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RIP Jim O'Connell

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by GuessWho, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    Word just starting to spread by his friends on Facebook. God bless him.
  2. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but was O'Connell as great a writer as the obit suggests? I just don't remember or can't seem to recall any great pieces of work he did. All I remember was him doing gamers. If anyone, can add some insight, I'd appreciate their thoughts.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  4. Tim Layden

    Tim Layden New Member

    Doc... Jim ''Oc'' O'Connell would never be regarded as a ``great writer'' by the people who judge such things on these boards, and apply such labels. (I did not read the obit you referenced; or maybe I did, but I don't remember the details). But I think -- or hope -- that most of us would hold out a separate place in our collective memories for people who are hard-working, passionate and quirky, and beyond that, beholden most of all to family and friends. Oc loved basketball and basketball people and yes, he could knock out a clean gamer right on the buzzer that was never heavily stylized but was always a little better, and a little more insightful than the usual AP copy. He also worked thousands of night-desk shifts at the AP when college basketball was out of season. There are plenty of stories. It's fair to say he was a sports journalist from the generation previous to this one. I attended Oc's wake and funeral in NYC; there was sadness, but also a lot of celebration and love. Oc was a family man (wife and two boys about whom we all heard stories as they grew up; two sisters) and a great friend to many. He lived his entire life in a small circle in Queens and it seemed like everyone in that circle paid respects. I realize none of this makes Oc different from a cascade of good people who die every day. Back to your original point: Oc wasn't a great writer. But he was a pro and he worked hard and he loved the business and the games and people he covered. And he made a lot of people laugh along the way. Chris Dufresne and Mark Blaudschun both knew Oc better than I did and each wrote tributes that are easily searched if you're inclined.
    Dog8Cats, wheels89, HanSenSE and 2 others like this.
  5. fleishman

    fleishman Active Member

    I didn't know him well but got to know him in recent years by running quotes for him at numerous games at MSG and Barclays. Even though I didn't write those game stories, it was a thrill to know the quotes I was getting for him appeared in those gamers and one of the highlights for me in terms of sports media. I also attended the wake, the first session and was worried I'd be early but instead it was packed already and only getting more crowded. Just a testament to the type of human being he was
  6. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

  7. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Great reply, and thank you for your insight. You painted a very nice picture, one that makes me wish I had known OC or had at least met him. I didn't remember much about his stories, couldn't remember if he was all that great of a writer or not. Still, there is plenty to be said about being a great reporter. Sounds like a good guy. Sorry for your loss.
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