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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Boston Globe: Bob Ryan says goodbye after 44 years

Wait Till I Make the Show…you did, Bob. You did.

Day One did not begin well. En route to the Globe for my first day as a summer intern, I was sideswiped on Storrow Drive by a Bloodmobile.

Since then, no complaints.

Forty-four years later, I’m still here, which is truly remarkable. How many columnists on a major American daily newspaper have spent their entire journalistic lives with one newspaper? The answer is close to zero. But why would I want to go anywhere else?

By the way, that first day quickly got better. When I finally arrived at the paper for my first day of summer employment, the first person I met was a fellow 1968 Globe summer sports intern. It was a North Carolina Tar Heel named Peter Gammons. We’ve been friends ever since.

When I was a student at Boston College and a fervent newspaper reader, my fantasy was to work for the Boston Globe. It became a case of Mission Accomplished, with every reasonable wish fulfilled. Now it is time to step aside, though not completely out of sight. When I hit the “send” button on my gold medal basketball game column, I will cease to be a full-time employee of the only newspaper I have ever worked for after graduating from college. But let’s not call it “retirement.” I choose to call it “Transition to Phase Two.”

Repoz Posted: August 12, 2012 at 07:26 AM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, media

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   1. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4206685)
Does this mark the end of the Golden Snow Shovel???
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4206686)

love the lead.

Bob is just about the most popular sportswriter around who does the TV circuit. didn't seem to let it go to his head.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4206690)
One of the things Ryanhas always done well is allow his appreciation for the games and the athletes shine through. I'll never forget him writing that the 1992 NCAA tourney game between Kentucky and Duke was the best college game ever before Laettner hit his famous shot. It was a wonderful description.

It is a sign of where the Globe is that Ryan is leaving but Shaugnessy remains on board.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4206692)
It is a sign of where the Globe is that Ryan is leaving but Shaugnessy remains on board.


Or maybe it's just a sign that Ryan is 7 1/2 years older and not the sort of guy who wants to die at his desk?
   5. tjm1 Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4206693)
Bob is just about the most popular sportswriter around who does the TV circuit. didn't seem to let it go to his head.


I like Bob Ryan because he seems to understand that his job is to help the fans to understand what's going on with the events he's covering, because the fans tend to enjoy the events. I think that most young sportswriters get this, and a lot of them get jaded along the way. Ryan never did. In a related note, he always had an appreciation of the past without being stuck in it.

I'd imagine there are 1-2 guys like this in most of the major markets, and Ryan is just the best of the ones who's worked in a big media market.
   6. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4206700)
With Ryan leaving, there's now exactly 0 reasons to read the Globe. But then, I stopped reading once I realized the extent to which they try to manipulate their readers.
   7. Elvis Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4206704)
I loved this from TFA:

The Old Guard was often quite amused. One of our colleagues was the acerbic Clif Keane, a figure who would have no place in today’s scheme of things, which is modern journalism’s loss. Apprised that the bosses were considering having Peter cover the Red Sox for the Morning Globe and me for the Evening Globe, Keane sneered, “Oh, that’ll be great. Gammons will write about wars and symphonies, and Ryan will complain about the umpires.”

My favorite Bob Ryan moment came when he was covering the NBA Draft for TV. The Spurs picked Alfredrick Hughes 14th overall after a memorable NCAA Tournament. Ryan couldn't believe it and on national TV ripped the pick apart, calling Hughes, "A CBA lifer."
   8. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4206711)
Shaughnessy is 59? Hopefully he'll retire soon.

I didn't know Ryan's son either committed suicide or was murdered while living in Islamabad as a U.S. governnment official.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4206731)

One of the things Ryanhas always done well is allow his appreciation for the games and the athletes shine through. I'll never forget him writing that the 1992 NCAA tourney game between Kentucky and Duke was the best college game ever before Laettner hit his famous shot. It was a wonderful description.


Yes, this. Many other sportswriters seem to hate sports at times, bur Ryan really seemed to be a geniune fan who even at his age was still in awe of great athletic feats. Bill Simmons did a podcast with him last year about the NBA, and listening to Ryan speak animatedly about the Celtics was a real treat, and I hate the Celtics.
   10. Toolsy McClutch Posted: August 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4206734)
As a guy who really only knew Bob Ryan from PTI, his departure is not a tough pill to swallow.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4206738)
The Boston Globe lineup of Ryan on basketball, Gammons on baseball and Will McDonough on the NFL was legendary, and we will probably never see the likes of it again. Not only were they all good reporters and writers, but they all genuinely loved their sports.
   12. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4206741)
Many other sportswriters seem to hate sports at times


I can cut them a little slack "at times" -- after all, it's a job and everybody hates his/her job sometimes. But too many seem to hate sports all the time.
   13. tjm1 Posted: August 12, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4206774)
The Boston Globe lineup of Ryan on basketball, Gammons on baseball and Will McDonough on the NFL was legendary, and we will probably never see the likes of it again. Not only were they all good reporters and writers, but they all genuinely loved their sports.


And Bud Collins was always the big national guy for tennis, and clearly loved tennis.

It seems like now, the top outlet for having mainstream writers who know and like their sports, and can write, is Yahoo.
   14. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 12, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4206801)
I met him, briefly, and he was very nice. I approached him (in a car, as he was crossing Boylston at Jersey at 1am, after a playoff game against the A's in 1990, I think...he thought I was trying to run him over at first, but then, when he saw me roll the window down, he came right over and listened to what I had to say), and told him I liked a recent column of his that said Red Sox fans were more interested in batting around beach balls and doing the wave than watching the game. He became very animated, rehashing his disgust for what was (and still is) going on at Fenway.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4206802)
If he's been there for 44 years, his pension probably is pretty close to his salary, so he should be doing fine, especially since he still has the various ESPN gigs as well as the part-time Globe assignment. Welcome to AARP, Bob.
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4206895)
I was never very impressed with him - and I started reading him at age 13 or 14 - but to each his own.
   17. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 12, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4206904)
Shaughnessy is 59?

You can see him as a curly-headed boy, in the background swarm of press, behind Reggie Jackson's clubhouse interviews after the 3-HR World Series game.
   18. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4206944)
I was never very impressed with him - and I started reading him at age 13 or 14 - but to each his own.


Of course you weren't. Would anyone expect different?
   19. Lassus Posted: August 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4206963)
This Mitt Romney/Bob Ryan ticket intrigues me. Tell me more.
   20. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4206971)
I didn't know Ryan's son either committed suicide or was murdered while living in Islamabad as a U.S. governnment official.
would it be in poor taste to say that his wife should smack him for allowing his son to be sent to a warzone where he could be killed.

yeah, i kinda think it would.
   21. GregD Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4206974)
would it be in poor taste to say that his wife should smack him for allowing his son to be sent to a warzone where he could be killed.
His son was in his 30s when he went; what was Bob Ryan going to do? Physically restrain him? It isn't a case of an 18-year-old skipping to the mall to enlist. This guy had a degree from LSE, a law degree, a wife and family; he obviously was responsible for his own decisions, not his father.
   22. Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: August 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4207024)
would it be in poor taste to say that his wife should smack him for allowing his son to be sent to a warzone where he could be killed.


By that metric, the only people who enlist in the military would be orphans.
   23. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 13, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4207046)
His son was in his 30s when he went; what was Bob Ryan going to do? Physically restrain him? It isn't a case of an 18-year-old skipping to the mall to enlist. This guy had a degree from LSE, a law degree, a wife and family; he obviously was responsible for his own decisions, not his father.
By that metric, the only people who enlist in the military would be orphans.



#20 was only a reference to ryan's comments about jason kidd's wife prior during the playoffs in 2003.


***SPOILERS--BREAKING BAD***
anyway, just as a quick hijack, what the #### is it with breaking bad? season 1 ended with walt bombing a building. season 2 ended with a woman choking on her own vomit due to an overdose on heroin, nd then her father causing a mid-air collision between 2 planes that killed 130+ people. season 3 ended with a boy being shot by some gangers, said gangers being run over by walt in his SUV and then, to cover up for their combined actions, jesse shoots another guy in the head, so as to preserve their standing within gus's organization. and then season 4 ended with walt poisoning jesse's girlfriend's son, and then using a chemical bomb to burn off half of gus's face.


every year, in the interviews prior to the upcoming season, the cast brags about how "this is the darkest season yet", but what the hell is the point of that? tonight's episode ended with another kid getting shot in the head, and i just do not see what purpose that will have in advancing an entertaining storyline.

it's not as if i'm some prudish nutter, i just think there should be a very high bar for televised violence towards children, and i can't help but cringe when it's only used for character development as opposed to plot advancement. i'm not sure that this is the right place to draw the line, but when the gangers killed the kid in season 3, it advanced the tension between gus and walt and jesse, and it really set up the ensuing conflict. and when walt poisoned the kid in season 4, it was done to persuade jesse to his side in the war against gus.

both incidents were fairly crucial in setting the stakes leading up to the season finale, so i can kind of live with their being used, but i'm having a hard time seeing how exactly this will be crucial in advancing the plot this season, and i just have a hard time getting by that.
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 13, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4207047)
#20 was only a reference to ryan's comments about jason kidd's wife prior during the playoffs in 2003.

Wow ... now that's a really, really obscure reference.
   25. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 13, 2012 at 02:12 AM (#4207049)
Wow ... now that's a really, really obscure reference.
is it really that obscure? i mean, he was suspended from the boston globe for 30 days and was removed from ESPN's programming for at least that long (and this was back when i actually was a semi-regular viewer of around the horn), and when he came back he did spend a fair amount of oxygen apologizing for his remarks.


also, this is BBTF. if there is anywhere on the internet for an obscure reference to find a home, it's here.

or /b.

   26. booond Posted: August 13, 2012 at 07:33 AM (#4207074)
it's not as if i'm some prudish nutter


Would anyone admit to being a prudish nutter?
   27. booond Posted: August 13, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4207075)
The Boston Globe lineup of Ryan on basketball, Gammons on baseball and Will McDonough on the NFL was legendary, and we will probably never see the likes of it again.


Leigh Montville as utilityman. It was a great lineup.
   28. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4207085)
Also, they better resolve what happens to that poor tarantula.
   29. mike f Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4207117)
is it really that obscure?

FWIW, I'm a lurker, but I got the reference immediately, and was surprised it took someone that long mention it. It's probably because I've never been a big fan of Bob Ryan, so that incident kind of stuck with me.
   30. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4207125)
Ryan later said, "I'm angry with myself forgetting in the heat of battle that the woman had been hit."

Ayone who thinks of sportswriting as a battle gets the gasface.
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4207182)
is it really that obscure? i mean, he was suspended from the boston globe for 30 days and was removed from ESPN's programming for at least that long (and this was back when i actually was a semi-regular viewer of around the horn), and when he came back he did spend a fair amount of oxygen apologizing for his remarks.

I think you've been spending too much time in the NBA thread. I remember that as an incident in Jason Kidd's life, but would never have been able to tell you Bob Ryan was the writer involved. Also, just the notion that a seemingly out-of-the-blue militantly anti-war statement is actually a reference to something involving Jason Kidd nine years ago ... well, I just didn't get it, that's all.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4207194)
I was never very impressed with him - and I started reading him at age 13 or 14 - but to each his own.

Of course you weren't. Would anyone expect different?


Don't know, don't care. But in my view sportswriters are treated as kings for no good reason - kind of like college coaches. Has Bob Ryan done any groundbreaking work at any time, or has he just sat around for 40 years giving his self-inflated opinions about things, often backed by zero research or evidence?
   33. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4207195)
well, I just didn't get it, that's all.

You certainly aren't alone.
   34. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4207202)
But in my view sportswriters are treated as kings

They are, really? Maybe this had some truth to it at one time, but I think those days ended a while ago.
   35. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4207204)
But in my view sportswriters are treated as kings for no good reason


You mean by their colleagues? I mean in the age of Deadspin and Fire Joe Morgan, aren't sportswriters viewed somewhere between used car insurance salesmen and porn store clerks?
   36. GregD Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4207206)
Actually sportswriters, not TV personalities, received fairly low salaries and obviously have little job security at present. They do get to travel and have good expense accounts, I guess, but treated like kings seems off to me. Now people on TV are treated like celebrities, but in that sense TV sports personalities are just a subset of TV celebrities, treated roughly the same as other semi-famous, semi-obscure people.
   37. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4207212)
I'm trying to imagine some sort of "ground-breaking work" that a sportswriter could possibly accomplish that would impress RDP. The mind boggles.
   38. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4207229)
I'm trying to imagine some sort of "ground-breaking work" that a sportswriter could possibly accomplish that would impress RDP. The mind boggles.


Perhaps "groundbreaking" was a poor word choice on my part.

Someone like Joe Sheehan isn't an analyst, but yet instead of just mindlessly vomiting out that Jack Morris pitched to the score, he actually went back and looked at every Jack Morris game log to conclude that no, he didn't.

Has Bob Ryan done anything like this, ever, for any sport?

Both Sheehan and Neyer, while not doing cutting edge analysis themselves, follow the evidence and base their conclusions on it. Does Bob Ryan? Not from what I've seen.
   39. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4207346)
I liked Ryan..any tv work that sportswriters do (Ryan, Lupica, etc.) is just talking head stuff where they have to have a controversial opinion, or to argue with each other like the incomparable Smith and Bayless. There are some sportswriters that have done some innovative writing, but expecting them to come up with the equivalent of the polio vaccine and dismissing them becasue they don't..asking too much. I didn't read too much of his work as I am nowhere near Boston, so my opinion is mostly based on the tv work.
   40. baudib Posted: August 13, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4207348)
That's not Bob Ryan's job.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4207379)
Ryan's job is to present informed opinions, or if it's not (and in any event since he doesn't) then I'm not impressed with him. Which is all I meant. I don't know why I need to be impressed by someone who does nothing more than blow wind for 44 years.

EDITed.
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4207393)
This one was a hoot:

Ryan made a mistake in 2006 when he wrote a column promoting the Final Four matchup of Louisiana State University and George Mason University, and recommending fans tune to see two of the biggest players in college basketball, LSU's Glen Big Baby Davis (a former Boston Celtic) and George Mason's Jai Lewis. However, LSU and George Mason were on different sides of the NCAA Bracket and were not scheduled to play one another. The Globe did not find this error and the inaccurate column was run in the Globe.[28] Ryan referred to this incident on ESPN's Around the Horn, when discussing a topic about making mistakes, on April 27, 2010. However, he would not reveal what the incident was, saying that any viewers who wanted to know about his March Madness error could check Wikipedia and find out for themselves.
   43. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 13, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4207515)
Someone like Joe Sheehan isn't an analyst, but yet instead of just mindlessly vomiting out that Jack Morris pitched to the score, he actually went back and looked at every Jack Morris game log to conclude that no, he didn't.

Oh, so ####### what??? The idea that Sheehan's work on Morris is as worthy as four decades worth of close-to-top-shelf writing and being a valued member of the Boston sports community is just comically obtuse.

Other than a few people here, no one gives a #### about the "truth" of whether Jack Morris pitched to the score. As well they shouldn't.

What's next: Lawrence Olivier's got nothing on Tom Tango?

   44. villageidiom Posted: August 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4207577)
The Globe has linked up a few articles from Ryan's archives.
   45. phredbird Posted: August 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4207583)
oh, bob ryan was another of those puffed up asses on sports reporters afaic.

in my view sportswriters are treated as kings for no good reason


do you mean that they are handed way too bully a pulpit by editors and publishers who want to sell papers and don't care about critical analysis on the sports page, thereby cheating their readers? i'd agree with that.
   46. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 13, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4207613)
I thought it was one of the other guys like Rany who wrote that article. Rany anagrams into Ryan, FWIW.

Ryan cowrote a book with Terry Pluto called 48 Minutes. It was like Dan Okrent
s Nine Innings only about a basketball game between the Celtics and Cavaliers back in the late 80s. I've seen it praised and I checked it out from the library. But I don't think that I am enough of a hoops fan to appreciate it.
   47. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4207626)
Arrgh, it wasn't Rany. It was the late Greg Spira. In any event, I think analysis is better sutied for books than newspapers.
   48. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4207637)
in my view sportswriters are treated as kings for no good reason
i kind of agree with that, but then again, i also kind of think sportswriting is a lesser profession than the one where people empty the #### out of one of those portable toilets.

i mean, seriously, if these people were any good at writing they would be writing about something of actual consequence. and if they actually cared about sports, they would be coaching it somewhere instead of waiting outside of communal showers to ask meaningless questions of sweaty, half naked men who have absolutely no interest in talking to them.


that's kind of a blanket statement, and it doesn't really apply to every beatwriter, but just as a general rule, these people are lazy, miserable, passive aggressive parasites, and i really can't think of a more embarrassing profession.

maybe my opinion has been colored by really shitty philadelphia writers, but i seriously think perez hilton has a more worthwhile impact on our society than probably 98 out of every 100 beatwriters.
What's next: Lawrence Olivier's got nothing on Tom Tango?
i could be alone in this, but i'd kind of like to see tom tango reading shakespeare in blackface.
   49. The District Attorney Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4207641)
Rany anagrams into Ryan, FWIW.
Jeremy's... iron.
   50. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4207643)
Would anyone admit to being a prudish nutter?
well, 27% of americans self identify as being republican, and at this point, "republican" really is kind of a synonym of "prudish nutter", so i'd say you're about there.
   51. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4207654)
well, 27% of americans self identify as being republican, and at this point, "republican" really is kind of a synonym of "prudish nutter", so i'd say you're about there.


If only there was a thread for this type of stuff.
   52. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4207687)
these people are lazy, miserable, passive aggressive parasites, and i really can't think of a more embarrassing profession.


In the vein of what GGC posted above, shouldn't descriptions of politicians go in the thread designated for such?
   53. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: August 13, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4207718)
If only there was a thread for this type of stuff.
it was low-hanging fruit. so sue me.

In the vein of what GGC posted above, shouldn't descriptions of politicians go in the thread designated for such?
see, kinda like that.
   54. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 03:28 AM (#4207809)
that's kind of a blanket statement, and it doesn't really apply to every beatwriter, but just as a general rule, these people are lazy, miserable, passive aggressive parasites, and i really can't think of a more embarrassing profession.

You say lots of stupid, half-cocked ########, so it doesn't particularly surprise me that you'd brandish such an opinion without any stated basis.
   55. Flynn Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:31 AM (#4207820)
I like Joe Sheehan on baseball, but Ryan's a pretty decent baseball writer himself...in addition to being possibly the most respected basketball writer of all time.

I know he's low hanging fruit but Bill Simmons knows more about the NBA than 98% of the people in America and every time he talks ball with Ryan, Ryan schools him. Ryan's probably got the style of play of each NBA sixth man in 1972 stuck somewhere in his cortex.
   56. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 07:35 AM (#4207821)

You say lots of stupid, half-cocked ########, so it doesn't particularly surprise me that you'd brandish such an opinion without any stated basis.


maybe my opinion has been colored by really shitty philadelphia writers

His basis is clearly stated in his next sentence.
   57. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 14, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4207824)
I know he's low hanging fruit but Bill Simmons knows more about the NBA than 98% of the people in America


Which would mean that ... hmmmm ... assuming my math skills are in working order while I'm waking up ... somewhere around 6 million Americans know as much or more about the NBA as Simmons.

Yeah -- I can live with that, I guess.

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