Matt Foley is faster (at filing features) than Usain Bolt. He’s more creative than Dennis Rodman’s wardrobe. He delivers a better one-two pun(ch) than Muhammad Ali, and he’s more well-balanced (in his reporting) than Simone Biles.
But he’s just like his dad.
Well, we’ve never met his father, but that’s what it sure sounds like. Young Matt was the kind of kid who was destined to be OZY’s sports writer. His father raised him to be a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, even though he grew up on the southside, deep in White Sox territory. His dad coached him, quite literally, as he grew up. First in Little League and later during high school basketball. Basketball was the dream, he says, but 6’4” centers have shorter careers than a century ago. So baseball it was — at Bucknell University, the land of the Amish, where his team played in two NCAA tournaments. Though he’s great at baseball, he’d make for a terrible dodgeball player — he’s been nailed by taxis while biking … twice.
Along the way, his dad nurtured his knack for writing too, forcing him to join the high school newspaper. Did we mention his dad is a writer too? Foley the Younger was hooked by the pen and page and went on to study writing in college, when he wasn’t at bat. The skills turned out to be for real: His first profile for OZY went viral.
Foley comes to OZY by way of a restaurant. Until now, writing has been the dude’s side hustle, while he ran an upscale Italian market in NYC — he’s precisely zero percent Italian — where he picked up a penchant for burger grilling and testing out new recipes. Before that, he built a tolerance for deflecting screaming, over-caffeinated traders on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, running trades for corn, soybeans and wheat (see the food theme here?), among other things.
Haters have said his knowledge of sports is “excessive” or “useless,” but we say it’s exactly what we were looking for. Foley, like a true Cubs fan, loves a good underdog story. He claims any sports story can be exciting, if told correctly. So, can we get a piece on curling?
When Foley was 10, he was supposed to meet Cal Ripken Jr. — any kid’s favorite player in the ’90s — at a Little League event. The legend canceled. Foley was devastated. Recently though, he scored an in-person interview with his childhood hero. Foley’s thoughts on it all: “Second chances really do exist.”