Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thank you, Bob Ryan

Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan wrote his last column before his semi-retirement. He had an amazing body of work and covered some of the biggest moments in Boston and sports over the last 44 years. I owe Ryan a debt of gratitude on three fronts. First, as a young sports fan I lived for the Sports Reporters. The nature of how we discuss sports has evolved, but at the time that show was very important in shaping the arguments of the day. I loved Ryan's humor, passion and willingness to put Lupica and Conlin in their respective places. Later as a student broadcaster in the '90s, Ryan was always gracious with us. He would come on the WZBC with little notice, little prompting and answer any question we asked. Sports Media is filled with big egos, many of whom are cynical and dismissive of student reporters. Ryan was the opposite. He always took us seriously. For a guy who had grown up watching him pontificate on sports, talking to him a few years later was always a bit surreal. Finally I want to thank Bob for participating in a Q&A in the early days of this blog. Like my time with student radio, Ryan never questioned my legitimacy nor dismissed me because I was merely a blogger.

Many BC fans complained about his inconsistent stances on BC. They wanted him to be a fan like most of us. While he might not have been a BC cheerleader, Ryan was always very supportive of BC people, including this one.


bc1900 said...

I always had good memories of Bob Ryan as well. I spoke with him a few times at BC and then also bumped into him at the British Open one year where he talked my ear off. He has always supported BC but I think he went a little off track to help his friend Jim O'Brien. Besides being a nice guy I always remember him having horrible dandruff each time I met him, it would cover his clothes. I guess he is just an old time sports guy, there are not many of him left.

Lenny Sienko said...

My classmate (Boston College '68), Bob Ryan, retires after 44 years with the Boston Globe. A great sports reporter, married to one of the nicest people ever, Elaine Murray Ryan, also BC '68.

First week of class 1964 in the "Eagles Nest" in McElroy Commons met Bob at table chatting up Elaine. I was with Elaine's friends and classmates from School of Education; Susan, Cherie, Mary, and Chris.

Saw Bob most days...or, more accurately, heard him, arguing sports with John Simon, John Businger, Reid Oslin, Bill McDonald, Kevin O'Malley in the Eagles Nest. NYC high school basketball was a a favorite topic. They knew every player, every stat, pre-internet. I first heard about Lew Alcindor from them.

Bob was then just as he has been these 44 years. His "persona" on TV is just as he was then, loving every aspect of sports and BC as loud as possible.

I haven't seen him since graduation; but I have followed his career since his first column in the Heights. Bob has never disappointed me. He has been true to his friends, such as JOB, and his alma mater, even when he disagreed with whatBC was doing.

Best to Bob and Elaine....enjoy life together for as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

This was one of his great BC columns as I played for Tom McCarthy during the Tom Davis era.

JBQ said...

@harrow: Jim OB was "set out to dry" by admissions over three basketball recruits. All three were from different ethnic backgrounds and coach OB had been led to believe that they would be accepted. It now looks like an "ambush" in retrospect. OB went to Ohio State if I remember right and then Al Skinner was brought in to fulfill the Jesuit ambition of racial intolerance. In turn, Al Skinner was run up on the flagpole and then jettisoned over the side.

Bravesbill said...

Are we really playing the race card again? Get a life.

bc1900 said...

o'Brien showed his true colors at OSU, thus why he coaches at Emerson I believe. There was other shady stuff going on with O'Brien in regards to AAU bball and Papile. Don't get me wrong I loved O'Brien, but if you get booted from OSU for rules infractions he wasn't going to last much longer at BC. Al Skinner did more for BC basketball in recent times than any coach. Show him a little respect.