Bob McGinn: Back for more in 2022
The Hall-of-Fame sports writer is sticking with Go Long this 2022 season. Here's what you can expect on all things Green Bay Packers, "McGinn Files" and, of course, his epic draft series.
For portions of six decades I’ve been writing about the Green Bay Packers. Not once have I found a reason to second-guess my career decisions, and I don’t expect it to happen now.
Starting Thursday, I’m thrilled to be back working with Tyler Dunne at his GoLongTD.com website. It will be in a somewhat different role than a year ago, which makes it all the more appealing to me.
In 1979, my fourth year at the Green Bay Press-Gazette, my duties were altered to include the NFL for the first time as the No. 2 writer on the Packers’ beat. That assignment changed to No. 1 beat man in 1984.
Although I wrote for the Press-Gazette, The Milwaukee Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the website I managed with my son, Charlie, The Athletic and now Tyler’s operation, my responsibility basically has remained the same all these years. That is, cover the Packers.
Forty-three years after my introduction to the beat, it’s time for a change.
Over the next month or two I’m going to assemble a multi-part series that will look back at the players and teams that I covered in Green Bay. There will be reviews, rankings and lists. In my basement files, all of which are in chronological order and easily accessible, I have 99% of all the stories I have ever written on the beat (and probably 90% of those written by my colleagues) in the form of original newsprint (printouts since September 2017). And I’ve already had fun digging out those files prepping for the series.
Over those 43 years I’ve never not watched a Packers game, including exhibitions. Starting with the 1984 season and going through the 2016 season, I covered every game in person. Since 1986 or 1987, when it first became possible for me to tape games, I’ve spent hours upon hours studying every game that the team played.
It has been a labor of love, but now it’s time to move on. I’ve only glanced at the Packers’ three exhibition games this summer; I’m certain to watch some Packers games this season, but my schedule on Mondays won’t include the eight hours minimum necessary to break down the tape and chart all of my own statistics.
Unlike last year, I will not be doing the positional, deep-dive podcast with Tyler after every game.
Once the lookback series is complete, I’ll come up with several new installments of the McGinn Files series that began during my two years at The Athletic. The subjects last year were Brett Favre, Aaron Donald and Mike Vrabel. In my aforementioned basement, I have transcripts of all the predraft interviews that I did with personnel men since 1985. If a player was drafted in the first five or six rounds during that time, I have the foundation to turn him into a story.
What isn’t going to change is my enduring interest in the NFL draft. Without having to devote so much time this fall to one team, I’ll have more hours to watch the college game. Readers of GoLongTD.com will have access to my 39th annual NFL Draft Series, in the exact same format, come mid-April.
Tape breakdowns and analytical writing have dominated my life for a long time. I’ll wrap up that work with the multi-part series before it’s draft time, baby. Hope you join us for the ride.