Headline says it all. Here's his words via email.
Blazersedge: So, just another Friday, eh? What the heck happened here?
Writing the columns the last few years for the Tribune was a joy... no problem there and for an old guy I think I have accepted the changes in sports and in the world pretty well... I'm down with a lot of them, actually, and have never been one of those "good old days" kind of guys...
[The people at the Tribune] treated me great... but my wife has been seeing those nasty signs of stress for months... while [this decision] was surprising to many, it wasn't to me...
I was ready for something new... I may blog, I may take an offer to do something entirely different -- not sure... going to take some time away and see what's going on out in the real world...
I've been enclosed in the office for hours and hours every day and need to breath a little fresh air...
Blazersedge: WIll you be "in the building" once the Blazers season starts?
maybe but probably not... I can't afford a ticket and I can't think of any reason for a credential at this point... although I have a few ideas.
Blazersedge: Let's speculate, shall we?
who knows -- maybe one of my friends in the league will hire me to scout... that would be a kick.
Blazersedge: When was the last time you weren't following the Blazers regularly?
been a long, long time probably prior to when I took the beat in 1983
Blazersedge: How does the Tribune work to fill the big hole on its sports page?
there is no big hole... 13 or 14 inches... kerry eggers and steve brandon and jason vondersmith are stellar... they will continue to do a sensational job and the tribune will continue to be a great paper
Blazersedge: How active will you be in helping the paper make the transition?
not at all
Blazersedge: Totally hands off?
I'm out of there... clean break
Blazersedge: You talked about freedom and getting outdoors and I read that you were playing softball last night, what else is on tap?
hey, STOP right now... I was not playing softball... I play BASEBALL and have for the last two summers -- in a 38-and-over league... very different from softball... a fun and challenging pastime...
I live in a houseboat... I need to get some sun on my pale body... and devote a little more time to getting that body back in good shape...
Blazersedge: My bad about the softball thing. Poor form, really poor form, on my part. Do you have any regrets about your time at the Tribune?
I don't look back, for regrets or otherwise... I look ahead -- and right now that's kind of fun
Blazersedge: Are you still planning to do work with 1080 The Fan?
if they wish... I will be guest-hosting for isaac ropp monday when he's on vacation... if anyone on the radio will have me, I love doing radio... I'm also doing my sem-regular gig on sunday night on channel 12 with matt smith...
Blazersedge: Can you put to bed any speculation regarding the timing of your decision?
the timing? today is my wife's birthday... she told me I had given her the most wonderful present she could have asked for... she's very successful at what she does -- interior design -- and that allows me a little more freedom than some others might have... it may have been sudden for some people but not for me... it had been rolling around in my mind for a long time.
I hope this helps clear some things up.
25 years following the team, day in and day out. That's more than my entire lifetime. Wow. That cliche "He's forgotten more basketball than I know"... yes.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)