Remembering Alan Greenberg

The sudden passing of Alan Greenberg last night has hit the sports media community hard. Everyone I’ve spoke to and heard from last night and this morning seemed to genuinely like and care for the guy, and will miss his humor and the way he carried himself.

FSN Sports Tonight had a tribute to Greenberg at the end of last night’s late show, and it was clear the Greg Dickerson and Andy Gresh were moved, Dickerson was at the point of tears while talking about. I really have no idea how they managed to do the entire show. They showed a number of “behind the scenes” clips and on-air segments with Greenberg and it was clear how much everyone liked him.

I emailed Dickerson afterwards to let him know how the segment had affected me, and he said doing that having to do show after learning that news was one of the toughed things he had ever had to do. He noted that everyone there “loved Alan and looked forward to seeing Alan” whenever he was scheduled.

David Scott has compiled some items and thoughts on Greenberg.

Albert Breer has a obituary for Greenberg and offered the following thought to me in email:

Hey Bruce,

I hope you can do something nice for Alan this morning. He really was one of the nicest guys I’ve run across in the Boston sports media, someone who was always willing to give you the straight-forward truth. It was always funny to me how people portrayed his relationship with Belichick as adversarial. He, in fact, had as good a rapport with the coach as anyone, and the two often seemed to be playing a game of cat-and-mouse that, at times, each of them got a kick out of. No one had a better sense of humor than Alan, and Belichick sensed that and, if you’ve been around both men, it was really something watching two guys with great minds screw with each other.

Anyway, one more thing. I grew up and Sudbury and went through the school district that Alan’s kids are in now. You could tell what kind of guy he was because, more often than not, he’d talk to me about the town and its educational system rather than football or journalism or anything to do with work. It was easy to see how deeply he cared for his family and how excited
he was to see his kids grow up. It’s strange that the last conversation I had with him was in the press box in Indianapolis about the school stabbing that took place at L-S in January. He told me how those things can happen anywhere, and to anyone, at anytime, so you have to remember how lucky you are to have the people around you that you do. It’s almost eerie now to look back at that.

And another thing is that Alan was always giving with his time to people like me. If I needed advice on things, he’d help.

Mike Lowe, who covers the Patriots for the Portland Press Herald also chimes in:

Bruce: I can’t tell you enough how saddened I am by the news about Alan Greenberg. I have covered the Patriots for the last eight years for the Portland (Maine) Press Herald and Alan and I developed a good professional and personal relationship. Alan was one of those guys who you knew would ask the tough questions but would be fair in his writing. He was also famous for his quirky questions, those that often seemed unrelated to anything but always had a point. He probably made Bill Belichick smile more than the rest of us combined. When Alan didn’t ask a question at a press conference – which was rare – it just wasn’t as interesting as when he did.

But what I will miss most is Alan Greenberg the person. Because of the distance between Portland and Foxborough, I only made the trip down once a week, on Wednesdays. Alan and I often sat next to each other and while our conversations usually began about what we were working on that day, they invariably turned to our families. We talked about our wives, our kids, our vacation plans, our lives outside of football, in general. Alan always told me how much he liked Maine, but how much he hated driving in it. He took his children to a summer camp in
Maine, and never let me forget how slow Maine drivers were. I’ll miss that, more than anything.

My prayers go out to his family.

Mike Lowe

If you knew Alan Greenberg and would like to express your thoughts on his life, please send me an email.

As for me, I never met Greenberg, and he was one of the very few Boston sports media members never to email me, but when I heard the news of his passing, it was like a punch in the stomach. It is just one of those things that leaves you shaking your head and really thinking about the bigger picture.

I’ll have more on this and some other items as the day goes on.