Chris Isenberg was born and bred in Greenwich Village in New York City. As a child, he was obsessed with sports and fixated on the New York Yankees. In art and shop class at The Little Red School House, he built a miniature Yankee Stadium out of cardboard and fashioned a Bucky Dent hand puppet. From ages five through seven, he refused to wear anything except a regulation Yankee uniform, complete with stirrups, plastic batting helmet, and frequently, burnt cork under the eyes. He was a batboy for the New York Yankees for one day during Spring Training in 1982 at Fort Lauderdale, FL- which stands as probably the greatest day of his life.
After Isenberg graduated with a master's degree in English Literature from Oxford University, he moved back to New York and began writing about sports and urban culture for various publications including Details, The New York Times, The Fader, Sports Illustrated, and the Village Voice. In 2004, he founded No Mas. He now splits his professional time between writing, art-directing and the rag trade. He resides in the Italian section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he plays bar league softball for the Black Betty.
Dave Larzelere, a.k.a Large, was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, and his early childhood coincided with the heyday of pro sports in Philly — the 1980 Phils, the Dick Vermeil Eagles, the Broad Street Bullies, Smokin Joe and Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dr. J. and Moses Malone (not to mention Chocolate Thunder and World B. Free). If you read closely, you'll note the effect of all of these influences on his writing style, as well as the valuable contributions of Billy Paul, Gamble and Huff, The Delfonics, Meldrick Taylor, Schooly D, and, of course, Rocky.
At one time or another Large has written professionally about almost every sport there is, and that includes judo and fencing. He worked for NBC at the Sydney and Athens Olympics, was the head writer and sometimes guest on ESPN's Classic Now, and recently was one of the writers for MSG's 50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden. Also, Carmen Basilio once sucker-punched him (an affectionate gesture), and after their now famous, Chocolate Thunder intimated that a Large trip to Lovetron was not out of the question.
Office of AIR
Office of AIR is the agency side of No Mas. We specialize in media and design and, naturally, do a lot of work related to sport and sport culture. Chris Isenberg’s founding partners in AIR, Aaron Amaro and Luke Raymond, have also become partners in No Mas and act as the brand’s art directors and high council. No Mas players Larzelere and Strini also often collaborate on AIR projects. For more information or to inquire about working with AIR on private label product, video and editorial content, branding and identity, web development, events, or strategy, please visit us at www.officeofair.com.
Poet, painter, photographer, personality--Dhani Jones is the epitome of the Renaissance athlete. Last year, he led the Cincinatti Bengals in tackles and still managed to create and star in his own show—The Travel Channel’s “Dhani Tackles the Globe”, which sees him take on professionals in everything from Thai Boxing to Hurling. His omniverous curiousity, entrepreneurial instinct and willingness to make a complete break from what's expected of a pro athlete make him simultaneously a No Mas friend and icon. We are extremely proud to have Dhani as a partner in both AIR and No Mas.
Nick Strini was born in Saint Louis and raised on the west side of Milwaukee. He moved to Brooklyn in 2004 after graduating from Macalester College with a degree in philosophy. He found work as a fish cutter and then as soccer coach and police photographer. He is now directing "Brooklyn to Beijing" and "The Undercard" for No Mas TV.