So after about 2 1/2 years of writing for ESPN.com, I’ve jumped ship, returning to my old Sports Illustrated haunting ground to write a regular Friday column for SI.com.
I wish I had exciting details to report, but, really, I don’t. I loved writing for ESPN.comâ€”my editors were cool, the exposure was fantastic, the pay, well, eh, hmmâ€”my editors were cool.
Unfortunately, like most places these days, ESPN has been struggling. This is just my take, but it seems the network/website/magazine became obsessed with adding every big journalism name out there. So it started unloading tons and tons of money on the Rick Reillys of the business. Rick, of course, is a wonderful talent. But what have they done with him? At some point, ESPN seemed to be hiring for the sake of hiring. They treated journalists in the way sports organizations treat playersâ€”gobbling up “free agents” without much thought. Now, they’re loaded with big names, but is the finished product that much better? Probably not.
I, for one, was never a big name at ESPN. Hell, I didn’t even have a contract. I was paid per column, at a pretty inexpensive clip. But when the site was told to reduce expenses, well, I saw that the end was near; that my end was near.
So I left.
Truthfully, I’m happy to be back at SI. I loved working for ESPN, but I never loved ESPN. It was sorta like playing for the Yankees against Kansas City. Too big, too powerful, too rich, too overwhelming. I think I’d rather help the upstart (in this case, SI’s website) kick ass.
Hence, here I am. Column starts next Friday …