"Who am I? Why am I here?"
Admiral Stockdale must have known the Internet was coming.
For the past 30-something months, we've enjoyed offering our thoughts, opinions, and even facts once in a while when it came to the world of sports in and around Boston in this space. The "Obnoxious Boston Fan" character was first the creation of a former Orlando Sentinel colleague, columnist, and radio show host named Mike Bianchi. OBF, however, has been me my entire life.
My name is Bill Speros. There are many incarnations of "Bill Speros" on Google. I'm not the late Bill Speros from Tennessee, or the noted attorney Bill Speros from Cleveland. It is a small but elite fraternity. That's unlike the OBF fraternity, which stretches from Eastport, Maine, to Westbury, Conn.
I am this guy here - Bill Speros. Here's my website, although it needs to be updated. I was born in Cambridge, grew up in Arlington, graduated from Arlington High, and attended Marquette University. Most of you who read this blog, and it's close to 10 million page views and counting, or follow me on Twitter and Facebook on a regular basis already know that.
[Note the shameless social media plugs.]
Many of you are also familiar with my biography - which includes having the misfortune to attend Game 7 of the 1975 World Series and the 1978 Red Sox Playoff Game against the Yankees.
This blog has afforded me the opportunity of a lifetime, especially for someone who has worked in the field of journalism for most of the past 30 years and delivered the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe as a boy. I've lived in three time zones, survived two liver transplants, and have had one wife since 1989 and a great son. He attends the University of Florida, so that makes us Gators by proxy. Having served as a sports editor/deputy sports editor in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Florida, plus having had the good fortune to write and edit on a freelance basis for Boston.com and ESPN.com has allowed me to work with some of the most talented people in sports journalism.
While at the Denver Post, the entire newsroom shared in a Pulitzer Prize for our coverage of the Columbine shooting. During my time at the Orlando Sentinel, the sports staff produced a series on auto racing safety that foreshadowed the death of Dale Earnhardt. I convinced the likes of Rodney Dangerfield, Regis Philbin, John McCain, and President Obama [among others] to pose for exclusive photos we shot for our annual football preview sections. We had a great ride for sure.
But my passion for all that is Boston never wavered, no matter where my career path landed. Once in a while, I even had a little Boston-related scoop. I covered the 2008 ALCS for the Sentinel and did not cheer in the press box, especially after the Red Sox lost Game 7.
My greatest privilege as a "journalist/blogger/columnist" has been connecting with, and earning the trust of, some of the survivors and victims' families following the Boston Marathon bombings. There will be more of their stories to come in the near future.
Those two liver transplants [thank you autoimmune hepatitis], along with Tribune Company's bankruptcy, put a speedbump into my career path. A long and often difficult recovery was followed by career retraining for the brave new world of digital journalism before eventually stumbling into this column.
My name hasn't been a secret to those who know me, including many of my sports editor colleagues or to the listeners of Bianchi's show. For some reason, he likes to takes credit for whatever passes as my "success." My former college roommate John Feehery, who works as a commentator for MSNBC among his other jobs, offered this humbling tribute the day after the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series. And yes, that part about me watching the Patriots lose Super Bowl XX 46-10 while in his Chicago-suburban basement is sadly true.
We'll still write under the OBF moniker, but it's time that you know my "real" name.
Got a news tip, want to let me know directly what you think, or have a complaint or compliment about my "aggressively relevant" content, hit me up on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks always for reading and pass the clicker.