Bob Ley spent 40 years at ESPN and saw it transform in myriad ways. He was responsible for much of that transformation. His steady and unflinchingly fair journalism was the bedrock that allowed some of the bigger personalities to explore the entertainment space.
His presence will be missed by those in Bristol and fans at home who have found comfort in his benevolent godfather-like influence. Outside The Lines, where Ley has been a staple, put out a tribute video this afternoon celebrating and looking back at the past four decades.
To an outsider, Ley’s best attribute was welcoming opposing viewpoints and listening to them. He seemed to revel in the dialogue and was secure in himself enough to not try to bogart every conversation with his own worldview. It’s a curious skill in short supply on sports-shouting shows and really stood out.