Today, a personal note. I've been doing this site for nearly three years under the name "The Wiz." My anonymity ends today.
Monday at 1:52 p.m., I received a message on my cell phone. The caller I.D. was "blocked," and my instincts told me this was not a good thing. It was after all Black Monday, a day of 150 or more editorial layoffs at the Los Angeles Times where I have worked in Sports for nearly two decades.
The message was from Melissa McCoy of the Times: " I need to talk with you."
The executioner was waiting.
About 30 minutes later, I learned that "my position" had been eliminated.
"I'm sorry I couldn't do this face-to-face ... these are trying economic times ... you'll be receiving a packet in the mail," she said, apparently reading from a prepared statement.
I asked when I could clean out my desk. Arrangements were made and now, like it or not, I'm moving forward.
Journalism is a career I have cherished since my first newspaper job at 16. The downward spiral of the newspaper business has helped me prepare for this day. But it still feels like my best friend just died.
I've kept this site under wraps from all except a handful of confidants. I've spoken of the site publicly only on Sports Byline, the weekly radio show in which I participate.
But, hey, the Wiz is now a free agent. Anyone have a lead on a good gig? Here are my details.