In 1960’s Chicago Heights, a young Terry Boers was leaving class at Bloom High School. As he was exiting the classroom, his teacher approached him with something that would unknowingly change his life. “Terry,” she said. “Have you ever considered creative writing as a career?” With this question, she went on to compliment the work he’d done for class, which came as a surprise to Boers who did not have his sights set on anything in particular. This simple conversation began paving the path which Boers’ career took.
Now, sitting at in a booth at Lume’s Pancake House in Frankfort, Boers looks back on his lengthy career, and seven decade-long relationship with sports, with humility and humor. Known for his 25-year stint on WSCR’s The Score, coupled with a 25-year gig working for the Chicago Sun Times, this recently retired radio host is still letting it sink in that people have enjoyed his work. “You never know what people really think. Its still amazing to me that he thought I was good,” he says in reference to his former editor John E. Meyers. “[Writing] was never something [I thought about wanting.] If you want something all your life and then you find out you’re no good at it…I mean, that’s why I never wanted anything.”
Boers first worked for the Lansing Sun Journal in 1972 and would eventually go to the Sun Times in 1980. He began working a desk job and was warned by multiple editors never to request to write. However, writer Richard Justice was tasked to take on a column about the Chicago Bulls but opted to take a job at the Washington Post the night before the column was to start. Left in a bind, Boers’ editor asked him to take over. “I think life is full of fate. I didn’t think Richard Justice would make my career, I’ve sent him notes since then saying “thank you” because without [him] I never would’ve had this job,” Boers reflects. “[Justice] said ‘oh, you would’ve eventually had one’ and I said ‘yeah, but some people wait on eventually forever and it never happens.’”
Boers is now adamant about the fact that the 1980’s was the best decade in sports history, and this is something he plans to cover in a book he is currently writing. While there are many memories that are prized, some are still puzzling. Boers stated that one of the most unusual memories was an encounter with former NBA player Moses Malone. After attempting an interview with Malone, Boers was met with a curt response and dismissal. “I said ‘Moses, do you have a second?’” says Boers. “And he said, ‘I don’t have a second for you at all!’ I thought, ‘that’s interesting,’” Boers recalls as he writes off the interaction as Malone thinking he must have been someone else, seeing as they had never met before. The two would meet again years later, with Malone being much friendlier this time around, but Boers would never get an answer to that initial meeting.
“I offended a lot of people, but I don’t think he was one of them. I don’t think I could walk up to Mike Ditka and get away with it,” Boers says, referencing his infamous squabbles with the former Bears coach. Boers was always very candid in his work which helped to sustain his career.
After mastering the writing ropes, Boers would then move on to The Score alongside Dan Bernstein. They spent hours over the course of 25 years dissecting sports, and Boers’ time on the show came to a close in 2016. He had gotten sick and was required to undergo two surgeries, which he is still recovering from. “I came back in December, but I just couldn’t do it,” says Boers. “Which is very tough on you mentally.” Boers went through a jaw replacement surgery, which forced him to miss the bulk of the latter- half of 2016. He credits his wife to helping him through the on-going recovery and plans to take 2017 a little easier.
While The Score may be settled, Boers is now using his retirement to work on his aforementioned book, which he plans on completing this summer. In addition, he keeps busy with the company of his wife, four sons, and five grandchildren. Aside from the book, Boers is slated to be the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from Bloom High School, which is the perfect bookend to the advice received from his creative writing teacher. He will also be an emcee at the awards, and is excited to share stories from his time at Bloom as well as give advice to those looking for their path. “Never turn your back on opportunity,” says Boers. “Never say never about anything that you do.”
By Taylor Leddin, originally published in a 2017 edition of The Parks Lifestyle Magazine