Dan PiresIt is with great sadness that I post about the untimely death of another long time fixture on the Patriots beat.

New Bedford Standard Times writer Dan Pires passed away this morning at the age of 52.

Pires was a friend of BSMW, (as apparently he was of everyone else) often writing in and sharing little tidbits he had picked up from either online, or from Gillette Stadium.

Pires is survived by a wife and two children.

Colleagues of Dan Pires: please feel free to leave your memories of and comments about Dan below.

24 thoughts on “Danny Pires 1956-2008

  1. As one of Dan’s friends on the Patriots beat, I just wanted to pass along some thoughts. I was stunned to learn that he is gone and I am incredibly saddened by this news. Anyone who knew Dan knows that he was one of a kind. He always had a smile and when he asked how you or your family were doing, he was actually interested in the answer. Many of the reporters on the beat are disliked by the players. Many are simply tolerated. But the players in the Patriots locker room genuinely liked Dan and enjoyed talking to him about so much more than football. That is rare and a testament to his character and personality.
    I’m going to miss him.
    Ian Clark
    NH Union Leader


  2. Just last Thursday night, I — and likely many of his friends — got a text message from Danny: “Just takin’ time out to say I love U, because yesterday is gone, today is almost over and tomorrow isn’t promised.”

    Oh how I wish that last part weren’t true. And how grateful I am that I kept that message.

    I was blessed to call Danny one of my best friends. Being a woman on the Patriots’ beat isn’t always easy, and from the very beginning he sought me out and welcomed me. No one knew more about what was going on with that team than him, and knew far more than he ever printed. That’s how he got the players to trust him, and more than a few became his friends, not just sources.

    Over time, our friendship developed as well, with him supporting me and encouraging me; outside of my immediate family and husband, I think he was my biggest cheerleader.

    But while we often talked shop, we talked about our families more. He was proud of his son, Taylor, who just graduated from high school and worried about him leaving the nest later this summer for a school in New Hampshire. And he absolutely adored his daughter Jillian. She was in North Carolina visiting her maternal grandparents the last few weeks and every time we talked recently — it was almost daily — he mentioned how much he missed her.

    What breaks my heart is that shortly after we said goodbye to Alan Greenberg last year, Danny decided he was going to get in shape, not wanting to leave his friends and family so abruptly, as Alan unfortunately had. Everyone noticed how much weight he had lost, and he felt like he was in great shape.

    I still can’t believe that I am writing this to you, and I can’t believe that I won’t be getting another text or e-mail — heartfelt, newsy, funny or even a little dirty — from him.

    My love and prayers go out to his family and friends.

    shalise manza young
    New England Patriots beat writer
    Providence Journal


  3. Shalise, Ian…thanks. I wish we got to hear stuff like this more often, and never under these circumstances.

    Best from everybody at Patriots Daily to you all.


  4. I can’t believe Dan has passed away. He was a friend of mine, we emailed or spoke on the phone 2-3 times a week.

    Dan was a super guy, had a great sense of humor, he cared for his family, and his columns in the Standard Times were always interesting.

    I’m absolutely stunned. My prayers and condolences are with his wife and two children.

    Kevin Flynn
    Acushnet, MA


  5. Sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. Terrible news. Best to his family, they’ll be in our prayers.


  6. ….Unforunetly I’m not familiar with Mr.Pires work. The New Bedford Standard Times was not a paper I checked out very often….from what I’ve been reading it sounds like my loss….. condolences to the Pires family


  7. I knew Danny through our mutual love of futbol rather than football. Being the new guy in the press box at New England Revolution games, Danny was the first person who introduced himself to me and showed me the ropes. He didn’t have to, but that’s just the kind of guy he was. Everyone was his friend, no matter if you were the big shot from ESPN, or the kid just out of college getting one of his first big assignments.

    We all called him Danizinho, an homage to his Portuguese roots and his love of the beautiful game. There are a lot of reporters who cover the Revs because they have to. Danny was there because he wanted to be there. One week he’d be at Gillette with his computer and his notebook, the next week you’d miss him in the press box, only to find him out in the parking lot with his kids or with a youth soccer team. He had this ability to be a passionate fan and a first-rate reporter all while not allowing the two to mix. He used to kid around with us that he got paid to cover football, but that he covered soccer on his own time.

    I was actually looking forward to this Saturday’s game in the hopes that I could tease him about Portugal being knocked out of Euro 2008. Instead, I’m sure those of us who knew Dan will honor him by telling stories about Danizinho long into the night.


  8. I’m gunna miss you Uncle Danny.
    I can’t even pull myself together.
    I am just thinking of you now, and i can’t help but cry.
    I love you.


  9. I wanted to echo the sentiments of the other sportswriters on this thread — I was proud to call Dan a colleague since 2001. When I think of Danny, there are plenty of memories, but one of the things that really sticks out for me is the fact that he was one of those rare reporters that cut across all the cliques — he was friends with everyone on the beat. Everyone. Big time magazine or weekly paper, student radio reporter or ESPN producer, it didn’t matter. In addition, I’ll always remember Dan as a good reporter — many of us marveled at the relationships he was able to cultivate in the Patriots’ locker room — but as an even better man who never failed to leave you laughing. (His e-mails and text messages were legendary.)

    His humor, professionalism and good nature will be sorely missed — life in Foxborough won’t be the same without Danny around. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family.


  10. Bruce: I was out of town when I received the news of Dan’s passing from Mike Reiss and just returned home early Thursday morning.

    Words really can’t describe how deeply saddened and sick I feel over this.

    Dan and I went to high school together in New Bedford and we thought it was pretty cool that two kids from that school, who had a lot of the same friends, ended up covering the Patriots together. The only difference was that he stayed home and I moved three hours north to Maine. Every time I saw him, he made the drive down to Foxborough worth every minute it took.

    Everything Shalise and Ian wrote about Dan was, is, true. Family and friends were most important to him. I mean, how many of us have a photo of our mother as the desktop wallpaper for our computer?

    Dan did, as a reminder of how much she inspired him.

    As a beat writer, Dan could work a player for an interview, and work the phone lines, or the email lines, as well as anyone. His work was comprehensive and informative.

    We drove together to the Patriots last regular-season game at Giants Stadium last year. On the way home the day after, Dan spent a lot of time text-messaging the Patriot players about the game. Every one was answered.

    You see, for the most part, the players liked Dan and they trusted him, trusted that he knew what was for print, and what wasn’t. He did and that’s why they talked to him.

    It’s going to be hard going into that media room the next time, knowing he won’t be there. We’ve lost a valued colleague. I’ve lost a true friend.

    Mike Lowe
    Portland (Maine) Press Herald


  11. This was truly one of the funniest people I’ll ever meet in my life.

    He never failed to put a smile on my face.

    Ian, Shalise, Mike, C.P. and Dave Brown (in today’s Standard-Times) have all very eloquently paid testament to the type of man this was.

    He loved life, he loved people and he loved his family.

    Dan was without pretense, that’s why the players liked him so much, his conversations about football and life were real.

    The world needs more people like Dan Pires–not less– that’s what makes his passing so tough.

    A short story–everyone on th beat is familiar with the fact that Tom King of the Nashua Telegraph has five cats..It was a blowout last game of the year against the 49ers, I believe in ’05.

    King was sitting a few seats down from Dan talking (loudly). Dan went online and found some sound files of various cat meows and would play one everytime King would talk. I did the same thing. Some of them sounded just bizarre, it was hilarious.

    Soon it sounded like a kennel, everyone was laughing. The we all went back to writing and analyzing the game.

    He’ll be missed.


  12. There’s not much more I can add that hasn’t already been said quite eloquently by my peers.

    I’ve known Danny since he came on the beat, and always respected the enthusiasm and joy he brought to his work. It never ceased to amaze me how he could develop such warm and trusting relationships with athletes who might otherwise be reluctant to drop their defenses to reporters. He accomplished it with sincerity.

    Danny worked hard to reshape himself after Alan Greenberg’s equally shocking and untimely passing, and he did it not out of fear, but out of his frequently-expressed love for his family and his desire to be able to spend a long and happy life with them. This is the unkindest cut of all.

    My heart goes out to his wife and children. They have lost a loving husband and father; we have lost a valued and respected colleague and friend.

    –Mark Farinella, The Sun Chronicle, Attleboro


  13. When Chris Price told me about Dan’s passing, I don’t think I fully grasped its meaning. In fact, I know I didn’t. How could someone with so much — SO much — life lose his at way too young an age? We’ll all echo Dan’s humor for years, but I wanted to share two stories that really stick out about Dan from my perspective.

    First, and most importantly, he was full of positive things to say. As a young writer covering any pro team, the smallest compliments can truly make your day. There were a number of times Dan came up to me to tell me he was proud of something I did — a one-on-one interview, a good question among a group of reporters, etc. — and things like that really stick with you. Dan didn’t have to do that, but that’s who he was and he probably didn’t even realize how important it was to hear that.

    Secondly, I’ll always remember covering the 2007 NFL Draft in the Gillette Stadium press box. While we were passing the time between picks, a handful of us (well, probably just me) were listening to the UMass-Syracuse lacrosse game when Dan picked up on it from two rows back. What resulted was a great lacrosse conversation (much of it being Dan bragging about his son, whom he was clearly proud of) while most in between us looked on as though we were speaking in a foreign language.

    It seemed as though Dan knew about everything, whether it was lacrosse, the Revs or the guitar in some great conversations with Junior Seau. There’s no wonder why so many are paying tribute to Dan. He deserves it for everything he’s done for us.


  14. These comments are truly lovely. I hope someone shares them with the family as I’m sure that knowing their loved one was loved and appreciated by his colleagues and others he touched will give them great comfort.

    It’s very sad news and we fans will miss him on the Pats beat.


  15. Bruce,

    I, too, would like to echo the sentiments of my fellow colleagues who have all done such a magnificent job of capturing the essence of the man behind the byline.

    I started covering the Patriots seven years ago, fresh out of college, and Dan Pires was among the few who took the time to show me the ropes and make me feel welcome (the other being my close friend and colleague, Mark Farinella).

    As others have already said, Dan had a way of making you feel like you had known him for years, even if you had just met him a few minutes ago. He was warm, friendly, genuine and — most importantly — trustworthy. I knew I could tell Dan anything, whether personal or professional, and it wouldn’t leave the room. That’s how he earned the trust of so many others throughout his life, from athletes to peers to equipment managers in the Gillette Stadium locker room.

    Dan helped me get through some rough patches in my life during these past few months, and I will never, ever forget his compassion and wisdom. I don’t know what I would’ve done without him.

    Unfortunately, we never take the time to write these words until someone has passed, but I’m sure Dan knows how I, and everyone else, felt about him. More importantly, I hope the kind words and anecdotes from others help his family get through this terrible, terrible tragedy.

    Thank you, Bruce, for allowing us to use this forum to express our feelings about Dan Pires.


  16. All I can add is this:
    Dan loved working with you guys (and gals) so much more than he did working with me from 9 to 5 every day at his ‘other’ job. I heard a lot of great stories over the years, and I am glad so many people got to really know him.


    1. While others on the beat might have known Dan longer, and have more stories to share in regards of covering the Patriots alongside him, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be an NFL/Patriots writer today if it wasn’t for him.

      The first preseason game after the first Super Bowl win, then-sports editor Jonathan Comey asked me if I wanted to take his spot alongside Dan in covering that particular game. The plan wasn’t for me to join in for the season, but just to cover one meaningless exhibition game. I had met Dan before, in the newsroom while working the high school phones, and we had exchanged numerous e-mails but we had never really worked together closely.

      It only took one ride from my home in Wareham to Foxboro to realize I wanted to work with this guy as much as I could. And I must’ve shown him something as well, because the next thing I knew, I was riding with him each and every home game from then on. Through blizzards, through traffic, through car troubles, through everything, there’s nobody I’d rather ride with.

      Not only was he a great reporter, he was a great man. Over the next six years, Dan taught me how to respect and understand athletes not as subjects in a story, but as human beings. He taught me how to do my job in the most effective way, while never crossing anyone in the process. He taught me to greet everyone with a smile on my face, a joke or anecdote to share, and that the question of “how’s your family?” is even more important than “what happened on that play?”

      Those rides more often than not featured Dan driving, due to a string of vehicle problems for me the last few years. It seems like I could never keep a car running during the fall and winter months. But Dan always picked me up, never complaining, even when he had to add an hour or more onto his commute to the stadium. And the first question he always asked me, after his traditional greeting of “What’s up, brother?,” was always about my wife and son.

      During those rides, he gave me advice. He gave me direction. But never preached. And it was always, ALWAYS appreciated. He taught me to appreciate the Average White Band and funk music in general. He taught me where to find good barbeque. He taught me about the Portuguese culture, including some words I should never use.

      The most important thing he ever taught me, though, was that there’s always time for your family. We could be in the middle of the most interesting, most important conversation, but if his phone rang and it was Taylor or Jillie, everything came to a stop. Nothing mattered more to him than his family. And I took that to heart.

      Dan Pires will forever have a lasting impact on my life. He was old enough to be my father, yet young at heart enough to be one of my best friends. He texted me just Tuesday night to tell me about the Shaq rap video. He texted me throughout the Celtics’ championship Game 6 clinch, telling me how happy he was for me as a writer and a fan. Nobody was a bigger fan of my work, more supportive of what I write. He even hooked me up with my restaurant-review gig, and taught me to be well-rounded as a writer.

      Every time I drive to that stadium, I’ll miss my friend. Every time I sit down at a table in the press dining area to feast on what Dan called “quail,” I’ll miss my friend. Every time I hear the press room announcer say “Five yards, FAAAWWWK,” I’ll miss my friend.

      But every time I fire up my laptop, every time I put pen to paper and most importantly, every time I look at my family–I’ll remember what my friend taught me.

      When next we meet, I can’t wait to hear the stories you’ll have for me. I love you brother.

      Peace, Dan.



  17. Bruce,

    After I heard about Dan I immediately checked here for postings. You gave my family a wonderful gift by having Alan’s friends and collegues post stories and memories on your site. I encourage Dan’s colleagues and friends to do the same for his wife Becky and their children. What you write here will be something they will cherish forever, I can guarantee that.

    I never met Dan but I do know Alan had a great amount of respect for “DP.” Not because of what he wrote but because of who he was. A man who loved his family, his heritage and life.

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I know their grief and there are no words.

    Anne-Marie Greenberg


  18. Funeral from the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford, Monday, June 30th at 10:45 AM. Funeral Mass at St. Lawrence Church at 12 Noon. Burial will be private. Visiting hours Sunday, June 29th from 3-8 PM.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CIB/ Pires Education Fund, c/o Credit Information Bureau, 70 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02888.

    Directions to Our New Bedford Location

    From Boston: Travel Route 24 South to Exit 12, Route 140 toward Taunton and New Bedford. At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Route 140 south toward New Bedford. Travel approximately 20 miles to the traffic signal at the end of Route 140. Turn left onto U.S. Highway 6 East. Continue 1 mile to Park Street. Turn left (north) onto Park Street and continue to its end. The funeral home is the last building on the left (west) side of the street, approximately 60 miles from Boston.

    From Providence: Travel I-195 East to Exit 13A, Route 140 South toward New Bedford. Travel South approximately 1 mile to traffic signal at the end of Route 140. Turn left onto U.S. Highway 6 East. Continue 1 mile to Park Street. Turn left (north) onto Park Street and continue to its end. The funeral home is the last building on the left (west) side of the street.

    From Cape Cod: Travel I-195 West to Exit 13A, Route 140 South toward New Bedford and Dartmouth. Travel south approximately 1 mile to traffic signal at the end of Route 140. Turn left onto U.S. Highway 6 East. Continue 1 mile to Park Street. Turn left (north) onto Park Street and continue to its end. The funeral home is the last building on the left (west) side of the street.


  19. I am deeply saddened to learn of Dan’s passing and will always recall him as a good friend and one of those rare individuals who always had a massive smile and a kind word for everyone. His demeanor and honesty really made him one of a kind, and I will miss hearing his voice.
    My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends, as we all remember how precious life is and how it should be spent with a love of live and family.
    We will meet again, my friend. Ed Berliner.


  20. I would like to thank all the writers for sharing their beautiful stories about my brother. We,truly miss Danny but right at this time he is convincing God to get Tom Brady back on the football field. I know you will keep Dan’s spirit alive in the Media room. Thank you to Shalise M. Young, please continue to share the Red Swedish Fish (I’ll send more if you need it). Danny was very lucky to have such great friends.
    Thank you from the Pires Family.
    Peace to all of you!
    Elizabeth Pires Ferreira


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