It was suggested, not by myself but by others, that last week’s Dirty Harry blog entry may have set the bar too high to ever be reached again, by the likes of me anyway. Now that’s not to say that I agree with the suggestion that it was a bar-raising entry, but given the depths of my mediocrity as both an angler and a writer, I believe there is much truth in the assertion that I may have peaked. Long-time UA supporter Rebecca Garlock (keeper of the Outdooress blog and a Co-Chief Executive of the Outdoor Blogger Network) suggested in the comments section that I was, in fact, “toast”.
Many once-great professional athletes have hung on too long, only to end up tarnishing if not completely disgracing themselves and their legacies. Be the reasons what they may — the need for more lucrative paydays, a spirit that just couldn’t live without the competition, an ego too large for their own good, or perhaps a combination of them all — playing past their prime rarely if ever has resulted favorably for either the athletes or their fans.
As fans, nobody who witnessed these athletes at the height of their careers enjoyed seeing them wallow miserably in frustrating despair as their aging bodies were no longer capable of competing with younger, faster, stronger, better-dressed athletes. Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Jordan, Roger Clemens, Brent Favre…the list goes on. The best way to bastardize an otherwise brilliant career, it seems, is to linger past one’s prime. I am of the opinion that it’s far better to go out while you’re on top – to retire with grace and dignity, and humility. If you don’t, that humility will inevitably be shoved down your throat with great force.
That being said, which is not to say that the Unaccomplished Angler has ever approached a level of brilliance with regard to anything, I do believe it is time to bow out gracefully, before someone suggests I do.
To my 8 loyal followers who stuck with me over the course of the past year and a half or so, thank you—your support has made it all worthwhile. And to the many who jumped on the bandwagon just recently and left comments, thanks for doing so. It helps ease the transition into retirement knowing that I had a thousand or so extra hits on my website in the end.
What will I do with all my free time now that the blog of Unaccomplished Angler will no longer be demanding the minimal effort required to produce marginally acceptable Weekly Drivel? Hopefully something lucrative. I’ve got my kids fly fishing books to promote, and a couple more to finish in the hope that my publisher demands them soon. I’ve got fish to try to catch, and a job to look for (if you’re hiring, drop me a line. Seriously).
It’s been fun while it lasted—at least for me—but I smell burnt toast.
I’m going fishing. Tightlines,