Miller: Time to Say Goodbye
Many things in life, when they come to an end, end badly. Otherwise, they wouldn’t end.
With all due respect (and apologies) to Brian Flanagan (Cocktail, 1988), I am glad this isn’t always the case.
After I record the instant reaction podcast following Iowa’s bowl game, whenever that is, it will be my last regular contribution for HawkeyeNation.com, or for any sports related endeavor. The HN Podcast will continue, as will the Bigger Ten podcast, but both without my involvement, which also means the end of the Miller and Deace episodes very soon.
The @HawkeyeNation twitter account will be managed by someone from this website after I make the final post after Iowa’s bowl game, too, as I need to step away from sports twitter for a season of life, however long that may be.
HN has some great things in store. The great Rob Howe will continue to be here and provide the fantastic free content you have come to expect and appreciate. There will also be some new faces and voices that we will be announcing in the coming weeks.
As for me and my decision, this has been building for some time now.
In 2013, I moved my family to the Tulsa area and returned to the energy industry, a field I had left in 2003 when I went all in on my sports broadcasting dreams that had grown to include this website.
In the summer of 2018, I left my corporate energy job and launched my own energy consulting company. In December of 2018, I formed an energy consulting, logistics and wholesale startup with two other partners.
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It was at that time when I told the owners of HawkeyeNation.com (I sold the company in 2013) that I was going to be stepping away at some point in the next year. The time is now, as the energy company demands my full attention. The passion I have for it rivals the passion I have ever had for ‘sports’, something I am very thankful for.
I am also very, very thankful for you, faithful reader and listener, for the role you have played in my life and the opportunities you have helped me enjoy.
When my brother Jason and I were walking from tailgate to tailgate in the wee hours of the morning on Hawkeye football Saturday’s back in in 2001, pulling around a cooler on wheels filled with one-sheets that promoted this new website called HawkeyeNation.com, the site was just taking its first steps.
Nearly 20 years and close to 1 Billion page views later, it amounted to something and I will always be proud of and grateful for.
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When I reflect on what I have had the opportunity to do relative to my childhood sports dreams, when 13-year old Jon told his dad that he would be the Voice of the Hawkeyes one day and have a national TV show, I feel a bit like Forrest Gump…specifically, how Forrest found himself around larger than life people throughout his journey.
In 2001 and at the age of 30, I sat next to legends on press row; Bob Brooks for football and Al Grady for basketball. In that same year, I was able to meet and associate with Mike Hlas, Mike Finn, Rick Brown, Don Doxsie and so many writers I had grown up reading. I was then fortunate to get to know so many other great writers who were making names for themselves, most who are still covering the beats and many I will talk about later in December.
For a kid who at one time or another had delivered the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Cedar Rapid Gazette and Sunday Des Moines Register, it was a surreal experience.
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Then I got the chance to co-host Soundoff with the legendary Jim Zabel, which was truly one of the joys of my professional career. When my friend Steve Deace and I were hosting host a morning sports talk show in Des Moines, I knew that would be ‘the best’ job in media I would ever be a part of, and it was.
Kirk Ferentz afforded me interview opportunities and kindnesses I was also not worthy of…more on some of that later in December, too. Steve Alford called me in to a closed door meeting where he and Craig Neal played the arms crossed, stare down game. I’ll look forward to walking down memory lane.
I am long winded, so this will be a longer than usual goodbye. There will be several podcasts in December where I talk about some of the old days and share some of my favorite memories…where I thank people I need to thank and apologize to some who deserve it. I look forward to sharing all of that.
The HN and Bigger Ten podcasts will be released late Monday night.
That is all to come over the next few weeks, so if you’ll allow me the opportunity to finish this up the way I would like, I’ll invite you in for one last ride.