Bob Ley, 64-years-old, was one of the original ESPN SportsCenter reporters from 1979. Now, 40 years later, Bob Ley has announced he’s leaving the same yet different ESPN.
In addition to his sincere thanks to ESPN senior leadership and his loyal ESPN viewers for the past four decades, Mr. Ley posted the following on his Twitter account. This is an excerpt.
“Now it’s time for a change.
I will be retiring from ESPN, as of the end of this month.
To be clear, this is entirely my decision. I enjoy the best of health, and the many blessings of friends and family, and it is in that context that I’m making a change.”
In the final part of his Twitter statement, Mr. Ley ended with the following.
“In September, I signed off my last show saying, “I’ll catch you on the flip side.” Now it’s time to take that vinyl off the turntable (ask your folks), flip it over, and drop the needle on the B-side. There are always great cuts, and hidden gems on the B-side.
Thank you for a great run.”
What is Bob Ley’s next step? He didn’t say.
One thing we do know is that he is one of the original anchors who helped make ESPN the worldwide leader in sports. He has been — and surely will continue to be — a reliable sports journalist with wit who delivered uncompromised trust and authority to his audience. And as a soccer fan, I always enjoyed his high-quality analysis and reporting during ESPN’s past coverage of the FIFA World Cup.
As a matter of fact, the image below is Mr. Ley’s Twitter profile picture.
As a matter of another fact, Dan Patrick — an anchor of ESPN from 1989-2006 — shared his thoughts on Bob Ley’s retirement announcement from the “DaDaDa, DaDaDa” network on his radio show.
Bob Ley will be viewed as one of the standard-bearers and nostalgic reference points for what made ESPN the worldwide leader in sports. He did his part by taking journalism as seriously as he took having fun and covering sports as a future unfolds in which that revolutionary network is being challenged by a wide variety of sports network upstarts — and established network giants — attempting to replicate those original (and wildly entertaining) sports journalists with those iconic four letters sewn on their jackets.
Thank you, Bob Ley.
And good luck with your future, which will hopefully involve covering the beautiful game in either human form or in 16-bits.
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway has officially been named the head basketball coach of the University of Memphis.
This announcement comes after Tubby Smith was fired from this position a week ago. With this hiring, Penny has now made the coaching leap from the prestigious AAU and high school sidelines to the college game to great fanfare. The people of Memphis and its basketball team seem excited for his triumphant return (Penny played two seasons at Memphis when university was called Memphis State from ’91-’93).
“Hardaway was introduced at a Tuesday news conference that was open to the public, leading to a pep-rally atmosphere.”
–Jeff Goodman, ESPN Insider
And one well-known former competitor had some very nice things to say about one of Orlando’s famous Magic men.
FYI – Penny Hardaway is my favorite basketball player of all-time. And it still feels very wrong that he never won an NBA title. Add onto that list his unfortunate string of injuries. Despite all of that, in his prime, Penny was one of the best players on court at any given moment. But more than that, he’s proven during his post-NBA career that he’s an even better man off the court.
Memphis signed a winner in Penny Hardaway in ways that aren’t singularly measured on the hardwood, but equally away from it.
P.S. It would be fun to see Chris Rock reprise his role as Lil’ Penny in some way…