Bob Ley was the one guy we envisioned during his 40-year run at ESPN who didn’t “have all the fun,” like the book title said.
While self-inflicted, self-centered chaos broke out around him, he was the one who had to ask those around his cubical to please hold it down because he couldn’t hear his phone conversation with Arthur Ashe.
Oral histories of the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports have documented a cacophonous collection of egos and attention seekers, crossing lines of decorum. In more recent times, ESPN has devolved into SportsCenter personalities unable to get out of their own way in Twitter feuds with the sitting U.S. president.
Ley was known as the General for the leeway he had in navigating through the corporate business relationship landmines, reinforcing that his way was most often the right way.
Here is our Los Angeles Times part essay/part exit interview with the 64-year-old who retired from ESPN last week, from an “Outside The Lines” show that included his name in the title, and what’s in the future for it all.