Monday, October 22, 2007

Rick Reilly to the dark side

He's leaving SI...

Starting next June, ESPN announced that Rick Reilly will be joining their team. He'll be writing the back page story for ESPN the Magazine, just like he does currently for Sports Illustrated. He'll also be writing for and doing some TV work. I'm a little shocked hearing this news, but in a way not so shocked.

The initial shock is that he's been a staple for Sports Illustrated for the last 22 years. I know many guys, including myself that the first page you read in SI is the last page. You don't even think about it. Flip it over and pull open the back page. I do this every time. Rick has been spotty the last 3-4 years but he still has enough pull that you still read his columns. So, for him to leave SI, the magazine that made him a name is a little shocking. I had that same feeling when I read the news about Rick when a certain player signs with a rival team. Like when Johnny Damon signed with the Yanks a couple years ago. It's kind of weird. It's going to be weird seeing Rick in the "other" sports magazine.

On the other hand, it makes sense for Rick personally. SI used to be awesome but has been relatively ruined by the Internet. You used to look forward to SI coming in the mailbox to see what was happening in the week of Sports. Now, you see it everywhere... all the time! ESPN the Magazine has a different approach where it doesn't re-hash what's already been said on 12,000 websites and blogs that week, it shoots for angles. Also, whatever you think about ESPN, it's King. It does over analyze EVERYTHING but no one has more games or more followers then ESPN in the sporting world. Rick is going to have an even bigger audience.

I'm a little weirded out because it seems like loyalty is a thing of the past. And maybe that's becoming the norm...

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