My wife and I are expecting twin girls in the spring, and while my initial plan was to cover basketball this season and then hang it up, I've certainly learned the past couple of months that the easiest way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans. So while it wasn't how I mapped things out, I've hit the end of the road as any sort of reporter/journalist.
Ultimately this makes very little difference to anyone whose followed my work for the past few months - I've basically been done already. This is just rubber stamping. I still intend to write some for Backing the Pack, as long as Steven lets me hang around over there, but as someone whose been covering NC State athletics in some capacity since 2002 it will be a very strange thing to not be at PNC Arena - or anywhere else - this year. I will also still be doing some TV writing for Raleigh & Company, if that's your thing. But I think there should be a clear divide between someone who covers a team - who actually gathers the information the rest of us dissect - and someone who doesn't, so I wanted to make clear my crossing of that threshold.
I have been immeasurably lucky to have been able to do this for over a decade as nothing more than a very much part-time writer. While I have seen many great (and many gut-wrenching) games, the real fun of the gig was always the relationships and interactions I have formed along the way. Sports writing full time is a largely thankless, grinding experience that gets harder and harder every year as team continue to circle the wagons and control the message. Despite all the barriers being put in place, they keep working because they love sports and love telling stories. And I will greatly miss being part of that community, even in the small role I had.
There are so, so many people who have supported me and helped me that there is absolutely no way I could properly thank all of you in this piece. But even if all you've done is read my work occasionally - thanks. It's been awesome.