July 23, 2017

On the retirement of District Sports Page

“When it’s time, it’s time. And it’s time…” Jim Leyland, on his retirement in 2013.

After much deliberation, it is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire District Sports Page, effective at the end of the NHL and NBA seasons. We will continue to cover the Capitals and Wizards until their respective seasons conclude, whenever that may be, and update Redskins news through the NFL Draft, then we’ll sign off. We will not pick up Nationals or DC United this spring.

Here’s hoping the last thing this website does is write about a Stanley Cup finals or NBA Championship series.

Also, I’m happy to announce that I will be joining the staff of SBNation’s Federal Baseball to cover the Nationals this season, and thanks to editor Patrick Reddington for the opportunity.

I hope to find an outlet to continue to cover the Capitals next season.

This was a very difficult decision, one I did not take lightly. Even now, I’m having a hard time believing that I’m typing the words. This website and its predecessors have afforded me some incredible experiences and memories, and to be surrendering it willingly was at one point unthinkable. But the time and effort to run it is considerable, and it’s now time to put that time to other uses.

I am very proud of the track record DSP has in the market, and especially proud of the fact that of the 40 writers that have contributed to District Sports Page over 4 ½ years, 15 have gone on to paying gigs in the sports media industry, myself included, either at newspapers, websites, television or cable stations or with the teams themselves. I have no doubt that several on the current staff will do the same.

To the current staff, and all the former staff: Thank you. Thank you for all the hard work and dedication you put toward this website, for nothing in return other than the experience of covering the local teams, with credentials, and a place to publish your efforts.

To the teams: Thank you. Thank you for the access and support you provided this website for 4 ½ years, and to its predecessors, Nats News Network and Caps News Network, for the four years prior to that.

In today’s modern media, it’s commonplace to have independents in the press box and locker rooms shoulder-to-shoulder with traditional media; that was not the case eight years ago and the Caps (especially Mr. Leonsis and Nate Ewell) understood that. In large part they are responsible for the access that electronic media has not just in this market, but across the country.

Thanks also to Stan Kasten, John Dever and Mike Gazda — all formerly of the Nats — for creating and cultivating the first pool of credentialed bloggers in MLB history, and for allowing me to participate in the process.

Thanks to the current staffs of the Caps, Nats, Wizards, Mystics, United and University of Maryland for continuing to provide access to independent media.

And thank you to my editor, Cheryl, for allowing me the freedom and providing encouragement to pursue this endeavor. It takes a lot of time and energy to start a second career and even more to run a website like this, and her unending support and contributions were critical to its success.

——————–

Lastly, and most importantly, thanks to all of you for reading the work on this website. With so much of traditional media now in partnerships with the teams they cover, it’s more important than ever that there are independent media covering the teams and sports we love so much.

There’s great writing and analysis being done independently on the national and local levels, you just gotta look for it. If you’re reading this, you probably know already. But so many sports fans only get their “news” force-fed to them by a newspaper that has corporate cross-sponsorship with the teams they cover, or from the broadcasting partner — whose announcers the team hires and pays, or from the leagues themselves who control or obfuscate the message, or even worse, from a marketing department disguised as a worldwide sports network.

Please seek out these independent voices. Read them. Educate yourself about the teams and sports you follow. Be an informed consumer. Don’t be blindly led by entities trying to control the message or sell you something. Knowledge is power.

Until next time,

Cheers, and thanks again for reading.

Dave Nichols
Editor-in-Chief
District Sports Page

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