By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Bob Lobel, one of New England’s most iconic sportscasters, was the guest speaker at the Sept. 24 breakfast meeting of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce held at the Doubletree Hotel. Over the course of an hour, Lobel regaled the audience with his humorous and insightful opinions on the state of the region’s four major sports teams.
As a sports director and anchor for WBZ-TV in Boston, Lobel had interviewed and covered virtually every major team and sporting event in the region. He has also had successful radio shows and now has a new television show, “Legends with Bob Lobel.”
“No one has done less for more,” he joked of his career.
The night before the breakfast, he told the audience, he had been the public address announcer for the Boston Red Sox/Tampa Bay Rays game which saw the Sox once again lose in dismal fashion. What was worse than the team’s losing streak, he said, was that they appeared to be “getting back to the bad old days,” and forgetting what earned them three World Series wins in less than 10 years.
“But winning in ’04 changed everything,” he said of the first World Series win. “It changed how people relate to them.”
But that personal connection to their fans and the city was very present in the first home game the Sox played just days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, he said. That game, which featured a fiery speech by a defiant David Ortiz, was “very emotional,” he added.
“There is no question in my mind that the [2013 World Series title] was linked to the bombings,” he said.
On the recent firing of Don Orsillo, the popular NESN Red Sox announcer, Lobel did not hold back.
“He got screwed in a big way,” he said. “He’s a rock star. He’s got all the accolades and has all the abilities.”
Lobel also had harsh words about the National Football League and specifically the issue of the controversial “Deflategate.”
“It was one of the dumbest stories I have seen or talked about,” he said. “And the NFL is just a very mean-spirited league. If you’re going to own a team, own one in the NFL. You’ll make billions.”
The league was all about “ego,” he added, and “did not care about the players.”
He was much more complimentary about the duo of Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, noting that they “could have at least one more great year.”
“I want to be Tom Brady,” he joked. “Give me one compelling reason why I wouldn’t want to be.”
And in response to a question from the audience as to whether he thought Brady would be admitted to the NFL Hall of Fame, Lobel said, “It’s a given. They might name it after him!”
As for the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics, he had little to say.