Hey, Southie Sports Fans
photography: Jennifer Bodnar jenniferbodnar.com
To say that Danny Picard loves sports is an understatement. His life revolves around the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots - at the mercy of their sometimes unrelenting schedule. Danny wouldn't want it any other way. He is currently a sports writer for Comcast SportsNet New England. In addition to covering all of Boston's major professional sports teams, Danny also hosts the nationally recognized sports-talk show, I'm Just Sayin, every weekday morning live from his living room in Southie. I'm Just Sayin can be heard on BlogTalk Radio and on iTunes. For the past three years, Danny has been named by TALKERS Magazine's "Frontier Fifty: Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters". His sense of humor, his sports smarts, and his Southie edge, makes him a force to be reckoned with and we think he's about to be the next best thing when it comes to sports broadcasting.
Growing up in Southie, like so many Southie kids, sports were are huge part of Danny's childhood. He played hockey, baseball and soccer - all part of the South Boston youth sports organizations. Danny also watched a lot of sports and always had a strong opinion on all sports topics. Having a strong writing foundation, when it came to college, he sought out a good journalism program in the hopes he could make his love of sports into a career which led him to UMass Amherst.
While at UMass, Danny became the sports editor for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian did play-by-play for UMass Baseball for UMassAthletics.com. From there, he became a sports writer for The Boston Globe, The Patriot Ledger, and New England Hockey Journal, all while hosting his sports-talk show on 1510 The Zone and then WBNW 1120 AM. He started his show in his college apartment in 2006, and has been building an audience ever since.
The one sports event that made Danny run out and buy his own equipment and "lit the fire" was the Alex Rodriquez trade fall through. "Before A-Rod was traded to the Yankees, he was my favorite player. I would have loved to see him on the Red Sox. As he said himself, he felt like he had one leg in a Red Sox uniform that winter. And for those who hate him for being on the Yankees, I always tell people, he was traded to New York, but he wanted to be traded to Boston. I just needed an outlet other than my own personal blog to do so. That's when I really began to take this thing to the next level."
Danny is a Southie kid through and through. He grew up at the Point, on East Third Street and currently lives at the legendary corner of L and East Eighth Street - a corner significant for the L Street Tavern and Good Will Hunting, but also for the cast of characters that hung on it for decades. "I grew up on that corner with a great group of guys. We are still really close." His swagger, his style and his sense of humor, is quintessentially Southie. This Southie factor gives him his edge when it comes to his craft and makes him standout from the pack. When you listen to I'm Just Sayin, his personality shines through and his passion and energy for the subject of sports is contagious.
Just the facts:
- Parents: Lois and Dan
- Younger sister, Erin.
- Attended Gate of Heaven and Saint Brigid's, Boston College High School (class of 2001), University of Massachusetts - Amherst (class of 2007)
- Favorite Southie spot - The Murphy Rink and the Farragut Park Street Hockey Court
- Favorite bar - L Street Tavern
- Favorite restaurants - Mirisola's
- Favorite old school place that no longer exists - The Fish Pier
Who is your favorite Boston team of all-time? -- The 2004 Boston Red Sox
Who is your favorite current Boston sports athlete? -- If Marc Savard isn't considered "current," then I'll have to go with David Krejci.
Favorite athlete of all-time? -- Pedro Martinez
Who is the greatest athlete from Southie ever? -- It has to be Brian Noonan, right? I mean, he did bring a Stanley Cup to Southie. What's better than that?
Who is your role model? -- Without question, it's my parents. If it wasn't for them, I have no idea where I'd be right now. They raised me and my sister in typical Irish-Catholic family form. But they did it better than anyone else.
Best part of your job? - The best part of my career so far has been the ability to interact with professional athletes on a daily basis, inside their locker rooms and clubhouses. I never would have thought I'd be able to walk through the Red Sox tunnel and onto the field. But now, I can do it every day, and can even sit in the dugout before games. For someone who grew up with Fenway Park being their second home, it's somewhat surreal.
Why do you love living in Southie? -- I love it because it's really all I know. Growing up in Southie was special. I have a lot of pride in this community, and I love the fact that that pride is contagious. I think it's very rare to grow up in a neighborhood in which everybody knows each other. That's obviously somewhat different nowadays, but the memories from my childhood will always be special because of that bond everybody had with one another. We weren't all necessarily best of friends, but we shared one common bond. We were from Southie. And every single one of us was proud of it.
It's not the Southie of your youth, what do you like about most about Southie now? -- Sometimes I go for a run around Castle Island, and I'm like, 'I don't know anybody out here.' Knowing everybody around me is one thing I'll always miss.What I like most about the 'new' Southie is that people love coming here. And their love for our community has made me appreciate some of the little things that we may have taken for granted while growing up. For example, M Street Beach. Maybe eight years ago, if you were seen down there with a beach chair, chances are you'd be one of the only ones. And you may have even been made fun of. Now, you don't even have to leave town if you want a beach day. It's pretty wild.
Future so bright
Danny loves to write and hopes to continue to write for sports industry but his true passion lies in his voice. "I've hosted my own show now for several years, and unlike my reporting job at Comcast SportsNet, I've never received a penny for my show. A lot of people say they'd do what they love for free. For the last five years, I actually did it. My goal is to one day make it my full-time job. But I don't just want to be a full-time sports-talk radio host. I want to be the best." We don't doubt that with his ambition and drive, he will be at the top of his game and Danny Picard - just a kid from Southie - will be a household name.
Want more of Danny? - Here's where you can find him:
You can read all of Danny's work on Comcast SportsNet New England's website -- CSNNE.com.
Keep an eye out for Danny's new mini-documentary called "363 - The Road to the Southie 3-on-3" which follows his preparation for the summer's biggest street hockey tournament. Coming in September!