In the flux that is The Score these days, Cabral Richards, aka “Cabbie” was a continuing familiar face. “We grew up together, Cabbie and us at The Score,” says John Levy, chairman and CEO of Score Media. But after 10 years (and one short hiatus at Sportsnet), Richards has decided to move onto a new job. What that job is he can’t exactly say yet. “But I’m 100 per cent excited about the move,” he told Usual Suspects Tuesday night.
A performance artist/ party crasher, Cabbie schmoozed the greats of the sports world in dressing rooms, hallways and batting cages. With a combination of charm, humour and pushiness the Toronto native got the ear of Kobe, Shaq, ARod and the other glitterati of modern sports. His deconstructed sports reporter became the forerunner for The Score’s post-modern approach to sports, dropping the highlights and tape format for a stew of entertainment/ performance features.
“I’m eternally grateful for everything John Levy and Score Media has given me,” Richards says. “I started as an intern and they gave me creative freedom. I’m surprised how far I got to go. I flew in Kobe’s private helicopter last year, I interviewed Will Ferrell in a bathroom. I’m grateful certain guys let their guard down with me. I don’t know why they did sometimes, but I’m thankful for it.”
Richards says that he learned that famous athletes are “regular dudes, man. They have an amazing athletic ability, but if you talk to them like real people, even Michael Jordan, Kobe, they just want to talk about music, movies, girls. You know? I guess for some of them, me being part of the hip-hop generation helped a lot. I looked different from the beat guys they dealt with every day.”
Levy wishes Richards the best, but says The Score will fill the Cabbie gap. “We have the Basketball Jones guys who did the Like A Bosh video about Chris Bosh that went viral. The business is always changing, and we’re not a one-trick pony.”