As pointed out by Farty MacFartson (come on, man, really?), Dwight Jaynes has resigned his long time position as editor of the Portland Tribune. A man who was at the center of the Oregon sports world for decades, and at the center of a mini-controversy regarding Darius Miles this past week, Mr. Jaynes appears to have made the decision to resign rather abruptly.
Indeed, as recently as Tuesday everything appeared normal -- at least to my outsider eyes. Certainly, the death of a close friend can change one's life considerably.
Hank Stern of The Willamette Week came through with the big scoop on this.
News of Jaynes' departure came today as a shock, given that he had a column in today's Trib and was on the print paper's masthead today (his name has already been scrubbed from the paper's on-line contact list)
A friend of Jaynes says a clue to Jaynes' abrupt decision to leave may be in that final column, which is about the death Tuesday of The O's Brian Meehan, a contemporary whose death Jaynes describes as something that "kind of smacks you right in the middle of the chest."
Jaynes, 60, said this evening that Meehan's death coupled with the recent deaths of two other contemporaries "hit me hard" and led to his decision Thursday to end his time at Robert Pamplin's Trib. He said he faced no pressure to step down from what was - and is - a demanding job.
"I don't want people to blame Steve Clark or Pamplin," Jaynes said . "This was on me ... I didn't really decide to do it until I did it Thursday. It was just my time to go."
The gods can be cruel. On the same day that Mr. Jaynes, an outspoken opponent of over-the-top theatrics at NBA games, chose to hang it up, the featured story on Oregonlive.com/sports was a video of the Blazers Dancers tryouts.
A new, different, louder, brighter, bouncier era is here. Even Mr. Jaynes couldn't stop its arrival. But, in his signature take-it-or-leave-it style, he damn sure tried.
Given the abruptness of his departure, speculation has begun surrounding his resignation. I will not contribute to that speculation until I finally make contact with Mr. Jaynes (hey, DJ, get at me, dog) .
For his part, John Canzano, who as recently as last week had some harsh comments for Mr. Jaynes, came through with class via email.
Dwight is a class act, and a friend. I don't know the circumstances of his departure, but he's ok in my book.
we may have professional disagreements, but I think that's healthy, and I think Dwight would agree.
By virtue of having read his work now for at least 16 of my 24 years, it will be a long time until someone replaces Mr. Jaynes as the definitive voice of Blazers talk in my eyes. Love him or hate him, nobody has a deeper catalogue of hits.
With that said, I suspect, and hope, that Mr. Jaynes has a few hundred more columns in him.
His last column for PortlandTribune.com, a remembrance of Brian Meehan, begins with the words, "We lost a friend this week." Tonight, I can't help but feel like Oregon sports fans just lost another one.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)