Yesterday, some people were confused when Colin Dunlap sent his “goodbye to sports writing” tweet.
We weren’t. We will tell you about that later. But for now, here is a response Dunlap wrote last night about his announcement.
A commenter on sportsjournalists.com posted: This is confusing. I wonder if he got a radio job….
Then words from Colin Dunlap appeared, and in his smooth style, he dropped this:
It is very simple, actually.
I have 3-month-old twins, a boy and a girl. They were born premature, fought through some things but are doing fine now.
My wife (a saint) has a good job. Over the past few weeks, I have begun to really question my family/work balance and there is just one other extenuating circumstance — I never knew my father all that well, grew up in a single parent household.
I want to be there as much as I can for my children, I don’t want to just put them on the school bus and then see them at 1 a.m. as they are sleeping.
I want more.
So, my wife and I looked at everything and decided this could happen — although it might be tight — financially.
Will I work again? Almost certainly. But it will be doing something where there’s a clear distinction between home and work. I don’t want to be playing with my kids at the playground and be checking my email on my phone. Does that mean I might have to throw bags at the airport? Sure. But the trade off will be worth it.
I just saw myself headed toward being one of those miserable, divorced, cholesterol-through-the-roof, chain-smoking, curmudgeons that all of us come across in press boxes … and I wanted to jump off now.
There’s no conspiracy, no ill will or animosity. Will some say I’m a quitter? Sure.
But it is simple, to me: I just want to play with my kids and not worry about someone getting DFA interrupting that. That’s all. So I walked away. And am happy.
To Colin Dunlap we say: You’re not a quitter, man. Quitters aren’t brave. You are a brave man. You’re chasing your dream. You and your wife care about what’s real. And that takes guts.
It’s about the dash between the date you were born and that end date on the tombstone that we never get to see. That’s a man’s legacy–your legacy. You are making the choice to fill up the dash with some cool stuff.
To the Dunlap twins we say this: When you were born, your dad had a cool job as the beat writer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s probably told you that by now. He worked his tail off.
One day at spring training in 2011, we saw your Dad in a dead sprint from the press box toward the batting cages at McKechnie Field. This wasn’t a jog. This was a full-out, hey-people-get-out-of-the-way sprint. Dad wanted to be certain to get quotes from the Pirates’ new manager, Clint Hurdle. He knew that he couldn’t miss the moment.
Did he need to sprint? No, he didn’t. Other writers were walking, even calling out for him to tell him he didn’t need to run; there would be plenty of time. But your Dad didn’t pay much attention to how other people did things. He seemed to love putting everything he had into what he did on a daily basis: providing Pirate fans with outstanding coverage.
After he wrapped up his interviews, we asked your Dad if we could buy him a bite to eat. He looked at us, his face burnt from the Florida sun, and politely declined. He explained that he was off on a sprint of sorts again. He was going to go directly back to his hotel and work as long as he could work, probably all night.
Why would he do that? To see the both of you. A temporary period of sleep deprivation didn’t really seem to faze him.
He was going to get ahead of his work, so he could return home to Pittsburgh on a flight after the game the next day. He was working his tail off to fit in some time with both of you. We bet he loves you guys more than anything.
And we also bet that he sprinted through the airport when he got off the plane.