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Monday, July 28, 2008

Bob Rainey, WCCO Sportscaster, Rest In Peace

If you're unfamiliar with local Twin Cities television sports broadcasters, allow me to clue you in on a little something. They suck, they're worthless, they're egotists whose inflated opinion of themselves shines through as transparent as a freshly Windexed and squeegeed window. This is only my opinion, of course, but I am not alone in my take on them.

There are two or three Twin Cities full-time television sports broadcasters who are worthwhile; the rest of them can jump off a cliff and would never be missed.

There is now one less worthwhile local television sports broadcaster.

Bob Rainey

WCCO-TV's sports broadcaster Bob Rainey has died at the age of 46 from colon cancer. WCCO:

    No matter the sport, Rainey knew the stats. He was like a walking sports encyclopedia, particularly when it came to horse racing. Rainey could rattle off every horse that ever won the Kentucky Derby. You could literally give him a year and he would remember the name of the horse.


    He had a quick wit and a playful sense of humor. He once filed a story about a golf invention that used powder to help determine which direction the wind was blowing. The device was shot down in an invention contest, but Rainey found an alternative use, as a sweaty-hand helper. However when he tried to dispense the powder into his hands it went everywhere. He rolled with it, poking fun at himself as he sat there with white powder all over his hands.

    Golf was Rainey's real passion. He called himself a "struggling golfer," but would never pass up the chance to play a few rounds.


    He covered World Series, Super Bowls and Final Fours. But no matter how many sports stars he interviewed, his favorite stories involved everyday people overcoming obstacles.

    Rainey was a man of few words, but he had a big heart. He wanted to fight his battle with cancer in private, yet there is one lesson he would want to share: listen to your body and get tested, even if you may be younger than the suggested age when tests should be performed.

The guy was great at his job.

Calling him a class act doesn't begin to do those words justice.

A class act in a local market full of other television sportscasters who can only be described as the most egregious egotists on the planet. I don't know what it is about this market that too many sportscasters think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not Bob Rainey.

Rainey excelled in what he did. It didn't matter if he was reporting on the Wild, the Vikings, the Twins or a local kid's sporting event. He had passion about whatever team it was and his passion showed.

He exuded happiness.

He had an honest and sincere sense of humor, unlike the feigned humor that other local sportscasters fake with their cohorts on every broadcast.

He never attempted to outshine or overshadow whatever he was reporting on. He covered the story; the event. It was never "about him". Never. Never.

He had a grace and professionalism about him that other local sportscasters could only hope and pray to possess in the smallest degree (and they don't).

You knew he loved what he did simply by watching him report on something.

He was real. He was Genuine.

His passing sucks. It just sucks. Damn...just damn.

The guy was great. He will be greatly missed.


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