Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Announcement: Meet Your New College Football Writer

Immediately after Tennessee’s would-be game-tying overtime field goal sailed wide left against UCLA, my life became a series of unfortunate events. First, my friend Kelly and I ended up lost outside the Rose Bowl. Anyone who has ever been to the Rose Bowl knows how hard this is to pull off. We knew things were going all wrong when we ended up walking on a street without a sidewalk with a large concrete river beside us. Eventually, in the depths of despair as to how we were going to get back to our hotel, a family of UCLA fans took mercy on us and took us for a ride back to our hotel. Somehow that ride departed from the parking lot of the 9th Circuit. I still have no idea how we got there, although it did confirm that my legal career has been one long, strange trip. It was after 11, my team had just suffered a crushing opening-season defeat, and I sat down to begin work on my book, On Rocky Top. After a couple of hours of writing, I logged on to Deadspin and put up some posts, links, and at least one great dick joke. Then I switched over to email some legal clients about items I was hard at work on. And by hard at work, I meant “not doing.” It was well after 3 in the morning before I finished and I had an early morning direct flight that Tuesday back to Nashville. But, of course, after the season-opening defeat I couldn’t really sleep. I’d waited nine months for this? To lose to an inferior team when we were 8 point favorites? The season already looked ominous and that was before I knew that Jonathan Crompton’s only quarterbacking skill was, “Throw the ball really hard.” So around 7, I went ahead and got out of bed and worked again on putting up some links for Deadspin and then headed to the Burbank airport for my direct flight back to Nashville. I returned my rental car (in an incredibly ominous sign they’d given me a UCLA blue Chrysler Sebring convertible because it was the only car available) and congratulated myself on arriving with over an hour to spare before my flight. I strolled up to the Southwest roster of flights and idly scanned the cities to determine what gate I’d be leaving from. Only… My flight wasn’t listed. I pulled out my ticket and scanned the small airport code in the corner of the boarding pass. ONT. I was supposed to be in Ontario, California instead of Burbank. Oh, fuck, no. In case you’re wondering what the worst part of arriving at the wrong airport is, I’ll tell you, it’s trying to go reclaim your rental car to drive to the other airport. Which is impossible. Especially when you’re over an hour away from the other airport and your flight leaves in less than an hour. The rental car agents were aghast, like I’d just asked them to star in Bukkake Hertz 48. So I ended up spending 12 hours at the Burbank Airport, flew to Nashville via a stopover in Las Vegas (where I played quarter slots in the airport thinking that karma might reverse itself and make me a millionaire), and arrived back in Nashville the next morning. The next day, a Wednesday, I was back at the computer with no idea where I was. But knowing that I had 11 more weeks of the football season on the road for the book and that balancing out everything was going to be incredibly tough. Especially if my team kept losing. I also knew that if I wanted this book to be any good I needed to be able to leave my desk and actually tell the story of the season. Which, interestingly enough, doesn’t just take place on Saturday. So, as much as it pains me to say it, I can’t do that while continuing to make dick jokes all day long at Deadspin. I know, dry your eyes. In retrospect balancing the book-writing, full-time at Deadspin, a small law practice, and a wife and an 8 month old son, was an incredibly dumb feat to undertake. You can say I should have recognized all this in advance, but you’re talking to the same guy who went on a fifty-day pudding strike to protest the lack of availability of the NFL Sunday Ticket in the Virgin Islands. Plainly, I don’t always make the most rational decisions. Plus, I’ve really enjoyed meeting you guys, reading your comments, and being entertained by all the links, questions, and suggestions you’ve sent along. I’m truly amazed by the wit on these here internets and am sure our paths will cross in the future. Regardless, I’m going to be leaving a full-time role here and focusing on a few longer posts a week. I’ll be doing a college football preview each Friday, a college football wrap-up on Monday and assorted other posts here and there. Look for me, I’ll pop up fairly regularly. In the meantime, I’ll be able to leave my computer screen and actually write On Rocky Top. Which, to the chagrin of everyone including me, is not going to a happy story. Instead it will be the only fan book I’m aware of that will focus on a flop season. Meaning it will be a bestseller in Alabama and Florida. Awesome. I’ll also be able to finish up work on a 300-page mess right now (sans publisher) that is the story of my 4 full-time months training alongside college athletes/future NFL players for the 2008 NFL Combine. I’m thinking about posting the latter book for free up at where I’ll be hanging out with the mailbag, a four year archive of columns, and posting occasional thoughts that don’t fit in the Deadspin writings. (By the way, I had to go with because some poor bastard is squatting on Talk about a bad decision on who to extort.) I’ve enjoyed the time here and am proud to be a part of July, August, and September when we saw the highest traffic in Deadspin history. Thanks to all y’all who followed me over from CBS and all the new readers we’ve picked up along the way. I’ll be seeing lots of you on the road for the remainder of the fall and you can always reach me at with your brilliant business opportunities to skim profits off of orphans and indigent old bags.


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