Bob Ryan | his farewell column

Bob Ryan says goodbye after 44 years

Ryan started as a summer intern in 1968, fulfilled a fantasy of working for the Boston Globe, and now bids farewell to readers.

Classic Bob Ryan columns

From the archives | 1986

The show is Michael Jordan’s, but Celtics win in 2 OTs

Ryan called it the “dawn of the Age of Jordan” when the Bulls soon-to-be star scored 63 points in a losing effort during the playoffs at the Boston Garden.

From the archives | 1992

Dream Team provided sweet showpiece for world

Ryan covered the 1992 US basketball team from start to finish, and said was about showing the rest of the basketball world exactly where it stood and where it needed to go.

From the archives | 1993

A look inside Larry Bird as the legend retires

Bird’s back problems became too great to overcome in 1993, and he explained to Bob Ryan all that went into his decision to retire.

From the archives | 1994

O.J. Simpson’s downfall overshadows NBA Finals

On June 17, 1994, Ryan went to New York to see an NBA Finals game, but as it turned out he could only follow Simpson’s car chase along Los Angeles freeways.

From the archives | 2008

With Bill Belichick, cover-up was worst offense

After the Spygate scandal, Ryan said Belichick had failed Patriots owner Robert Kraft and that the team’s accomplishments would be forever tainted.

Photos: Bob Ryan through the years

Bob Ryan, circa 1970

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, circa 1970

Bob Ryan, 1974

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, 1974

Bob Ryan, circa mid-1970s

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, circa mid-1970s

Bob Ryan, 1987

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, 1987

Bob Ryan, 1988

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, 1988

Bob Ryan, circa early 1990s

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, circa early 1990s

Bob Ryan, 1994

Frank O'Brien/Globe Staff

Bob Ryan, 1994

Bob Ryan, 1997

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Bob Ryan, 1997

Bob Ryan, 2002

Globe Photo

Bob Ryan, 2002

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More of Bob Ryan's top columns

From the archives | 1977

Football ... we could do without it, thank you

Long before the NFL began to focus on the effects of injuries, Ryan railed against what he said was a “barbaric” sport he would not allow his son to play.

From the archives | 1981

Improbable dream: Celtics’ third straight win closes out 76ers

The Celtics earned a berth in the 1981 NBA Finals after a 91-90 win against Philadelphia, just days after the 76ers had them on the brink of elimination.

From the archives | 1985

Villanova-Georgetown may have been greatest ever championship game

After watching Villanova win the title, Ryan said: “I have absolutely no conception what people who aren’t sports fans do for true excitement.”

From the archives | 1986

Larry Bird buries Rockets as Celtics crowned champions

Bird became judge, jury, and executioner to the Rockets as the Celtics won their 16th NBA title.

From the archives | 1987

And Bird steals the ball ... Celtics shock Pistons

The message is clear. If you want to beat Larry Bird in a big game, you’ve got to play the full 48 minutes. Forty-seven minutes 56 seconds isn’t enough.

From the archives | 1990

Upon Tony Conigliaro’s death, family lessons shine through sadness

After Conigliaro’s funeral, Ryan wrote an open letter to the one-time Red Sox phenom discussing the joy he brought to lives around New England.

From the archives | 1990

Once again, Bill Laimbeer does all the dirty work

With the Pistons in the NBA Finals, Ryan marveled at Laimbeer’s ability to get under the skin of opponents and fans and gleefully enjoy his role “doing the dirty work.”

From the archives | 1993

The layman’s guide to the Oscars

Unhappy with the way movie critics review the films, Ryan -- a movie buff -- set out to give his own analysis prior to the Academy Awards in 1993.

From the archives | 1993

Parachutist made boxing ring a circus ring

Ryan lamented the spectacle caused by a man who parachuted into the middle of the Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield heavyweight championship bout in 1993.

From the archives | 1993

BC kicker in perfect spot to shock No. 1 Notre Dame

David Gordon earned notoriety when he kicked a winning field goal to beat the top-ranked Irish in 1993. Ryan noted he put his name into BC lore forever with the kick.

From the archives | 1994

Sherm Feller was one of a kind

Ryan remembered the late Red Sox announcer as a unique character who was not interested in following anyone’s path but his own.

From the archives | 1994

Inside the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan practice faceoff

When the skaters took the ice together at the controversial 1994 Olympics, Ryan documented the intense media scrutiny on the events.

From the archives | 1994

Big adjustment seeing Michael Jordan as baseball player

Used to the glamour of the spotlight, Jordan was in a B-list minor league game when Ryan traveled with the Red Sox to meet the White Sox in a spring training game in 1994.

From the archives | 1996

A vote for the Olympic experience

As a former nonbeliever, Ryan declared the Olympics as truly the Greatest Show On Earth, and advocated Boston lining up with a bid to host the summer Games.

From the archives | 1997

Lamenting the loss of BU football

When the BU football team showed heart in winning its last-ever home football game in 1997, Ryan criticized the school for the manner in which it decided to shut down the program.

From the archives | 1998

Brian McRae dooms Red Sox with a balk

Some guys win 1-0 games with home runs. Some win 1-0 games with singles to center field. But Brian McRae won this 1-0 game by inducing a balk, and it was a marvel to Ryan.

Bill Russell, pride of the Celtics, at center stage again

Bob Ryan examined Russell’s meaning to the Celtics and to Boston when the team honored him in 1999.

From the archives

Observers still awestruck by Pedro Martinez’s performance

It is the sober light of the Day After. You are David Cone. You have been quoted as speaking of the Friday night Pedro Martinez performance in apocalyptic terms.

From the archives | 2000

Remote Maine college has hardy basketball team and fans

In 2000, Ryan trekked to Fort Kent, Maine, an 8-hour car ride from Boston, to explore the basketball team at University of Maine-Fort Kent, one of the most remote colleges in the US.

From the archives | 2002

Tuck rule makes no sense

After the Patriots’ controversial playoff win over the Raiders in 2002, Ryan said that while the interpretation of the Tuck Rule may have been correct, the meaning behind it was not.

From the archives | 2006

These truths about the Red Sox may hurt

With the Red Sox reeling amid an historic sweep by the Yankees, Ryan lamented the raging reaction of fans to the team’s poor play.

From the archives | 2006

It’s not about who’s to blame

As the Red Sox’ season spiraled out of contention in 2006, Ryan lamented the blame-placing that many devolved into, and said it didn’t used to be that way in sports.

From the archives | 2006

Red Auerbach’s spirit lives on

Ryan said goodbye to a man he said was a truly great American icon, who, had he not channeled his talents into basketball, could have been a Speaker of the House or corporate CEO.

From the archives | 2007

Boston legends talk about making room for Tom Brady

In 2007, after the Patriots recorded a 16-0 regular season, Ryan checked in on a would-be conversation among Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Bobby Orr about Brady.

From the archives | 2007

Reflections on my visits to 161 college venues

A college basketball aficionado, Ryan documented some of the superlatives he encountered through decades of following the sport.

From the archives | 2008

In one year, Celtics go from bottom to the top

The Boston Celtics did not just win franchise championship No. 17. They snatched it. They swallowed it. They demanded it.

From the archives | 2008

John Updike hit it out of the park, too

Updike wrote the famous tribute to Ted Williams in 1960. And in 2008, Ryan decided to pay tribute to the author for his work about Williams and Fenway Park.

From the archives | 2009

NBA sets pace for sports in race relations

After Barack Obama became president in 2009, Ryan reflected on the history of race and sports and declared the NBA “the most egalitarian major institution in our society.”

From the archives | 2009

Red Sox’ pursuit of new spring home is shameless

Ryan criticized the team’s campaign for public dollars for a new spring home in Fort Myers during hard economic times in Florida in 2009.

From the archives | 2011

Perfectly happy to sit through entire 16-inning game

Ryan, an admitted lover of baseball, loved chronicling how he spent time monitoring, but also never missing a beat, in a marathon Red Sox-Rays game in 2011.

From the archives | 2011

Upon reflection, Bruins’ Stanley Cup run was nearly perfect

Could anyone have concocted a more perfect fan scenario en route to winning the Stanley Cup? Ryan recounted the joy of the Bruins’ title quest in 2011.