Canzano: Sports teaches us a life lesson about moving on
My grandfather told me -- "Make a Life"
I always sat to the right of my grandfather at family dinners when I was a kid, just off his shoulder. I watched him drink wine, eat my grandma's spaghetti and captivate the room with his stories.
The guy was a legend.
His parents were Italian immigrants. They settled with their children in a tiny steel town in suburban Pittsburgh. Grandpa took one look around the mills and foundry when he was in his teens and decided he wanted something different.
"Make a life," he told us, over and over.
He hopped a train in 1929 and traveled across the country to the Jan. 1930 Rose Bowl. When I read, "Grandaddy of Them All," it always makes me smile. When my grandfather arrived in California he saw blue skies, cherry blossoms and knew he'd done it right.
I carried a photo of my grandfather in my sport coat pocket on Tuesday as I walked into a mostly empty newsroom to say 'goodbye' to an institution where I worked for nearly 20 years. There was no cake for me. No celebration. No farewell column. Just lines of empty desks, the hum of the heating system and boxes of unused N-95 masks.
Russell Wilson was traded by the Seahawks today. Did you see the breaking news? The Blazers also recently dumped salary and are charging toward a high lottery pick. Oregon State is busy building a new football future in Reser Stadium. And the Oregon Ducks hired Dan Lanning in pursuit of a College Football Playoff berth.
Institutions move on.
People move on.
I'm not leaving you behind, though. I'm going to continue to work hard, write columns, break news and host a daily statewide radio show (3-6p) in Oregon. I'll post my columns here from now on. The sourcing I've developed over the years won't be wasted. I have so much left to say and I will say it unencumbered now.
I'm buying what Jonathan Smith is selling at OSU. Also, I disagree with those who think Lanning is a hired gun who might ditch Eugene at the first sign of an SEC job. After talking with him recently I believe we may get to watch Lanning's three young sons grow up in Oregon. And the Blazers will be back -- I know it. Not because I trust ownership (I don't necessarily) or even management but because I know the fan base won't tolerate nonsense.
The Pac-12 is going to be a particular focus of mine in this space. Not just Oregon and Oregon State but the entire conference and every member. I'll never forget tracking ex-commissioner Larry Scott around Las Vegas a couple of years ago, writing about his 3,370-square foot luxury suite, complete with a marble soaking tub.
Nevermind that his Pac-12 members were drowning. Scott moved into a $7,500-a-night imperial palace and got about enjoying the conference basketball tournament. Four nights of butler service, a private pool, and a daily complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne for Scott sobered up the rest of us.
My grandfather would have liked Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff. He's a straight-shooting dreamer capable of thinking for himself. Scott left a low bar for Kliavkoff to clear and he'll get over it no problem. I'll be here to write about it and report. This all feels like it's just beginning.
Wilson to the Denver Broncos?
That's splashy stuff.
It rocked die-hard Seahawks fans. But anyone closely paying attention knew an era had come to an end. Wilson gets a new home and Seattle gets a fresh trajectory. The sports world has a way of reminding us that nothing is forever.
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