Approval Ratings – Top Ten Approves

For now, the Approval Ratings have run their course. I could’ve continued to trot out names in this space, but increasingly I would’ve gotten a string “WHO????” replies in the comment fields. This feature may pop up from time to time in the future, but for now, I’m going to table it.

All in all, we’ve rated about 75 Boston sports media people, which is pretty amazing in itself.

Thanks to an industrious BSMW message board member (jforb) who has been tabulating the results in a spreadsheet, we have a point of comparison to see who has been the most approved – and least approved – among the media personalities we’ve put up for approval.

So, without further adieu, here are the 10 Boston sports media personalities according to the percentage of “approves” in their total votes:

It’s an interesting list. Five are mostly writers and the others are mostly broadcasters/analysts. No sports radio WEEI personalities in the top 10. The highest WEEI regular in the polls was Michael Holley, who finished 23rd in approval percentage at 84.5.

Mike Reiss had the most actual “Approves” in the series with 1547, Bob Ryan was second, with 1407. Heinsohn and Gorman were next with 1290 and 1274, while Holley was fifth in approves with 1271. Holley was also the very first subject of this series.

Tomorrow we’ll have a look at the Top (bottom) Ten Disapproves.

  • Tony

    Interesting Top 10.

    One recurring theme: most of the people in the Top 10 are knowledgeable about the sport(s) they cover and they don’t try to make themselves part of the story. They’re also fair and don’t let their personal dislikes and agendas color their reportage/coverage.

    #10 on the list is a surprise. I guess she’s pretty good at what she does, but I’m wondering if the fact that she’s a cute blonde is the overriding factor here (most of us posting here are guys, afterall). But I’ll give KT the benefit of the doubt.

    Good list.

    I approve!

  • NASCL

    I’d just like to vote “Disapprove” on Jack Edwards one final time.

  • ITT

    Throwing out Tappen, the only one I have a problem with in the top 10 is Ryan. People must really not be reading the Globe. He’s been a mess for three plus years now. The only thing he still has going for him over other bottom feeders is that he will often issue a mea culpa.

    • brodson bangwell

      Agreed.

      Bob Ryan lost his fastball a long time ago and has become completely irrelevant. It’s kind of sad, but he needs to retire.

  • Dave Cyprian

    Interesting mini-series Bruce, good work. Thanks to jforb as well.

    The top three deserve it heartily. Boston is lucky to have Eckersley and Reiss — both must be near the top of national media executive’s hiring lists. Gorman is a godsend as he masterfully allows us to enjoy Celtics TV broadcasts despite his insufferable partner.

    But I suppose insufferable homerism plays well in this poll too, as Mr. Heinsohn ranks #4, despite not once having witnessed a Celtic player commit a foul.

  • media-tor

    ITT, aside from the Joumana Kidd incident I can’t think of any other transgressions from Ryan. And the mea culpa does score him some points because many times the folks at the top of the ‘disapprove’ list never admit their mistakes.

    I admit Ryan has a TV/radio personality that can grate on some people, but overall he is a top-notch writer who still has a passion for sports, which I think explains his high approval rating.

    • Scott

      I got one. He’s apprently been broadcasting his disgust with the Patriots and their fans because they haven’t demanded Belichick’s resignation and that for him, no one should feel good about the Patriots success because they don’t “win right.”

      This out of touch jackhole can shove it. I don’t care about what he did twenty years ago. He’s just another miserable hack now.

      • Lance

        Scott, you hit the nail on the head. And the BB thing is a sign of his being out of touch. Did anyone read his blistering critique of Simmons when he was obviously making a joke? Time to go out to pasture.

  • Suess, M.D.

    When you stop to consider all the oxygen wasted on “look at me” self-promotion and nonsense in the Boston media market, it’s remarkable that the most-approved personalities on this list are for the most part folks who simply do their job well and know what they’re talking about.

    Who knew?

  • The Jortsfather of Sportsradio

    I agree with Media-Tor. Ryan is deserving of a top 10 b/c he loves the sports he covers. The Joumana thing was 6 years ago so that is a non factor this jortswearing son of a b.

    I wish Ryan was back on WEEI because he was an engaging cohost on the Big Show.

  • LL

    GORMAN! GORMAN! GORMAN!!!!!

    That’s a good list, though the appearance of Jeff Horrigan on there is a bit odd. APPROVE.

  • JohnnyApps

    I agree w/ media-tor…how can you not like ryan!?
    I tend to agree almost always with his column’s and opinions. He’s not a self promoting journalist at all. He does a great job on the ‘sports reporters’ and ‘pti’ ..and he’s pretty much the anti Shaugnessy when writing for the Globe.

    I pretty much agree w/ the rest of the list, especially gorman, reiss, eckersley, bob ryan and santos.
    The obvious common theme with all of them is that they do their jobs well, are knowledgeable, well prepared, and never seem to make themselves part of the story or self promote.

    • MarkB

      How can I not like Ryan? It’s not the fact that he said that Belichick is the same as Barry Bonds on Felger’s show last week. It was the utter contempt in his voice when talking about Boston fans who don’t agree with him. Ryan is a typical burned out bitter sports writer – after doing the same thing year after year, they start turning on the fans for their lack of “objectivity.” He’s a holier-than-thou blowhard – that’s why I dont’ like him.

  • Chris_SNH

    The irony for me is that I applaud Ryan in spite of his very outspoken, ‘loud’ nature. Normally, that’s a quick recipe for ‘DISAPPROVE.’ But Ryan backs his style up with facts, figures, and evidence. The other sports media Neanderthals who are just as loud and boisterous as Ryan simply don’t have the smarts to back up their opinions. Plus, Ryan doesn’t **seem** to have agendas and he doesn’t act like a sports media Ninja. All the other ones on your ‘Bottom Feeders’ list (tomorrow) do.

  • Guntfather of Sports Radio

    Overall a decent exercise. But I would’ve liked to see some business thrown the Phantom’s way.

  • media-tor

    Sorry to get off topic for a moment, but I have to ask a question because I honestly don’t know the answer.

    Has anyone clicked on that leftside banner for the Monstah Seats raffle? Apparently for $25 you can buy a raffle ticket but it also looks like you’re contributing to Jeanne Shaheen’s senate campaign. Are candidates allowed to do this? For some reason this doesn’t sound kosher to me. If it is okay, what stops someone like McCain or Obama from holding a type of 50/50 raffle, where half the funds are kept by the candidate and the other half goes to the ‘winner’ like a cash lottery prize?

  • MJ

    Bob Ryan doesn’t need facts. He has appointed himself as another guardian of the game and so, so morally superior in the process.

    This is a man that took time out during a Celtics championship run to write an entire column comparing Bill Belichick to Richard Nixon! Amazing! The sport he professes to love- with the home town team making a run at banner number 17- and Bob Ryan writes about the fiendish football coach and most notably Bob Ryan’s disgust. What seemed to set off the moral outrage was that Belichik had the temerity to attend the game and actually watch it. And besides that the fans actually cheered when Belichick was shown on the jumbotron! OH GOD NO! Please think of the children!

    Since that article didn’t achieve Slap’em around Bob’s goal of getting rid of the evil that pervades New England he then proceeded to radio to blame the fans for not storming the gates at Foxboro to get Belichick fired. Oh, and the team didn’t “win right.” Bob is here to save us from ourselves.

    I hope that ESPN gig is lining up nicely for Bob. He’s trying his best to fit right in. ESPN needs another shrieking, morally outraged harpie. Bob will be great at it.

  • Big Ed

    What’s a harpie?

    • Char

      “The term is often used metaphorically to refer to a nasty or annoying woman. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick spots the sharped-tongued Beatrice approaching, and exclaims to the Prince, Don Pedro, that he would rather do an assortment of arduous tasks for him, ‘-rather than hold three words conference with this harpy!’”

      From Wikipedia

  • Tony

    If Ryan actually wrote that the Patriots haven’t “won right”, then he really needs to take a step back, lose his emotions, and really study the situation.

    First of all, hasn’t Ryan been extolling Red Auerbach’s virtues for, well, FOREVER? Wasn’t Red accused of all sorts of underhanded chicanery when it came to big games at the old Garden? (From no hot water, to turning up the heat, to “hometown” clock operators, etc….the accusations were endless.)

    Didn’t all of the Globe writers, Ryan included, either look the other way or actually COMMEND Auerbach for doing such things? Didn’t all of the Globe writers, Ryan included, chalk up Red’s tactics to his extremely competitive nature, and let everything slide?

    What’s the difference between BB and Auerbach then? Why did the old Celtics win the “right” way, but the Patriots have won the “wrong” way?

    Oh….maybe because Red was friendly with certain writers in this town, Ryan included, and BB is less-than-friendly with most of them.

    It’s a shame that Ryan said that about the Patriots. I
    still give him an approval rating for his long-term body of work and for the fact that most of his columns still contain mostly facts, and not an agenda.

    But if he actually said that the Patriots didn’t win the “right” way, simply because of this ridiculously overblown videotaping “scandal”, which gave them little-to-know advantage (read the Scouts, Inc. article deconstructing the myths around Spygate that ran on ESPN.com about two months ago if you want to know how truly overblown the whole thing was), then the man really needs to take a deep breath and reconsider.

    • Tony

      Of course, that’s supposed to say “little-to-NO” advantage….not little-to-know.

      My bad.

  • Jerry

    Bruce:

    Great job with this. I looked forward to checking out the numbers and comments each day.

    Oh, and people that wrote “Who?????” are just lame. If you dont know, just dont vote or comment.

  • george

    Good point by Tony on Bob Ryan, who is always someone I’ll listen to on the radio. Funny thing about that top 10 list, as Tony (again) said, there is a clear theme there. No big egos and loudmouths, and they all do thier jobs (and do them well) without having to call attention to themselves.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    ….ESPN has RUINED Bob Ryan…..he’s 2 clicks away from becoming Woody Paige……great job with the APPROVAL RATINGS, Bruce. I’m going to miss it,it was alot of fun.

  • Ironhead

    WE WANT SIM-MONS! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) WE WANT SIM-MONS! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) WE WANT SIM-MONS!!

    • KF

      Simmons is like Steve Avery with the Red Sox. Completely lost his fastball.

  • Boda

    Ryan’s takedown of Simmons was perhaps the best thing he’s written this decade. He sees Simmons for what he is: a mondern day, young Dan Shaughnessy.

    That said, Ryan is well, well past his prime. He’s Clark Booth in the making. Reading him has become akin to listen to an Al Gore speech – it’s really a condescending lecture masquerading as something else. Yes, he loves sports. And for a long time, that made him an incredibly enjoyable writer. But it has become apparent that, as much as he still may love sports, Ryan has come to despise many of those that play and coach it, virtually all of those that root for it, and simply can’t get over the fact that just as many people are likely to read Will Leitch’s blog as his column on any given day.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      …..LMFAO!….”Clark Booth”…I’ll never forget the time he bashed Belichick for “poor sportsmanship” because Belichick ran a fake field goal for a TOUCHDOWN against the Rams (the score was close at the time, the Patriots might even have been behind)….unbelieveable

      • Chris38

        What is Booth doing now, washing dishes somewhere. The haughty & elite attitudes from people like Booth (et al) are why we hate them.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    ….Oh, I forgot…Clarke Booth = DISAPPROVE!

  • ben

    Should have an asterisk next to your name if you didn’t achieve at least a thousand total votes. Or, at least not eligible for the top 10. No opinion is almost as bad as a negative vote if you’re in the entertainment industry.

  • ITT

    I’m chaining myself to this post until Simmons has his moment to shine.

  • DUKE

    How can you not like Clark Booth? Are you kidding AOB? Then you sure are a very angry man. You have shown yourself. Booth is probably THE greatest writer & media storyteller of this generation. In his day….he was absolutely phenomenol. He could make words & sentences wax poetic…. much like Bobby Orr could do with his incredible skating & stick work!

  • Bob

    See, I never liked Ryan, even before he began ripping the public. He’s the only one on the list that should not be, IMHO.

  • media-tor

    Maybe the approval/disapproval polls should have come with separate categories so we could approve for “in his/her day” and disapprove for the present. Or we could have explained when said person leapt over the finned fish (someone owns the copyright to the other term which has spawned its own website).

    It’s apparent Booth and Ryan were considered the best at one point in their careers but no longer by some.

  • Dan Riley

    Callahan should be honorary #1 because he uses his truly terrific writing talent in service of his wide-ranging and transparent bigotry which continues to feed nasty national images of Boston (I’m looking at you, Wilbon). And he’s so damned smug about it. Just a lousy character.

  • DUKE

    I am a huge Shaughnessy fan & not afraid to admit it! I go by what i read & how he writes. His thoughts,ideas & subject material is second to none! Lets all not be Yahoo’s on here now!

  • tommy

    where’s Mikey Adams???

  • DUKE

    I must say…..i enjoy the vocals talents of bill burt especially on the weekends. He may not “drive” a good show…..but i think Butch needs that other guy to make his show better. The two of them would be pretty good. not as good as MUSTARD & JOHNSON but better than the mutt man(a minor leaguer at best on his own)

    • Jason Coyote

      I do long for some good “phone bank” talk from BB.

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