Mass Hysteria isn't all about dick jokes, sarcastic digs at New York baseball players and tributes to dead wrestlers. Occasionally someone in the mainstream media actually reads our site, and more shockingly ENJOYS IT. Back in May of 2010, GHABB,Y~! wrote a guest piece for CSNNE for an up and coming blogger named Mary Paoletti. We thought it over and eventually wrote a piece on the Celtics and the playoffs. At the time we had no idea that Mary Paoletti would become the biggest sports media star in Boston since Jack Edwards. On the anniversary of that unholy union, Mary was gracious enough to return the favor and agreed to an interview with BCHysteria. Why would she agree to such a thing? One of the many questions she answers in our EXCLUSIVE interview.
Mary, you have risen quickly through the ranks at Comcast Sports New England. How did you get your start? Can you talk a little bit about your rise to the role of reporter and host?
I wrote a sports blog after I graduated from UConn in 2008. Somebody at CSNNE found and liked my writing enough to send me a note about doing a weekly Red Sox wrap for Wicked Good Sports. That lead to more freelance writing about NCAA hockey and hoops. I was hired full-time in June of 2010.
I’m kind of a utility player now. It’s trial by fire.
"Belichick’s conference call is at noon. Got that?"
"Hey, can you cover this Chiarelli press conference?"
"We need you at Game 1 on Saturday."
Do a good job and they give you more responsibility. ...Makes sense.
Quick Slants was a curveball. I’d never done TV, never really had an interest in it. But Tom Curran came into our office one day and starting giving me crap. I gave it back. Apparently, he decided then and there that I should be his co-host. Just your average Cinderella story.
Ok the whole world is dying to know: Fuck/Marry/Kill: Danny Woodhead, Josh Beckett, Milan Lucic
This is the kind of question I can’t answer in an interview, but would probably answer at a bar.
What is your all time favorite Boston Sports moment?
That I was alive and/or present for? Game 1 of Boston’s 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals. I’ll never forget seeing Savard score that OT goal live. He hadn’t played hockey in almost two months. That celebration, jumping on the glass and tossing his stick, was some of the purest joy I’ve ever seen. And my brother’s wife gave birth to their first baby last year, so, yeah. Think about that.
I'm surprised you agreed to do this interview given my extreme hatred of Jim Calhoun, but this year the Huskies could smear it in my face again. As a UConn grad you must have loved the men's basketball tournament this year. How did you celebrate?
By bawling. That night I cried more than Adam Morrison has ever cried in his life. Except my tears were liquid awesome and his were salty droplets of failure. It’s stressful to talk trash for a full season and then have your team fall flat on their muzzles. Consistently. After getting your hopes way, way up.
Burning furniture and cars is more the tradition, but all of the inanimate objects nearby at the time were mine. Why would I burn my own stuff? That’d be stupid.
You don't seem like the type that would associate with dungeon dwellers like us bloggers. What blogs do you read?
I read a lot of blogs. The ones that make me laugh, like Mass Hysteria, are my favorites: Days of Y’Orr, Surviving Grady, Kissing Suzy Kolber, Sports Pickle, Melt Your Face-Off. I do check in on Barstool from time to time. It’s awkward though when our nice, elderly secretary walks by my desk and I’m scrolling by “Guess That Ass.” Oh, well.
Even with all the highs we have had in Boston, things haven't all been roses here lately. What Boston sports moment blew the hardest for you?
There are two that stand out. One is Whalercanes/Bruins Game 7 in 2009. I was at the Garden for that game, for Scott Walker’s garbage goal. I just collapsed into my seat.
More recently, New England’s loss to the Jets last season had a professional lameness to it. 1. I had to report from the Jets locker room afterward. 2. If the Patriots had won, I would have gone to Dallas for the Super Bowl.
You're now a Boston girl, what bars in the area do you like to hit up? I'm only asking so Smarty and I, along with all of our readers can stalk you.
Good to know.
I’ve got a few favorites scattered around the area. Boston: The Lower Depths, The Palm (My aunt tends bar there. She’s awesome. Also, this bar is where I saw John Lackey the night before Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS. My friends and I joked about giving him the Nancy Kerrigan treatment. Probably should have.) Brighton: Devlins, Porter Belly’s. Somerville: The Independent, Christopher’s.
Yo baby, can I buy you a drink? (What's your drink of choice?)
Hah! I have a thing for espresso martinis. Fancy, right? During fall I drink Sam Adams Octoberfest; it’s playoff baseball beer. I always drink Guinness before going to NBA games for fun. A 16 oz Brubaker at Sully’s was the norm after hockey, but I hear they don’t sell them anymore.
What has been your favorite moment so far working for CSNNE?
Favorite moment happened after I did a 40-minute interview with Zdeno Chara. He said I asked him great, interesting questions that nobody has ever posed to him in his career. To hear that from a guy who’s been in the NHL since '98-99 was awesome.
Do you have a favorite Boston athlete to cover/interview?
Tough question. Sammy Morris is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Rob Gronkowski always makes me laugh — even better that he usually doesn’t even mean to. There’s no favorite, though. We’ll see as I go.
Has an athlete ever hit on you? What line did he use? (obviously don't use his name)
Some funny locker room moments have happened, but none of the guys have ever hit on me. I consider that a point of pride. You get back the vibe that you put off and I’m not looking to get picked up by athletes.
Is there anyone you would like to meet so far that you haven't in the Boston sports scene? I can pull some strings if need be...
For me?! You guys are the best.
The list is long. I still (quietly) geek out when I look up from my desk and see Tommy Heinsohn lumber through the office. And, in Prague, I was standing outside the Bruins locker room after a game when an older gentleman asked me a question. It was Johnny Bucyk. It seems like if I keep rolling along, these meetings will keep happening. Which rules.
Like how I just threw "in Prague" out there, by the way? That made me sound like such an a-hole. Whatever. Prague was amazing. I’m not sorry.
I've got to ask, you seem like a nice normal person, what the hell are you doing reading Mass Hysteria?
Mass Hysteria is hysterical and you can probably tell by now that 'funny' is my weakness. I have a wicked, often inappropriate sense of humor. Like with your Red Sox charity wines post the other day. The idea of Jed Lowrie’s BLOOD OF CHRIST wine hit me just the right, wrong way. That make sense?
You have a fantastic job right now, but you must have other aspirations as well. What are some other things we may see Mary Paoletti doing in the future?
Well, thanks! All I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer. You know whose job I would love? Charlie Pierce. I’m a super-geek who loves writing long form stuff like he does for SI. That’s a long way off, though. I’ve still got reps to do.
You’re safe for now, Pierce.
Check out what Mary is up to at Comcast Sports New England, and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/Mary_Paoletti.