Tag Archives: Dave Ruden

Dave Ruden’s Sports Report

As a Union College junior, Dave Ruden’s courses were filled with reading. So he took creative writing, just so he wouldn’t have to read more.

But the professor saw in Dave a writing talent the 1978 Staples grad had never seen in himself. The instructor encouraged Dave to write about his passion — sports — for the school paper.

“That was probably the worst journalism ever,” Dave recalls. But it launched him on a career in sports that took him to CBS, the New York Times and ESPN.

Now Dave is leaving the Stamford Advocate. He’s creating a blog — “The Ruden Report” — that he hopes becomes the go-to spot for Fairfield County sports fans.

Dave Ruden, in one of the many high school gyms he knows well.

Dave Ruden, in one of the many high school gyms he knows well.

His departure from the Advocate — where he has earned a reputation as a fair, sensitive, talented and insightful writer, specializing in high school sports — is amicable. He loves the paper; it has treated him well, allowing him to cover a wide variety of events (including the World Series and Final Fours).

But the paper’s sports coverage has shrunk — there are now 3 staff writers, down from 9 — and Ruden wants to delve into the human interest stories, profiles and commentary he loves. He’s seen the success of his “Overtime” blog — and he realizes print is not the only way to get news anymore.

This is the 2nd time Dave has left the Advocate for cyberspace. In 1997 — after working hard at his craft, teaching himself by writing often and reading masters like Dave Anderson and Red Smith — he joined ESPN as an online producer.

“It was the most miserable 6 months of my professional life,” he says. “I was hired to write, but they never let me.”

Back at the Advocate, he gravitated to high school sports.

Dave Ruden, at work on the FCIAC sidelines.

Dave Ruden, at work on the FCIAC sidelines.

“I love the FCIAC — the athletes, coaches and administrators,” Dave says, referring to the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

“I’ve developed close relationships with the people I cover. There’s nothing more satisfying than making a kid who will never play anything after high school feel special, or having someone tell me they’ve got my stories in their scrapbook.”

“The Ruden Report” debuts the 1st week of September. Dave will continue the popular Player and Team of the Week polls from his current blog. He’ll also host a weekly FCIAC football show, highlighting teams, players, coaches, even referees and trainers.

Though Dave is always objective, he holds a soft spot for his native Westport.

“It’s special. It’s my home,” he admits. “It’s where I picked up my love for soccer. I played as a sophomore, and probably missed more goals than anyone in Staples history. But I was proud to be in the locker room for Mr. Loeffler’s 200th victory as a coach.”

Dave's current logo

Dave’s current logo

He calls Westport’s sports scene “very vibrant and diverse.” He points to success in so many different sports, and notes that youth sports are “huge. I played Little League and rec basketball. It’s great to see kids are still doing all that.”

Dave has always reached out to high school students. He advises 2 high school newspapers, and consults for a 3rd. He’ll keep doing that, and will also offer opportunities to high school photographers and videographers.

He’s lined up investors, but the business model is based on advertising. He’s developed a very loyal following, and is gratified that advertisers are signing up for “The Ruden Report.”

Readers are sure to follow. After 30 years here, Dave Ruden has developed a distinctive voice. He provides important insights, and a unique perspective on local sports.

Starting in September, it’s all available on a new, 24/7/365 platform.

Thanks, But No Thanks

Stamford Advocate sportswriter Dave Ruden has a great nose for good stories.  His “Overtime” blog highlights high school sports — and as often as he can, he features good news.

Last weekend he gave a shout-out to Staples — coincidentally, his alma mater.  Dave wrote that he’d just received an email from a Wrecker athlete, following his blog post about the young man.  It was a few simple lines —  “thanks for the nice writeup” — but because that’s so rare these days, Dave thought it was worth a mention.

Within hours, he took the blog post down.

Turns out the athlete received so much grief from his teammates and friends about his polite gesture, he asked Dave to remove the story.

Like Dave Ruden, I’m usually a huge advocate of today’s teenagers.

But also like Dave, all I can do this morning is shake my head.