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So long folks, it’s time for me to take off

Mar 28, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

helicoptercat Reuters

In case you haven’t heard, Easter Sunday is the final day of Off the Bench: this blog will cease operations as of 11:59 p.m. on that date. So the day after March 31, there will be no new posts on this blog. The timing is fine: I see no reason people would wake the next day and suspect it’s a prank.

I won’t get all goopy here because, despite 3 1/2 years on this site, it’s not a funeral. Like Helicopter Cat here, death will not stop my momentum. The tomfoolery will continue virtually uninterrupted over at SportsGrid, my new home, where I begin on April 8. Hope to see you there.

Many thanks to Brian White and Danny DeFreitas and the entire team at NBCSports.com, who made this blog possible. Thanks to Mike Condon for his College Bowl Game Pool, the greatest of all office pools. Thanks to a bevy of talented writers who chipped in with valuable assists: Ben Chew, Jason Rowan, Jelisa Castrodale, Rob Sylvester, Josiah Schlatter. Thanks to all my readers. And thanks to Tanpopo Japanese Grill at the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue, WA, where they call you by your usual order — I am Chicken Teri.

The Redmond, WA campus will be missed: I actually started there in 1996, when NBC and Microsoft began a joint venture called MSNBC, and a bunch of us started a sports site. We worked out of building 25 and existed on free pizza, caffeine and audacity. It’s grown to what you see now: although I left Washington several years ago to work at Deadspin, and then from home on this blog. NBCports.com is now based in Connecticut. It’s the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one, for all of us.

Off the Bench — actually it was called Out of Bounds then — began in November of 2009, and as you may recall a certain golfer encountered a certain tree with a certain SUV that month. Tiger Woods/Elin Nordegren-related posts gave us our initial push, and indeed continued to be among the most-read items on this site for three straight years.

Most comments on a single post? That would be 763, for the Dec. 7, ’09 post after news broke that Elin had packed up the kids and left Tiger’s mansion.

Most page views? A post from July 2011, on Elin finding a new boyfriend, Jamie Dingman (more than 650,000 views).

Most ironic headline? Among the leaders was: Man killed by rooster during cockfight. Although I also enjoyed Flightless bird bites hopeless candidate.

Best photo? It would have to be this one.

Most abused commenter? A poor dope who went by the handle of PX9, who was reminded about 200 times that when it’s winter in the Northern hemisphere, it’s summer in Australia.

But my favorite post may have been this one: the story of a man who decided to memorialize his late, beloved cat by stuffing it and making it into an operational flying device, thus proving that if you love something enough, you never truly leave it behind. It just takes a different form.

So like Helicopter Cat, I will now fly off toward a new adventure: a little wiser, a little happier, a little more able to hover over the neighbor’s yard and annoy his dogs. This is Chicken Teri signing off, for now. But watch the skies. I’ll be back.

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  1. lewp - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    I’m stunned.

    This is the first I’m hearing of this.
    I’m not going to get on a soap box and preach to NBC why this is so wrong, I’ll do that later. Suffice it to say this blog will be severly missed.

    Rick, ever since deadspin, I have followed your crazy antics and stories, and I am such a huge fan of yours. Yes, I’ll follow you over to SportsGrid, but please know I think I can speak for your fandom when I say you are a super writer and we all love your stories. Take care and we will see you there.

    • Rick Chandler - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      Thanks Lewp. And thanks for the thumbs down, Skids. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  2. torrigjp - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Terrible move by NBC. I was wondering why they removed you icon from the top row of links. Good luck at Sportsgrid

    • Rick Chandler - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    • icewalker946 - Mar 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Yep, I even sent feedback asking for a link at the top of the page to be put back. I looked at PFT and then OTB, sometimes not in that order, after a long day of work. I passed a long so many stories from here to others. I will definitely be following you to SportsGrid and keep up the great work.

  3. awesomenar - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    This sucks. It was my favorite part of the site. Good luck to you!

    • Rick Chandler - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Many thanks. I just hope no one invents a helicopter dog.

  4. sun602 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Will miss this site and I have that hoodie from the pic. HM right??

  5. jimguida - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I’m sorry, who is this? And who is Leather? And why is she with me? Seriously, on behalf of your god-daughter – the subject of one of your original posts – and her family, best of luck. Now – TO THE WEINER MOBILE!

  6. eslaught - Mar 28, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    This is lame. I read this and profootballtalk. This blog gave me good laughs. Can’t wait to read motorsportstalk and prosoccertalk (sarcasm). Good luck in your future adventures.

  7. cur68 - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Well, hell. This was the only other site I visited on NBC. I’m a huge baseball fan and I can tell that you were, too Rick. Gonna miss the baseball related humour and the “Sports News of the Weird” format. Good luck on the new site. I’ll be sure to stop by and try and get you to ban me from there. Y’know, with cussin’ and stuff.

  8. staph1nfection - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I will definitely follow you to Sportsgrid, Rick! See you there!

  9. dondada10 - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Good luck with the move, Rick.

  10. fraudguy - Mar 31, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    You will be missed. OTB was usually my first stop on the Sports site until they started hiding it back in the restricted circulation section.

    Good luck at the new site.

  11. datcrazybok - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Rick, good luck to you for whatever the future holds. Sorry I’m a few days late. I’m one of the ones who stopped frequenting the site when they took the link down off the banner. Wish I could have made it before you actually left, but you’ll be starting at Sportsgrid on my birthday. Happy Birthday to Me!

  12. zestacracker - May 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Good riddance, you Christian-hating b@st@rd.