From 2009 till 2010 I did a series interviews of some of the best players, go-getters, organizers and all around important people of our sport at that point. I now bring all of the interviews, for the first time collected, chronologically here on the site. Some of the people are as relevant today as they were back then, others have faded a little, but all of the interviews contain strong opinions, an interesting look into a footbag life and/or great advice about our sport. This week’s interview is with Matt Cross.
Matt Cross is a twenty something year old shredder, stitcher, mc, beatboxer, guitarist, singer and an all out awesome guy. We here bring a short interview with him.
Matt MCing at the NYFA Freestyle Symposium, November 07.
Hey Matt! To start out with I want you to describe yourself with lets say 5 words.
“arguably not worth the effort” I’m a bit of a strange person, and I don’t really get along with most people, so it’s difficult for me to make friends most of the time. However, when it comes to the people with whom I truly connect, it’s totally worth the fact that it’s difficult for me.
If I visited you in SUNY Fredonia, NY what would we do?
Well, first we would have a session, because there are lots of great indoor and outdoor spots to play footbag in Fredonia, and people here seem to think freestyle is pretty cool. The soccer players like to check it out and ask questions, sometimes people will sit and play guitar while Jeff Hastings and I do some kicking. Then, we would probably chill out at my house and watch Feet on Fire (which should be coming in the mail ANY DAY NOW!) and drink some delicious local beers from Ellicottville Brewing Company… you’re 21, right?
Feet on Fire is looking dope I should order that aswell. I’m not 21 yet but “sshh” nobody needs to know that. You have been playing footbag for around 10 years – How do you feel the footbag scene has changed?
I think there are a lot more younger players, and I think the younger players get a lot more respect than they used to because they are often so much more advanced than the older players these days. When I got on the freestyle scene, the VERY best players were in their early / mid 20s. Now, the best players are in their mid-late teens.
Also, there is this whole online revolution. people around the world have access to videos of the very best players for free via youtube and footbag.org, and this has really pushed the sport forward in a technical sense. It also has a way of spreading the sport and bringing it closer together at the same time. I love the internet.
I think the heart of the scene remains the same, though. It’s still a tiny, friendly, close-knit sport, and I’m glad that’s the case.
Word! What do you think will happen in the near future for footbag?
I don’t see any earth-shaking events on the horizon. I think the technicality will continue to advance, and the sport will continue to get newer, younger players. I think more respect and more exposure will come steadily, but I don’t think the sport is absolutely going to blow up all of a sudden.
You haven’t been playing much lately what do you think the future of footbag has for Matt Cross? What will your role be?
I think the future of footbag has lots of friends, lots of videos, lots of tournaments, and lots of stitching for me. You’re right, I haven’t played much lately, although I can still throw on my lavers and hit a few new moves when I play. So, we’ll see what happens with my game when the spring rolls around. I need to improve my nutrition dramatically, that is for sure. I’ve quit tobacco recently, so that will help a lot with endurance.
I’ve never been an all-star player, but I look forward to playing and having fun and enjoying all that footbag is, for a long while to come. I hope my role as someone who is good at talking about footbag (in the informative sense and in the “master of ceremonies” sense) continues to grow. I hope the same for my roles as a scene leader, tournament organizer / helper-outer, stitcher, and player, although I see the “player” role advancing the most slowly.
The summer season is coming nearer and as we all know this is the best time to be a footbagger. What are your plans for this summer?
My plan for the summer is to get an internship in the Buffalo, NY area with an arts / entertainment promotion foundation. This would be GREAT for me as a footbagger, because the Buffalo hacky sack scene is probably the strongest in NY. It may be the kicking hotspot of the northeast US right now, actually. During the spring and summer, there are two VERY well attended hacky-sack sessions in Buffalo. at one of them, there can be between fifty and one hundred kickers every week, and there is a free live rock concert.
Soon, I will know if I plan to go to Worlds or not. I really hope I do. If I’m going to do any big footbag event this summer, that is most likely going to be it.
I hope you make it to Prague! You have been stitching and selling footbags for a good time now. Why did you start with that?
I’ll do anything to get some attention from Pengpeng.
Just kidding, I really started because it seemed doable, and I had access to good teachers, and I desired to be able to make my own bags and get respect and money from my friends and peers when I got good enough to sell them.
How do you feel about it now?
I love my bags. They play just like I want them to, and some players that I really respect and admire have been buying them because they also like how they play. That means a lot to me, and makes me feel really good inside.
The only other person I have planned to interview so far is Lise Thygesen. I know you met her and later visited her in 2005. If you could ask her one question what would that be?
“will you marry me?”
Haha, I will ask her that for you. Thanks for the interview Matt. Do you have any shout outs?
Yeah, I’d like to give a shout out to my friend President George Bush. What up dog!!!
Written by Asmus Helms