By Joe Sullivan, The Boston Globe
Make sure you bring your phone to the Red Smith Award luncheon and tap in to your stopwatch function. Bill Walton is speaking at this year’s APSE Summer Conference. In case you didn’t know, the Hall of Fame basketball player is also a Hall of Fame orator, at least in terms of length of speech.
Walton will be introducing the 2015 Red Smith Award winner, Bob Ryan, at the annual luncheon on Friday, June 26, at the Rivera Terrace on the third floor. The two forged a strong relationship during Walton’s brief time with the Celtics in Boston. He will have a lot to say. In fact, one of our convention hosts, Todd Adams of the San Diego Union-Tribune, will organize a pool: Guess how long Walton will speak. Price is Right rules; closest without going over wins.
Length aside, Walton’s introduction is guaranteed to be interesting, informative and best of all, funny. It’s also guaranteed to contain too many superlatives and exaggerations.
Exaggerating Bob Ryan’s career will be difficult – after all, he is one of the foremost sports journalists in the country – but Walton’s just the guy to do it. Not sure how he will top Ryan’s bio material, which is highlighted by a 44-year stint at The Boston Globe – 23 years a columnist – before his “retirement” in 2012. He has a nationwide persona, and heck, he’s in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, too.
(Joe Sullivan is sports editor of the Boston Globe and chairman of the APSE Red Smith and Scholarship committees. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)