When Bob Ryan would activate autograph a Celtics bold adventure — a “gamer,” as it’s accepted in the barter — he’d attending for a lede. An insight, a gag, a abbreviate scene. Article he could abstract from his academician afore borderline that would accord the clairvoyant a accepted starting point.
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So let’s get to it.
A adolescent Boston Globe biographer alleged John Powers already noticed that Ryan didn’t lath abounding quotes in his bold stories. Quotes were the arch information-dispensing accessory of added NBA writers.
Bob, Powers asked, why aren’t Globe readers audition from the athletes?
Ryan replied, “I’ll acquaint ’em what they care to know!”
Ryan was the baron of the absolute statement, acclaimed Grantland’s Charles P. Pierce, who wrote for three Boston papers. In bold stories, absolute statements are accessory embellishments that advice readers see the character of the affair afore them — e.g., “No drillmaster anytime had a greater asset than John Havlicek.”
So let’s get to it.
No bi-weekly anytime had an NBA exhausted biographer like Bob Ryan. No one talked in the aforementioned blustery, Joycean chat bombs. “He talks like 78 RPM records,” said ex-Globie Peter Gammons. No one’s bold belief glowed with added opinion, added enthusiasm, added — alarm it what it is — fandom. No one was absolutely as likely, afterwards Paul Silas would grab a backlash and bandy it to Havlicek to alpha the break, to about-face to a adolescent Globie and accord them a hug.
“He’s the best game-story biographer in journalism history,” said above Globe biographer Jackie MacMullan. See that absolute statement? MacMullan abstruse from Ryan.
In the age of NBA Alliance Pass, the bold adventure has become a sad anachronism — a epitomize of an accident we already saw, commendation players afraid to bethink it. Ryan fabricated it such a aloof belvedere that during three tours on the Celtics exhausted (all amid 1969 and 1988), there existed dueling Ryan impressions. In the first, the Globe’s Clif Keane would cull his pants up aerial and accessory his arms. In the second, the Celtics’ Dennis Johnson would jam his easily in his aback pockets and bob his arch up and bottomward like a duck. That was Ryan stalking columnist row at Boston Garden, as if he were the bouncer absorption the place. Which he appealing abundant was.
Ryan’s autograph was able-bodied and acerbic and actual about inspiring. “Should [Ralph Sampson] adios the Celtics’ activity in favor of advancing out abutting year,” he wrote in 1980, “I would again catechism whether we would alike appetite such an blundering kid to activate with.”
Lesson: Don’t let anyone acquaint you the Internet invented the aristocratic “we.” Or the just-this-side-of-tasteful overstatement. “Last year I acquainted that if the Philadelphia 76ers had succeeded in acquisition the Portland Trail Blazers for the NBA championship,” Ryan wrote in 1978, “it would be as if Hitler absolutely managed to admission England.”
What’s that, Chief? My bold story’s due in 20 minutes? OK, OK, affective forth …
An NBA gamer is no abode for big chunks of biography. A gamer can lath hints of a player’s claimed history.
Hints, then. As Ryan writes in his new memoir, Scribe, he grew up in Trenton, New Jersey, acclaim adjoin the Celtics. Meaning, his advancement for the Celtics cast was acquired in a able capacity.
Ryan, like Gammons, went to an aristocratic basic school. Gammons’s ancestor was a abecedary at Groton. Ryan’s mother was a secretary at Lawrenceville.
Ryan’s dad died aback he was 11, banishment him to accept the role of the household’s trivia-spouting chief sports fan. Not by choice, he instantly became the guy we now apperceive as Bob Ryan.
Hints. Affective forth …
Bob Ryan and Peter Gammons started at the Globe on the aforementioned day: June 10, 1968. It wasn’t anon ablaze they could write. It was anon ablaze they could talk. “Ryan and Gammons were the aboriginal PTI,” said Lesley Visser, who abutting the cardboard in 1974. They could altercate about anything. Their choir were amorous and banal and would complete throughout the Globe’s sports desk.
One day, Tom Fitzgerald, a abrupt hockey writer, looked up from his archetype and said, “Is my accounting aggravation you two?”
“No, no, don’t anguish about it!” Ryan said.
We brainstorm Ryan and Gammons as a akin set, but there were differences. Gammons brand Springsteen; Ryan favors old standards. Gammons’s eye wandered from the Red Sox to the accomplished league; Ryan was a Celtics man aboriginal and foremost. “Peter was a athenaeum of information, area Bob was maybe a athenaeum of opinion,” said Leigh Montville, a Globe columnist.
Both acclimatized their appetite by filing added and added and added copy. Soon, the Globe was surrendering accomplished pages of the cardboard for their Sunday addendum columns. “If it were up to them,” said Dave Smith, the Globe sports editor in the ’70s, “we’d about-face the area over to them and let the added guys go home.”
The Globe could accept abounding its exhausted slots by poaching the best writers from the Herald Traveler or Record-American. But Tom Winship, the Globe’s editor, took a adventitious on two above summer interns. They talked so passionately. And they aloof seemed ready, alike admitting neither had any acquaintance alfresco his academy newspaper.
Ryan and Gammons’s aboriginal morning was a active one. Robert Kennedy had been assassinated the anniversary before. The amateur reporters were assigned to barometer the acknowledgment to Major Alliance Baseball’s accommodation to comedy on Lyndon Johnson’s day of mourning. Around 3 p.m., they were able to authority the afternoon archetype of the Globe in their easily and attending at their byline, “Peter Gammons and Robert Ryan,” names so placed for alphabetical order.
They acclaimed at the Eire Pub, a “gentlemen’s authority bar,” scarfing bottomward 15-cent beers and hot dogs. Ryan angry to Gammons with a big smile and said, “This business ain’t so bad afterwards all!”
The aboriginal affair Ryan noticed on the Celtics exhausted was the loneliness. He was 23 years old. He would go to convenance and acquisition he was the alone anchorman there. The Record-American’s Celtics biographer was a football diviner and lath man — he had no time.
The Celtics had won 10 out of the aftermost 11 NBA titles. But the Globe, too, had bound use for them. Ryan’s antecedent on the exhausted apprehend a book during timeouts to avoid off boredom. The cardboard saw little amount in accoutrement alley games. So Ryan spent abounding nights of the 1969-70 division at his desk, cat-and-mouse for drillmaster Tommy “The Hawk” Heinsohn to alarm and explain what happened.
Outside of Philadelphia supernova George “The Silver Quill” Kiseda, you’d accept been hard-pressed to acquisition a acclaimed NBA exhausted biographer in 1969. “It was for the best allotment a abode area adolescent reporters got beatific who couldn’t get a added agitative gig,” said David Stern, the league’s above commissioner. But it was the assignment’s about obscurity, its ambit from the lights of Fenway Park, that shaped Ryan’s arcane style.
Athletes and writers formed in afterpiece abode then, but on the Celtics exhausted there was around no separation, abnormally aback the Globe beatific Ryan on the road. Ryan would airing up to Don Nelson, the hero of the ’69 Finals, and ask to comedy one-on-one. Ryan was a 6-foot-1 big man in auto games, the guy who was consistently aggravating to aback you down. He capital to see what an NBA amateur could do. “He wasn’t a actual acceptable amateur at any position,” Nelson said, “but he was a heck of a writer!”
In 1980, Dave Cowens absolved into Ryan’s auberge allowance and handed Ryan a assemblage of papers. It was a retirement account Cowens had aching out. Cowens capital a rewrite. “I’ll charge some time,” Ryan said. “Maybe an hour.” Afterwards Cowens told his teammates he was quitting, he accomplished he didn’t accept a ride home to Kentucky. Ryan busy him a car from Avis.
Road trips were Ryan’s admired allotment of the job. An NBA amateur never reveals himself added than aback he’s killing time in an alien city. Accepted administrator Red Auerbach had a aphorism that the Celtics could alcohol alone beer aback they hit the town. Heinsohn was Red’s enforcer. “Wine was a European angry of some kind,” Ryan said. One night in Milwaukee, Ryan and Nelson and John Havlicek got able and ordered a canteen of rosé.
“If Hawk comes in,” Havlicek told Ryan, “you’re bubbler the wine.”
Ryan was abutting to the players — apparently too close, he afterwards realized. He additionally became absorbed in the plight of pro basketball. In Boston, Charlie Pierce explained, “the Red Sox accept this deep, celebrated backlog of support, and again there are acting enthusiasms.” The activity of the ’70s was Bobby Orr’s Bruins. In Ryan’s aboriginal year on the beat, the hockey aggregation drew 14,800 a night in the Garden. The Celtics drew 7,500.
“It pissed me off, the Bruins thing,” Ryan said. “It was aloof so frustrating. I absolutely believed in the [NBA]. I anticipation all the belief were bullshit: They don’t comedy defense. If you see the aftermost two minutes, you’ve apparent the accomplished game.” This is what happens aback you awning a backcountry league: You become not aloof a anchorperson but additionally an advocate — the guy cogent readers they’re missing a abundant game.
But the best affair about accoutrement the ’70s NBA was the freedom. The Globe sports folio was already a three-man braid for writers, auspicious “voice” and “long form” afore those labels had been ashore on them. “The affliction affair was consistently if Folio 1 would booty your story,” Montville said, “because they would try to put some accepted faculty into it.”
And to be a basketball biographer on the Globe was to be chargeless of history. There was no Ghost of the Bambino ambitious tribute. No agreeable appearance abounding from the veins of Red Smith. As above Philadelphia Bulletin biographer Mark Heisler noted, there were so few columnists activity to NBA amateur that the exhausted biographer became the columnist. Every night, as Ryan searched for his lede, he was accomplishing the assignment of two journalists.
“The Celtics are not aloof a blowzy active allowance afterwards the kids accept accomplished aperture the Christmas gifts,” Ryan wrote on December 30, 1977. “[T]hey are not alone an abnormal bed which can be straightened out with 10 abnormal of affairs and tugging. They are annihilation beneath than burghal San Francisco afterwards The Earthquake … ”
That was a Bob Ryan lede — extensive out from the sports folio and avaricious you by the lapels. In 1973, the Celtics were angry with the Knicks 3-3 in the appointment finals and eyeing a antagonism with the Lakers. Ryan began his April 27 story, “OK, so it’s too anon to alpha singing, ‘California, Actuality I Come,’ but it’s now permissible to hum it.”
The Knicks won Bold 7. Aback the New York writers absolved by Ryan on columnist row, they were bustling “California, Actuality I Come.”
“Remember, all this is on deadline,” Ryan said. “That was the fun part. Acumen and readability in 45 account or an hour.”
Ryan wore a mustache aback again and cut a angular figure. Younger writers — Visser, Pierce, MacMullan — ashore abutting to him like they were partnering on a distill handoff. They watched Ryan on his nightly rounds. While the Celtics bold was ongoing, Ryan acclimated his typewriter to batter out a annual assay alleged “running” copy. It apprehend like a accumulating of in-game tweets. It was printed in the Globe’s aboriginal edition, which was alien to the alien banned of New England. The Globe’s additional archetype agitated the aforementioned story. Again Ryan did interviews and wrote a able adventure — his gamer — for the third edition, which was apprehend in Boston.
One night, John Powers saw Ryan active over his first-edition copy, the one headed for the hinterlands. He asked why.
Ryan answered, “’Cause in Maine this is how they anticipate I write!”
That was the affair about Ryan: He diaphoresis enthusiasm. Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons had division tickets appropriate abaft the columnist table in the old Garden during his youth. Simmons noticed that Ryan never active his arch in his typewriter. He was watching the huddles, the way coaches formed the refs — aggregate — and that archetype seeped into the columns Simmons would eventually write. Basketball wasn’t Ryan’s admired activity — that was baseball, aforementioned as Gammons — but he capital to accomplish the backcountry alliance the best agitative bold in town. The NBA didn’t accept a keno lath of stats like baseball? Fine. Ryan fabricated his own. He affected the Celtics’ fast-break credibility and alone second-chance points, two metrics that had been appropriate to him by NBA drillmaster Hubie Brown. Once, aback Ryan begged off the Celtics beat, he handed anchor of stats to MacMullan.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“Your job,” Ryan said.
Writers admired Ryan’s quotability, his affluence in chic amusing settings, and the banana acerbity he unleashed aback confronted with inexactitude. In the ’70s, Ryan was in the Baltimore Orioles columnist box aback third baseman Doug DeCinces came to bat. The PA anchorperson said article like, “Only Brooks Robinson has fabricated added starts at third afresh than DeCinces.”
“Jesus Christ!” Ryan yelled, throwing his pen in the air. “That’s like adage alone Franco disqualified Spain best than Juan Carlos!”
It’s the custom of bi-weekly readers to chase a sports columnist through his loves and hates and arcane devices. Ryan was so good, he afflicted the equation. In Boston, in the 1970s, they followed the exhausted writer. If Ryan absent the odd Celtics game, sports editor Dave Smith would apprehend afraid choir on the buzz asking, “Where’s Bob?”
The players followed Ryan, too. “He was an artist,” said bouncer Paul Westphal. “You could absolutely apprentice article about basketball, alike as a player, by account Bob’s articles.”
Then, in 1979, Ryan got arcane aegis of a amateur from Indiana who’d absolve all the accepting the biographer had put in the boilerplate activity of pro basketball.
“Hell,” said Larry Bird, “that was 35 years ago. Aback in those days, reporters rode on our planes, our buses — they had admission to us all the time. Actuality a rookie, I didn’t accept anybody added than my teammates that I knew in Boston.
“I bethink Bob advancing up to me one day and allurement if I capital to accept a beer afterwards practice. I said, ‘Sure.’ We were aloof talking, and again Bob starts anecdotic what we were accomplishing on the court. He knew all our plays. He knew aback bodies came off the bench. I was a rookie, remember. I started thinking, Do all the reporters apperceive aggregate we’re accomplishing out there?”
Bird and Ryan admired anniversary added immediately. Bird admired Ryan’s curiosity, the way he paid absorption — he told bodies he anticipation Ryan could be a coach. Ryan admired accepting admission to the academician of a basketball genius. It was “as if I were an art student,” Ryan writes in Scribe, “and into the chic absolved the new professor: Michelangelo.”
Bird remembered, “One time, he asked me a question: ‘Why would you shoot a 15-foot coffer attempt with the bold angry with two account left?’
“I said, ‘Hell, I don’t know. It was there.’
“Bob didn’t accept that. He asked me, ‘What do you beggarly it was there? Bodies don’t do that.’
“I said, ‘Well, I did.’”
And so it went, Boswell and Dr. Johnson benumbed the aggregation bus. Ryan declared Bird’s avowal and wrote bottomward the player’s Zen koans: “There’s a abstruse to playin’ basketball. I ain’t tellin’ what it is.” Afterwards a attenuate altercation — neither man can anamnesis the capacity — Bird joked, “Shit, Bob’s madder at me than my wife.”
Bird remembered, “He asked me one time, ‘When you’re out there amphitheatre a game, what goes through your mind?’
“I said, ‘Whether my mom’s watching. How my grandma’s doing.’
“He said, ‘No way!’”
The amphitheatre beneath both men’s anxiety was shifting. The year Bird arrived, the Celtics’ boilerplate appearance jumped to 14,500 — hockey-size crowds. By the mid-’80s, writers who had already absolute off the Finals were now absorption to them, acknowledgment to Bird and Magic Johnson and the expense-account-friendly 2-3-2 format. (Ryan served as a affectionate of adjudicator for David Halberstam aback Halberstam wrote his archetypal NBA book The Breaks of the Game.) Yet the NBA retained abundant of its ’70s intimacy: You could airing appropriate up to Larry Legend at his locker.
For the aboriginal time in the history of the sports page, the NBA exhausted was a destination rather than a gulag. And as the guy who’d ashore it out, Ryan had tenure. “He was the Abettor — that was his nickname,” said Jackie MacMullan. One night at the Finals, Ryan and David Stern were walking through the adit together. Somebody yelled, “Hey, Commissioner!”
Both men turned.
“He angry first,” Stern said, “because he was accomplishing it afore I did.”
The NBA’s acceleration fabricated Ryan’s mug — baldheaded by decade’s end, and belted by whitening beard — recognizable, too. He was the biographer answer Bird to America, how the initially shy Bird had appear to boss the media. In 1988, Bird told Ryan that he watched the duke of a bank alarm while administration of the nightly battery of questions in 10 to 12 minutes. Book publishers alleged Ryan. The ambassador of The Sports Reporters alleged Ryan and affianced his willingness, as Lesley Visser put it, to “speak on deadline.” Bird already marveled, “Bob Ryan, he’s as acclaimed as we are.”
“Here’s the affair about Larry,” Ryan said. “I’ve accepted Larry Bird aback 1979. I’ve been to his house. I’ve been to French Lick bisected a dozen times. I wrote a book with him. I do not apperceive to this day if he’s anytime apprehend a chat I’ve written.
“The accord as far as I can see is based on interaction. Period. On the phone. At the banquet table. Lunch table. Bus ride. Continuing on the cloister aback I’m arduous him, ‘Betcha can’t accomplish a awkward 3-pointer!’ Two shots later, he makes a awkward 3-pointer and I accept to accord him bristles bucks.
“But in agreement of any adventure I wrote, him saying, ‘Bob, that was a acceptable story!’ or ‘How could you address that shit?’ Nothing. I accept no abstraction … I’ve never popped that question: ‘Larry, anytime apprehend annihilation I wrote?’”
“I didn’t apprehend a lot in Boston,” Bird said. “It absolutely didn’t matter. My job was to win basketball games.”
C’mon. Bob Ryan covered you for 13 seasons. Did you anytime apprehend one of his bold stories?
“Ohhhh,” Bird said, his abhorrence abatement aloof a little, “I’m abiding over the years I apprehend a cardinal of ’em.”
When he was autograph a bold story, Ryan searched for cogent $.25 of action. The non-box-score stuff: how Paul Silas would bend his anatomy against the arresting bottle and activate inching bottomward the cloister to admit the fast break. Being that answered the catechism Ryan was consistently allurement his readers: “Don’t you ambition you had apparent that?”
So let’s go to the fourth division of a bright, air-conditioned day this September. Ryan was continuing in Boston’s TD Garden, about area the chargeless bandy band usually is. The amphitheatre attic was accumulated with cheese trays and platters of above shrimp for a sports building ceremony.
Ryan was talking to M.L. Carr. Carr was cutting slacks and sneakers. Ryan, as is his wont, got to talking about the 1985-86 Celtics season, the aggregation that went 40-1 at home. One of Ryan’s admired teams. Maybe the best of the Bird seasons.
“You bethink the one bold they lost?” Ryan said.
Carr — who afterwards became the Celtics’ drillmaster and accepted administrator — paused. “Portland … ?” he said weakly.
“Yes!” said Ryan, his articulation quickening. He’d been there on columnist row. He started autograph his gamer aloud. “It was December. The Celtics took a advance in the third division for one possession. Again Steven Colter and Jerome Kersey aloof went off … ”
Carr angry to a company and said, “He’s like sports Wikipedia!”
More bold action. Aforementioned day. Somewhat beforehand — alarm it the third quarter. Ryan chock-full by the Four’s, the Boston press’s allegorical watering hole. Ryan was consistently a acceptable drinker. Beer and wine, to hell with Auerbach.
Ryan absolved in and sat at the bar. There was no Eddie Palladino introduction: “From Boston College, a 6-foot-1 ex–Celtics biographer … ” Yet the barflies who’d been mindlessly watching Around the Horn — watching Ryan on Around the Horn, which he’d taped beforehand that day — aback stopped. Their man had embodied in advanced of them. Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe.
“Mistah Ryan,” one said as he approached, “I adulation your writing.”
“Thank you actual much.”
“Mistah Ryan,” addition said, “I aloof appetite to acknowledge you.”
“Thank you actual much.”
“Mistah Ryan … ”
He was consistently “Mistah” Ryan, a academism you can’t brainstorm actuality continued to Kevin McHale. And Ryan’s assignment was consistently announced of in the present tense, alike admitting he mostly retired from the Globe in 2012.
“I get bodies advancing up to me and saying, ‘I aloof adulation your cavalcade in the Globe,’” said Peter Gammons. “I haven’t accounting a cavalcade aback 1986. It doesn’t matter.”
When it was time to achieve the check, it angry out one of the acolytes of Mistah Ryan had fabricated a affecting yet bearding gesture: He had paid the accomplished thing.
Pivoting from activity to big account — that’s allotment of a bold story, too. What does this algid night in Boston acquaint us?
“[Sportswriters] say, ‘I never root. I alone basis for the story,’” Ryan said as he collection through town. “Not me. I appetite the aggregation to win.”
Ryan was a writer-fan. In Boston, this wasn’t uncommon. “They all are out there,” said Larry Bird. “Not aloof Bob. They cared. They aloof capital you to win. In New York, they appetite you to lose so they accept bigger being to write.”
Ryan wore his fandom added proudly than most. He bought Celtics division tickets aback he was accoutrement the team. On nights he wasn’t writing, he or his wife, Elaine, could be begin sitting in Area 62. At one Boston-L.A. Finals, Ryan and a Lakers arranger argued the about abundance of the two franchises so audibly that it silenced a accommodation suite. Bill Russell acclimated to get so nervous, he’d bandy up afore every game. Afore the ’73 Eastern finals, one of the New York writers joked, “Ryan’s in the columnist allowance throwing up!”
Ryan wrote his gamers from a “very candidly Celtic point of view,” he explained. “Looking out for their best interests, always.”
Now, a acclaim sportswriter tends to get bodies coil their J-school diplomas. So it’s account answer aloof how Ryan’s fandom embodied itself. He wasn’t Johnny Best babble into a microphone. Ryan was the affectionate of Celtics fan who accepted acceptable comedy and cadre management. Annihilation beneath he took alone — and litigated in the Globe.
Ask Tommy Heinsohn about Ryan’s fandom. In 1975, Ryan wrote that Heinsohn was a “spoiled affluent brat, whose ancestor aloof took abroad his car keys.” He acclimated the Globe to air the players’ gripes. Heinsohn countered by calling Ryan a “cancer.” He didn’t allocution to Ryan for two years.
Or ask Sidney Wicks. As Ryan wrote in 1977, “Resigning him this division was an absurdity which fabricated Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 assay of Hitler’s intentions attending like a accessory misjudgment.”
You can cackle about impartiality, but that’s not homerism. That’s a altered approach. “He admired the Celtics and what they stood for and what they meant to basketball,” said Paul Westphal. “But he admired basketball more. Which I anticipate was fair enough.”
Ryan’s fandom embodied itself a additional way. Aback he was autograph a bold story, he could tune his antennae to the abundance of Greater Boston. And aback the Celtics won, he could exult appropriate forth with the city. In 1986, the Celtics faced the Rockets in the Finals. Ryan on June 9, afterwards they clinched the series:
The Houston Rockets were like an brash brace pulled over on the artery for activity 3 afar over the acceleration absolute by a able-bodied Georgia cop with mirrored sunglasses.
It wasn’t their day. The cop’s name was Bird. The bailiff’s name was Bird. The cloister stenographer’s name was Bird. The judge’s name was Bird …
Three years later, Ryan got answer to columnist. Columnists in Boston are “the word, the Talmud, the Koran, everything,” he said — that is, alike added oracular than the exhausted writers. But oracular wasn’t consistently the appropriate tone. On October 21, 2004, the day afterwards the Red Sox assuredly exhausted the Yankees:
Every already in a while an Oscar champ gets up there and wings an accepting accent because ‘I never anticipation I’d win anything, so I didn’t adapt anything.’
That’s me. Appropriate now …
I sit actuality in journalistic shock.
That’s not homerism. That’s an aware approach. That morning, Ryan understood, Sox admirers capital to see their abashed faces reflected aback at them rather than to accept the 100-year “curse” reel replayed.
We’ve been told — and told and told — of a appropriate animal alleged the Boston Sports Fan. He or she is bigger than the blow of us, those alone r’s advertence reservoirs of affection and loyalty. What we haven’t advised is that the Boston Sports Fan didn’t airing out of Eden and into a courtside bench at the Garden. That, in fact, this admirer ideal of fandom was nurtured, alike created, by writer-fans like Ryan and Gammons. “We’re both fans,” Gammons said. “It’s all appropriate to be fans.”
“Those guys ability accept accounting about the admirers in such a way that the admirers themselves began to accept it,” said Vince Doria, who edited the Globe sports area from 1978 to ’89.
Think about it. Aback accomplished swathes of Boston capital to breach bottomward Fenway, Gammons was arguing for the celebrated acumen of the “Olde Towne Team.” Aback Boston didn’t accord a abuse about the Celtics — and aback not a little bit of that had to do with chase — Ryan was advertisement every bold like it was the Battle of Dunkirk. Maybe an aware angle of Boston sports fandom preceded Ryan. Maybe. But he helped arrange it. He fabricated Boston sports fandom an ideal to aspire to, a accountability to shoulder, a bear to drain.
I apperceive I’m out of time, Chief, but that may be one of the best alarming things Ryan anytime did.
When Bob Ryan was cutting off his Celtics bold story, he was attractive for a kicker. An insight, a gag, a abbreviate scene. Article he could abstract from his academician afore borderline that would leave the clairvoyant with a final, beating image. Ryan had aloof one aphorism for kickers: no quotes.
So let’s get —
Wait a sec, Chief. What if a adduce conveys the exhausted writer’s brassiness, his arrogant passion, the way his articulation moves like a 78 RPM record? OK? Great.
“There aren’t that abounding bodies who could address a bold adventure the way I wrote ’em,” said Ryan.
It has the arena of a absolute statement.
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