I know you're already read it, but here's Michael Wilbon's final column for The Washington Post. It was finely done. As he's said and written before, he found the final piece to be a depressing thing, saying it was the first column he "ever dreaded writing," and that the end "will be far more traumatic to me, I suspect, than to you."
That was on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, ESPN sent out a press release announcing that Wilbon would be a "featured columnist" for ESPNChicago.com, and will also be making weekly appearances on ESPN Radio 1000 in "his beloved hometown." His first ESPNChicago.com column and chat were scheduled for Wednesday. (Here's the column.) This would be the traumatic part for us.
"Although I've been working for ESPN as co-host of PTI since 2001, writing is my first love and I'm particularly excited to be able to join an impressive stable of columnists at ESPN.com," the release quotes Wilbon as saying. "And to lead some of the discussion in the best sports city in America, which is also my hometown, is both a challenge and dream-come-true."
Far be it for me to criticize. If ESPN rolled up the money trucks to offer me a featured columnist job at ESPNFredonia.com, I'd think long and hard about it. But it does add the scent of a jilted lover to this whole departure, doesn't it? Not only is he saying good-bye to The Post; at least metaphorically, he's also saying good-bye to Washington.
Of course, he discussed the incredible temptations of returning home over the summer, using his own wooing by the Chicago Tribune to try to add context to Dwyane Wade's free agency.
"Maybe the only thing more difficult than going home again is leaving home," he wrote then.