By In Stuff

Old News

It is a bit disconcerting to get scooped on your own move, but, well, this is the world where we live.

You may have heard … I am leaving Sports Illustrated for a new venture. I can’t really go into details about the venture except to say that it’s a joint thing between the new USA Today Sports Group and MLB Advanced Media, and it’s obviously very exciting. It is, for me, a chance to work with old friends on new things. I’m obviously thrilled about it.

What I can talk about for a minute is Sports Illustrated. I love the place. I love it with every fiber of my being. I love it today exactly as much as I loved it the day they hired me. I believe it features the best sports writing and sports editing in America … and many of the best people. It breaks my heart to leave. More than once over the last week or so I have thought about that line in Amadeus where Mozart, unable to choose between two wigs, shouted: “Why can’t I have two heads?”

I’ve written this before — my dream, from the time I was just starting out in this business, was to write for Sports Illustrated. My first story was about how tall Dustin Pedroia was, and seeing that in print was one of the joys of my life. My first cover story was about Albert Pujols, and that took me to an even higher-high. I talked writing with Gary Smith, podcasted with Peter King (twice — my technology skills aren’t the best), chatted baseball with Tom Verducci, hung out with the awesome golf guys and listened to jaw dropping stories at dinners with the legendary Terry McDonell. And much more. At least 100 times, I looked around and thought, “Is this really happening?” It was three of the greatest years of my life, and leaving has been a persistent kick to the stomach ever since I made the decision.

But … tearing myself away from a place as great as SI might tell you just how psyched I am about this new thing.

Sports Illustrated, of course, will continue to be fabulous. And as far as the new thing, well, it is indeed somewhat secretive, kind of a Project X, but I can tell you that I will be doing some writing leading up to it. Details to follow on that. In the meantime, thank you all for reading. I have been pulled in a million directions these last few months, and am still being pulled apart for a while longer, but I can tell you that I have many posts about Derek Jeter, infomercials, Tiger Woods, LeBron, Harry Potter, that impossibly bad Spandau Ballet commercial and pixifoods lined up. Hope you’ll stick with me.

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57 Responses to Old News

  1. Unknown says:

    Looking forward to whatever it is you do. Continue to carry the torch as the best sportswriter in America and no matter where you are, KC will lay claim to you!

  2. Circle me happy for you.

    Congrats Joe, can’t wait to learn more about the new venture.

  3. Chris says:

    Wo! I will follow.

  4. P.A. says:

    Joe, as always, good luck in everything you do and I cannot wait to see what it is. We miss you here in KC!

  5. Karen says:

    I love your writing, and I’m looking forward to reading more in the future. Good luck!

    • tarhoosier says:

      Scoops are not your thing, Joe. Thoughtful, compassionate works that move in surprising directions and leave the reader with so much more than he ever thought he would have is your “oeuvre”

  6. Uncle Rameau says:

    Spandau ballet commercial is only awesome.

  7. Mark Coale says:

    Whats the status of the poscast?

  8. Unknown says:

    Oh no, you’re writing the Yuniesky Betancourt reality tv show?

  9. Andy says:

    Welcome to the USAT family! Andy from High Heat Stats

  10. Congratulations and good luck Joe! I will continue to follow wherever your work may be hosted!

  11. pdcrider says:

    Ditto on missing you here in KC, best of luck, wish you well!

  12. troy says:

    Congratulations, Joe. Anything you do is going to be awesome.

  13. Chad says:

    Congrats Joe … please, please, please keep this Blog going!

  14. David in NYC says:

    Good for you, Joe. Nobody deserves it more.

    But, please, do keep this blog going.

  15. Ed McDonald says:

    Yes, SI is great and you are a reason it still is. Good luck with the new venture.

  16. Ed McDonald says:

    Yes, SI is great and you are a reason it still is. Good luck with the new venture.

  17. Ed McDonald says:

    Yes, SI is great and you are a reason it still is. Good luck with the new venture.

  18. Joe, you could write copy for Chinese take-out menus. We’re not going anywhere.

  19. y42k says:

    But what about the iPad review?

  20. jim says:

    for all the mere sentimentality, the 500 pound gorilla in the room is the joe paterno book. i’m probably the only one, but the thought of an update is the only reason i come to this blog each day. your reputation has taken a gigantic hit with the episode which only ratchets up anticipation for news about the book.

    • Ed says:

      How exactly has his reputation taken a hit?

      It certainly hasn’t with me.

    • jim says:

      it took a hit because his specialty is sentimentality and he used a sentimental narrative — joe paterno as the great white hope/great white way — to defend someone who has a material role in a massive child sex abuse scandal. it’s pretty straightforward despite the sentimental tug to make it something more complicated.

    • Tampa Mike says:

      I would say it isn’t straightforward at all. Just because most of the screaming heads on ESPN give one opinion doesn’t mean the majority of people feel that way. I think it is a complicated story and people on the outside of it don’t have all the facts. To say JoePa had a material role is speculative at best.

    • CB says:

      Personally, I find Mr. Posnanski’s defense of Joe Paterno to be troublesome.

      Regardless of one’s opinion on that issue, however, are two facts:

      1. Mr. Posnanski wrote a blog post in which he urged everyone not to rush to judgment and to wait for the facts to come out.

      2. The next day, Mr. Posnanski went to a class at PSU and shared his opinions and judgments about the matter.

      So, it is simply a fact that Mr. Posnanski behaved in a manner that is both hypocritical and dishonest. Do as I say, not as I do.

  21. marshall says:

    Joe, you’re my favorite person I’ve never met. Congrats on the new gig, and I’ll look forward to reading your work wherever it is published.

  22. Joe says:

    Reading you since your early days at the Star and still my favorite Poz piece is Katie the Prefect. Love your stuff Joseph.
    Dark Side of the Mood

  23. CraigM says:

    Wow – best of luck with the new thing. As a pre-SI fan, I’ve thrilled to see your stuff in the magazine, too. I guess the new thing must be cosmically ultra-fantastic (not to set high expectations or anything).

  24. Claire says:

    You talked writing with Gary Smith? Let’s hope he learned something from it.

  25. Ronn Graham says:

    As a collector of SI for over 30 years and subscriber you will be missed in the pages and look forward to fnding out what will be in the future for you and how we will benefit from your writing elsewhere!

  26. Nathan A. says:

    Congrats, Joe. Very excited to read wherever your new venture takes you.

  27. R. O. Ranger says:

    Congratulations on the new gig, Joe! Are we also going to be treated to a piece about Ron Swanson? Please say yes.

  28. PatGLex says:

    Like a former store manager that I followed to three (!!!) different retail stores, I will be following you anywhere.

  29. We’ll follow you anywhere, and there can never really be enough written about Jeter, can there? I am also waiting for a Yuni post, now that he is back with the Royals. Do I hear an MVP calling?

  30. nightfly says:

    The Brilliant Readers would follow you if you wrote for the McMurdo Antarctic Times. So will I.

  31. Grace says:

    As long as you keep writing, I’ll keep reading! Best of luck and I can’t wait to read what you will be doing because I know it will be awesome.

  32. Rob Neyer leaving ESPN and Joe leaving SI. Two of our greatest writers leaving the two biggest journalistic toilets! Amen Joe and good luck in your new career!

  33. Joe!!! It kind of sucks that your’e leaving SI. Seeing posts by you on the SI main page made the loss of Dr Z as a writer bearable. You’re like my alter ego who’s actually likes baseball. I grew up in a football home where anything else was disdained. Where the Chicago Bears were the only team that mattered in all of sports. But your writing has opened me up to the quirky beauty of baseball. I don’t understand half of the game, much less the game behind the game that’s surely going on in the dugouts with on base percentages, advanced defensive statistics and era+. But its all there and beautifully unfolding as I quaff an old style and gaze into an ivy coated vista. God Speed.

    • djangoz says:


      Dr Z became inactive and left my Mt Rushmore of Sportswriters and Joe P stepped right in and filled a place that I didn’t think could be filled.

      Good luck Joe. I hope it works out for you, but I can only read so many sports sites a day, having you on SI made it alot easier to follow your writing, which I greatly enjoy.

      USA Today…? Really? That isn’t a “brand” I normally associate with great writing. I’m a little surprised. But I assume they backed up a truckload of money to your front door. And that I do understand.

  34. Olan says:

    I wish you nothing but the best, Joe. For my money, you are the absolute best sportswriter/columnist in existence today. SI is much the poorer for having lost you, and USA Today may perhaps start down the road of credibility with this move.

  35. Tampa Mike says:

    Congrats Joe! Baseball writing suits you best.

  36. CB says:

    Hm. Mr. Posnanski stuck with the Joe Paterno book even when it was, at best, no longer the type of book he’s good at, and at worst was unethical for him to write because he’s too close to the situation. Why? Because there was a lot of money involved.

    Then, Mr. Posnanski jumped ship on SI after only three years. In the pages of this very blog, I’ve read his condemnations of college coaches that do the same thing. Why did Mr. Posnanski make this move? Is it because USA Today is more prestigious? No. Is it because SI wouldn’t allow him to cover the stories he wanted? Obviously not. Is it because SI lacks resources? No. Is it because SI wouldn’t work around his other projects? No. I see only one explanation, and it is, to use another poster’s words, because they “backed up a truckload of money to your front door.”

    What’s the commonality here?

    You aren’t the man I thought you were, Mr. Posnanski. Very disappointing.

    • Tampa Mike says:

      To assume that USA Today “backed up a truckload of money” is speculative at best. You have no clue whatsoever why he is making the move…just as you have no clue whatsoever what took place with JoePo or JoePoz relationship with him.

    • CB says:

      Wow. Your post is almost comprehensible. Nice work!

      In any case, I don’t know why you have appointed yourself as Joe Posnanski’s personal defender. But here are two facts–not guesses, not speculation:

      1. Joe Posnanski has railed against coaches that change jobs rapidly, and don’t honor their commitments.

      2. Joe Posnanski just did the very same thing.

      Seems hypocritical, no?

    • adam says:

      Judgmental much?

      I didn’t realize people were obligated to work with the same employer forever. Did Joe have some sort of commitment to SI for longer? Unless he broke a contract against SI’s wishes you’re castigating a guy for exercising his right to change employers.

      I don’t recall Joe’s rails against college coaches, but they are in a somewhat different position than most of us because
      a) they do have contracts, and
      b) they recruit kids who expect them to be there for the full 4 year duration.

      Finally, why in the world do you care where Joe works?

    • CB says:

      Man, I always forget that the only people who post here are Joe Posnanski fanboys.

      Is there nothing he can do that will bother you? How about this: If it had been Posnanski’s kids that were “allegedly” moiested, and not someone else’s kids, would he have still been buddy-buddy with JoePa and telling everyone to withhold judgment?

      Because if the answer to that question is “no” then Posnanski is a hypocrite.

    • clashfan says:

      So, what is it you’re more upset about? That Posnanski is leaving SI for another opportunity, or the Paterno scandal? Because you started on one topic, and then when challenged on that, brought up another.

      What’s your beef with Joe?

    • Tampa Mike says:

      I’m not so much defending Posnanski as annoyed with everyones reaction to Joe Paterno. Everyone acts like he was the one who attacked these boys. No one knows what information was given to Paterno because McQueary’s story changes all the time. I guess I look more to his decades of track record than one instance that there is very little information about. People are very quick to judge.

      Joe wrote for the Kansas City Star for 13 years before going to SI, so it’s not really jumping from job to job.

    • adam says:

      Um, it’s his personal blog so yes you’d expect most of the people here are his fans.

      On the issue of telling everyone not to rush to judgement and then making comments to a class the next day, it is completely reasonable to criticize him for that.

      What I don’t get is criticizing him for leaving SI. It’s not like he was only there 2 weeks.

      So, to go along with clashfan about, what is your beef with him?

  37. FYI, on Deadspin and other sites they are saying that Joe was about to be terminated. Apparently, the editors were angry about his actions during the Penn State situation, and they almost terminated him on the spot back then.

  38. adam says:

    Hmm, that’s an interesting twist. Do you have any links? I did a quick search on deadspin for “posnanski” and couldn’t find a story like that. And the google search I did for “posnanski fired SI” just came up with paterno stories.

  39. Its obviously very excited things about the sports mention.

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