'I Am Not the Same Person ... It Is Time for Me to Ride Off' -- Terry Foster
April 20th, 2017, 5:53 PM
In a personal essay headlined "Why I'm Leaving Now," popular Detroit sports journalist and radio co-host Terry Foster explains his voluntary departure from WXYT-FM (97.1 The Ticket).
"It is difficult to do sports talk radio with the same veracity and tenacity after your life turned a complete 180 and things were placed in perspective," the 58-year-old posts at CBS Detroit.
The station Thursday afternoon announces his immediate departure as co-host of the “Valenti and Foster” afternoon show. It says:
As Foster has openly shared with listeners over the last several months, he suffered a stroke and was on medical leave for much of the second half of 2016.
He returned to the show in January, but has now decided to refocus his time on his health and his family.
In his poignant farewell message, the married father -- a former Pistons beat writer at The Detroit News (1988-94) -- reflects on what matters most and why he signs off the air "after 13 years that capped off my 36 years in the media:"
I am not the same person that I was a year ago. The two strokes I suffered [last fall] turned me into someone who is more calm and quiet. I’m more diplomatic. The Tigers’ bad bullpen does not upset me as much. The Lions’ bumblings are not as troubling.
So it is difficult to do sports talk radio with the same veracity and tenacity after your life turned a complete 180 and things were placed in perspective. I want to live and be there for my family. I battle every day at the gym and the dinner table to stay healthy and get better. I no longer want to fight over a Brad Ausmus move or who the Lions should select in the first round of the draft.
Those things are not as important. . . .
It is time for me to ride off, but not ride off into the sunset. So I will see you at the New Amsterdam at Comerica Park and at Harry’s Detroit after a Red Wings or Pistons game at Little Caesars Arena. And we cannot forget Ford Field, where the Lions often frustrated you. But they were always my favorite team because they brought out the most passion in fans. . . .
As many of you know, I had a stroke last fall. You often ask how I’m doing and I say “fine,” which is true.
However, I was rarely fine after the show was over for the day and often returned home quiet and tired. I dove into bed for rest. It was troubling to my wife [Adrienne], who was used to “goofy Terry” bouncing into the house and starting all kinds of trouble.
She thought radio drained me and believes that retiring will prolong my life and make me happier. I’ve been in the sports world for decades, working odd hours, and often wondered what it was like to work Monday through Friday and enjoy Friday afternoon happy hour with other working people.
I hope to serve as an inspiration to others and show you can fight through a serious illness and thrive. Doctors told me some patients give up when they get sick and then they get sicker or depression sets in.
I will continue to fight. And I promise to win.
Foster says his station "asked me to do a farewell show," but he declines.
I would love to, but I don’t think I can get through it without becoming a slobbering idiot. It is hard for me to say good-bye to anything. I cried when I had to leave after staying at a bed and breakfast for five days because the people there were so nice.
-- Alan Stamm