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Olympics

Hellllloooo . . . ?

Anyone still out there?Re-entering cyberspace, I think, might be more challenging than entering it the first time. Technically though, I never really left, going from the  Chicago Tribune to my blog, which kept me sane after being laid off from the Tribune, to ESPNChicago.com, which saved me.

I began my blog in the weepy hours after being pushed out by the Tribune last April and kept writing as I stopped crying and started to see the hope and humor again, through my first months with ESPN. And then I stopped.I still do not know exactly why I stopped. But I am flattered by the handful of you not including those directly related to me, who noticed. I hope you find me again. And though I can’t promise anything, I hope not to take a three-and-half month break again.

Trash-talking Jackie Joyner-Kersee

They don’t teach you about softball questions in journalism school. It’s just one of those things you pick up, like how to push “record” on your tape recorder. You want to ask an athlete about an 0-for-April slump, you start by lobbing in a few about his charitable foundation.

Of course, this technique is also older than hot type and any athlete with the sophistication of a little leaguer sees right through it immediately, which is why I dispensed with any softball small talk today when I interviewed Jackie Joyner-Kersee for an ESPNChicago.com story, and launched right into the day my high school basketball team pasted hers in the 1979 state title game.