My Final Top 10 Observer-ations

Observer-RW Last.jpg
Last week's cover. Irony is funny.
​10. As of this morning, the Dallas Observer is out of the sports business, at least on a full-time basis. Though I'm not technically being fired ("laid off" is supposedly less damning), the paper and its owner, Village Voice Media, have decided to eliminate its full-time sportswriting position. It's called downsizing. And yes, it sucks. Sources close to me indicate my farewell column -- a staple of the paper since September 2005 -- will appear in this week's edition. I'll pause a second while some of you pick your jaws off the floor, and others organize a celebratory parade.

9. I didn't exactly see this coming. Hard Impossible to envision going from emcee of Brew at the Zoo one week, to writing the paper's cover story the next week, to ... poof. But it's another sign of the terrible, terminal disease rotting newspapers to death. One minute your blog is a prototype; the next, the fat that must be trimmed.

8.
I would like to sincerely thank VVM for a generous goodbye, and also offer a tip of the cap to my loyal readers and sharp-tongued commenters who both kept me on my toes and kicked me in the crotch. Now it can be told: Being a sportswriter, I always wear a cup. No hard feelings.

7.
My first Observer column was about the Rangers. So was my last, a cover story fittingly adorned with the screaming headline "The End is Near!," a reference to the regular season's end and last week's apocalypse-themed Best of Dallas issue. Overall I wrote 310 ditties in the paper and won 13 national, state and local writing awards for stories like this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

6.
Couple weeks ago we learned to live without Entourage on Sunday night, and last Friday Mike Modano began life without hockey. This morning I woke up -- for the first time since accepting a job on the staff of UT-Arlington's The Shorthorn in 1983 -- without a newspaper job. Unsettling, to say the least.

5. Ironic that the subject of my most popular Observer story ever is now my partner in another sports medium. Life = Fascinating.

4. How do I want this blog to be remembered? As an entertaining, informative, irritating lil' corner of the blogosphere where you could read breaking news on everything from the Rangers to Russ Martin to the Cowboys and criminal cornerbacks. Where I provided unique personal trials and triumphs. And where, most of all -- right or wrong -- I made you stop, if just for a moment, and look at sports 'n such from a different angle.

3. It's been a pleasure and honor to work for editors like Julie Lyons, Mark Donald and Joe Tone, with marketing director Jennifer Robinson and alongside staff writers Robert Wilonsky and Jim Schutze, who remain the heart and soul of the Observer. I'm confident that Unfair Park will hit the high notes of sports, that Schutze will continue giving 'em hell on all city fronts and that, as long as it is allowed to have a pulse, the paper will remain a relevant, raucous option to the rest of our area's mainstream bullshit.

2. After 2,245 blog items, 31,510 comments and almost 3.5 years, Sportatorium is kaput. And after a six-year run, so is my weekly space in the Observer. Yep, dead and gone just like that. This blog will sit void and vacant, not unlike the old rasslin' namesake joint that once bustled with alternative sports entertainment at the corner of Industrial and Cadiz but is these days just a razed lot of rubble and reminiscences. My first item read like this; my last ... like a bullet-point obit.

1. You can still hear me weekdays 2-7 p.m. on 105.3 The Fan, reach me at Richie.Whitt@CBSRadio.com and -- squinting into my crystal ball -- don't be surprised if a reincarnated Sportatorium and future Richie Whitt columns surface before the end of the year over here. Until then, this truly is Whitt's End. Don't be a stranger.

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265 comments
B1ng
B1ng

Step one: Underpants.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Thought I'd let everyone know that the #1 douche is twittering about his Coly Lewis article today..and he still doesn't get it..

Hey RW, Suckit you miserable, short, balding, awful broadcaster, non-writer.

East Texas P1
East Texas P1

Can't believe that Unfair Park hasn't put up ANYTHING about last night's game.

B1ng
B1ng

Rangers Happy.

bar codes
bar codes

It is sad, I will be missing your post.

Robert
Robert

Ha ha last post.

bb
bb

-30-

Jack
Jack

That's a tough one, pal.

There is something to be said for those things people love to hate- and sadly my man your blog was just that. Hopefully, the future will look up and you can continue to be a Gen-X Dale Hansen-type guy: the sports blow-hard we can't stand but can't do without. 

Of course, as all local CBS outlets suck, I won't be hearing or reading you unless and until a better media provider gives you a paying gig. I hope that the black whole which is the Fan doesn't such your career into total obscurity. 

So for old time sake, let me just say, Ritchie, you suck. And we will all miss you. 

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Oh yeah.

I just stopped by for the Ender, but forgot.

Mark Perez
Mark Perez

It is about time the observer got rid of this idiot

East Texas P1
East Texas P1

 My $0.02

1.  Richie is getting a new gig, heard it today.

2.  With the demise of this blog I am spending way too much time on www.eccie.net.

3.  Rooster, take your Adderall

reppin'
reppin'

jeez, look at all the fucking comments. wow!! so, what is with that fucking hair? that is supremely ghey.. this is supposed to take away from the heat on r(h)omo? so, you see, vv blows even harder than you do. should'nt really come as any surprise. take it sleazy...

Rooster
Rooster

In the spirit of my favorite column, Cheap Bastard, I put the following on a plate for you to enjoy (As you can ship it...) Boudreaux, what in the wide wide world o' sports does it take 4 U 2B worth workin' 4, FOOLS?! All ya gotta do is brainstorm a little & use something they call ADVERTISING & POOF everybody gonna wanna see "BUT WHAT DID THE OBSERVER SAY THIS WEEK ABOUT...(Richie SHIIIIT! [his words, obviously not mine])" Ya GOTTA A GUY ON RADIO & IN YOUR RAG, MAKE A DEAL OUT OF IT.  OBVIOUSLY THIS WOULD BE OVER YOUR HEAD, SO I'll say it agin 4 da too cheap seats: MAKE A DEAL OUT OF IT, FOOL!  & ADVERTISE!  YA EVER TRY IT OUTSIDE YOUR RAG?  Let's say some1 inda rag wants to blurb ABOUT THE INFAMOUS NIRVANA/TREES EPISODE. Make a big deal out of it & would it B 2 much to ask of intelligence of the place 2 put "TREES" AD SOMEWHERE CLOSER THAN 5 @#$%$#@#$$$$$ pages away? THAT is what I'm talkin' about! You'll put a retraction on the cover but the columnust ain't worth an effort to keep?  THEN NEITHER ARE YOU! CAPICHE, FOOL? Try harder!  It's not that hard to find a couple 20 bars to rotate sponsorship of a column, let alone sports eqpt....  Have you thought about national advertisers (as if - sorry, obvious by now) about bothering to sponsor a columnist in trouble? If U aren't able to COME UP WITH WHAT IT TAKES to keep your own staff on line (while waving the budget in an attempt to keep them in line), you have risen to your highest level of incompetance & indifference.  The price 4 incompetance & indifference is contempt.  Rise above, Farkwar, huh?!  Thanks from us all in the community!@#$%$#$#@!@#%$%^^^&  Yours truly, Robert G. Cogburn

Megatron
Megatron

Graphic Print T-shirt....check.Frosted blond tips.......checkHoop earing.................checkRIP Richie Whitt Observer column. You will not be missed. Now this will give you more time to help out with Obama's re-election campaign.

Jerrah
Jerrah

Did you like those three second half interceptions? I hope you did. I hope you did very much.

Tooby Tubberville
Tooby Tubberville

Aggies winless against the SEC and Big 12 so far.  Maybe they need to be looking at joining the Missouri Valley Conference and then they can bring back Emory and his wishbone.

em
em

The independent paper where I live is only still around because medical marijuana (MMJ) recently got legalized around the state and it seems like everyone is ill now. There are MMJ clinics in every s-hole shopping center and the indy paper's advertising is now almost predominantly MMJ and sexually oriented businesses. Maybe Dallas needs to legalize MMJ and the Observer can bring back full-time sports.

At any rate, I guess this means more time to spend at strip clubs or wherever else "real" men hang out.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

Hey wow, drawing out some rightwing trollish behavior! The zombie thread will eat your brains!Ok,  there aren't many things that are going to improve an 8-0 shut out loss but beer and a plate full of tacos is a start. 

I do think it was short sighted of Village Voice or any other news entity to try to eliminate or diminish sports. In fact I would have been glad to see the sports section expanded and not contracted. But sports on the tube at 6 and 10 gets the boot regularly. Lots of stories about some new recipe for no fat nachos but can I get some content about an inside the park home run? Hell no. Honestly I miss RW already. Questionable topics and other issues aside, I miss seeing sports on my alt-news website. 

Mg32944
Mg32944

Just proves that all good things must come to an end.  Bad things too.

Americano
Americano

I wonder if the owners, publishers, editors and writers of newspapers ever consider that the reason for their decline is not that people are turning away from their business, but their content.  People like me turn to sports because I'm tired of being insulted in every other form of media, but I cannot even read a sports story without a left wing slant.  I know the Socialists at those papers think they are being sly by slipping in their political views, but really all they are doing is turning away half their audience.  

Even this comment will only draw insult and derision, which I will promptly ignore, as I do most left wing media outlets.  Once the Neanderthal and Nazi comments come out, I know I've won the battle of substance.  The news business is killing itself by turning away half it's audience, and although it sucks to see anyone lose their job, it's not surprising and completely warranted.  No other industry in America does this, and the results are entirely predictable.  This sort of bias has given rise to the "Right Wing Media" which the left despises.  You have created your own bogeyman, and the failure of Left Wing Media Outlets like this and the NY Times are proof. 

The sad part is that I actually enjoy the Observer, and don't mind politcal commentary, even from the Left, and long as it's appropriate to the story and contained in an opinion piece.  Best of luck Richie, I hope that regaling us with your witty put-downs of George Bush was worth your gig, but I'm sure you'll get another.  The media in this country hasn't figured it out yet, and as long as that is the case, you'll always have a job.  Until they all go bankrupt.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

I wonder how long they will leave the link up on the page. Might come around here to comment as long as they leave the lights on.

How about that fucking night of MLB!3 minutes of history. I read Nate Silver's blog today about the odds of the events of last night occurring. Bayes Theorem and a bunch of graphs. Followed the thread and was soon wading far in over my head and had bad flashbacks to calculus and in a shiver I closed that page.

I should have known we were going to play second fiddle to NYY and whoever else they played. Afternoon games for us. 

Payless Shoes is Hiring
Payless Shoes is Hiring

Thank you for the best birthday present ever!  Quick clarification for RW: this was not a "lay off" deal.  This was your employer "not valuing your skills."  There's a difference, you No-Talent Hack.

Bout Time
Bout Time

Like you couldn't see this one coming . . . all the way from the Tarleton State press box.  Took longer than expected, that's for sure.

Now go eat your chicken box (and those extras tucked under your arm).

East Texas P1
East Texas P1

Wanted to hear this in Dead and Gone but Greggo just talked about lying Harold Taft

shum
shum

Sorry to see your blog go Richie.  I always enjoyed reading it (and the comments from others).  Now where will I go for my "Hot or Not"?

Wifebeeter
Wifebeeter

Rest In Fuk you ignorant dumbass

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Woo hooo, past 200 in dis someo'biotch!  Yowser.  Welp, the ship is all but abandoned.........bye?  So long RW.

B1ng
B1ng

Merten writes up the previous game while previewing the next.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

You think by now I would have learned my lesson about clicking on links in this forum. Nope.

Baseball Junkie
Baseball Junkie

He getting the new blog before or after the epic 3 game fives scheduled for 7 today and 4 and 7:30 tomorrow?

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

New gig?  Burger King in Frisco is hiring.  The original Kergonator is drinkin' that sweet Shiner 102; yes, 102-and me likey!  101 was good.  102 is "berry' good.....with subtle hints of honey, and not "too" heavy.

Kergie out biotches! OK, I was wrong about Beltre and Nap, and this team is BETTER w/o CLEE, but, next year?  Go tiny red shoes.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

Semi-legal weed IN TEXAS? Are you mad? Makes perfectly good sense, that's why it will never ever happen. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Richie wasn't shitcanned because of your political paranoia, it's because his sportswriting sucked. You're giving him far too much credit for effort and intelligence.

Something tells me your own warped perspective is responsible, not vast media political agendas. Lighten up.

Oh, and by the way, the Huffington Post is generally accused of being left wing and is doing just fine for itself.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

I thought us left wingers were the Nazi's? 

Aside from that, why does every god damn thing these days have to be "it's the liberals fault" or "it's the republicans fault"? It's mother fucking sports, dude. Not everything is fueled by hatred of the other side.Wanna know why this country is circling the toilet? Because of bullshit like this. From both sides. The hatred of people who differ on political bullshit is baffling to me.

I don't hate you because you obviously think differently on politics. But I do think you're a piece of shit for saying that you'll know you "won the battle" if somebody comments on a post you wrote for the sole purpose to drawing comments.

Sporty Sport
Sporty Sport

Sweet stroke by Chris Davis on that first pitch 98 mph fastball two out double last night to initiate the final nail on the Bosox coffin.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Still heara...need a beera...while I watch the little redshoes win this whole sumbitch!

Americano
Americano

 The Huff Po is a disaster, and AOL will rue the day, if they don't already, that they bought that overvalued POS.  The writers there certainly do.  I agree that Richie was an immature, poor writer, in fact I only read this blog for the comments.  Even the Left Wing firebrands were usually funny, unlike Richie, who was simply petulant.  The reality of the market is that more Left Wing rags are failing, and it's not all because people are turning away from the medium in general.  People are turning away from poorly written media that goes out of it's way to offend them every chance it gets.  It's the only business I know that regularly insults half of it's customers.  Frankly I hope they never get it and continue to do so until Carlos "Slim" owns them all.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Yeah, there's a whole different world out there. Probably most of the same info you'd see if you click the Adult Entertainment link on this site.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'll agree that poorly written media needs to go away, but the newspaper industry is dying because of the Craigslists and Monster.coms of the world rather than writing style or slants. And I also agree that Richie threw out political statements more as a inciting tactic than for any sort of actual discussion.

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