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Globe's McDonough dies at 67

Page 2 of 4 -- As the new league grew, and then merged with the old one, Mr. McDonough became known as Mr. Pro Football in Boston and beyond. It was a reputation he guarded closely and maintained , via extensive reporting for his writing assignments, radio shows, and regular appearances on local and national television, until the week of his death.

Professional football was Mr. McDonough's main interest for most of his Globe career (he left the paper for a brief period in 1973 to go to work for the late Bob Woolf's player-management firm), and he was proud of his status as one of the very few writers still working who had covered every Super Bowl. But he kept his keen eye on everything else that was going on around town, especially at Boston Garden, the FleetCenter and Fenway Park, and was able and willing on a moment's notice to cover events at those venues when his editors were stuck. When the opportunity came in the 1980s for him to write a weekly notes column for the Saturday edition, he was well-prepared. From the first such column to the last, just a week ago, Will McDonough produced must-reading copy not only for Globe readers but also for the movers and shakers in sports locally and nationally.

Although he didn't like the word ''pioneer,'' Mr. McDonough was one. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a charter member of a small company of print journalists who, while maintaining their newspaper positions, worked as reporters and commentators on television. In the days before the Internet, Mr. McDonough's Sunday edition professional football notes columns were staples in the studios of every network covering the NFL, and CBS took the unprecedented step of offering him an on-air job. ''I proved once and for all you don't have to be pretty to be on television,'' he liked to say of his work at CBS and, later, at NBC.

In recent years, Mr. McDonough continued to appear regularly on television and radio broadcasts. He did a weekly national radio show (he taped his last one Thursday morning) with former Patriots (and now Dallas Cowboys) coach Bill Parcells for Sporting News Radio (heard locally on WWZN, 1510-AM). He also appeared regularly on his son Sean's ''The McDonough Group'' on that station, and he was a co-host with his former longtime Globe colleague Mike Barnicle each Friday on WTKK (96.9-FM). He also was a staple of Ch. 4's ''Patriots Pregame,'' ''5th Quarter,'' and ''Sports Final'' shows with host Bob Lobel.

As to his health, Mr. McDonough dealt with his middle-age heart problems, which began a decade ago, the way he dealt with his stories: You do your work, you play it straight, and you tough it out, knowing you've given it your all. On a visit to the Globe last Friday, he mentioned that the medication he was taking after a recent cardiac procedure made him feel ''dopey,'' but he was looking forward to resuming his exercises. ''When you have heart disease,'' he said, ''you know another blow is coming. The important thing is to be in the best shape you can to give yourself the best shot at surviving it.''   Continued...

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