s possible. It’s always possible.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut, once again, No. 8 Syracuse (4-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) fell. The 18-11 win by No. 5 Maryland (5-1) is UMD’s 22nd win in the history of the matchup and is, yet again, another example of the stark contrasts between a team that has made two national title games and a team that has won 13.“All of us could have stepped up today,” Gait said. “We made the little mistakes and I think it caught up to us.”The Terrapins’ repeated dominance of SU influenced players to frame their thoughts to the games ahead, because historically that’s the only time where the Orange have experienced success. Gait jokingly said on Feb. 27 that a win against Maryland would be “everything,” but she corrected herself to say that the ultimate goal is still a national title.For years Maryland has stood in the way of the Orange in its quest for the ultimate goal. The Terrapins have ended Syracuse’s NCAA tournament runs three times in the past four years. But after Maryland fell in a loss to North Carolina earlier this season, Gait and the SU players were convinced this year could be different. Still, it seemed no preparation could save SU it from its most notorious foe.“I think everyone thinks that you build on wins, you build on success,” Gary Gait said. “Sometimes it works that way, today it didn’t.”Before the game got out of hand, Syracuse provided a glimmer of hope. The game, which is the culmination of “the toughest run in the country,” Gary Gait said, started off in SU’s favor. Midfielder Sam Swart provided the first goal of the game for the Orange.Coming off of what may have been the Orange’s biggest win of the season against then-No. 4 Florida, it seemed as if the Orange carried the momentum into Sunday’s matchup. SU players jumped and cheered as if it had already won the game, sensing weakness from the Terrapins.Then, the sloppiness ensued.Syracuse allowed three-straight goals and never led again. The remainder of play was highlighted by misfired and mishandled passes and trouble holding onto the ball. Gait, who said that she suffers in the “mental” aspect of the game whenever she plays Maryland, frequently turned the ball over.On one play, after Syracuse fought hard for a draw, in a pursuit that involved almost every player on the field, Gait scooped the ball amidst multiple players tumbling. But as the Orange pushed forward, Gait lofted a ball across the middle of the field that was picked off.The Orange suffered from tentative play early on as Maryland started to go on scoring runs and push ahead, Gary Gait said. He added the Orange tried to do too much to make up for the lack of possessions it had, never settling into its offensive gameplan.After making an early save, SU goalkeeper Asa Goldstock walked the ball out to the opposing 45-yard line and fired a clear over the middle of the field. But it fell short and she had to race back to prevent a Maryland breakaway opportunity. Though UMD didn’t convert, the play was Goldstock’s first clear attempt coming off of a game in which she thrived setting up her SU teammates. It was a sign that Maryland was different and the same game wouldn’t be enough.“They jumped on us and they played like the defending national champs they are,” Gary Gait said. “We tried to rally and keep up, but they were too much for us today.”Maryland’s second-ranked scoring offense wouldn’t be contained. It continued to tear the Orange defense apart and the Terrapins defense did its job preventing the SU attack.With the Orange down 6-2, still trying to get out of an early-game hole, Neena Merola pushed the ball upfield into the Maryland zone. She made it directly adjacent to the UMD goal, where she was knocked down, drawing a whistle. The Syracuse bench erupted, thinking finally something had finally gone its way, but the foul was called on Merola, and the Terrapins were awarded the ball.Again, the Terrapins showed that it would not let up and that Syracuse would never get an easy chance. As it never has.Whenever Maryland exercised its dominance, a hypnotic chant rang heavy throughout the Dome.“When I say ‘Turtle’, you say ‘Power!’” a UMD fan urged the crowd.“Turtle!”“Power!”“Turtle!”“Power!”“Turtle!”“Power!”Again and again, Maryland was too much, as it always has been.When the players exited the field, it had a similar feeling as it had the previous 10 meetings. It fell to the one opponent that makes all of its other successes seem obsolete. Comments Published on March 11, 2018 at 3:35 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more