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Old 06-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #106
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What a shock. Much too young.

My thoughts go out to his family- RIP Dan Pires.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:50 PM   #107
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http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/...ORTS/806260370

'Mayor of Foxboro' a friend, mentor

By David Brown
June 26, 2008 6:00 AM

Standard-Times Patriots writer Dan Pires didn't work the room — he worked the planet. With a personality as large as his heart, it seemed his mission was to know and love everyone he could, a pursuit that inspired some to call him, "The Mayor of Foxboro."

His death Wednesday morning at age 52 deprives the world of a wonderful man, The Standard-Times of a great reporter and myself of an irreplaceable friend and mentor.

I first met Dan Pires in the media workroom at Gillette Stadium during the Patriots' 2006 rookie mini-camp. We were friends before he finished shaking my hand. Although he'd known me for just a handful of seconds, Dan introduced me to every reporter in sight, a chore that was not his obligation, but seemed to be his pleasure.

"If it was your first day or you were new to the beat, he always sought you out and shook your hand," said Shalise Manza-Young, Patriots beat writer for the Providence Journal. "And if he liked you, he liked you forever."

As I would learn in two years working closely with Dan on the Patriots beat, that benevolent spirit and friendly nature were what made him so good at covering the Pats, one of the most tight-lipped teams in professional sports.

Dan had no formal education in journalism, but the best of his reporting skills could not be taught in a classroom. The tools of his trade were handshakes and smiles, which Dan used to build relationships first and stories second. Reporting came to him so naturally that few of his colleagues on the Patriots beat knew that journalism was a part-time pursuit or that he held a full-time job at a credit bureau.

He frequently gained the trust of players by connecting with them on a human level and walked away with information that few, if anyone, could acquire.

"I think the players liked him," said Mike Reiss, who covers the Patriots for the Boston Globe. "They felt comfortable talking to him, telling him things that they wouldn't tell other reporters."

Among current Patriots, he was most close to safety Rodney Harrison, with whom he had a productive player-reporter relationship.

"He is one of the most honest people I've ever met, someone with great integrity," Harrison said. "He was the only person in the media who ever sent me spiritual messages."

Dan operated outside the oppositional relationship between athletes and media, making friends with players as he would with anyone else.

"He dealt with them like people, which is something I like to do also, but I saw from him that it can be done successfully," Manza-Young said. "(The players) are fathers and sons and he knew that about them and they appreciated it."

In 2005, then Standard-Times sports editor Jonathan Comey used information that Dan provided to break the story of a planned holdout by Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour. The report sparked controversy when WEEI talk-show hosts doubted its validity, suggesting The Standard-Times was not a big enough paper to break such a large story.

The report, of course, was true, and Seymour held out at the start of training camp.

Last season Dan was responsible for the story that got the most clicks on Yahoo! sports, a report that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and defensive end Ty Warren were fined for not wearing chin straps. The Web site attributed the information to the Globe, but Boston was following Dan on the story.

In April, Dan again had a story that the Boston papers didn't, when he was the first to report that linebacker Junior Seau had off-season rotator cuff surgery after the Super Bowl.

"Who else had been talking to Junior Seau?" Reiss said. "Dan had a great relationship with him."

When Seau learned that Dan wasn't making the trip to Phoenix for the Super Bowl in February, he offered Dan his phone number, adding another jewel to Dan's cell phone, a treasure trove of contact information for players, agents and league sources. If the phone went to sale at a public auction, you could expect a hoard of reporters to show up and bid on it.

"I know I would," Manza-Young said. "There is a wealth of information inside that cell phone, definitely."

Dan was so well-connected in New Bedford and Dartmouth that whenever a Standard-Times reporter struggled to locate a source or an elusive nugget of information, that reporter was met with a standing joke: "Pires knows." Laughs would follow when the joke turned out to be true.

His value to The Standard-Times was incalculable, and his compensation for covering the Patriots was an epic bargain when you consider his contributions in news tips, names and phone numbers for stories he wasn't working on.

The unexpected emergence of his smiling face when he popped into the office on a busy night will be missed. On Wednesday, that smile was sorely needed in the newsroom, which was devastated by this sad news.

As we grieve, there is only one scrap of solace I can take in Dan's passing: If I ever get to Heaven, the next words I hear from my well-connected friend will be, "Hey God, have you met Dave?"

Contact David Brown at

dbrown@s-t.com
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:55 PM   #108
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http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/...NEWS/806260337

Popular Patriots reporter remembered as likeable, loving

By Steve Decosta
Standard-Times staff writer
June 26, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD — Dan Pires, whose insightful reporting on the New England Patriots made him popular with readers of The Standard-Times and whose outgoing personality made him popular with Patriots players, his peers and the public, died Wednesday morning.

He was 52.

Mr. Pires worked as the Patriots beat reporter for this newspaper for more than a decade, starting during the Drew Bledsoe era and following them through their three Super Bowl championships.

He was also a frequent contributor to a variety of online message boards regarding the Patriots and The Standard-Times' Dine Out column. He was a news junkie who was constantly providing tips about what was going on in New Bedford and throughout SouthCoast.

Mr. Pires was found unresponsive at the Dartmouth Middle School track at 6:22 a.m. Wednesday, according to Dartmouth police, who said a passerby administered CPR but was unable to revive him. He was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police do not suspect foul play.

"Dan was one of the friendliest and most decent people you could know," Standard-Times Editor Bob Unger said. "That was one of the reasons he was so good at his job. He knew everyone, and everyone knew — and liked — him.

"About once every week or two, I'd get a phone call or e-mail from him with a story tip that he had picked up from one of the many people he talked with. He was a great family man and a great guy, and we are going to miss him."

"The Patriots organization is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected death of Dan Pires," director of media relations Stacey James said in a statement. "He was well liked by his colleagues in the media, the players in the locker room and the many team staff members he came into contact with.

"He had an unassuming demeanor and will be remembered by many as an engaging conversationalist," Mr. James said. "While many of his conversations started on the topic of football, most ended talking about his family. Dan was a doting dad and a loving husband."

Mr. Pires covered the three Super Bowls won by the Patriots: 20-17 over the St. Louis Rams in New Orleans in 2002, 32-29 over the Carolina Panthers in 2004 and 24-21 over the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005.

He did not witness the Patriots' 17-14 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this year because of a work commitment.

While Mr. Pires routinely kept up with the reporting pack and regularly broke news about the Patriots, journalism was more of a hobby to him than a vocation. He covered the team part-time while working full-time as collection division manager for the Credit Information Bureau of Rhode Island, a job that required extensive travel.

"I wish he would have been able to cover the team full-time," said Ken Hartnett, retired editor of The Standard-Times. "He understood that football team. He had good relationships with the players, he had a great understanding of the game, and it wasn't even his main job."

The fact that Mr. Pires was at the track early in the morning was testament to his newfound commitment to improve his health. In the past 14 months, he had taken up a regular exercise regimen and shed 40 pounds.

The unexpected death of Hartford Courant columnist Alan Greenberg, who regularly covered the Patriots, in March 2007 inspired Mr. Pires to diet and exercise, colleagues and friends said.

"That was part of it," said longtime friend Shawn McDonald, "but it was also because of me. I had lost 140 pounds." Mr. McDonald is chairman of the Dartmouth School Committee.

Mr. Greenberg's death "was a wake-up call," Mr. McDonald said. "We talked a lot about it and he decided to do something about it."

Asked how long he had known Mr. Pires, Mr. McDonald said: "He was the kind of guy who, even if you only knew him for a month, it seemed like you'd known him all your life."

The old friends talked often about a lot of things. "Our conversations started out talking about the Patriots and ended up talking about our kids."

He was proud of those kids, Taylor and Jillian, and spent a lot of time with them.

"He loved the kids," said New Bedford High lacrosse coach Shane Relihan. "His son Taylor was a senior on the team, and he loved watching his son play.

"Dan would buy plaques for us at the end of the year and he had T-shirts made for the kids. Every road trip, he'd bring chips, snacks and water. He made it to every game and was always a pleasure to talk to, no matter what was going on.

"He's the kind of guy you can't afford to lose, especially at such a young age," Mr. Relihan said.

In addition to his two children, he is survived by his wife, Becky.

In a now more poignant posting of an online tribute to his colleague Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Pires wrote:

"I'm stunned. I'm not the same person I was earlier today. First, kiss your loved ones. For absolutely no primal reason, too. My mom's sister and aunt, Luisa, had a favorite saying — in Crioulo — until the day of her demise. She used to say: 'Cu fe na deus' (with faith in God). That's all we live by, after all."

And he signed it with his typical closing: "Peace, Dan."

Contact Steve DeCosta at sdecosta@s-t.com
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:42 PM   #109
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I am really sad to hear this terrible news, of course we at PP will miss Dan's presence..... but our loss pales in comparison to that of his family. Condolences and prayers to them.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:05 PM   #110
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Paranoid asked me for a avatar sized pic of Dan and also asked me to post it here in case anyone wished to use it. So....
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Last edited by Ras; 06-26-2008 at 02:09 PM..
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:24 PM   #111
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I swear I just felt something whack me off the back of my head and a voice said to me:

"Jeez, ya think you might maybe have a little something in a little less I look like I over-did the fake tanning spray, Bro?"

so I had this to offer as an alternative, Ras
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:36 PM   #112
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I knew that Dan had kids and that made me think of a quote that I read recently about what a father means to his kids:

"There is no place you will ever go where he won't be."
--writer Willie Morris

I lost my dad when I was 17, but that quote rings true to me now, some 35 years after he passed away. I still hear his voice.

My guess is that Dan Pires will always be there for his kids.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:42 PM   #113
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I came back from vacation today and read this news. Just staggering. Clearly Dan was a people person who loved to interact. I have a PM saved that he had sent me in June 2005 that he sent me out of the blue, asking me to call him on his personal cell phone. I can't remember exactly how or what the conversation was about, but it was half Patriots related and half about what it's like to be a Pats fan so far away from home. He was such a personable guy and the fact that he PM'd me, a stranger, asking me to call his personal cell phones speaks to the kind of outgoing, friendly person he is. I never thought I'd get choked up over something on this message board, but this is a great loss.... for his family, friends, the Pats community and our little message board. What a great guy with a wonderful personality. You will be missed Dan Pires. :(
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:55 PM   #114
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I'm heartbroken.

Dan and his family sent me care packages while I was in Iraq and I wanted so much to travel to New England this season to meet and thank him in person.

Godspeed, my friend. I'm grateful that he touched so many lives with his work, and that I got to know him personally albeit at a distance.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:17 PM   #115
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Thanks for all you gave to us, Dan!
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:09 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadGrader View Post
I swear I just felt something whack me off the back of my head and a voice said to me:

"Jeez, ya think you might maybe have a little something in a little less I look like I over-did the fake tanning spray, Bro?"

so I had this to offer as an alternative, Ras
For some reason it took me a long time to get the one Ras sent to finally load up. So I'll keep the "in the sun version" for a while.

I just thought it would be just one more way to pay tribute to Dan. So I'll keep the avatar until Training Camp starts anyway. If others want do the same, please do.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:43 PM   #117
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Patriots.com now has a blurb...

6/26/08

Patriots mourn the loss of Dan Pires

The New England Patriots organization is deeply saddened by the loss of long-time Patriots beat writer Dan Pires of the New Bedford Standard-Times. Pires, 52, was a Patriots beat reporter for The Standard-Times for more than a decade. He is survived by wife, Becky, and two children.

PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
"Besides being perhaps the most consistent attendee at virtually every press conference, what I will remember most about Dan is that he went out of his way to make a personal connection with everyone he came across. In all my years in football, Dan was one of the friendliest people I have ever come across. My deepest condolences are with the Pires family."
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:45 AM   #118
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God Rest His Soul..............
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:51 AM   #119
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I am truly sorry for his family and friends, he was truly one of the good guys.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:13 AM   #120
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I was away for a week and came back to this terrible news. What a punch in the gut. Even though I didn't know Dan personally, I will miss him here on the board. He's the only member of the media that I can see posting here and interacting with regular fans because he enjoys doing so because he's a real guy, which, after all, is far more important than being "the guy". My respects to Dan and his friends and family. RIP Dan.
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