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Sports writer Bob Ryan inspires Berry students

Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

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PHOTO COURTESY OF LEIGH HADAWAY
Bob Ryan called the halftime play-by-play at Friday's basketball game against Rhodes with juniors Adekale Ande and Townsend Stewart. The Vikings beat the Lynx 92-80.

During his visit to campus, the legendary sports columnist and television contributor Bob Ryan made an impression on the Berry community through his experience and passion for sports journalism. 

Bob Ryan has been changing the field of sports writing for over 44 years, as a columnist for The Boston Globe, author of 14 books and frequent guest on TV and radio shows such as “Pardon The Interruption” and “Around the Horn.” His love and talent for sports writing have been recognized with his multitude of national awards, including the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association National Sportswriter of the Year, which he has won four times. 

During Ryan’s visit to Berry on Berry Feb. 1 and 2, he hosted a lecture, spoke to communications classes, met with students, and attended the basketball game to add to his goal of attending games at 200 different stadiums. At each event he attended, Ryan’s charisma and passion for journalism was evident. 

“Nobody was more predestined to do something like writing sports than I was,” Ryan said at his lecture Thursday evening. “That was just the way I was programmed.” 

Experiencing his wisdom first-hand were juniors Adekale Ande and Townsend Stewart, who gave the play-by-play coverage with Ryan at the halftime show of the Vikings basketball game against Rhodes College on Friday night. 

“I learned a lot from him in just the short amount of time he was here.” Ande said. “They were definitely some moments I’ll never forget.” 

According to Ande, Ryan expressed infectious enthusiasm and was impressed by Berry players and a Rhodes strategy that he had never seen before. 

“He loves to be in the moment, which is really cool to feel that energy from him, even if it’s a Division III basketball game,” Ande said. 

Ryan further showed his excitement for the game by tweeting about his experience. 

“There’s so much more fun basketball beyond D1. Saw Berry’s Caleb Johnson and Elijah Hirsh put on a show vs. Rhodes tonight,” Ryan said on Twitter. 

Throughout his visit, Ryan offered several pieces of advice to students looking to pursue sports journalism as a career. Many noted the most compelling guidance was to stay true to one’s values through times of change. 

“You can’t please them all, and you shouldn’t,” Ryan said. “If you don’t ever take a stand, you aren’t a good columnist.” 

Ryan noted many differences between the way he grew up learning sports and how sports are presented to individuals now, due to social media and constant sports coverage. 

According to Ande, Ryan said it is vital to go with the flow of change and continue moving forward; but regardless of change, sports did and always will provide a feeling unlike any other form of entertainment. 

“Nothing else provides that rush,” Ryan said. “I don’t know how you can live a life and tell me it’s a full life without sports.”

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