Blog Archives

Bob Ley’s Legacy Is Exceptional, Sportive, Professional & Newsworthy

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.

Bob Ley

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.

RIP Charles Krauthammer

Image result for charles krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, has died at 68 years of age.

He was a towering figure in the journalistic community and equally so in conservative circles. Perhaps the only person who could hang with Mr. Krauthammer in a conversation regarding politics, policy or baseball–which was most important to him–is George Will.

I remember seeing Charles Krauthammer as I was preparing to board a plane in D.C. The famed commentator sped by as he quickly departed from his flight into America’s political capital. And even though there was no opportunity for a personal introduction or moment to thank him for his reasoned yet pointed perspectives, just seeing him in-person was special and memorable.

RIP Charles Krauthammer. 

Posting Up Against Giants

Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg walk into a newsroom…

Journalism, not the shouting on cable news, is invaluable in a democracy. More specifically, the gritty, old-school reporting approach with pen marks galore, endless stacks of paper and the pursuit of revealing the greater truth to an “off-limits” story instead of merely getting there/yelling something inflammatory first is increasingly becoming a relic of the past.

And it’s in this pre-digital past that Steven Spielberg ventured into for a modern-day reflection. Plus, Mr. Spielberg was able to bring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep together for the first time for a major motion picture.

Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film The Post isn’t necessarily aiming to revitalize print journalism as much as it seems to be directed towards reigniting the spark of a thoughtful, determined American media.

Considering the times we live, in which news in the political, sports and entertainment spheres are indistinguishably blurred together and run and broadcasted by powerful insiders (former athletes, political operatives, and commentators on both sides, etc.), the question that lingers is, “Who can those on the outside trust?”

It is likely that The Post won’t comprehensively answer this critical question, but this film will transport audiences back to a time when there was information you knew and information you didn’t know. “Metrics” and “analytics” hadn’t yet become fancy synonyms for information. Journalists took a breath, focused and refocused a few times, went to work all day and night while framing a report in a context that far exceeded the words and margins of the said story.

Even when the story was (like in this film) larger-than-life and full of high-level risks and stakes for a nation asking important high-level questions.

The leaking of the Pentagon Papers had its fair share of controversy. It will be interesting to see how the legendary director chose to tell and frame historically significant events involving real people. Nonetheless, the Pentagon Papers and the Washington Post have received the top-shelf Spielbergian treatment in The Post that stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep set for theatrical release this Christmas.

And then set for ordering on Amazon several months later.

Four Years Later & I’m Still Looking to the Horizon

Exactly 1/10th of a score and two years ago (4 years total), I started Jimmy’s Daily Planet.

Paying homage to the greatest (albeit fictional) newspaper of all-time, The Daily Planet, this blog was founded on my love of my favorite superhero and disguised human of all-time: Superman and Clark Kent. The scene from Richard Donner’s 1978 classic Superman that showed us Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent walk through the bullpen of The Daily Planet for the first time was the moment I knew I wanted to be a journalist. The chaos, palpable energy and big city, skyscraper setting flew from the screen and landed directly into my impressionable imagination.

These few minutes showing reporters preparing to get the scoop, watching exciting individual and group dynamics (papers scattered, people typing, talking and moving) and hearing creative storytelling pitches is arguably my favorite journalistic hook.

I wrote my first blog post (Eight Years Later & We Look to the Horizon) about what the next Facebook would be in the future. The “next big thing”/new dominant social platform hasn’t arrived yet to eclipse Mark Zuckerberg’s social network from his days at Harvard.

This revelation will be realized, it just hasn’t happened quite yet.

One of the questions in blog #1 was whether or not we are an app generation? That answer has not conclusively been determined since July 13, 2012, but people seem to be embracing a hybrid. This translates to using popular sites and social media platforms (ie-Facebook) while simultaneously choosing a diverse selection of acutely personalized social media apps.

The best answer for July 13, 2016 is that we are a splintered population (or customer base) concerning our use of social media and digital applications (sorry, apps). Individualism rules.

What’s next?

That’s still the question. Not the question that Shakespeare wrote for his brilliant play “Hamlet.” Although, in a way, it sort of is. “To be, or not to be – that is the question.” Who will we be in the near future? How will someone revamp our already complex and extensive communicative grid? How will we change as a result? This very idea is thrilling to cogitate because, as Americans, we know a newfangled innovation will collide with destiny. And destiny is a very good friend with this country.

“I know something big and new is coming because that is the American tradition of big sky-big idea dreamers. Until then, start drawing on your dorm room window and think big, plain and simple.”

That’s the final paragraph of my first blog post on Jimmy’s Daily Planet. I remember writing that four years ago and I still believe it’s true today, whatever the wildly crazy idea or dream may be.

Plain and simple.