For most Boston sports fans, the big game is a diversion, a time out from the daily grind. When a winner is crowned, they pull off replica jerseys bearing names like Ortiz, Brady, and Garnett, and then return to the minutiae of everyday life.
But for Northeastern alumnus Adam Jones, the end of the game is but the beginning, the onset of a nuanced critique of critical plays, coaching decisions, and player performances.
And he’s no armchair quarterback. As the new evening host on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Jones has the radio pulpit, reaching tens of thousands of loyal listeners in his booming voice. His eponymous show runs weeknights from 6-11 p.m., but he could talk sports all night long. “I understand how fortunate I am that I get to do this for a living,” Jones said.
Becoming a big-time sports media player in a town known for its championship banners was a long time in the making for the 29-year-old Newport, Vt., native, who grew up rooting for the Bruins and Celtics.
He graduated from Northeastern in 2008 with a degree in communication studies, serving as the sports director of the student-run radio station, 104.9 WRBB, and the play-by-play broadcaster of Husky football and basketball. From 2006-2009, he reported on Red Sox games from Fenway Park and anchored SportsCenter for 890 ESPN Radio, first as a co-op student and then as a full-time employee. And before his most recent gig as host on ESPN Radio Boston, he teamed up with legendary Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy on a Saturday-morning radio show on 98.5.
Even his play-by-play of the Northeastern men’s basketball team has proved useful in preparing him for his latest gig, for which he scours newspapers, Twitter feeds, and websites for the latest sports news. “I would spend a couple of days making out a roster and compiling all the statistics I wanted to refer to during the broadcast,” Jones recalled. “Now the content is different but the study habits are the same.”
He put his reporting skills to good use during the show’s debut on Jan. 3. In an unplanned interview with New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, he asked probing questions about head coach Bill Belichick’s contract and the future of the team’s offensive coordinator, who had turned down interview requests for vacant head coaching jobs. “My head was spinning and I was trying to remember the phone number and how to use the calls screen,” said Jones, “but the interview turned out great.”
He has high hopes for the Bruins and Celtics, both of whom appear poised to make deep playoff runs this spring. “The Bruins are already in the mix for another Stanley Cup,” he said. “The question now comes down to whether they make a big deal that puts them over the top, like upgrading their third line or adding more depth on the blue line.”