I already can tell that once I make the move down south, one of the strangest things for me will be not caring a lick about the Chicago teams.
Those who know me know that I never have "cared" in the same sense fans do. Whether the Cubs, Bears, White Sox, Bulls or Blackhawks win or lose never has mattered to me and never will. It wasn't my job to cheer them on or to wish them ill. When they did well, I tended to make nice. When they sucked, I was less kind.
Three decades plus in this business, and I've never understood how journalists could get close to the teams they cover. That's always seemed wrong to me.
Having said that, I have followed those Chicago teams - as well as the Illini and, to some degree, Notre Dame and Northwestern - very closely. They have been a big part of my life.
Even after the fine folks at GateHouse liberated me from full-time employment and helped me learn 100 new ways to prepare Little Friskies - I suggest a splash of white wine and a dash of coriander - I kept following the teams because, well, because I was in Chicago and I was still covering games and it was the right thing to do.
But when I'm 800 miles away and there's nary a Paulie nor Kaner in sight, how will I react? Will I still check out the Cubs-Cards box scores online? Will I be especially interested when the Bulls are on ESPN? Will I wake up in a cold sweat still hearing Bruce Weber's unmistakable screech?
Or will those teams I followed for so many years quickly fade from my realm of thought? (Literally, out of sight, out of mind?) Sixteen years of memories becoming just that: a mere memory?
As Vinny Del Zzzzzz used to say - repeatedly - it will be a process. It will take until Thanksgiving or New Year's Day or maybe even Purim ... but soon enough, I'm pretty sure I'll be forever cleansed of A.J. and Kenny and Oz (oh my).
Does that make me feel happy or sad or something in between?
Well, I'll let you know when it happens.