Bob Ryan is a retired columnist for the Globe’s Sports section whose work appears in the section semi-regularly. He has been writing for the Globe since 1968, covering all of Boston’s sports teams. Ryan is a regular panelist on ESPN’s Sunday morning roundtable, “The Sports Reporters.”
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — That’s longtime sports columnist Bob Ryan’s precise bio on The Boston Globe’s website, where you certainly will find no mention of any Super Bowl XLIX recaps referencing Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick as “Stone Face,” or Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll as “Smiley Face.”
Nor will you find such references in the most recent book authored by Ryan: “Scribe: My Life In Sports.”
You will find them, however, on Prepcasts.com, an apparent online network of high school football broadcasts – sponsored by “Lion’s Choice: Famous Roast Beef Sandwiches” – which sometimes dabbles in professional football coverage; a site which also coincidentally has an author named ‘Bob Ryan.’
The former Bob Ryan — the acclaimed sports journalist whom you’ve seen on ESPN and read in The Globe — was a radio guest Tuesday morning on 106.7 The Fan’s “The Sports Junkies.”
“Now, I didn’t read the book,” co-host John-Paul Flaim informed Ryan as he was being introduced to the listening audience. “But I just read his article about ‘Smiley Face vs Stone Face,’ and I enjoyed that, too. And you don’t have to describe the guys; you went to the Super Bowl and talked about it, Stone Face vs Smiley Face, and I really liked your description of Pete Carroll and him over-chewing his gum.”
“Uh, I hate to tell you,” Ryan replied. “But you’ve got the wrong ‘Bob Ryan.’”
Almost needless to say, this glaring confusion didn’t play well with the other two radios hosts, Eric Bickel and John Auville, who were surely cringing alongside their misguided co-host.
Flaim: That’s the wrong Bob Ryan?! Holy crap!
Bickel: That’s so embarrassing!
Auville: That’s hilarious!
Flaim: I typed up ‘Bob Ryan Super Bowl’ and it comes up in like a blog.
Columnist, author, non-blogger, Bob Ryan: No. No. No.
Auville: This Bob Ryan doesn’t just blog; he works for The Boston Globe … a big silly.
Bob Ryan: I was home in my living room with my friends watching the game, and, so no, I don’t know who that ‘Bob Ryan’ is.
It would be another thirteen and a half minutes before the interview’s uncomfortable introduction was brought up again. “Bob, thank you so much for time. It’s Bob Ryan from The Boston Globe,” Auville wrapped up. “Be sure to go out and get his book, ‘Scribe: My Life In Sports,’ wherever books are sold.”
“JP’s going to buy a dozen copies to make up for it,” Bickel said.
“Thanks for having me, guys. Bye bye,” Ryan said, acknowledging the interview had concluded, and thus freeing up The Junkies to rightfully bury JP for his colossal gaffe.
“Oh my God, JP. So embarrassing,” Bickel bemoaned.
“No picture on the article,” JP defended himself. “What do you do? I hit Google: ‘Bob Ryan Super Bowl,’ and that article came up. It could have happened to anybody.”
“No, it never would have happened to me because I know who he is,” Bickel disagreed.
“Oh, please, you’ve called guest wrong names,” JP insisted. “You’ve introduced guests with the wrong name.”
“There has never been a more dunce-worthy moment,” Bickel said. “It’s just a miss. It’s an epic … you think Bob Ryan, one of the great sports-casters of all time – I’m not even sure, he could be in the Basketball Hall of Fame …”
“He doesn’t write for a rinky-dink blog!” Auville mocked.
“You think he’s writing for a blog?” Bickel said, as transcribed by the guy writing for this blog.
“It’s not a blog,” JP contended. “It was written in a blog-style. It was an article.”
“You think he writes in a blog-style?” Bickel asked. “I’m pretty sure he’s in the Hall of Fame. Do you think he writes in a blog-style?”
“I mean, I’m gonna be honest with you: if it was an in-person thing, I would have walked out of the room,” Bickel went on to say. “You know what I mean? But we were live on the air. We’re doing a radio show. I didn’t know what to do! How do you recover from it? A lot of people were saying you should have asked him what the weather was going to be this week? It could have been that Bob Ryan, too.”
At least JP was kind enough to mention he hadn’t read Mr. Ryan’s book the moment before mistaking him for an internet blogger.
(Audio below is condensed only to include the beginning and end of the interview. Listen to the full interview here.)