Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 25

We had another great crowd in on Tuesday night at the Caledonia, with the bar full up and everyone enjoying the night.

The scores were a definite improvement over last week, with the team of Mortal Wombat winning the night, with a total of 51 points. It was the first time at the Caledonia we had a solo winner, as Matt, who has been a loyal regular for a long time, came in without his other regulars and easily won, by 11 points. Congrats to Matt on his solo success.

Second place went to Helen Keller's Blind Date (who won for Best Team Name) with 40 points, and third place went to Team Formerly Known As Hashtag Topical Name with 37 points.

Current Events
1. What Australian actor was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2014?
2. What company was recently ranked number 1 in the S&P 500 at a $672 billion worth, and may soon become the first trillion dollar company?
3. What 62-year-old actor announced last week he will be returning to the boxing ring at the end of the month against a 29-year-old contender in Russia?
4. The Independent newspaper from the UK reported that "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python is now the top funeral song there, topping "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. What Monty Python movie was the song featured in?
5. Students around the country posted on Twitter last week with disgusting lunch pictures and sarcastic tweets "thanking" what person for those lunches?
6. Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols died last week at the age of 83. What 1968 film did he win the Academy Award for Best Director for?
7. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest among a crowd of spectators at a volleyball match in what Asian country on Sunday, killing 45 people?

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. The first Thanksgiving celebration in America took place in what current US state?
2. What 19th century US president issued the "Thanksgiving Proclamation" making the last Thursday in November the holiday?
3. What folk singer, in 1967, recorded "Alice's Restaurant," about a memorable Thanksgiving Day in his life?
4. What was the original name for the Pilgrims?
5. What West African nation also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day every November?
6. Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving Day every year in what month?
7. Of the three utensils we use to eat (fork, spoon and knife), which was not present at the first Thanksgiving feast?

Movies By Decade Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the decade and year)
1. Goodfellas
2. Casablanca
3. On The Waterfront
4. West Side Story
5. Monster's Ball
6. The French Connection
7. Ghost
8. It Happened One Night
9. Glory
10. The Deer Hunter

General Knowledge
1. What actor who an Oscar for his role in the classic film "The Godfather?" ( 1 pt)
2. What has the longest neck of any land animal? ( 1 pt)
3. Tea was first grown in what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
4. Boko Haram is the militant Islamic group currently running rampant in what country? ( 2 pt)
5. Which soap product made claims in ads to be "99 and 44/100% pure?" ( 2 pt)
6. What British royal is also known as the Duchess of Cambridge? ( 2 pt)
7. Wilhelm Rontgen of Germany won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for what discovery? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Fisherman's Ring is worn by what famous person? (4 points)
2. The Sea of Tranquility is located where? ( 4 points)
3. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," "Trespass", and "And Then There Were Three" were three albums from the 1970s by what rock group that achieved superstar status in the 1980s? ( 4 points)
4. What European country issued the first postage stamp in 1840? ( 4 points)
5. In 1903, what did the Binney and Smith Company make that came out in eight colors? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Chris Hemsworth; 2. Apple; 3. Mickey Rourke; 4. "Life of Brian:" 5. Michelle Obama; 6. "The Graduate;" 7. Afghanistan.

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. Massachusetts; 2. Abraham Lincoln; 3. Arlo Guthrie; 4. The Puritans; 5. Liberia; 6. October; 7. fork.

Movies By Decade Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 1990s (1990); 2. 1940s (1942); 3. 1950s (1954); 4. 1960s (1961); 5. 2000s (2001); 6. 1970s (1971); 7. 1990s (1990); 8. 1930s (1934); 9. 1980s (1989); 10. 1970s (1978).

General Knowledge
1. Marlon Brando; 2. giraffe; 3. China; 4. Nigeria; 5. Ivory; 6. Kate Middleton; 7. x-rays.

IQ Trivia
1.The pope; 2. On the moon; 3. Genesis; 4. England; 5. Crayola Crayons.

Monday, November 24, 2014

We Give Thanks On Tuesday

Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "Thanksgiving Trivia," seven questions connected to this most American of holidays coming up this Thursday. The Q Train lightning round will be "Movies By Decade Trivia." I will give you the names of ten classic films, and you have to tell me the decade of its original release in theaters. And if you can give me the exact year, I will give you a bonus point for each you get correct.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What actor won an Oscar for his role in 'The Godfather'?" 

We get started at 8 PM at the Caledonia. We've been filling up the bar nicely over the past couple of months (and I thank you for that), and seats have been going quickly. Earlier you can get in, the better. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you as we give thanks and have a great night of Trivia!

Hanley. Panda.

The Red Sox might quite the splash late last night (more like an earthquake) when they came to terms with both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on five-year contracts.

Ben Cherington got the two middle of the orders bats he needed. Ramirez figures to go to the outfield, most likely left field, as the Sox are still committed to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. Ramirez apparently agreed to a 5 year, $90 million deal, while Sandoval agreed to a 5 year, $102 million contract.

Both deals are risky, of course. I've never been the biggest fan of Ramirez, who has had injury problems the last two years, and has on occasion not given his best efforts. Sandoval's weight has been a long time issue, but I bet the Sox see him as a DH when David Ortiz' career comes to a close.

These free agent signings tell me that both Yoenis Cespedes and Will Middlebrooks will be on a new team next year. I'm betting both will be packaged in a big swap for a starting pitcher. Lots of candidates out there.

And now the attention turns to Jon Lester, as the Red Sox offered him a six-year deal last week, and a decision from him should be happening soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 18

On a very cold night in New York, we had a really great turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub. I appreciate all of you who braved the arctic temperatures for an interesting night of Trivia, with nine teams taking part.

It was one of those nights where I may have made many of the questions are bit too hard, as the overall scores reflected it. That happens every once in a while, but the team of I Used to Be With It But Then They Changed What It Is won for the second straight week, winning with 32 points, and was the only team to get two correct in IQ Trivia. Congrats to Larry and his friends on the back-to-back wins.

It was also a pleasure to meet Victoria and Helen, two very nice girls from England who recently moved to New York who were in for Trivia for the first time. They won for Best Team Name, as they are the founding members of my "fan club!"

Second place went to Those Other Guys with 24 points, and third place went to What Is Our Team Name with 21 points.

Best Team Name: The John Quinn Fan Club, All the Way From The UK!

Current Events
1. What rock superstar had a mid-air scare last week when the rear door of his private Learjet fell off during a European flight?
2. A mansion on Staten Island that was featured in what epic early 1970s film was put up for sale last week with an asking price of nearly $3 million?
3. What Asian nation was struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake last Friday?
4. What legendary comedian has been in the middle of a PR crisis in recent weeks as allegations he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women over the last three decades has resurfaced?
5. What late British rock legend's guitar is going up for auction in London next weekend & is expected to go for at least $600,000 and is a guitar he gave to his cousin in 1967?
6. Jane Byrne, who in 1979 was elected mayor of what large American city, and still is the only female mayor elected there, died last weekend at the age of 81?
7. What hit song from 1984 was recently re-recorded for its 30th anniversary last weekend by an all-star cast of pop musicians for Ebola relief?

American Music Trivia
1. In 1997, what famous rapper was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles?
2. What was Elvis Presley's first number one single in the US in 1956?
3. What legendary R&B singer was nicknamed "Soul Brother Number 1" and "Mr. Dynamite?"
4. Dave Grohl rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of what rock band?
5. What American female pop artist has had the most number one singles on the US charts in history, with 17?
6. What American pop singer is the oldest woman, at 52, to have a number one single on the US charts?
7. Who was the first country artist to sell over 10 million copies of an album?

1-10 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of the residence of the British Prime Minister, on Downing Street in London.
2. This number was the title of an album by both Foreigner and Blues Traveler.
3. This is the number of oceans in the world.
4. Andrew Jackson was this number US president.
5. This is the atomic number of helium.
6. This number was worn by sports immortals Ted Williams and Gordie Howe.
7. You find the letter "F" on a standard touch tone phone on this number.
8. This is the number of points on a Star of David.
9. The pitcher in baseball is represented by this number.
10. This is the number of musicians in an octet.

General Knowledge
1. Azure is a variation of what color? ( 1 pt)
2. Amarillo, Odessa and Big Spring are all cities in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. How many games did Joe DiMaggio hit in consecutively to set the all-time record in 1941? ( 1 pt)
4. What year did Prohibition officially end in the US? ( 2 pt)
5. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning in what direction? ( 2 pt)
6. In 1962, what was the name of the first James Bond movie? ( 2 pt)
7. The Beaufort scale measures what in terms of weather? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 1944, Iceland declared its independence from what European country? ( 4 points)
2. Chess is believed to have been invented over 1500 years ago in what Asian country? ( 4 points)
3. What famous TV family lived at 9764 Jeopardy Lane in Chicago? ( 3 points)
4. Michael Johns and Joanne Borgella, who both died in 2014, were the first people to pass away who were made famous on what TV show? ( 4 points)
5. "Operation Neptune Spear" was a 21st century mission to accomplish what by the US military? ( 5 points)

Current Events
1. Bono; 2. "The Godfather;" 3. Indonesia; 4. Bill Cosby; 5. John Lennon; 6. Chicago; 7. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

American Music Trivia
1. Notorious BIG; 2. "Heartbreak Hotel:" 3. James Brown; 4. Nirvana; 5. Mariah Carey; 6. Cher; 7. Garth Brooks.

1-10 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. ten; 2. four; 3. five; 4. seven; 5. two; 6. nine; 7. three; 8. six; 9. one; 10. eight.

General Knowledge
1. Blue; 2. Texas; 3. 56; 4. 1933; 5. south; 6. "Dr. No;" 7. wind speed.

IQ Trivia
1. Denmark; 2. India; 3. The Bundys; 4. "American Idol"; 5. Kill Osama Bin Laden.

Monday, November 17, 2014

They Were All Born In The USA

On Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "American Music Trivia," seven questions about American musical artists, mostly along the pop lines, as the American Music Awards will be airing this weekend.

The Q Train lightning round will be "1-10 Trivia." I will ask you ten general knowledge questions where the answer will be a number from 1 to 10. Every answer will be a different number.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Azure is a variation of what color?"

We get going at 8 PM tomorrow. We continue to get some very good turnouts at the Caledonia, so the earlier you can make it in, the better your chance of getting a good seat. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday for a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 11

We had another great crowd turn out on Tuesday night for Trivia, once again filling up the Caledonia. And it is so good to see many of you turning into regulars.

It was a close night of Trivia all the way through, as the top five teams were separated by just three points going into IQ Trivia. There was a three-way tie for second going into that round. But one of those teams, Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You Must Remember Me From Trivia Nights Such As This One was the only team to get 3 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia (it was a tough round), and pulled out a three-point win with a total of 40 points.Congrats to Larry and his friends on a fine victory.

Second place went to Tramps Like Us with 37 points, and third place went to Shot-Winning Team Name (Insert Laugh Here) with 36 points (they also won for Best Team Name).

Current Events
1. What world leader was ranked number one in Forbes magazine's ranking of the most powerful leaders in the world for 2014?
2. What female pop singer pulled her entire back catalog of her music from the streaming service Spotify last week, in what some believe is an effort to drive up her album and song sales?
3. What former late night talk show host will be the final guest on Craig Ferguson's last "Late Late Show" on CBS next month?
4. Two wealthy men bid $300,000 to have a lasagna dinner with what American rock superstar last week, and the money was raised for a foundation that aids injured servicemen?
5. President Obama got into a back-and-forth spat last week with what retired superstar athlete over his golf game?
6. What comedian said in a recent interview that he's learned about autism spectrum disorders, and he says he actually sees it in himself?
7. What 1970s classic rock band's lead singer turned down a reported $800 million offer from Richard Branson for a 35-date tour for the band in 2015?

Veterans and Veteran's Day Trivia
1. What 20th century US president signed the bill proclaiming November 11th as Veteran's Day? a. FDR; b. Dwight Eisenhower; c. Harry Truman; d. JFK.
2. Veteran's Day was once known as what? a. Memorial Day; b. Heroes Day; c. Decoration Day; d. Armistice Day.
3. What was was originally called "The War to End All Wars?" a. WWI; b. WWII; c. The Civil War; d. Vietnam War.
4. What has been the most deadly war in American history? a. WWII; b. Vietnam War; c. The Civil War; d. Revolutionary War.
5. What flower is the symbol of Veteran's Day? a. rose; b. poppy; c. lily of the valley; d. forget-me-not.
6. What conflict has the most living US veterans as of 2013? a. Vietnam War; b. Gulf War Era; c. Korean War; d. WWII.
7. Name 2 of the 3 US states that have 1 million or more veterans currently living there.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Three's Company, the 1970s sitcom, was based on a successful British series.
2. John Adams was defeated for re-election by his own Vice-President.
3. Birds never fly at night.
4. Fleas are bloodsuckers.
5. There is a man named John Rambo on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
6. Sri Lanka's name comes from a Laotian word for "too many darn elephants."
7. Prince Harry served as a second lieutenant in the war in Afghanistan.
8. Sharing night-time photos of the Eiffel Tower is illegal.
9. Apples are the world's most popular fruit.
10. Leonardo daVinci famously cut off his ear and gave it to his girlfriend.

General Knowledge
1. The University of Notre Dame is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
2. Winners of the Masters golf tournament are awarded what color jacket? ( 1 pt)
3. In the original "Star Wars", who provided the voice of Darth Vader? ( 1 pt)
4. What is the highest-ranking hand in the game Texas Hold 'Em? ( 2 pt)
5. 21st Century Fox and News Corp are both owned by what media tycoon? ( 2 pt)
6. "Up All Night" was a number one album in 2012 for what pop group? ( 2 pt)
7. Most historians believe what is the world's oldest written language? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 2002, what comedy series was named the best television show of all-time by TV Guide? ( 3 points)
2. "The Card Players," a 19th century painting by what French artist, is the most expensive work of art of all-time? ( 5 points)
3. To avoid any association with the Nazis, SS Cars Ltd., a European car company, changed its name to what after WWII? ( 4 points)
4. The environmental group Greenpeace was founded in 1971 in what country? ( 4 points)
5. What mid-1970s film was the first movie ever to gross $100 million at the box office in the US? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Vladimir Putin; 2. Taylor Swift; 3. Jay Leno; 4. Bruce Springsteen; 5. Michael Jordan; 6. Jerry Seinfeld; 7. Led Zeppelin.

Veterans and Veterans Day Trivia
1. b; 2. d; 3. a; 4. c; 5. b; 6. a; 7. California, Texas and Florida.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false, tomatoes; 10. false, Vincent Van Gogh.

General Knowledge
1. Indiana; 2. green; 3. James Earl Jones; 4. royal flush; 5. Rupert Murdoch; 6. One Direction; 7. Egyptian.

IQ Trivia
1. "Seinfeld;" 2. Paul Cezanne; 3. Jaguar; 4. Canada; 5. "Jaws."

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Honor The Veterans On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, November 11th, we will honor the men and women who have served our country with the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia, with "Veterans and Veterans Day." It will be seven questions about the holiday, and those we honor on Veterans Day. All the questions will be multiple choice.

The Q Train lightning round will be another edition of "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"In the original 'Star Wars,' who provided the voice of Darth Vader?"

We'll get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, which is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. So do your patriotic duty and come on out for Trivia tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing many of you then!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Truck Leaves On Honest Abe's Birthday

14 weeks from today, it will be the 206th birthday of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. But it many parts of our great nation, it will be Truck Day.

Yep, the Truck will leave Fenway on February 12th and head for Ft. Myers that day. It seems a very long way away, but it will be here before you know it.

Pitchers and catchers officially report on February 20th, and the rest of the squad on February 25th. Spring Training games begin March 3rd.

Gordon Edes has more about that and the complete Red Sox Spring Training schedule here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Remodeling Begins

It was an exciting finish to the World Series last week, as Madison Bumgarner basically put the Giants on his shoulders and led them to their 3rd World Series victory in five years.

But now the 2014 season is complete, and we turn the page to what will surely be a fascinating off-season for the Red Sox and their fans.

The five day window after the World Series has now past, and we will see who they pursue this winter. The usual suspects are out there: Jon Lester, James Shields and Max Scherzer are out there are top starters, and you can't swing a dead cat without hearing the name Giancarlo Stanton mentioned as a trade possibility.

I really don't know where Ben Cherington will go with all of this. He has a ton of freedom to do what he wants to, as the club has money to spend on free agents, prospects to trade, as well as attractive MLB players that he can trade as well. It will probably reach a fever pitch when the Winter Meetings begin in San Diego on December 7th.

The trade for Yoenis Cespedes last July 31 tells me that Cherington is not afraid to make bold moves, and I have a feeling he will pull off another shocker (or maybe two) this winter. He's got a plan that I am sure he is keeping close to the vest right now.

But the first interesting move of the off-season was the Sox resigning Koji Uehara to a two-year extension. He will be 40 next summer, and obviously the Sox believe that his late-season struggles in 2014 was just a blip on the radar.

I am not going to make any predictions on what the Red Sox will do this winter. I just feel it will be an offseason of surprises. There will be a lot of pressure on Ben Cherington to make all the right moves as he did in 2013, which resulted in a championship. I'm not betting that will happen again.

But who knows.

I can only guarantee that the Red Sox team that takes the field in Philadelphia on April 6th will look very different from the one that concluded the 2014 season last September 28th.

Trivia Q&A: November 4

We had another nice turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia on Election Night, a nice bounce back from last week's slight decline. The bar was full and the folks were really enjoying the night's Q&A.

The scores for the first two categories was extremely low (especially in Politics & Election Trivia, as the highest score was actually 3 of 7), but the teams were basically bunched together heading into The Q Train lightning round, where most teams got a 9 or 10 out of 10.

The team of ISIS Company Softball Team (who won for Best Team Name) got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia, and forced a tie with Hashbrown: Am I Doing This Right? at 38 points. We had a tie breaker question: "How many electoral votes did Ronald Reagan win by in the biggest landslide in history in 1984 over Walter Mondale?" The answer was 512, and Hashbrown was closest in their guess, and won the night. Congrats to Matt and Monica on another fine win.

Third place went to Lil' Bitches, who had 27 points.

Current Events
1. What world leader was called "chickenshit" by an anonymous figure within the Obama administration as reported by Atlantic magazine last week?
2. What country's prime minister announced last week a binding referendum will be held in 2016 on whether to change the country's national flag, one that has the Union flag on it?
3. What country announced they will quarantine all visitors to the country for 21 days, even though the country has never had a case of Ebola?
4. What troubled actress and her brother are being sued for $60 million by an ex-business associate over a fashion app they are working on, as the man claims they stole the idea from him?
5. A suspected cop killer was captured by US Marshals last week after a grueling 48-day search in what US state?
6. What iconic R&B/pop singer, who is 64 years old, announced he will become a father for the 9th, 10th and 11th time, as his girlfriend is expecting triplets?
7. Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany won the men's and women's titles at the NYC Marathon on Sunday. What country do they both hail from?

Politics & Election Trivia
1. What US president was elected with the most lopsided vote in history in terms of electoral votes?
2. Thomas Menino, the former mayor of Boston who died last week, was elected how many times?
3. What 20th century president was the last one elected who had never attended college?
4. The two current longest-serving members of Congress, John Dingell and John Conyers, both represent what northern US state?
5. Who was the last Democratic president elected carrying at least 46 states?
6. Who was the last US president to serve who was not elected to the office?
7. Who was the first US president to serve who was not elected to the office?

2012 Presidential Election Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the party who won the state.)
1. New Jersey
2. Texas
3. Nebraska
4. Florida
5. Alaska
6. Minnesota
7. Ohio
8. Missouri
9. Virginia
10. Georgia

General Knowledge
1. The Falkland Islands are found off the coast of what country? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the last letter in the Greek alphabet? ( 1 pt)
3. What is number is 100 cubed? (1 pt)
4. What character from the sitcom "Cheers" appeared as a contestant on Jeopardy? ( 2 pt)
5. What European country was in charge of developing and building the Suez Canal? ( 2 pt)
6. What creature is strongly suspected to be the initial transmitter of the Ebola virus? ( 2 pt)
7. How many terrestrial planets are in this solar system? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who was the only person to sign all three documents that founded the US: the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris and the US Constitution? ( 4 points)
2. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were three characters featured in what fairy tale? ( 5 points)
3. Most historical scholars believe that Buddha was born in the 5th century BC in what present-day Asian country? ( 4 points)
4. Which current British royal is known as the Duke of York? ( 4 points)
5. The California Perfume Company was the original name of what cosmetics company? ( 3 points)

Current Events
1. Benjamin Netanyahu; 2. New Zealand; 3. North Korea; 4. Lindsay Lohan; 5. Pennsylvania; 6. Stevie Wonder; 7. Kenya.

Politics & Election Trivia
1. Ronald Reagan (1984); 2. five; 3. Harry S. Truman; 4. Michigan; 5. FDR (1936); 6. Gerald Ford; 7. John Tyler.

2012 Presidential Election Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Dem; 2. Rep; 3. Rep; 4. Dem; 5. Rep; 6. Dem; 7. Dem; 8. Rep; 9. Dem; 10. Rep.

General Knowledge
1. Argentina; 2. Omega; 3. 1 million; 4. Cliff Clavan; 5. France; 6. bat; 7. four.

IQ Trivia
1. Ben Franklin; 2. Sleeping Beauty; 3. Nepal; 4. Prince Andrew; 5. Avon.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Voting & Trivia: Two Things To Do Tuesday

Tuesday is Election Day in the United States, so we at Tuesday Night Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will honor it in both our rotating categories. The Special Category will be "Politics and Election Trivia." I will ask you seven questions connected to elections and those elected in some way, many at the national level.

The Q Train lightning round will be "2012 Presidential Trivia." I will give you the names of then US states, and you have to tell me which party they went to in terms of electoral votes in the Obama-Romney election: Democratic or Republican.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the last letter of the Greek alphabet?"

We get started at 8 PM at the Caledonia, which is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you after you've cast your ballots on Tuesday night for a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

"Scribe: My Life In Sports"

Bob Ryan is an interesting character. He is best known from his appearances on the ESPN sports shows "Pardon the Interruption," "The Sports Reporters" and "Around the Horn" over the last 25 years, and as a guy with very pointed opinions, and not afraid to say them.

I've also known him from his days as a sportswriter with the Boston Globe. When I was offered a copy of his book "Scribe: My Life In Sports," I thought that baseball would be a major part of his tome. But basketball is the major part of his biography, as he covered the Celtics for many decades.

I have to admit that I am not the biggest basketball fan in the world, but that certainly didn't discourage me from reading his book. He has written 11 books in the past, but this one begins at his beginning.

Ryan begins his story as a kid growing up in Trenton, New Jersey, where sports played a huge part in his youth. He lost his dad at the age of 11, and was raised by his mother. He eventually went to Boston College, found a job as an office boy at the Boston Globe (where he met a young Peter Gammons), and worked his way up in the sports department, eventually getting the Celtics gig in 1969.

From there, Ryan tells a plethora of interesting stories covering the Boston Celtics legends, from Red Auerbach, Dave Cowens, up to the Larry Bird Era and the last Celtics championship in 2008.

While the book is centered on basketball and the Celtics, Ryan also talks at length about his days covering college basketball, and his encounters with legendary coach Bobby Knight are particularly fascinating. And he also enjoyed his time covering the Olympics (11 in all), especially when the pros debuted in 1992, the so-called "Dream Team."

Ryan does talk about his brief times covering the Red Sox, in the mid-1970s, and early 1980s, and does talk briefly about the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series.

Ryan has an impressive resume covering all different sports, and lists golf as his favorite to cover. But he talks about not being very hockey literate, and really is conflicted about the game of football. He calls it "barbaric" but also "wouldn't dream of missing a Super Bowl or National championship game."

Bob Ryan has been covering the world of sports for nearly five decades, and if you've read and enjoyed his work over the years, you'll certainly find something to like in "Scribe."