Where It Began
When I was a kid, Thursday meant the day Sports Illustrated arrived in the mail. Every Thursday, I’d grab the magazine and read it cover to cover, marveling at wordsmiths like Frank Deford and Dan Jenkins and the incomparable William Nack.
I couldn’t believe it when I started my career there in 1993, that I could call Nack, Alex Wolfe, Jack McCallum, Rick Reilly, Johnette Howard, Steve Rushin, Scott Price and Michael Silver, among many others, colleagues and eventually friends. The Time & Life Building on 50th and 6th in Manhattan was a magical place where I learned how to write, report, observe and create.
What happened to SI yesterday, with new ownership laying off nearly half the editorial staff, broke my heart. It was crushing for all involved, those who lost their jobs and those who didn’t.
To those who did, know this: You will be okay. It probably won’t immediately feel like it. It will take time. You will be scared. You will feel sad. You will get furious. And you will learn an awful lot about who your friends are, and who they’re not. I should know.
Stay true to the good and to yourself, and remember that you got to SI by being talented, hardworking, driven and dedicated. That didn’t change overnight. And those two letters don’t define you, just like ESPN didn’t define me. You define you.