2012 Bruce Arthur

Bruce Arthur

Bruce Arthur’s career as a full-time reporter lasted 17 days before he was laid off. He was working for the National Post, in one of the greatest collecions of sportswriting talent Canada had ever seen – it included Cam Cole, Roy MacGregor, Chris Jones, Dave Feschuk, Tom Maloney, Scott Burnside, Sean Fitz-Gerald, top-notch editors, a strong desk, and a full portfolio of writers.

Under fiscal pressure from the Asper family, however, the paper cut that sports section, along with arts, on Sept. 17, 2001. In the foreword of Chris Cobb’s book on the newspaper wars, Ego and Ink, Arthur makes a cameo appearance the night before the layoffs.

Arthur didn’t go home to Vancouver, however, and was eventually re-hired – “my future wife had just transferred to the U of T law school, so I wasn’t leaving town,” he says – and stuck around. It turned out to be a pretty good break.

Arthur had joined the Post as an intern after graduating from the University of British Columbia, where he was the sports editor and co-ordinating editor of the Ubyssey student newspaper, and called football and basketball games on CITR, the campus radio station.

Once he was re-hired by the Post, Arthur covered the Toronto Raptors and the NBA, and was named a columnist by sports editor Jim Bray in 2005. He was elevated to the paper’s national sports columnist in 2008, and was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in 2010. In 2011 Postmedia named Cole, the winner of this award in 2004 and 2011, and Arthur to the position of national sports columnists for the entire chain.

Arthur has been an enthusiastic adopter of Twitter, and was twice been named to Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 list of people to follow in sports. He was also named to Deadspin’s 67 worst Twitter accounts in sports, which helped balance it out. Covering the London, England, Olympics Arthur wrote about a wide variety of topics, including Simon Whitfield, Clara Hughes, the women’s soccer team, and the end of an era for a golden generation of Canadian Olympians.

“I had to write a lot of eulogies, or near enough,” said Arthur. “A lot of heartbreak stories, a lot of endings, that kind of thing. But a lot of grace, too. There’s nothing better to write than the Olympics.”

London was Arthur’s third Olympics, and he had also covered the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup final, and the NBA Finals. Arthur lives in Toronto with his wife, Jen, and three children.