He’s one of the most polarizing journalists in sports. He’s done a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong. Most recently, in the new, instant reaction world of Twitter, Facebook, and social media, his work has become more highly scrutinized, his reputation taking a hit.
But Rick Reilly is still one of the most accomplished journalists of our time. On Tuesday, he wrote his last column for ESPN, ending his 36-year career as a journalist to focus more on his television career.
In his final piece, he offered some reasoning as to why he’s leaving what he knows best for a new venture this late in his career.
So why leave the best job in the world after 36 years? To see what else is out there. To learn new lessons from new teachers. To live in Italy, make amends to my piano and never have to care about groin pulls again. True, I’m only 56, but I always did prefer writing short.
You’ve been better to me than I deserve. No writer in history is more flawed than me, but it was never for lack of trying. It was always in my attempt to get to the truth, or to make it fun, or to make it add up to something meaningful to you.
Love him or hate him, you certainly have to commend Reilly on the career he’s had. It’s certainly ended in a tailspin, but that shouldn’t deter for the career he has had.
Now, as for that broadcasting career, we’ll have to see how that goes.