It’s both with a heavy heart and anticipation for the future that I announce my retirement as a Cal sports reporter. From this point forward, I’ll just be a regular blogging Cal fan.
It’s a decision that had mostly been made a year ago, that this year would be my last. I wanted to finish going to every stadium in the pressbox and I wanted just one more year under the sun. At the same time, I knew how taxing the job was on the family and on me personally. So my wife and I made the decision that this year would be my last and didn’t really tell anyone, not wanting to ruin the experience of the last year.
Now that the year has come and gone, it’s still been hard to pull the trigger on making the decision, in part because I’ve really enjoyed the experience and know that once I step away it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get a chance to do it again. Nevertheless it is the right decision. That’s why it comes with a heavy heart.
As for the anticipation, there was much about the job that was a lot more laborious than I expected when I started in on it. There are no hiatuses when it’s your job. You’ve got to write your articles when you feel disgusted and want to walk away just as much as you get to write them when the times are good. Particularly living so far from Berkeley, the weekly drives down for the Tuesday press conferences, particularly frequently on the back of a long road trip the weekend before, were quite taxing. This year seemed worse than prior years because part of what I enjoyed the most was watching practice, something I didn’t get to do now that Tedford closed most of practice to the press.
And then there was the constant mental struggle of posting the same thoughts I put in my articles and columns on a subscription site, here on the blog. I’d find myself trying to come up with new thoughts to put on the blog so that I wasn’t revealing subscription content for free on the blog. That was frustrating as well, because I felt like the blog posts were a “shell” of what I really wanted to say. It was one of the things I liked about the OTRH podcasts, because I didn’t feel so inhibited about them.
Point of all this being, I’m excited about blogging again just as a regular guy where I can say what I want to say and not worry. I don’t have to worry about spending too much time writing on the blog and then being too exhausted or disinterested to write a bunch of articles as well. There’s freedom in not getting paid.
So, while I will miss getting to travel so much (as an aside, I’d recommend to everyone that loves the Bears that you make it a goal to visit every Pac-10 stadium at some point. You’ll have a much better appreciation for our conference once you do.) I’m very excited for what the future holds for the blog.