Though this is probably old news for CSTB’s New England readers, it was announced earlier this week that Boston’s WBZ Ch.4 was kicking veteran sportscaster Bob Lobel to the curb. Lobel was a childhood fave of your editor’s, much as he’s been a contemporary punching bag for David Scott, who most recently pronounced the modern Lobel “often unwatchable”. The following, uncredited item from the Worcester Telegram, is far more charitable.
WBZ TV-4 sports anchor Bob Lobel is probably known best for wondering on the air, œWhy can™t we get players like that?
Lobel isn™t sure when his last day will be. He won™t set a deadline and bid a tearful goodbye to his viewers at the end of his final sportscast. œThat™s too phony, he said.
Lobel joined TV-4 as weekend sports anchor in 1979 and became lead sports anchor two years later. With the advent of ESPN and later the Internet, the role of a local TV sports anchor changed from reporting the scores and highlights to providing personality and opinion. Lobel has lots of both. His critics, however, believe he mugs for the camera too much.
œI™m a wise guy sometimes, he admitted, œand I™ve probably rubbed some people the wrong way. I™ve been a jerk sometimes, but I try to be honest.
During its heyday, Lobel™s Sunday night sports show was a must-watch. If Lobel said something, it seemed more important coming out of his mouth. His fans didn™t care if he slurred his words at times, which he attributed to having attention deficit disorder.
œIt wasn™t even a job to me, Lobel said. œI was more like a fan. I felt like I could have an opinion and express frustration, happiness, anger, whatever fans felt, and do it with humor. It™s just sports.
Because he was a fan himself, he seemed to know what other fans were thinking.
œI could tell when they were angry because I was angry, he said. œI wasn™t afraid to express that and I had the forum to do that.
As far as his signature phrase, Lobel said he just made it up one night. He thinks he came up with it after a former Red Sox hit a home run against the Sox. Why did he stick with it?
œI liked it, he said. œIt felt good to stick the needle in ownership.