Who Are These Guys? – Douglas Flynn

Douglas Flynn is an interesting guy, one with a background you might not see in many sports writers out there.

He grew up in Massachusetts, and then went to Brown University, earning an honors degree in History as well as a second degree in Afro-American Studies. He then accepted a fellowship at Ohio State in a doctoral program in military history. He gave that a year before decided he had enough of school.

Coming back to New England, he wasn’t sure what he actually wanted to do, so he started working in sports information at Brown, then stringing for a number of papers. His first full time sports reporting job with with the Daily Transcript in Dedham, where eventually served as sports editor.

He moved to the Metrowest Daily News in 2000, where he was put on the Bruins beat. This is probably where you might’ve first come across his work, and even now you might think of him as a “hockey guy.” While on the Bruins beat the paper was purchased by the Boston Herald, and Flynn wrote the Bruins Insider blog and Sunday NHL notes for the Herald, while remaining on beat coverage for the MWDN.

Once the paper was sold again, this time to Gatehouse media, and at the same time, Albert Breer left the Patriots beat to go to the Dallas Morning News. This allowed Flynn to move over to the Patriots beat. He says:

“As much as I love hockey and enjoyed my time covering the B’s (which I still get to do, though not as much with the Pats now my primary focus), I’m even more passionate about football. I actually only started following hockey (other than the B’s) as a kid when the NFL went on strike and I needed to fill the void (still miss those days of the battle of Alberta, Philly and Hartford in the long sweatpants and the Caps led by Randolph’s own Rod Langway). Still, getting to cover the Pats has kind of allowed me to come full circle back to my first love.”

Flynn followed some big names on the Pats beat at the MWDN, including Tom E. Curran, Mike Reiss and Breer, and hopes that he’s been able to learn from each one of them. He notes that his own style is “to focus primarily on the game itself and not get too embroiled in the soap opera storylines that seem to get so much attention in Foxboro, but hopefully still manage to entertain with some unique story angles, insight and humor.”

Some recent examples of his work include A job for the fearless – a look at the job of the gunner on special teams and Proven draft strategy – examining the draft philosophy of Scott Pioli.

Flynn still covers the Bruins when the Patriots season is over, and also writes about baseball on occasion.

Outside of print work, Flynn has done quite a bit of radio work, co-hosting the Inside Hockey Show on 1510 (and later XM Radio) with James Murphy for two years before turning his focus to football last year. He’s done some TV guest spots on CN8’s SportsPulse and NECN’s Sports LateNight and other radio spots both locally and in other markets discussing the Bruins and Patriots.

  • Scott

    A solid ‘APPROVE’ in this corner for Doug’s Pats work at MWDN. Bruce cited my favorite example (‘Fearless’). It’s also great to hear him talk about his approach in the above piece.

  • Dylan McKay

    Those burns are awesome, no?

  • john

    Focus on the game itself? How novel? I guess he never plans on making a name for himself. ;)

  • Guntfather of Sports Radio

    Turkey Neck, Gunt, likes Hockey.

    Approve.

  • Lance

    Never heard of him until this post. Interesting articles and informative. Hank H should offer him his first born to write for the Herald – but he’s probably not Chicken Little enough.

  • Scott

    I wonder what’s going on with that Herald job opening. Not much said about it lately. People like Doug and David Heuschkel in Hartford and Chris Price at the Metro would have to be a few of the local candidates (no idea if they would even be interested though). They’re running out of time if they want the new writer in place before the season starts.

  • Rick Mc

    From what people have been saying about the CT sports coverage, anybody in Hartford should be throwing themselves at a Boston or NYC paper.

    Before the internet and this site I wasn’t aware of the extent of suburban papers’ coverage of the teams. I have to think that the crushing economics of the newspaper industry are hurting the locals worse, or at least whatever pain they are feeling is easily alleviated by dropping relatively expensive sports coverage for newswires.

    • http://bostonsportz.com T.J.

      You’d be surprised actually, most local papers are in a slightly better spot in terms of overall health than the bigger regionals. National and regional papers simply don’t have a monopoly on what they cover. Other than name recognition, they have no niche. Local papers still have that. If you want to read about a small community, you read the paper. If you want to read about the country, you can go 100 different places. That doesn’t hold true for the sports department (at least the professional beats) but for the other desks it’s still the case.

      But when 80% of your costs are newsprint, fuel, and trucks, it’s only a matter of time until you need to find a new name for what you are.

  • NSW

    Gad…saw that pic and I thought I was on America’s Most Wanted…nice chops…too bad it’s not 1974 anymore.

    He’s a good writer, though.

  • MarkB

    Memo: Always smile when they take your picture – otherwise, you look like the guy on “We Just Caught Another Perv.”

  • Corner Blitz

    Ambrose Burnside,Muttonchop,and an extra in The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

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