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Season 2, Episode 8    |   1 hr,  18min

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In this episode of the Superpowers podcast, Bill and Chris bring on Ian Rapoport, author of the Boston Herald blog, “The RapSheet” and National Insider at the NFL Network.

Ian had aspired to follow in the footsteps of his favorite writers at sports-centric publications like Sports Illustrated even before attending Columbia University, where he covered sports for the institution’s storied student newspaper. “I always loved sports,” Ian told Bill and Chris before cautioning young writers who want to follow in his footsteps: “You have to like the writing more than sports.”

Ian takes a creative approach to his work that led to the 2008 creation of The RapSheet blog at the Boston Herald, which adds a level of personality and humor that’s often lacking in traditional sports news coverage.

Ian also writes daily about the New England Patriots, using every ounce of his creativity to get answers from the Patriots’ notoriously tight-lipped, legendary head coach Bill Belichick. “We came to an understanding pretty early that there are always questions I’m going to ask and he’s either going to answer or he doesn’t… I was also never shy about asking.”

Through trial and error, building connections without crossing boundaries, Ian became “a nonstop source of Patriots information.” In 2012, Ian’s reputation as a talented reporter landed him a job at the NFL Network.

The transition to TV didn’t come to him naturally. “I was really bad at the beginning – one time I completely blanked on the air.” Over time and with support from the network, he polished off his TV presence and has become an NFL celebrity.

Ian’s superpower is his ability to see the patterns in his reporting and apply his social awareness to sources to get top tier information.