Thank you for a great 11 years

In April 2006, I was asked if I would occasionally write a “web log” to supplement my 49ers newspaper coverage. It sounded interesting enough, but I wondered if anyone would find it, read it and come back.

 

With a fair amount of skepticism, I agreed to give it a shot. Then, I proceeded to type up a few notes about several draft-eligible players who had visited the 49ers in recent days. It was the kind of information that wasn’t considered “newsy” enough to get into the paper, but my hope was that hard-core 49ers fans would find it informative.

 

Quickly, I became addicted to the timeliness of the blog, which had been given the apt title, “Instant 49ers.” It also enabled readers to share their viewpoints and ask questions that I could attempt to answer.

 

The blog has changed formats a couple times since then. And, to my knowledge, all posts prior to late in 2008 have disappeared from the Internet. While I will remain in the Bay Area and not disappear, this will be my final blog entry in this space. Last night, I sent in my last newspaper article.

 

Effective today, I am leaving The Press Democrat after 11 years.

It’s been a pleasure to work for this company. I owe major debts of gratitude to all the terrific individuals at The Press Democrat who supported me and provided me with invaluable assistance. I was paid to do something that rarely seemed like a job, and the company picked up the tab as I traveled to every NFL city, as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame twice and a regular-season game in Mexico City.

 

You found the blog, read it and kept coming back. And, for that, thank you.

 

This blog provided me an opportunity to communicate directly with the readers. I’ve gotten to know many of you. So, thank you, for all the comments, the invitations to tailgate parties or for just shouting “hello” when I pass through the stands at Candlestick Park.

 

Less than a year ago when my father passed away, I found it therapeutic to sit at my computer and, through a stream of tears, write about the man I knew as a great dad, husband and grandfather. I wasn’t sure whether it was appropriate to post the tribute on the blog.

 

I’m glad I did. The outpouring of kindness was overwhelming. Many of you shared your poignant memories about your own parents. Your words served as comfort for my entire family. My mother told me, “There are a lot of really good people out there who read your stories.”

 

This should not be interpreted as a “farewell.” I will resurface shortly. But I will not be writing for a print publication.

 

A friend asked me last night if I was sad to be leaving the world of newspapers. My answer was, “I’m trying not to think about it or I’d cry.” I think she thought I was kidding.

 

It’s all I’ve ever done. My eighth-grade teacher, Mr. Steffan, asked if I’d write a game story on my elementary school’s flag football game to turn into the local newspaper. (Yes, I grew up in a very small community.) The article was published, and I immediately knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

 

I consider my routine of going to the gift shop to buy the morning paper(s) among the highlights of every trip I’ve ever taken – or will take in the future. I’m sad to be leaving the newspaper business. But I’m excited about the possibilities for the future.

 

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