Chase Blackburn: An Underrated New York Giant

Chase Blackburn pic

Chase Blackburn

In his role as a fund accountant at Grassi & Co., Kevin Martoken has provided a variety of services to hedge fund clients, such as financial statement and tax return preparation, capital allocation, audit assistance, and cash reconciliations. In his leisure time, Kevin Martoken enjoys watching New York Giants football.

Names like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, and Eli Manning quickly come to mind when talking about the all-time great New York Giants. There are other important figures, however, who have played a key role in the team’s success over the year. Linebacker Chase Blackburn is one of those individuals.

Blackburn played eight seasons in New York, but perhaps his most memorable contribution came in a year when he wasn’t even in the league for a good part of the year. Desperate for depth at the position, the Giants called Blackburn to come back and play for them a few weeks prior to Super Bowl XLVI. The move would go on to pay massive dividends, as Blackburn provided a key play in the game, snatching an interception on a pass meant for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The turnover kept the Giants in the game–one they would eventually win in the final moments, ruining the Patriots perfect season en route to a Super Bowl victory.


Curtis Granderson Wins Roberto Clemente Award

Curtis Granderson pic

Curtis Granderson

Working out of New York City, Kevin Martoken is fund accountant at Grassi & Co, where he serves as an administrator for the firm’s hedge fund clients. Outside of his professional life, Kevin Martoken loves watching baseball and is a fan of the New York Mets.

New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson was recently announced as the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner. This award is given each year to the major league baseball player who makes a significant off-the-field impact in the communities in which they serve.

Granderson was presented with the award during Game 3 of the World Series in Chicago. A native of the Windy City, Granderson played college baseball at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The Mets outfielder said he got particular satisfaction out of being able to receive the honor in front of his parents and in his hometown.

Roberto Clemente, for whom the award is named, was a Pittsburgh Pirates hall-of-fame player who tragically died in a 1972 plane crash. The flight was destined for Nicaragua and was carrying relief supplies to a country that was still reeling in the wake of a massive earthquake.

In addition to Granderson, three other Mets have won the Roberto Clemente Award: Gary Carter in 1989, Al Leiter in 2000, and Carlos Delgado in 2006.

Offensive Line Play – the Correct Stance

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Offensive Line Play

Kevin Martoken earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting at Syracuse University. With over ten years of financial experience, Kevin Martoken is now a fund accountant at Grassi and Co. in New York City. Away from work-related activities, he enjoys playing football.

When playing football, the stance is a critical part of offensive line play. Your feet should remain slightly wider than the width of your shoulders. Centers have no stagger when they have an even stance; guards do have a staggered stance, which means their outside foot typically remains even with the middle or instep of their inside foot.

Toes and knees should point straight forward, while your hips are square to the line. Your outside hand needs to be used as your down hand unless you are playing center. Additionally, it’s beneficial to stretch out your hand out as far as it can go while keeping your back flat, but your eyes should remain up.

Jersey Devils Prospect System Improving

Jersey Devils pic

Jersey Devils

Kevin Martoken has served as a fund accountant with Grassi & Co. in New York City since 2013, following prior roles at Ryan Associates and the Avenue Capital Group. When he is not working, Kevin Martoken follows New York metro area professional sports and is a fan of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

After years of dwelling in the NHL cellar in terms of their farm system, it appears the New Jersey Devils are now reaping the rewards of general manager Ray Shero’s recent efforts to invest in its crop of prospects.

With Michael McLeod, Pavel Zacha, and top goaltender prospect Mackenzie Blackwood leading the pack, the Devils have acquired top-caliber farm talent. While the team still has some needs on the defensive end, it’s developmental focus has been evident–so much so, in fact, that the team was recently ranked 19th by ESPN analyst Corey Pronman in his annual review each team’s prospect rankings.

The Devils are up seven spots from last year, when they were ranked 26th by Pronman. In addition to the team’s current prospects, the Devils also possess 17 draft picks over the next two years that will no doubt bolster those ranks. The position the team now finds itself in is a direct reflection on Shero’s work in his attempts to turn the team around.

Devils Re-Sign Reid Boucher

Reid Boucher pic

Reid Boucher

Kevin Martoken has served in his current role as a fund accountant with Grassi & Co in New York City since 2013. Outside his professional life, Kevin Martoken follows the National Hockey League (NHL), and is a fan of the New Jersey Devils.

Restricted free agent Reid Boucher has signed a one-year contract to return to the New Jersey Devils, according to Ray Shero, the team’s general manager.

The two-way deal, reportedly worth $715,000 at the NHL level, means that Boucher, while not guaranteed a salary at the NHL level, must clear waivers before the team assigns him to its American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Albany. Analysts believe it’s unlikely the Devils will risk such a move.

Last season, Boucher spent time between both the Devils and Albany. During his 39-game NHL stint, he racked up 8 goals and 11 assists. In the AHL, he put up 19 goals and 13 assists over 34 games.

Manning More Motivated Than Ever

Eli Manning pic

Eli Manning

Since 2013, Kevin Martoken has served as a fund accountant with Grassi & Co in New York City. Prior to his role there, he spent time with Ryan Associates and the Avenue Capital Group. Outside his professional life, Kevin Martoken follows New York sports teams, and is a fan of the Giants.

In a league in which his last name has been at the forefront of the quarterback conversation for the last two decades, Giants quarterback Eli Manning now finds himself in a role he’s never had before: being the only Manning in a football uniform.

He appears to be embracing the challenge, and in a recent interview with the New York Post, Manning says he’s more motivated than ever to get his team back to the Super Bowl.

Manning used the metaphor of not having eaten for four years when asked about the team’s playoff woes since winning the Super Bowl in 2011. He then went on to say that he was “hungry” and looked forward to getting back on the field and working hard.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP had a strong year in 2015, throwing for 35 touchdowns on 4,443 yards passing and boasting a 93.6 quarterback rating.

With a healthy Victor Cruz back in the fold, Giants receiver Odell Beckham not only believes Manning will have another strong year, but that his quarterback will likely be in the MVP conversation as well.

Three Key Benefits to Recreational Sports

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Recreational Sports

Kevin Martoken works at New York-based accounting firm, Grassi and Co, where he serves as a fund accountant. In his free time, Kevin Martoken enjoys playing multiple recreational sports, including soccer and touch football. Beyond the physical advantages, recreational activity can bring about a number of other benefits.

1. Mental Well-Being – Playing a team-based sport provides an opportunity to improve your self-esteem and mental well-being. The motivation that comes from being a part of a team, something bigger than yourself, can lead to an improved feeling of self-worth. Similarly, recreational sports can relieve stress and provide you with a healthy reason to get out and socialize.

2. Social Benefit – When you join a recreational sports league, or even just a fun game in the park, you are introducing yourself to a brand new group of potential friends. You will build relationships with your teammates, and may form long-lasting friendships on your common passion for sport.

3. Life Satisfaction – A Canadian study found that people who actively participated in sports ranked their life satisfaction higher than those who did not play. On a scale of one to ten, 89 percent of sports participants rated their life satisfaction between seven and ten. Of those who did not play sports, less than 75 percent rated their satisfaction that high.