By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist

(CBS) I missed this kind of nervousness, the good kind.

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It’s not really so much nerves by the usual understanding as the excitement of and for the unknown and having just enough control over the outcome.

Doing a radio show for a living has been compared to flying a plane, in that you sit down at an electronic console of buttons and blinking lights and lift up and away, responsible for where it all goes pursuant to a plan and overseen by governmental authority until it’s time to set it down and the red light turns off, and you go home. There’s no equivalent responsibility for any lives in our hands, of course, but there’s a sense of adventure each day in knowing that the expected often turns into something else entirely, and we are trusted to know how to handle it.

Comfort in one’s work is a far cry from complacency for any dedicated and successful professional, as the risks and obligations remain the same every day independent of how anybody feels. You do what you do, and keep doing it as long as it works. And the tantalizing prospect of a new project is no criticism of anything that came before but merely an honest awareness that new challenges create opportunity for more.

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There have been two important aspects of The Score’s climb from rogue upstart to heritage brand over the last quarter-century, working in parallel to form a backbone for growth and connection to the listener. First is allowing hosts to have the freedom to be themselves without micromanagement or interference from above — no phony debate embraced or convenient positions forced to be taken in an effort to pander to constituencies. Second is a keen understanding of handling change with a respect to the history of what we’ve done and who we have been, while still always envisioning our future. It’s a balance more simply described in writing than actually accomplished, but there’s no question The Score has been able to remain itself over time in ways many others of its kind have not.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have partnered with Terry Boers for 17 years on WSCR, and I know that I’m equally fortunate to now be alongside Jason Goff for what’s going to come next. From the early days of Brian Hanley and Dan McNeil and then Terry and Dan for seven years up until B&B signed off two weeks ago, The Score’s afternoon show has evolved steadily as all of our relationships have changed with sports and media and this place where they — and we, every day, hosts and listener — meet.  Jason is the ideal fit for this next step, and while it’s impossible to predict exactly what it will become, it’s just as easy to know it’s going to be well worth your time to ride along and find out.

There’s a new plane taking off Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Let’s do this.

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Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.