Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Departed Globe Scribe Leaves no Black Sports Writers in Boston

When then-Boston Globe columnist Michael Holley walked into T. Anthony's on Commonwealth Avenue for my interview with him five years ago, my first thought was, "He looks nothing like his column mug." And he didn’t.

I always thought I'd run into him somehow -- spotting a thin, smiling black dude rocking a stubborn head of dreadlocks. Nah. As if overnight, those nascent locks had grown into ropes fit for a Rastafarian king and, with many thanks to Daddy Globe, he appeared to have put on a few pounds. He sat down in the chair opposite me and Mr. Michael Holley told me to call him Mike. That was five years ago.

And now there are no African-American sportswriters in Boston.

Zero at the Globe.

None at the Herald.

Sure, Jerome Solomon’s byline will rest over a few stories covering the Patriots, but he, like Michael Smith will fade away into what looks like a sweet online gig, Smith’s at, and Solomon’s at his hometown paper, the Houston Chronicle.

Howard Bryant left the Herald months ago to cover the Washington Redskins for the Washington Post.

And then there were none.

Never mind that there are three columnists at the Globe which, for many years, was a four-(wo)man rotation. I don’t know why they haven’t brought on another columnist, but this is the best sports town in the country, and currently no black reporters are covering it. I think that’s a problem.

(An aside: Since the Supersonics got bought by a team that will almost certainly ship the team out of town, what’s Percy Allen doing?).

That goofy column mug, Holley’s wit and well-crafted storytelling and watching how he reported the big stories are some of the biggest reasons why I got into journalism.

He still remembers that day at T. Anthony’s. We'll be joking around and he'll tease me and tell the story about the laptop-sized alarm clock that I brought to record the interview. He’s told his girlfriend, some hangers-on at a bar, and some colleagues at a benefit reception. I don’t ever get tired or embarrassed of him telling that story. Then again, he hasn’t mentioned it on his radio show.

I always thought it would be a sad day here, in the biggest sports town in the country, where I didn’t see Michael or Jerome or Howard writing in the sports pages. And I suppose now that that day has come.

Posted by Darren Sands at 3:35 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

Maybe you have to look at it another way: this means Boston is prime to have a great journalist of color cover its sports industry. And subsequently turn the Boston sports scene on its head.

Sounds to me like they calling your name, D. Answer the people.

Posted by Blogger T Dot @ 4:37 PM, August 09, 2006 #

Holley and Smith were smart - get out of the newspaper industry while you can. Come with me brother to the promise land of .com and make that real money.

Posted by Blogger Vandy @ 10:50 AM, August 10, 2006 # what are you? i take it correspondents don't count?

Posted by Blogger POPS @ 2:37 AM, August 13, 2006 #
<< Home

We'd Like to Know...

Our Favorites

Poynter Institute
Media News
Ask the Recruiter
About the Job
On The Media
Columbia Journalism Review
Howard Kurtz's Media Notes
Eric Deggans
E-Media Tidbits