On the occasion of my leave-taking after 27 years at this address—I'm going off to develop projects with a major international media company—my editor has asked me to write some parting remarks. I'm not good at goodbyes or accumulated wisdom, so at the outset I will quote something wise from sports that I have always believed should be periodically reprinted. Herewith, then, Satchel Paige's six rules for longevity:
1) Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
2) If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
3) Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
4) Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.
5) Avoid running at all times [my italics].
6) Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
To this wise catalog, I add the following:
7) Choose your friends in inverse proportion to how seriously they pay attention to the NFL draft.
My, my, the things we sports journalists inflict on you now. I'm not so sure that my colleagues and I are any more knowledgeable than we were when I started mucking around in this craft, but we sure do dispense more knowledge. This may or may not be a boon to humankind. Indeed, with so many specialists in the business, I am reminded of what the educator Nicholas Murray Butler once said: "An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."