Bill Griffith was one of Jack Craig’s successors on the “SporTView” column in the Globe. (Howard Manly was in between Craig and Griffith) He was also a big influence on BSMW coming into existence.
I traded messages with Bill yesterday and today, and he offered a few thoughts and memories on Craig.
He remembered how then-sports editor Ernie Roberts plucked Craig off the copy desk, where had been working on the PM edition of the Globe, and put him in this new role – TV sports writer.
Griffith says Craig was the right guy to originate the beat of TV sports writer, as he had a “good layer of cynicism” and that he “questioned everything”. He could be a “little crusty” and “very abrupt” but was a good guy.
In the early days there was a lot of coverage of Curt Gowdy, Ned Martin, Jim Woods, or national guys like Chris Schenkel out of New York. He also covered the very early Olympic television coverage, in the days before it became what it is now.
Griffith, who worked at the Globe with Craig for the latter’s entire tenure there, recalled witnessing “huge screaming matches with Howard Cosell” and Craig getting calls from Roone Arledge (Cosell’s boss on Monday Night Football).
To do his job in the days before email and the proliferation of cell phones, Griffith says Craig kept “a Rolodex the likes of which I’ve never seen” and since phone numbers change so frequently in the TV business, the Rolodex cards were filled with “cross-outs and scribbles, and all kinds of backup numbers…he had a great contact list.”
When he was given the job of carrying on the Globe SporTView column, Griffth says that he “used (Craig) as a role model, and was proud to try and emulate the stuff he had done. He got into issues, had a lot of notes, and did some behind the scenes stuff.”
I’d like to thank Bill once again for his time and memories of Mr Craig.