Ode to Bob Kravitz

Dateline: Fri 24 Feb 2012

A former Star staffer from sports sent this ode along with the following note (and an aside that the ode is making the rounds of former and current staffers):

"In an effort to give its loyal readers a once in a lifetime opportunity, The Indianapolis Star is sponsoring a contest to spend an evening with Bob Kravitz, God's gift to journalism.

"Only one lucky subscriber will be able to win what promises to be a night like no other, as Bob regales them on:

"How he can write a column on the same subject over and over again without changing the theme.
"The many of years of crafting his ability to flip-flop on a team or athlete.
"Some of the great saves he made as a goalie in his brief NHL career.
"The night the I key broke off on his laptop and how he nearly missed his deadline.
"Why some of his most creative writing is on expense accounts.
"How close he was to replacing Dan Patrick on ESPN Sports Center.
"The difficulties of going to the mall or grocery store and being besieged by MILFs.
"The night he and John Elway would like to forget,
"The keys to hosting a popular radio talk show. 
"Why Rocky Mountain High is a lifestyle, not just a song."

OK, I took out the line about stalking an intern. But we all know Kravitz has a sense of humor.

Right? And he is the newspaper's resident public figure. Right? Even bigger than Dennis!

So, enjoy.







Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Kravitz reminds me of an old 1960s TV clip from a press conference with Bob Dylan. Reporters were asking him all kinds of goofy questions, including someone asking him if he was The Spokesman for His Generation. To which Dylan replied: "Nah, I'm just a song-and-dance man, really."

That's the way I see Kravitz now. I used to respect him as a journalistic, but not since he started pulling out a top hat and gold-tipped cane.

Question is: has he been required to become a song-and-dance man to keep his job at The Star? I don't have any idea what goes in that place these days, so maybe someone else might be able to answer that question.

2012-02-24 23:38:42

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The song-and-dance routine is just foreign to Indy folk. It's a common practice for controversial columnists, in every major American media market. It's pack promotion mentality. It's neither good nor bad. It just is.

But, Mr. Bob bigger than Mr. Milz? I doubt it.

Kravitz has access to sportsworld VIPs. Given the megazillions this town (and we taxpayers) spend on the sportsfolk, I am glad to be able to read some insight via BK. We have a stake in it, whether we like it or not. FOr Christ's sake, our elected leaders can't adequately fund a third-world mass transit system because of stupid parochial interests, yet we force-feed ourselves on this sports craze via taxed dollars and facilities.

And, as an admirer of good writing, BK's writing skills are among the best IndyStar has to offer.

As for sweat-equity in the newsroom, he's a damned sight better than 90% of Tully's columns. Talk about wasted talent. When you read the Manual HS pieces, you see how good Tully could be.

The whole place has sadly become a Monument to Mediocrity.

Maybe paying for online content will raise the bar. They should've done it long ago. I'll pay a small fee. After all, the pay-online concept does one thing:

It moves my news-delivery from my driveway (every morning) to my desktop. And the neighbors don't have to see me in my robe at 6 AM.

See? Everyone wins.

2012-02-25 06:37:04

IndyRob [unverified] said:

A couple comments about the stars plan to start charging for digital.

Houston Chron $6 per month,
Chicago Trib $10 per month,
NYTimes $20 month,
Wall Street Journal $20 month,
Wash Post $12 month,
LA Times $10 month,
Boston Globe $15 month,
IBJ $6.50 month including print

A lot of competition, the current content of the Star, including Kravitz, does not come close. Might as well shutter the print plant unless it is needed for USA Today and mailing flyers.

2012-02-25 07:54:20

IndyRob [unverified] said:

Oh yeah, at least a couple of the above publishers had deals recently where new subscribers also got a free Kindle with a year's subscription.

2012-02-25 07:56:39

AboutBob [unverified] said:

Kravitz makes a lot of money. That pisses off a lot of people inside the building. And he doesn't hide the fact he gets star treatment. That pisses off even more people inside the building.
But Kravitz and Phil Richards make the section readable. Richards is a far superior feature writer, but without question Kravitz has become the section's voice and personality. Part of it is his role, but part of it is his personality: He will ask tough questions, challenge authority, hold GMs, coaches, players, NCAA accountable, etc. When something happens, you want to know what he thinks about it. That's the mark of a great columnist.
You might not like him, but it's likely you read him. There's nobody else at the paper you can say that about.

2012-02-25 13:58:00

Quixmundi [unverified] said:

AboutBob makes a decent point, albeit a back-handed compliment, that there's nobody else at the Star you'd likely read. This is sadly true as I wish some of the other excellent sports writers could get the occasional column to opine, whine and proletize like Kravitz does.

2012-02-25 15:24:50

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Count me as one who never reads Kravitz. But, then, I never read the sports section either.

Or Tully, for that matter.

Takes me five minutes to read the comics, glance at the rest of the paper and then it's off to line the bird cage.

2012-02-25 16:02:08

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Well, I don't know about Kravitz asking the hard questions. He seems to ask the questions that get a lot of hits on the Star website, but those aren't necessarily hard questions.

Payton......Manning........that seems to be hit-central for Kravtiz these days.

Peyton.....Manning has been seen eating tacos. Column material, for sure.

I can see why other sportswriters would be pissed at The Star. They do the real sports journalism, Kravitz does the vaudeville and makes a lot more than they do.

But it's easy to be holier-than-thou. Seems like I remember Kravitz writing that he has two daughters in college. Who can fault him for wanting to take care of his family?

It's a crazy world and people have to do a lot of crazy things to put bread on the table these days.

I respect Kravtiz and I don't respect him. But let's be honest: it's all about paying the mortgage and the college tuition.

2012-02-25 19:19:52

AboutBob [unverified] said:

Whitebeard: I worked with the guy. No need to go into great detail because there's no need to throw others under the bus, but rest assured Kravitz has great sources, gets and shares news with other reporters. He then reacts to it. As for the tough questions, he has challenged IU's ADs, Sampson's hiring, Walsh, Bird, Artest, JO, Polian, Irsay, Dungy, Caldwell, Manning, Bob Sanders, Brand, the new NCAA president, etc., etc. Bob loves being in the middle of the storm, if not contributing to it.

2012-02-25 22:09:28

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I remember when Kravitz wrote a very thoughtful column several years ago in which he questioned why taxpayers were going to be paying for a stadium for a privately owned football team (talk about "corporate welfare") when there were/are so many pressing human needs in Indianapolis

Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg was said to have been the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. Well, that column was - in my mind - the high water mark for Kravitz.

Now, what I see is an endless array of the type of column material that seems to have Gannett's, the local pro sports teams', the mayor's office and chamber of commerce seals of approval.

Looking back to past years at The Star, there were several sportswriters who wrote hardnosed columns on a regular basis. But now, that seems to be only the projected domain of Kravitz.

His columns seem to ask tough questions and take tough positions because, as has been stated by others. the Indianapolis news media is mainly populated by people wearing Colts and Pacers cheerleader outfits. No doubt, the local television people are the worst by far.

In New York, Chicago or Philadelphia, Kravtiz would not be seen as the especially hard-nosed, hard-hitting, standout, sports columnist. He would just be among those in the pack.

But he's making a good living for his family, which is rare these days among people who still try to write and edit for pay.

2012-02-26 12:33:18

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Whitebeard: your post got better as it went. But the first part was just ridiculous. "Endless array of...Chamber of Commerce..." Seriously? What paper and sports column are you reading?

BK is asking tough questions. He regularly got under the skins of both Polians--and vice-versa. The stlye in which he writes--a column--lets us know that fact better than some of the beat reporters. For instance we may not know if Wells is asking tough Pacers questions if the current story is about Hibbert's All-Star status. He may have asked tough Bird contract questions for five weeks--but he isn't at the end of that look-see just yet, so no article.

Columnists have more license to roam and pontificate.
Than reulgar beat reporters anyway. It's the nature of the beast.

We're a damned sight away from large-city good journalism. But then, so are most large cities these days.

Paying for content. Maybe. A small fee.

Where do I get my Kindle?

2012-02-26 18:40:55

hendy [Member] said:

IF I were to pay the wall-- and I won't, I'd pay more to NOT have Kravitz. The guy can ask tough questions? Horse potatoes.

I'm reminded of the phrase: sanctimoniousSOB, along with pontificator, not to mention selfaggrandized.

What Hoosiers will put up with stymies the imagination.

2012-02-28 02:49:59

bob kravitz [unverified] said:

This is very entertaining.

2012-02-28 14:25:27

bob kravitz [unverified] said:

And by the way, when does the MILF siege begin? I wanna make sure I'm there when it happens.

2012-02-28 14:28:33

bob kravitz [unverified] said:

And by the way, when does the MILF siege begin? I wanna make sure I'm there when it happens.

2012-02-28 14:28:35

AboutBob [unverified] said:

Told you Bob likes being in the middle of these kinds of things. LOL.

2012-02-28 16:36:18

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Is that really you, Bob? Please give your date of
birth and last four digits of your Social Security number to confirm. Your comment may be recorded to be evaluated by our customer service team.

If it IS you......please tell me: are you an urban prophet/vox populi or a song-and-dance man?
Or both?

And, while I'm thinking about it, how do you feel about your Guild's recent activities? Are your solidarity juices flowing?

2012-02-28 23:47:50

hendy [Member] said:

You see: this is probably the result of a "vanity search", where BobK goes online, and looks to see how he's doing. It's either insecurity or narcissism, IMHO.

If it's him. And it's easily a prankster-- Ruth can catch the IP address and I'll run it down if you'd like.

In all, it's like a sad sitcom, where an entropic enterprise has this odd cast of characters. Call it: City Desk.

2012-02-29 04:43:37

bob kravitz [unverified] said:

Ruth can just check the email. Why would anybody else say they're me, for crying out loud. My question, is the former star staffer, who doesn't have the balls to be named, Benner or Miller? Or someone else. As far as narcissism, somebody send me the link, so no, i don't spend all day wondering what people are writing about me. Really not concerned. Gotta admit, some of it's funny.

2012-02-29 10:50:15

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Bob. I think you care what people think about you a lot more than you are willing to acknowledge. By the way, I have never worked with you, so I have no axe to grind in that regard. But I have been/am a consumer of The Indianapolis Star product and have spent a lot of money over the years to read your columns and the other material there.

Over the years, I've seen you go from Bob Kravitz, intelligent, somewhat populist and discerning sports commentator, to "The Bob Kravitz Corp., Ltd. Songs, dance and dolphin tricks."

I'd just like to hear your views about that widely held perception. As I said before, if you are doing this primarily to make a living for your family, then it would look much less like narcissism.

But then when I read that many of your coworkers complain that you relish and embrace your elevated status.....

2012-02-29 12:20:48

AboutBob [unverified] said:

Whitebeard, I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you clue us in? You don't have to post links to columns, but sounds like you could quickly come up with 10 such columns. How about you give us 5 topics? I'd love to know where you base this opinion.
Bob's co-workers complain, in part, because they like to complain. Most journalists do. He's an easy target because of his salary and profile. But he's also better.

2012-02-29 16:51:29

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Again--where's my Kindle?

2012-03-01 16:38:50

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