Tag Archives: “The Ruden Report

Roundup: School Traffic, Football, Yarn Day, More

Sure, half of all Bedford Middle and Staples High School students are not on campus, at any given time.

But with most parents opting to drive and pick up their youngsters — some buses reportedly carry only 1 or 2 kids — traffic on North Avenue and nearby streets has been heavy, at the start and finish of the school days.

It may take a few days to sort out what works. Until then: Avoid those areas at those times if you can.

Bedford Middle School traffic, yesterday afternoon. (Photo/Adam Vengrow)

It’s a win-win: The Westport Library and the Ruden Report.

Ruden — a Staples High School graduate whose website, Instagram and Facebook platforms are the go-to sources for coverage of Fairfield County high school sports —  are collaborating on a new project: The Ruden Report Live at the Library.

The show debuts today (Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m.) from the Library’s Forum. Tonight’s topic: the recent decision to cancel this year’s high school football season. Guests include noted New Canaan High coach Lou Marinelli, St. Joseph’s Jack Wallace (2019 Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year), and Jeff Jacobs, sports columnist at GameTime CT and Hearst Media CT.

Upcoming Ruden Reports will be recorded in the libary’s media studios. Some shows will be streamed live.

Ruden has been a sportswriter for over 35 years. He has written for the New York Times, and worked at ESPN and CBS Sports. 

Dave Ruden at work.

Speaking of sports: Staples football players joined hundreds of others from around the state yesterday in Hartford. They protested the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and state Department of Public Health decision to cancel this fall’s high school football season.

Tonight at 7 p.m., former CNN, NBC Sports and Fox News anchor (and Westport resident) Dave Briggs interviews Wrecker head football coach Adam Behrends on Instagram Live. You can hear the discussion @WestportMagazine.

A small part of the large crowd in Hartford yesterday. (Photo/Dave Briggs)

This Saturday is Local Yarn Store Day. And Westport’s local yarn store — called, appropriately enough, Westport Yarns — is celebrating big time.

The shop across from Fresh Market offers free 45-minute lessons at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Three people (12 years old and over) will get yarn and needles, and learn how to knit. At 12 and 2 p.m., there are free crochet lessons. To register, call 203-454-4300.

In addition, there are hand-dyed yarns for purchase. Earlier this year, a similar trunk show sold out quickly.

Rumor has it that Westport’s yarn bomber may stop by. No promises, but hey. You never know.

One of the yarn bomber’s first works, at fire headquarters. Westport Yarns is just a few yards away. (Photo/Molly Alger)

Speaking of cars: After a careful look at COVID requirements and a review with town officials, organizers have canceled the Concours and “Cars & Coffee” events set for October 4, in downtown Westport.

However, the “Tour d’Caffeine” is still on. The socially distanced ride through Fairfield County’s back roads ends with lunch at the Redding Roadhouse. It is limited to the first 25 who sign up. Click here to register.

And finally … in honor of Local Yarn Store Day:

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.