They were rival sports anchors on local affiliates for years. They were also friends — there wasn’t an “Anchorman’’-type rivalry to be found here, no showdowns at news scenes that may or may not have involved tridents.
So it’s not a total surprise that Bob Lobel, the popular former sports director and anchor at Channel 4, will join Mike Lynch on Channel 5’s Sunday night program “SportsCenter 5 OT.”
It’s uncertain how often Lobel, whose contract was bought out at Channel 4 in April 2009, will appear on “SportsCenter 5 OT,” but he’s expected to be part of a guest rotation that includes Bruins radio play-by-play voice Dave Goucher, Celtics radio play-by-play voice Sean Grande and Globe sports columnist Christopher L. Gasper.
Lobel will make his debut this Sunday on the 11:35 p.m. program to discuss the state of Boston sports with Lynch.
“Bob and I were always great rivals but had a tremendous amount of respect for each other, both personally and professionally,” said Lynch. “I am eagerly looking forward to sitting side by side with him to talk sports, for the first time ever at the same station.”
Lobel and Lynch nearly worked together before. Lobel and the Channel 4 sports team wanted to hire Lynch in 1983 as weekend sports anchor, but the news director went with Lou Tilley instead.
Tilley ended up making a bigger name for himself in Philadelphia; you may remember him as the host of the Philadelphia-based follow-up program to Ed Berliner’s sports show on CN8 in the early 2000s.
Lobel, who has maintained his affably sarcastic sense of humor despite enduring health problems in recent years, was typically cheeky in expressing his feelings about finally working with Lynch.
“Basically, this is a dream come true,” said Lobel. “Two things I’ve always wanted to do were to be a PA announcer at Fenway Park [which he did this year] and to be on television with Mike Lynch. Fortunately, both of those bucket-list items are coming true this year. It’s like hitting the lottery of life.”
On the ball
There has been some exceptional reporting on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin mess with the Dolphins.
At the forefront has been Adam Schefter, who long ago and many times over dispelled any notions that his scoops would dry up when he left the NFL Network for ESPN.
Schefter had the verbatim details of the vile voice mail Incognito left for Martin, and Schefter’s collaboration early on with colleague Chris Mortensen revealed the strange relationship between Incognito and Martin.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network have also broken notable details along the way.
But as the story took a bizarre and unexpected twist Wednesday when some prominent Dolphins came to Incognito’s defense, something else became apparent: Excellent and informed reporting can still leave you wondering what is the truth.
In the culture of the Dolphins locker room, it’s now obvious that there’s a lot of gray area between the black and white. The context and nuance of what really happened between Martin and Incognito will be clarified only after the most buzz-worthy details have been reported.
Danya Abrams checks in
Jon Meterparel will be joined by a new color analyst when Boston College men’s basketball opens its season against Providence Friday night, one whose name and game have never been forgotten by Eagles fans. Danya Abrams, who scored more than 2,000 points from 1993-97 as a bruising BC forward, takes over for his former teammate, Malcolm Huckaby, who is calling Horizon and Sun Belt games for ESPN. The game airs on WEEI 93.7 at 6 p.m. Sunday’s BC-UMass game can be heard on WEEI 850 at 3 p.m. Friday’s Providence-BC game also marks the Fox Sports 1 debut of the incomparable Bill Raftery, who left ESPN for the network in June in order to maintain his connection to the Big East. Raftery is paired with Gus Johnson on what should be a superb broadcast tandem . . . Aside to those who reached out via Twitter and other mediums last Saturday when Kirk Minihane dryly joked that he was leaving WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” because his “mentor” suggested he should: That’s about the last program that Entercom management is going to tweak right now. “Dennis & Callahan” (and Minihane) earned an 8.8 share in the October Arbitron ratings, a time frame that included just one week of Red Sox postseason games. While D&C trailed 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” it was tops among men 35-54 in the period, and the show’s ability to bring in advertising revenue, particularly in that demographic, has quickly made it an immediate favorite among Entercom’s recently revamped management team.
Bill Russell special
Comcast SportsNet New England will premiere a special on Bill Russell and the recent and overdue unveiling of his statue Saturday after the Celtics take on the Heat. Titled “Russell In Bronze,” it is scheduled to air at 10:30 p.m., following the postgame show . . . Amherst and Williams square off for the 128th time — the most-played rivalry in the history of Division 3 football — at noon Saturday. For the 18th time, NESN will broadcast the game. Tom Caron, Steve DeOssie, and Katy Fitzpatrick are on the call . . . Good to hear Goucher moonlighting on NBC Sports Network last Friday on the call of the Northeastern-BC Hockey East matchup. Goucher, along with color analyst Ken Hodge Jr., will call a couple more Hockey East games for the network later in the season.