There are 14 days left until New Year's Day, so I guess it's about time I told you what the next chapter of my life is going to be. For the uninitiated (that sounds better than uniformed, doesn't it?) I will be retiring from The Spokesman-Review after Dec. 31 and will no longer be covering Washington State football and men's basketball. Exclusively. Read on.
• Let's get this over with up front. Christian Caple is taking over my duties covering WSU right after the first of the year. That's not going to change. But I'm not going to be like an old soldier (the first quote if you weren't a history minor like me). Over the past five years, we've developed a relationship here on this blog, you Cougar fans and me (not sure if the grammar is right – heck, I'm rarely sure if the grammar is right – but that sounds best to my ear). You come here looking for WSU news and I tell you about what I had for breakfast. A perfect symbiotic relationship, in that you have to listen to get what you want – something every 55-year-old in America desires. I wanted this type of relationship to continue and, even more importantly, so did my boss, the guy who controls the budget. So in what-will-now-be my semi-retirement, I am going to work for the S-R as their sports online producer. This part-time job will keep me on this blog everyday, with a post similar to what I do now with the Cougars, just passing along news on a larger array of subjects – WSU, Gonzaga, EWU, Mariners, Seahawks, preps, local Spokane sports – though not in the same depth as now. Let's use Washington State as an example. Christian will take over the Cougar portion of the SportsLink blog but every morning I will have a post that not only tells you what he is up to but also guides you to other interesting stories in the S-R and around the nation that pertain to our local teams. But that's just part of what I'll be doing. Here's what our sports editor, Joe Palmquist said in an email to the staff: "(It)will include a regular morning post, polls, online chats and breaking news updates. His morning post is intended to give readers a regular spot to catch up on all the local sports news." Yep, I'm going to learn how to do online chats – among other tools – with local newsmakers, then use them to drive a conversation about big sporting events, Cougar football for example. Instead of focusing on the event with an idea of passing along a story, I'll be watching and talking with you, trying to answer questions and commiserating about the woeful state of Pac-12 officiating (just kidding), sometimes from on-site, sometimes while watching the same Fox broadcast you are. In other words, I'm not going away. My job is just changing.
• That's it. After the long pause since the tease, I hope this news isn't too disappointing. And for the guy who thought I was going to work for the Pac-12 Network, thanks for the vote of confidence. But I'm a small-town guy. Until later ...