Monday, June 29, 2015

Saying goodbye to the Eagles beat

Jonathan Tamari wraps up a great run covering the Eagles for the Philadelpia Inquirer:

Saying goodbye to the Eagles beat

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Eagles marketing interns carry a large cutout of quarterback Michael Vick to a spot at training camp. (AP Photo/The Express-Times, Matt Smith)
Eagles marketing interns carry a large cutout of quarterback Michael Vick to a spot at training camp. (AP Photo/The Express-Times, Matt Smith)

Jonathan Tamari wraps up a great run covering the Eagles for the Philadelpia Inquirer:

This is a strange time to walk away from the Eagles beat. Training camp has just opened, and with it comes a glimpse of what’s next and hints of the possibilities in what should be a pivotal Eagles season. It’s about beginning, not endings.

But my story today on Mychal Kendricks – another look at the near future for the Eagles – is my last on the beat. I’ll be moving to DC later this week and will soon start covering politics and our local congressional delegation as the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent.

I’m thrilled for the opportunity and the new possibilities of my own. This is something I’ve long wanted to do, though I’m sad to leave behind a beat that has been challenging and fun, and that I won’t be covering a season that should answer many big, critical questions about the Eagles.

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I’ll still be writing in the Inquirer and on Philly.com, and hope to soon have a new blog established to help chronicle the news out of Washington. My Twitter handle stays the same -- @JonathanTamari – though if you’re looking for injury updates or post-game quotes, you’re going to be very disappointed.

I’ve tried to thank in person the people who have helped me while I was on this beat, and especially those who lent a hand when I arrived from covering Jersey politics, not even knowing how much I didn’t know. I’ve been lucky to work with great colleagues from Inquirer and other outlets in the area, and an Eagles press staff that is professional and hard-working.

What I’ll miss most is learning and telling the stories of the many individuals who make up the team, and how they reached the highest level of their profession. For some, like DeSean Jackson or LeSean McCoy, it’s straight forward: work hard, star in college, get drafted early and quickly rise to the top. For others, including guys like Evan Mathis or Cullen Jenkins, the road is much more twisted, and fraught with setbacks and challenges, but eventually opportunities that they grab and hold onto. We watch in awe of the stars, but I think many of us outside of professional sports can relate to that second, less steady path, the one taken by much of the 53-man roster.

My last thanks have to be to the people who have taken the time to read my work, here online, in the Inquirer and on Twitter. I love getting to write for a living, but it wouldn’t mean much if no one was reading. I quickly learned that Eagles fans’ exacting standards go beyond just the team. I’ll always remember the searing messages I got when I mistakenly listed Ellis Hobbs at left cornerback, not right, during my first preseason. The volume of attention for even that detail told me how much Eagles fans care, that quality was demanded and that there would always be someone reading, no matter how big or small the news or the name we were featuring.

I hope some of you will still follow along as I move back to politics, and I’m curious what it’ll be like to turn on an Eagles game this fall with nothing to do but watch. It should be a fascinating year.

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