Mike Imrem's final column: Why is it never easy to say goodbye?

My first column for The Daily Herald ran on Oct. 1, 1978.

That was just yesterday, right?

The subject was Jack Tatum, “The Assassin” of the Oakland Raiders, in town to play the Bears.

A couple of months earlier, Tatum's crushing hit left Chicago native/Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley paralyzed.

A football player nicknamed “The Assassin” seemed worth writing about.

Now, more than 7,000 columns later, it's time for one final try before I head down the road.

(By the way, 7,000 columns are a lot for, as I always like to point out, someone who knows only 100 words and 23 letters of the alphabet.)

Thinking back 39 years, what strikes me is I was a know-it-all who knew it all, making it natural to fire coaches, tell general managers whom to trade and counsel billionaire owners on how to manage their money.

As time passed, I came to realize that I knew what I knew but didn't know what I didn't know.

Today I leave you with these loose-ended questions that someone else will have to answer for me:

How thrilled must Jimmy Garoppolo be that he wasn't traded to Halas Hall's graveyard of quarterbacks?

Aren't “incredible” and “unbelievable” the most misused words in sports?

Am I hallucinating or was one of the World Series games still going when the next one began?

Is the college football playoff picture muddled enough for Illinois to sneak in?

Will the Bears taking Mitch Trubisky instead of Deshaun Watson some day be viewed like the 49ers taking Alex Smith instead of Aaron Rodgers?

Isn't the worst thing about rubbing a puppy's tummy that all he remembers is you stopped?

Will the Blackhawks or Joel Quenneville start feeling the 10-year itch first?

Doesn't it seem like the path to the American dream has evolved from hard work to Powerball?

Why would a team in need of starting pitching even consider letting Jake Arrieta get away?

Lucy Liu or Lisa Ling?

Youber or UTube?

Fred Hoiberg or Mr. Rogers?

Should MLB hire the retiring Hawk Harrelson to grade umpires?

Wouldn't you just once like to read a believable obituary like, “Alsworth ‘Critter' Creepsworthy was a nasty man whose terrible temper terrorized his loved ones … Mr. Creepsworthy enjoyed burning the wings off of insects, rooting against all Chicago sports teams and cheating at poker … He is survived by countless demons and a chicken that refused to lay eggs for him … Services won't be held”?

If batters are called pinch hitters, why aren't relievers called pinch pitchers?

Who has more fun, David Ross or Bob Roh-r-r-r-man?

Are there women caves?

Is the straw that stirs the drink the same one that broke the camel's back?

Do you remember when PEDs in sports meant Performance Enhancing Donuts?

How can there not be an “I” in Trump?

Didn't Brian Urlacher look better with a shaved head than with repurposed hair?

Do Martians post on Spacebook?

Has anyone ever done laundry without losing a sock?

And one last question: What's a catch, anyway?

I'll be reading this and other publications for the answers.

Meanwhile, there's no question about this: From Oct. 1, 1978, to Nov. 2, 2017, it has been an honor, a privilege and a hoot.

Nothing's forever unless it turns out that way, and it never does.

Thanks for your time … all 39 years of it.

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