By Terry Boers–
(CBS) I’ve already written this column once. It had been tidied up and put to bed in early June for what I thought would be a joyous day in mid-to-late September when it would run on our website. God, was I ever wrong.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Stray Sprinkles On Friday
But then life has that way of putting a foot on your throat, of absolutely ruining plans, not caring if they were 50 minutes or 50 years in the making.
It just doesn’t seem fair when that lifetime is your own.
I had sat down that day and used the late, great Hall of Fame basketball coach Dean Smith as my lead, noting he said one of the biggest regrets of his life was retiring from the game too early, that giving up his job at North Carolina in 1997 was an awful mistake.
He even told Roy Williams, the man who would ultimately put a stranglehold on the job in 2003, that the wisdom brought by age can’t be duplicated, that he should hang in there with the Tar Heels as long as he felt physically able because he had so much to offer.
Smith was 66 years old and a living, breathing legend when he quit coaching in Chapel Hill.
But as much as I admired Smith for his work on the court, I admired him even more for the pitched battles he fought off of it, including bringing the first African-American player to campus when he recruited Charlie Scott. He would later speak his mind on a variety of societal issues that were of far more importance than any of his North Carolina victories, even the one on Michael Jordan’s jumper from the wing.
Smith found his voice and a new passion was born, even if he lived every day with the retirement thing set on low burn in his soul.
Knowing all that, I still hope he was wrong about the retirement thing.
As I write this, I’m 66 years old and I’m going to retire, leaving behind one of the greatest jobs you can have, talking sports or movies or TV or life for five hours a day on a station I couldn’t be prouder of. The day of my final show will be Jan. 5, 2017, which will make my tenure at the Score exactly 25 years and three days.
That sounded like the perfect symmetry. Twenty years working in newspapers, 25 years in radio. To others, that may just sound crazy, and I get that, too.