By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Bob Ryan’s not-quite-farewell from the Globe

Some unexpectedly good news in Bob Ryan’s “farewell” column in today’s Boston Globe: He’s going to continue writing between 30 and 40 Sundays a year. That’s more than we had been led to believe. Not quite a farewell. Ryan writes:

[W]hat matters most to me as I wind down my association with this great newspaper is that I firmly believe I have been a member of a true All-Star team in sports journalism for the entire 44 years. We tend to judge sports figures by the number of championship rings they have been fortunate enough to accumulate. I want to be judged by the people I’ve worked with. Lists are dangerous, because someone obvious invariably is left off. So I won’t risk that. Just appreciate that I have been in a killer lineup for 44 years.

Well, Bob, you were as good as any of them, and better than most. I’m glad we won’t be missing you as much as we thought.

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  1. Mike Benedict

    Why do you think Ryan was so great? I’ve never thought much of his work. His prose was so-so, he rarely broke a story, and as for his sense of perspective, well, just ask Mrs. Jason Kidd about that.

  2. Matt Kelly

    >>I’m glad we won’t be missing you as much as we thought.

    Indeed, I won’t be missing him at all. What’s the over-under on the number of grammatical mistakes in his final column? I caught four.

  3. Rick Peterson

    At the risk of venturing under the bridge, Ryan was imperfect, like everyone reading this post. The sheer volume and quality of his work though, especially about the Celtics, was unmatched.He would not have stayed at the Globe this long if the editors agreed with you.His comments about how and why he wanted to retire show a level of self awareness not common in the ego-infused media world. As far as Mrs. Jason Kidd, I presume you mean #1, now the wealthy EX-Mrs. Kidd. He alleged in the divorce that she wasn’t wrapped too tight and bringing a four year old around town late at night did nothing to help her case. Ryan’s comment at the time was indefensible, as he later agreed. That said, Jason Kidd just got the Joe Dumars Trophy for sportsmanship so apparently people can in fact grow and mature. IMHO, both Kidd and Ryan have done that. I hope he has a long and productive SEMI-retirement doing whatever the hell he feels like.

  4. Mike Rice

    @Rick Peterson: You nailed it.

  5. Mike Benedict

    @Rick: One thing you don’t really get at in your reply is what makes you say Ryan’s work was “quality.” What made it so? His writing style? His voice? His technical ability? His scoops? His perspective?

    The Bob Ryan I know is prone to repeating conventional wisdom and rumors and, when confronted with the facts, says to talk to his editor, because that’s who told him to write the piece.

  6. Let’s pause for a moment anbd think about the journalism world — and the Boston sports wrold — in 1968.

    That’s a long damned time.

    Mike: You sound as though you have some issues and personal history with Ryan. I didn’t work in the Boston area all that long and read him as a reader.

    He had institutional memory, which so many places to not have any more. When I am reading him on the NBA., I know he saw What Willis Reed did so many years ago.

    He also possesses the memory of that city, and he is part of its history.

    Many of us think the Globe sports staff in the mid-70s into the 80s was, well I hate to say it, but akin to the Yankee Dynasties.

    Who do you like better from that staff, and why?

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