In the days following Eric Moskowitz’s exhaustive report in the Sunday Globe on accused murderer Jared Remy’s sickening history of violence and the court system’s sickening history of not holding him accountable, there was little gray area to be found in a fierce if ancillary debate:
Should his father, longtime and legendary Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy, retain his job on NESN?
Based on the reaction early in the week I gathered from sports radio, television, social media, and e-mail, the vocal majority strongly believed Remy should resign or NESN should nudge him aside.
A common refrain was that Remy and his wife were “enablers” for Jared, and the line was easily drawn from Remy’s six-figure job at NESN to the financial support the family gave Jared — including costly lawyers — that seemed to make him believe he was untouchable.
Others suggested that watching the Red Sox is supposed to be an escape, and as long as Remy is part of the telecast, he’ll stand as a constant grim reminder of what his son is charged with doing.
But the early minority who believed Remy should stay seemed to grow as the week went on. Among those supporting Remy from the get-go was WEEI’s Gerry Callahan, though his claim that the failure of other women Jared Remy had terrorized to press charges or testify against him made them in some way culpable in Jennifer Martel’s death was insensitive even for him.
I certainly don’t sympathize with the how-can-you-give-up-on-you-own-kid? argument of those who want Remy to stay on TV. There comes a point where you must turn away from your own child if a pattern of unaccountable viciousness continues as it did through so many years with Jared Remy. That point never came. It should have come long before he ever met Jennifer Martel.
Making either side of the argument did not require a lot of nuance, though it should have been required before coming to a conclusion.
Where do I come down? Ultimately, I cannot suggest he should go.
And it certainly appears as though he won’t. He told the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy Thursday that he’s not going to resign. And NESN is determined to stand behind him.
“We are completely supportive of Jerry and his return to our broadcast,’’ NESN’s Sean McGrail said in a statement. “We also wish to express our continued sympathies to the Martel family.”
Of course the Martel family deserves endless condolences. But Jerry Remy is somewhere down that list of those who deserve sympathy, and I do worry about his personal plight.
He’s a lung cancer survivor. He has suffered from depression. Health has kept him from making it past this point in a season a couple of times in recent years.
He has acknowledged, long before this story took its horrific and tragic turn, that he regretted his distance, physical and emotional, as his three children were growing up.
I can’t in good conscience suggest he should lose his job. There already has been far too much lost already.
Don’t be shy
There are some familiar adjectives that get attached to Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Enigmatic. Brilliant. Stubborn. Fierce. And those just start the list. Mike Gorman, the Celtics’ superb play-by-play voice on Comcast SportsNet New England, offers another.
“I’ve said before, I think he’s shy more than anything else,’’ said Gorman, who will be joined by Rondo, making a cameo as a color analyst, on Monday’s broadcast from Chicago. “I think sometimes that is misinterpreted as arrogance by the media.
“If he can answer something in one word, he’ll answer something in one word. It’s not because he’s trying to tick you off. That’s how he is.”
Rondo, who is available to work the game because he sits out the second of back-to-back games as part of his recovery from knee surgery, will have to be more talkative as an analyst. He is slated to work just the first quarter, but there’s a chance he sticks around until halftime.
Gorman is looking forward to working with Rondo and helping viewers realize, if they don’t already, that he’s a remarkably intelligent and articulate person. It was actually Gorman who approached Rondo with the idea.
“I was walking down the corridor between the press room and locker room and he was going the other way,’’ Gorman said. “I said, ‘How are you doing, ’Jon?’ He said, ‘Good,’ then he got about 3 feet by me and said over his shoulder, ‘When are you and me going to do a game together?’
“I stopped and I laughed and said, ‘Be careful what you wish for. I can make that happen.’ He laughed himself and said, ‘Why don’t you do that?’ ”
Gorman passed the idea along to Bill Bridgen, CSNNE’s executive vice president and general manager, who loved it. He passed it along to Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, who also signed off. Gorman then went to coach Brad Stevens, and he was fine with the idea.
So Gorman walked into the locker room, where Rondo was on an exercise bike, and told him it was a go for Chicago.
“Someone — might have been one of the other players — was walking by and said, ‘Go what?’ ’’ Gorman said. “And Rondo said, ‘Oh, just a little thing Mike and I have going in case this basketball thing doesn’t work out.’
“That’s the kid I’m going to trying to bring out on TV.’’
Close to home
Tom Brady lives anything but a regular life. But as we’ve been reminded in the wake of Wednesday’s tragic fire on Beacon Street that claimed the lives of firefighter Michael R. Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh, he retains the humanity and compassion of a regular guy.
The Herald’s photo of a concerned-looking Brady, who lives nearby, watching firefighters battle the blaze quickly made the social media rounds. On Thursday, Brady called into WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan” program to pay homage to the “real heroes.” The interview, which lasted for approximately seven minutes, was riveting. To hear it was to have no doubt that Brady was deeply affected by the tragedy.
“My respect and sincerity and love of what they do, it’s hard to put into words,” said Brady. “I had a first-hand view of all the action. I was blown away by the teamwork they displayed.
“I lived in the Back Bay for a long time. It was a scary day. We as athletes think that we’re heroes, but when you witness first-hand what I saw yesterday, you realize who the real heroes are.”
According to cohost John Dennis, Brady was listening to the show en route to Gillette Stadium and called in unsolicited on the hotline number he uses for his Monday interviews during the season.Chad Finn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeChadFinn.