I was looking forward to going to the Athletic Business show this week in Orlando, but now my excitement has been tempered a bit.
I just found out on the Athletic Business Conference Web site today that Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly will not be the keynote speaker. Reilly announced several weeks ago that he is leaving SI to work for ESPN and its many outlets, such as ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He was supposed to speak Friday, but that's his last day at SI. (My guess is they're throwing this big going away soiree somewhere, and he can't get out of it.)
Reilly's replacement is Joe Theismann, former quarterback of the Washington Redskins and a former NFL analyst on ESPN. This makes it two years in a row that the AB show has featured a former QB. (Terry Bradshaw spoke at last year's show in Las Vegas. From what I hear, Terry talked a lot about putting his hands under his center's butt for all those years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.)
Being a writer and as a former/current sportswriter, I would have enjoyed hearing Reilly speak. Now I'll be stuck hearing Joe Theismann speak about Joe Theismann and subjects relating to Joe Theismann. He does own a restaurant in Washington, DC, and his speech, entitled "Game Plan for Success," has some promise of equating athletics and business.
Be sure to check out my review of Theismann's speech here in the next few days. Maybe I'll ask him what he thinks about his former Monday Night Football partner, Tony Kornheiser, with whom he didn't necessarily have the most cheery relationship. I predict the answer will come back to one person: Joe Theismann.