'Tis kind of a sad week already here at ISU for me anyways. First of all, the office is quiet as Katie Zigars is off for the next two week on vacation (lucky). But, she will be back, while two folks most assuredly won't be, and that's Kellis Robinett of the Idaho State Journal, and Ryan Collingwood of the Blackfoot Morning News. Ryan, who had his farewell column come out yesterday, (including a shout-out to yours truly), has been nothing short of a miracle for me. I've tried and tried for 11 years to get the Blackfoot Morning News involved with ISU. Good grief we are like 20 minutes away and for my first 10 years I couldn't get anyone there to care, but Collingwood did a great job. He covered ISU football and basketball, including some road games, did some features, and generally brought ISU to the readers of the Morning News. Mark High is the new editor there, and I'll be introducing myself to him and showing him a little ISU hospitality, and hopefully he will continue with Ryan started.
As for Kellis, well, I'm losing a pretty good friend there. While it's true that at various times ISU coaches have had their differences with him (that could be said of any reporter by the way), the facts are facts. Kellis is one of the top reporters to ever come through here, and he is moving to the Omaha World Herald (here is his final column, with sadly, no shout out....).
I should mention at this point that I have always said I'm a stand-up guy and will acknowledge mistakes and stuff like that (as I have done here several times). A couple of weeks back I gave Kellis some grief about needling the coaches a bit and taking little shots and digs. I was reading over my blogposts and I noticed this from last week .... "Kellis Robinett of the Idaho State Journal had a regular article that is pretty straight forward, but he takes a few potshots at the Big Sky in his blog." So, I pretty much did exactly what I gave Kellis grief for doing, so while I have apologized to him in person, I do so publicly as well.
Anyway, Kellis earned a little bit of a rep in his last weeks with a couple of strong columns and things like that, but he shouldn't be judged by that. In reality, he should be judged by the full body of work while he was here, and that body of work is impressive to say the least.
The Journal has lost two ridiculously talented writers in the last few months in Kellis and Dan Thompson, leaving Kelvin Ang and Tim Flagstad a big hole to try to fill. Tim's writing has always been solid, and Kelvin's writing continually gets better and better, and just google his article on Joe Cullen for proof (I can't find it right now).
Anyways, we will miss both Ryan and Kellis. Robinett was a regular for poker night at my house, and he was one of the better players (he smiles when he's got nothing, he smiles when he's got a hand....uugh), and he was always complementary of my wife's cooking. We wish both well, knowing we will run into both of them again soon.
Idaho State Sports Information