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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Think Boyz II Men Said It Best...

Well, I had planned on penning something substantive for later in the week, but as often is the case with such things, the proverbial cat escaped the bag before I had my ducks in a row. (I was trying to figure out a way to get one more random animal-related cliche into that sentence, but that dog wouldn't hunt.)

(*Also, how bad is it that UGASports is scooping me on my own story? You owe me one, Dash!)

Anyway, as some of you may have heard, I'm leaving.

A couple of months ago, I got a call from the sports editor at my hometown paper in Wilmington, Delaware. They had an opening for a beat writer to cover the Phillies. They wanted to know if I was interested.

As these things go, one thing led to another, and after a few weeks of talking and waiting and talking and debating, I was left with a decision.

On one hand, I had the opportunity to go to a job at a bigger paper, covering a professional baseball beat. More importantly, I had an opportunity to really stick it to all my high school teachers who told me I'd never amount to anything. (Shows what they knew! I'm now mildly successful in an industry that likely won't exist in five years!)

On the other hand, I'd be leaving by far the best job I've ever had, a city I've grown to love, and a group of readers very few reporters are ever lucky enough to have.

Without question, it was the toughest choice I've had to make in my career. In the end though, I figured I'd much rather make a mistake by trying something new than wonder what might have been if I let an good opportunity pass by. But again, it was a decision that didn't come easily.

In any case, I don't want this to be a long, drawn-out monologue about my time here with the Telegraph. Not now, anyway. My last day, officially, won't be until July 17. So hopefully I'll have some time -- and a few more blog posts -- before we need to get all mushy.

Of course, complicating that timeline a bit is another big bit of news for me. I'm getting married on July 3, so much of my last few weeks here… I won't actually be here. So there's that.

(Why do I suddenly feel like a parent who leaves his kids in a hot car with the windows rolled up while he goes into the 7-11 to buy lotto tickets?)

Anyway, I can tell you this: A number of absurdly qualified candidates have already submitted resumes for the job, so I have no doubt you'll be in good hands in the future. And in the meantime, I'm hoping to make sure there's still some decent stuff for you to read until the new guy gets on board.

Again, I'm definitely excited for a new opportunity and a chance to go back home again. But it's bittersweet, to say the least.

But rather than dwell on the future, how about a discussion topic out of this? Let's say you were just a few weeks away from leaving Athens. What would be on your to-do list? Restaurants? Bars? Clubbing with Stacy Searels? I'm officially taking suggestions.

51 comments:

Randall P. Floyd said...

Hate to read this as your one of the best in the biz. Best of luck to you, David. You'll be sorely missed.... Go Braves.

Castleberry said...

David, This is tough news. You'll be missed. Good luck on the wedding and have fun in Philly.

The Other Dave said...

Damn,really sorry to hear this news. I was looking forward to your column and blog for this coming season. Best of luck to you, Dave. Here's hoping your replacement is up to the task. You've set the bar pretty high.

Paul said...

Boo.

I'd stock up on Terrapin and Jittery Joe's for the long, cold winters.

If I were facing my last weeks in ATH... man, I don't know what I would do. I guess I'd make sure to have one last big blow-out meal at Last Resort for sure.

I know I would miss Cine and Cutter's and Trappeze and The National and Farm and White Tiger and Agua Linda and Taco Stand... but I'm pretty sure if I ever leave here I'll be heading to a place with the same sort of amenities so maybe it won't be that bad.

What would really suck is not being here for football. I can't imagine if I lived in Kansas or some other far off land and I had to travel (really travel) to Athens for a home game... that would suck.

SilverBritches said...

You will definitely be missed.....Just make sure to leave us with the new guys web address so we won't all be coming back here waiting...in vein! You should make some cameo appearances for us during the season just to remind us that you still care!
Thanks Bud!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I think we all expected something like this and sooner rather than later. I live in DC, and whenever I'm at a Nats-Phillies game, I'll look for you in the pressbox. Good luck and great job.

trumely said...

Dave, I can't think of tougher shoes to fill in the blogging industry than that of a Georgia Bulldogs beat writer. As fans we are rabidly pursuing all new information, and you produced quality information without bias. It seems like I'm losing a friend even though we've never met, and I'll really miss your posts. Congrats on the marraige, and remember to always serve your wife.

shliknik said...

Wow. I'm very happy for you but sad that one of my favorite reading spots will be gone.

Married, moving hundreds of miles and new job...all in two weeks? Reminds me of my 'good ol days'...like 5 years ago.

Good luck wit the gig and enjoy the exciting times!

Rob said...

Well damn, that sucks. I have a feeling this has less to do with going back home, and much more to do with you having to move on out of necessity, as Lost has now ended and you can't come up with any new ways to torment (or delight) your readers in your links posts. In any case, good luck, I'm sure you'll do swimmingly, and there really couldn't be a worse bunch of fans than the ones you'll have to deal with pretty soon (but I'm sure you're used to that by now).

If I had only a few weeks left in Athens, I would make a list of five nice eateries at which I wanted to dine one last time. My list would be The Five & Ten, Last Resort, Hilltop Grille, DePalma's, and Harry Bissett's (or is it still closed?). Then I'd make a list of five casual, uniquely Athens places, like Peaches, Cali n' Titos, Clocked (or The Grill), Five Star Day, and Agua Linda.

Last, a few things around Athens (15-20 miles) I would do if I were you would be float the Broad River with a case of beer (my personal recommendation is Sandbar...I like them better than Broad River Outpost), and check out The Georgia Guidestones. They're on the way to Elberton and they really are cool. You should google them and read up on them. It's pretty interesting.

Have fun back home, and thanks so much for all the good work. I guess we won't get to talk sports at 283 bar this year after all.

Baxley Dawg said...

I thought you were crazy for leaving Athens but then I saw where you were getting married. That's a good move. Being young and married in Athens would be brutal. Best of Luck.

Steve said...

Oh, that suuuuuuuuuucks...

But, even though I don't even know you, I can say I'm happy for you, and wish you the best. If your replacement brings even half the quality you did, this will still be the best place for UGA sports.

Good luck!

BenG said...

Crap. I was hoping your stellar work would go unnoticed by the outside world so you would have to keep covering the Dawgs forever.

Congratulations on the impending marriage and the new opportunity. You've always done way more than was required of you, and we rabid fans really appreciate it. Tell the new guy he better not let us down.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sad to see you go Hale! Stop bye once in a while and say hello!

And as far as what you should do before you leave town.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPfwZtX5_Xk

DeeNo

Anonymous said...

Sad to see you go Hale. Never posted anything on here before, but I've always enjoyed the blog.

I appreciate what you've done for all us bulldog fans. I'll miss reading your stuff.

Good luck in Philly.

Anonymous said...

Getting married is the best thing that can happen to a man. Best wishes and thanks for sharing your work with us.

HVL Dawg

Sternkid said...

http://www.moviewavs.com/php/sounds/?id=bst&media=MP3S&type=Movies&movie=Fast_Times_At_Ridgemont_High&quote=you-dick.txt&file=you-dick.mp3

Congrats on the new gig- your analysis and insight will be sorely missed.

Rumor on the street is Kirby Smart is angling for your job, but i think it's just a ploy to get Saban to pay him more money.

Heritage Bible Church said...

Worst damn news I've read in a frickin long time.

Sucks for us. But definitely good for you. Wishing you great success!

Dawgfan said...

David- We will miss you man. I feel for the next guy, he has HUGE shoes to fill. Congrats on the upcoming wedding and new job. Remember that your wife is always right and remember that you will always have a home here in Dawgland. Best wishes my friend!

DWH said...

Man I really hate to hear it, but it's only because I'll miss coming here everyday to read your stuff. You've done an incredible job and have quite frankly spoiled us around here. You're a talented dude so I knew this day would probably come sooner rather than later. Good luck to you man on your upcoming nuptials and new job. You'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck. Know you'll be missed by all us Dawg fans.

Kevin said...

Congratulations on the job and marriage!

Quality content, and a lot of it - it will be missed by everyone. Just hope the new guy can live up to what we've come to expect from a great beat writer.

Best of luck in Philly; leave the info of your new digs so that we can visit from time to time and know thine enemy... maybe even leave diatribe comments as 'anon' about how much the Phillies suck.

MenloDawg said...

How could this happen!? We were going to have drinks in ATL when LSU met UGA in the SECCG!

the anonymous suckup said...

NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Say it ain't so!

I guess we all knew you'd move on at some point. You are too good to stay around here for long.

I really enjoyed David Ching's blog, and I was sad when he left. I thought his replacement would never be as good as he was, but you knocked it out of the park. You are the best Dawgs blogger around, by far. You will be greatly missed.

Having said that...good luck in the future. But did you have to start covering the Phillies? Really? The Phillies? That really hurts this lifelong Braves fan :-)

BulldogBrock said...

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

What the heck am I supposed to read every morning when I eat breakfast? It only takes so long to adjust my fantasy baseball roster...

Seriously though I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your work every day. It makes the offseason that much more bearable. You will definitely be missed and I hope your replacement is half as good as you or else I'll be forced to pay some big-time site for UGA information. And I'm cheap so I REALLY don't want to do that.

Best of luck, marriage is amazing! I can't speak for Philly though, as I've only been to the airport : )

God bless!

doug said...

Like everyone else here, I hate to see you go. I figured something like this would happen one day, just wish it was after this season.
Good luck.

Mike said...

Good luck, Dave. You are a great writer and have always been a first thing in the morning must read for me. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Momma called
....understood

Having 17 yrs of marriage in the books; it's the best committment I've ever made.

Anonymous said...

Anon Suckup.... Don't anger the Philly fanbase. We're savages. We'll throw batteries at you.

Plus we actually play for a "World Championship" as opposed to a Mythical National Championship set up by television.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never commented on the blog before, but this place has truly been a big part of my daily routine for the last couple of years, and always number one in my list of most frequented sites. Echoing everyone else's sentiments, your Bulldog coverage has always been nothing short of stellar and will be sorely missed. Best of luck DH.

Oh, and BTW, count me as one of those who thoroughly enjoyed the non-UGA pop culture links. This blog has singlehandedly been the impetus for me recently starting 'Lost' from the beginning. So if you're looking for one of those "If my work touches only one person, then it's all worth it" things, then there you go.

Dawgaholic said...

Congrats on the marriage and the new job. You did a great job here and deserve this. Don't worry, people will always want news/sports content and there will always be a platform for it.

I second the recommendation to float the Broad with a case or two and some friends. Also, take one last night out on the town that ends at Little Italy at 3 AM.

Anonymous said...

Man, sad for us, but good for you! Good luck. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Drats!

After reading Paul Westerdawg's blog for two years and getting tired of his once a week posting I sought a better Dawgs' blog - I felt there had to be one and then I found this blog. Amazing compared to the others - 100 times better than the AJC and now you are leaving.

Sigh.

Congrats to you on both fronts.

Go Braves.

Anonymous said...

wow. not happy. there goes my morning routine.

But Mr, Hale with you gone where will the Hacks like Bill King and the rest of his AJC cronnies steal there content from? Seriously seen that guy steal your blog post word for word (I admit he gave you a quick mention) then all the commenters praised him on how good of an article it was.

You gotta give us the address of your new blog before you go, I enjoy all the links you provide for 30-45mins with my morning coffee waking up at work. I'll just ignore all the philly garbage.

Best of luck.

skip said...

Say it isn't so Hale!

I'm going to miss the hell out of your posts.

I don't know your backstory well, but it seems to me that coming down to Georgia to cover the 'Dawgs from SU was a hellaofa career risk for you, and probably not real attractive. You did great brother, and it was soo nice to hear from someone who had access to the program that wasn't an "insider". Very journalistic. Very well presented.

During "coachinggate" this past year, you even quoted one of my post wrongly... but you made such a great counterpoint, that I couldn't possibly have refuted it. Additionally, I have an older female client who is a graduate of UGa, and we were discussing the best UGa sports writers, and she said "You do read Hale, don't you?" I said "Yes I Do" and she followed by saying "For a Yankee, He's got the best take going."

Brother... you've done well here! Best wishes for the future, and hate to see you go!

Kimberley Nash said...

A bummer, for sure, you will be greatly missed.

Best of luck on both your marriage and your career.

Universal Remonster said...

Dave,

Thanks for all the first rate coverage and for the second rate humor.

I kid.

You will be missed.

-Ben

Jon Koncak's Thighs said...

It's been a serious pleasure having one of the best beat writers in all of newspaper-opolis covering our tiny corner of the sports landscape. I really enjoyed having one of the few writers out there who figured out how to make it work at a newspaper in this new landscape, and I can only say that I hope you keep moving on and up throughout your career. Enjoy your looming endless supply of original cheese steaks (when the wife isn't watching). And watch out for batteries. Yeah, definitely do that.

clee said...

Is this about money Dave? I'm sure that all of your fans (me included) could get together and make staying in Athens worth your while. Please don't force me to start reading the AJC.

Bold Prediction - You'll be back within 2 years. The Phillies will devolve back into mediocrity, and you'll remember why you left the wretched northeast in the first place. By that time you'll have a kid and ESPN will have hired you to cover the Dawgs for the newly created "ESPN Atlanta", which will have forced the AJC to disband their sports coverage altogether. As a result, Bill King and Chip Towers will participate in a duel to become your intern. But don't come groveling back to us Dave. By that time regular contributors jferg, the anonymous suckup, and rbubp (always insightful) will have joined forces to establish a wonderful new bulldogs blog. They won't talk about Lost, but will, for some reason, discuss The View on a daily basis. I'll continue to scroll past that part.

Well, I guess my firm will get about more 30 more minutes of billable hours out of me every day. Great.

Thanks for everything Dave. Seriously.

papadawg said...

Prediction: in less than two years, you'll be echoing Jack Shepherd when you look at your wife with crazy eyes and scream, "We have to go BACK!!!"

Anonymous said...

I used to visit my grandparents house who lived outside Philadelphia...my job at dinner time as the oldest was to set the table. I loved the place mats they used since they were laminated and had jokes on them. The typical Readers Digest "Life in these United States" type jokes that an 8 yr old would love. Anyway, there was a joke about "youth being wasted on the young". That always stuck with me...especially as I think about being a lot older now. I also think of one of the best college football writers I ever read being wasted covering pro baseball. Hope you find a way back to college football sometime soon.

NRBQ said...

David,
Haven't read the 40 previous posts, and I doubt I have any new sentiments to add.

But I don't share your confidence that you will be competently replaced.

Philly's gain is less than our loss, given your dedication, humor and intelligence.

Best of luck to you and the new Mrs. David.

Please drop by occasionally.

marty mcnulty said...

David,
Living here in Philly, I always counted on you for the best Bulldogs info and other things in the world. I guess I knew this would happen with someone as talented as yourself.

Good luck with the job and the marriage.

Thanks for everything,

Marty McNulty

Anonymous said...

When Ching left, I thought there would be a drop off, but you truly raised the bar. Good luck with your new job and the marriage thing.

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Hobnail_Boot said...

Thanks and Congrats David.

Shawn Elson said...

Thanks for all the outstanding work David. As a West Coast Dawg fan, your site has been the best source of news by far. Thanks for your great voice, insights, and pop culture updates.

BTW your leaving eerily coincides with the end of Lost...

Anonymous said...

Great career move for you, congrats! Sucks for us Dawg fans though. I will miss your blog big time. Where am I going to get my Dawgs news from now? Ironically, I'll probably be reading your coverage of the Phillies, as I live in Phillies territory in south Jersey.

Anonymous said...

As with everything in life, there is a pro and con to every decision. The Pro -Many bulldogs will becomes more productive at work. The con - We will know have to read Mark Bradley. Congratulations on the new job. You will be sorely missed here.

Russ said...

To quote Joe Dirt, "Dang!"

You'll be missed, sir. You are one of the best at covering the Dawgs, and you're not even a Dawg! Best of luck in the new gig.

Selena said...

Oh wow David, I had no idea you were leaving until I decided to update my own blog and saw this! I wish you all the luck in the world both with your new marriage and with your new job. You are still one of my all-time favorite teachers!

Anonymous said...

Man you are missed David. New guy doesn't cut it.