Mike Boone, The Man Behind The Blog

One of the more popular journalists in Montreal covering the Montreal Canadiens, Mike Boone’s Habs Inside/Out is one of the most reliable sources of information for everything Hab related, but he didn’t always want to write for the Gazette, or even cover the team when he was younger. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer.” While this may shock most of those who now see Boone as perfectly qualified to be running a blog on one of North America’s most popular sports teams, his education in the field is far from top caliber. A graduate of McGill university, Boone credits his learning as a writer with the school paper. “McGill doesn’t have a journalism program. I studied English Literature and learned to write for newspapers at the Daily.”

Naturally a good investment in hindsight, this experience led to the first of a string of coincidences that ended up launching a career. His journalistic experience steered him away from his childhood ambition of being a lawyer, ” at McGill, I had no idea what I wanted to be.” Boone said with a chuckle. This led to him taking his first steps in his new career. “I got started by accident. I had covered sports for the McGill daily but could not get a job in journalism when I graduated with a BA in English.” Spurred to various jobs by the greatest human motivator, notably a lack of money, Boone did whatever it took to stay off the streets. “I did a bunch of stuff to pay the rent and was working as a proofreader for a computerized typesetting company specializing in legal texts.” Closer than ever to his former ambition of being a servant of justice, Boone made it clear that it was not an avenue he would have been interested in pursuing after that point. “It was as boring as it sounds.” It was only a matter of time before the pieces began to fall in place for the writer. Soon enough, an old friend came back into his life, showing once again that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. “I was contacted by Pat Hickey. He had covered college sports for the Gazette when I was at the daily and remembered my writing. By then, he was sports editor of the Montreal Star and offered me a job.” This came in 1974. Just in time to assist in covering the Habs dynasty of the late 1970’s.

Unfortunately, the job was short lived as not all good things are meant to last. “I was a sportswriter for five years at the Star before the paper folded. The Gazette hired me but they said there were no openings in the sports department.” Thus began a hiatus on writing about sports that would last longer than anticipated, and would seem a lot longer due to the nature of of his next job. “As an interim measure I was signed to write about rock music, and hated every minute of it.” Thankfully this particular job didn’t last either. He moved on from the music column to become the TV and radio columnist for the Gazette for the next twenty years of his career, however this job was one he didn’t mind doing. “I actually liked doing that” he said, smiling. It was only in the year 2000 that he changed once more. “I was asked to take over the city column. I write three city columns a week and, since 2006 write about hockey for Habs Inside/Out: a live game blog and post game commentary.”

A far cry from many who know Boone strictly as the man who write about hockey, he has proven to have quite the illustrious, albeit completely unintentional career, and has accomplished much throughout his time writing for the Montreal Papers. Still, people are curious as to whats next for the writer. “I’m 62. I’ll be happy if they let me do what I’m doing until it’s time to hang them up.” Put in perspective, the man behind the blog certainly has much more to his name than simply commenting on hockey games, and it’s only when you hear the whole story that you start to realize the dedication, time, and luck that goes into doing what you love best as a career.

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