Huge News Today: Bob McGinn joins Go Long! (and more inside)
The legendary NFL writer makes his move to our longform platform. Plus, details on everything you can expect in 2021 right here, from a Kickoff Party to Jim Monos' new column.
Exactly one decade ago, I visited the home of one, Bob McGinn, a few Hail Mary heaves away from Lambeau Field.
Honestly, it felt like a rite of passage. That fall was my first season covering the Green Bay Packers at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and, over a few beers, Bob wanted to get to know the new guy.
Family talk shifted to high school football talk — Bob needed a full breakdown of those Ellicottville Central days, right down to the science behind the 22 Jet Pass — and what happened next was more valuable than any class a kid could’ve taken in any journalism school.
For hours, Bob dissected the beat as only Bob can. With detail. With passion. With the occasional detour to his office to dig up a Legal Pad from the 80s or 90s because he has literally every possible statistic, quote ‘n note physically organized and preserved. With, above all, a competitive fire. We hit it off — instantly. Soon enough, right there at McGinn HQ, we started recording a weekly “Packers Podcast.” And through those four years together, it became clear to me that nobody in the country covering pro football had more relationships around the NFL. Nobody worked harder. Nobody had his perspective.
Bob is 1 of 1.
Little did we know over those beers 10 years ago that we’d get to share news like this.
On Nov. 24, 2020, I launched Go Long at GoLongTD.com as a home for longform pro football journalism.
Consider today a relaunch with that same mission — and with plenty of news to share.
Thrilled to write here that Bob McGinn is joining Go Long to do what Bob’s done his entire life. There truly is no one like him. Fearless. Smart. Loaded with credibility. Bob’s voice of authority stands alone in pro football. As you all know, we want Go Long to slice against the grain of incessant power rankings, memes and photoshopped hypotheticals polluting much of the twitterfried sports media today — and Bob has always been driven to write something fresh, something that makes you think.
On top of that? He’s one hell of a guy that everyone here will get to know on a personal level.
Born and raised in the beautiful Upper Peninsula, in Escanaba, Mich., Bob graduated from the University of Michigan in 1974 where he covered Bo Schembechler’s football teams and Johnny Orr’s basketball teams for three years at The Michigan Daily. He then covered the Green Bay Packers and the NFL over six different decades, from the Green Bay Press-Gazette (1975-’91) to The Milwaukee Journal (1991-’95) to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1995-’17) to his own site BobMcGinnFootball.com (2017-’19) to, most recently, The Athletic (2019-’21).
In 2011, Bob received the Bill Nunn Memorial Award (formerly the McCann Award) for his long and distinguished career reporting on pro football, giving him a berth in the writer’s wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
He’s also the author of The Ultimate Super Bowl Book, which is exceptional.
So, what will Bob bring Go Long? Here’s the plan…
His illustrious NFL Draft Series will live and breathe here. This marks the 38th year of Bob’s position-by-position preview steeped in reporting. Nobody in the business talks to more scouts and more coaches across the entire league than Bob. You’ll get the real, unfiltered opinions on all prospects here, as well as Bob’s Top 60 posted in early March and Top 100 posted two days before the draft.
After a six-year hiatus, we’re bringing the Podcast back. Exclusively for Go Long subscribers, we’ll record once per week. The focus will again be the Packers, but absolutely will cover the entire league, too. This podcast will serve as the new home of Bob’s long-running “Rating the Packers” film breakdown where he’ll continue to grade out each position and award his three stars of the game. We’ll also fire up a new segment. “McGinn’s Memories” will dust off old stories from the beat, be it an interaction with Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg from the 80s or Brett Favre in the 90s.
Thirdly, Bob will produce “The McGinn Files” at Go Long. Wondering what scouts thought about any NFL player since ‘85? Let us know. Since then, Bob has talked to scouts around the league about every single draftable player and those stacks upon stacks of transcribed reports are still in his office. Seriously. I cannot tell you how many times my mind was blown through those Green Bay years. Bob will hunt through those files to share what those scouts said and analyze the evolution of that player’s career.
Bob isn’t only one of the best to ever do it. He and his wife, Pat, are truly amazing human beings who let that new hire hang with their entire family on Christmas and Thanksgiving whenever a Packers game prevented a flight home… and they shuffled all the way to Buffalo, NY themselves to cut a rug on the dance floor at our wedding years later. (Dance moves that must be discussed on the podcast.)
This is going to be a lot of fun.
To get all of Bob McGinn’s content, you can subscribe to Go Long right here:
And, hey, there’s more.
Go Long has a lot cookin’ for this 2021 NFL season.
As access tightens, as many teams push toward centralized messaging at press conferences and the NFL uses a pandemic to only permit team reporters in the locker room this season, the need for independent reporting and storytelling around the most popular sport in America has never been greater. You bet, this platform is more determined than ever to deliver enterprising journalism worth your time. We’ll trace the winding road that led the Buffalo Bills to Josh Allen, analyze Mike Zimmer’s world in Minnesota, get the raw truth from stars like Allen Robinson, dive deep into the Fight for Erik Kramer’s Life and put your support to good use by hitting the road to uncover what happened with Lynn Bowden Jr., learn all about Marquez Valdes-Scantling's surreal upbringing and explain how Kenny Moore went from depressed in New England to the best slot corner in Indy.
The mission — always — is to lean into relationships built covering this game to deliver profiles and features worth your time.
Here’s what’s ahead…
Season Preview Features will start rolling out Thursday AM and continue right up to Week 1 of this NFL season. (With a true behind-the-scenes look at those Dallas Cowboys.)
Expect another steady cadence of in-season coverage: “The Thread” column on Monday will whip around the NFL, Q&As with former players and the “Discuss” forum will continue to drop mid-week and the Friday Feature will remain our signature piece.
Speaking of Jim Monos, the former Eagles/Saints/Bills personnel exec will also write a weekly column. Ever wonder what happens behind the curtain? Wish you could be a fly on the wall in that draft room to see how this league is really run? There will be zero sugarcoating here with Monos sharing stories from his time with all three teams, as well as his weekly quarterback grades. These aren’t pulled from a YouTube highlight reel, either. Monos watches every snap of every QB.
The longform approach at Go Long is twofold, depending on how you consume sports content in 2021. We’ll have a ton of stories, of course, via the newsletter. And we’ll also continue to build our podcast network so you can catch us on your way to work, mowing the lawn, changing diapers, etc. That being said, stay tuned for another show, too. We’ll have more news coming at Go Long soon. I always thought it’d be fun for football fans to make a personal connection with a player through the ups and downs of a season so we’re close to finalizing a show with a current NFL player.
Subscribe at the annual rate today and we’ll send you a Go Long t-shirt. Already an annual subscriber? Phenomenal. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send merch your way.
The Go Long Happy Hour will live on. Love meeting you all virtually and bringing on players from around the NFL. Keep an eye out for scheduled hangouts through the season. Subscribers had a fun time hanging out with guys like Vince Williams, Isaiah McKenzie, Andy Janovich, Allen Robinson, Richie Incognito, LeRoy Butler this past year.
And we may have saved the best news item for last depending on where you live. I want to meet as many of you as possible, so our 1st Annual Hamburg Brewing Kickoff Party is set. Live in or around Western New York? On the Saturday before Week 1 of this NFL season — Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. (EST) — Go Long subscribers can hang out together at the best brewery in town. We’ll have a spot set up outside and the first beer is on Go Long. Monos will be there, too, to hang out. We cannot wait.
Thank you everyone for helping this platform grow. None of this is possible without your support — and I do not take that lightly.
As always, if there’s a story you want to read at Go Long, let me know here in the comments, on Twitter @TyDunne or via email.
Cannot wait to see our community grow.