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  • He Saved Fenway Park
  • Jay Greenberg Enshrined
  • The Mind of Nick Saban
  • Sports Journalism 101
  • Tim Keown’s Napa

He Saved Fenway Park

Mike Ross

Mike Ross

Red Sox Nation bids Mike Ross adieu.  For 14 years Ross served on the Boston City Council and represented District 8, which includes Fenway Park. In a literal and figurative sense, Ross was city councilor to the Nation from 2000 through 2013.

City council work is not glamorous.  Budgets, ordinances, regulations, and constituent services are the crux of it.  All of it was conditional, in Ross’ era, on “kissing the ring” of an autocratic and insecure mayor.

Ross, 43, handled it with style and grace, and more tangibly, with innovation and accomplishment.  Thanks to Ross, the city has dog parks, food trucks, recycling for apartment buildings, a revitalized Boston Common, monitoring of — and limits to — off-campus housing for students, and a contract with the firefighters union.  He was the first Jewish councilor since the early 1950s (the son of a Holocaust survivor), served a term as council president, and in 2013 fell short in the mayoral prelim.

Jay Greenberg Enshrined

Jay Greenberg was inducted into the writers’ wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday.  He made his name covering the Flyers for two Philadelphia dailies from 1975 to 1989, before moving on to the Toronto Star and New York Post.

Jay was a writer’s writer and a reporter’s reporter.  He was fastidious about facts and context, packaged in his signature voice, which combined irony, wit, compassion, and indignation.

Jay Greenberg

Jay Greenberg

I had the privilege and benefit of knowing Jay before Randy Rota and Bobby Clarke knew him.  He was a year ahead of me at the University of Missouri, covering Mizzou football and writing a column for the Columbia Missourian.   The Tigers went 1-10 in 1971, a miserable season for the faithful and especially new head coach Al Onofrio.  It was redeemed only by Jay’s coverage, which initially reflected his sense of grievance, and then progressed to humor, because eventually what could he do but laugh.  Characteristic of Jay, he was patient with Onofrio, a soft-spoken and decent man.

The Mind of Nick Saban

In case you missed the ‘60 Minutes’ interview of Nick Saban, it contains one of the most provocative statements uttered by…anybody…ever!

Near the start of the piece, Armen Keteyian asks Saban why he’s “so tough on people.”

Saban’s initial response was pro forma:

“I don’t know if that’s fair that I’m really tough on people. We create a standard for how we want to do things. Everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry.”

Then he appended:

Nick Saban

Nick Saban

“Mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.”

Whoa.

Think about that.

As a generalization.  As a theory of human behavior.

Let me start from a personal perspective.  As a mediocre person I am offended.

Sports Journalism 101

Justin Rice penned a thoughtful piece for Poynter on teaching sports journalism to high schoolers in Boston.

A few years ago Rice started the BPS Sports Blog, which eventually became part of Boston Globe media.  Now he curates the blog, and covers city sports, and relevant issues, such as GPA requirements for high school athletes.

I admire Rice.  Among a sports media where redundancy, shtick, and hot air are standard issue, he delivers information and insight from a quiet outpost, professionally and responsibly.  To the kids, coaches and families in Boston schools, his coverage is every bit as important as commodity media in and around high-profile sports.

In his Poynter piece, Rice summarized what he learned as a teacher:

  • Collaboration is key. A lot of organizations do similar work and are eager to help identify students interested in sports journalism.

Tim Keown

Tim Keown

Tim Keown

Position: Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com

Born: 1964, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Education: UC Berkeley (1982-84), graduated Washington State University (1986, Communications)

Career: Yuba-Sutter Appeal-Democrat (1986-88), Sacramento Union (1988-1989), Sacramento Bee (1989-1991), San Francisco Chronicle (1991-1999), ESPN The Magazine (1999-present)

Personal: Married, four sons

Favorite restaurant (home): 1. Norman Rose Tavern, Napa, Ca. – “great food, casual, the ballgame’s on behind the bar and you don’t have to mortgage the house to feed four large sons.” 1a. Nopa, San Francisco.

Favorite restaurant (away): The Purple Pig, Chicago, “one of the rare places worth the ridiculous wait. Order the skate wing.”

Favorite hotel: The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas. “ridiculous people-watching, crazy rooms – almost enough to make Vegas palatable.”

Q. Two major elements to “After the NFL”: Steve Hendrickson and your family.  Why?

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