Sports Goggles

Posts Tagged ‘Sean Taylor

Time for a Station Break

with 33 comments

I was in the midst of writing something, but this is more important…. and it’s one of those “blogger” diary entry deals, so bear with me, please.

Another “out of the box” earnest Internet writer hit me up for a chat. We had a round-about concerning Brett Favre and racism for about an hour. Toward the end of our chat he turned the conversation to the paucity of good “bloggers” who say anything or real worth. And one of the observations that could be inferred from our conversation is that the higher you go in the “blogsphere,” generally the less quality content there is.

You can never convince me that 100-word blurbs that act as prefaces to link dumps and picture after picture after picture of half-naked women or “isn’t she hot” photos equals substance; it isn’t worth trying to argue with me about it, so don’t go there. And pap-filled snark day after day doesn’t mean diddly-pooh. In fact, I remember laughing aloud when I was told in an email by one of these types that, “My friends and I who own these blogs bust our asses all day long thinking of snarky jokes, so if that makes us members of the white, racist, frat-boy sports blogsphere crowd, I’m fucking proud of it.”

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From Bonds to Clemens, from Ankiel to Taylor to Tilghman: We Missed the Moment and Now We Must Pay

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Months ago when the Rick Ankiel-HGH news broke I wrote that his being outed represented – potentially – a watershed moment in sports and sportswriting. It was the moment when the subjects of race and racism, of PEDs in football, and constructive criticisms of all sports, especially the NFL, could be broached by a large enough portion of the U.S. populace to bleed into America at large. The treatment of Ankiel by mainstream sportswriters and by extension, Barry Bonds, would initially shape the tenor of conversation.

And it did.

Apologists for Ankiel came out of the woodwork from every corner of the nation. The public’s heartstrings were tugged at using the tried-and-true up from the ghetto to riches story and flipping it for a white athlete. Ankiel’s growing up with a dope fiend father and making good in the “Bigs” was half of a press mantra tag teamed with Ankiel being the “feel good story of the summer.” Writers expressed sorrow for having to report the news that Ankiel was involved in the Signature Pharmacy-anti-aging clinic HGH investigation.

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More Sean Taylor Media Coverage: A Not-Quite an Apology from Leonard Shapiro

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wapo.jpgI stayed away from the Washington Post’s Leonard Shapiro in my recent criticisms of the media coverage surrounding the shooting and subsequent death of Sean Taylor. Perhaps it was because subconsciously I saw him as a sort-of professional mentor when I was very, very young, bolstered by my friend’s older brother’s very, very real but age-fudged driver’s license that allowed me access to the world of newspaper writing, as a writer and sports editor first for a chain of weekly newspapers and then for a minute at the Post as a sports copy editor and high school sports feature writer rather than intern. Though he might not remember, we talked a few times, especially when I complained that I was hired to write but ended up mainly being forced to travel from Northern Virginia to Washington, D.C. for the copy editing night shift.

Making that journey on the Beltway by car was a dicey proposition for a young black man because by winter I arrived for work and left work at night or near enough to it to be afraid of being pulled over for a “routine stop” by a Fairfax County policeman. Those incidents occurred regularly enough that I began leaving for work 30 to 45 minutes early just to account for seeing the flashing lights in my rear view mirror; later, I stopped driving at all.

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Written by dwil

December 6, 2007 at 2:38 am

Spotes Notes, 12.05.07: The Real Sportsman of the Year; Cabrera, Willis to Detroit; Henry Beats NFL; Rivera Named as Sean Taylor Gunman

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dungy.jpgThe real 2007 Sportsman of the Year

Brett Favre, 2007 Sportsman of the Year? I think Favre is a great, great quarterback, but SOY? Sports Illustrated has never been known for its great decisions in this matter missed the beat again with the Green Bay Packers icon.

Roger Federer could have been picked as he continued to win again and again, major after major tournament. But Federer’s 2006 was a season for the ages and if he didn’t win the Sportsman award last year he won’t be considered for the award until he breaks Pete Sampras’ all-time Grand Slam tournament wins number. Perhaps he can if he falls from his number one perch for a couple of years, becomes more accessible to the American sports spin machine, and has one last glorious year replete with an unexpected Grand Slam win or two.

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An Apology on the Media Coverage of Sean Taylor from Jason LaCanfora

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The first apology from a member of the media for his coverage of Sean Taylor was written yesterday. It came in a commentary on the Taylor funeral service by Jason LaCanfora of then Washington Post:

I found myself constantly thinking back to the simple truth that unless we have really spent a considerable amount of time with someone, we don’t know them. Much as we may think we have an idea of what a person is about, what they stand for, their home life. how they interact with those in their neighborhood, or how they conduct themselves away from the spotlight, the reality is we have no idea. And that is of particular import to those granted the opportunity to frame public thought and bring these athletes to life.

This isn’t a novel thought, hardly a revelation, but on days like this the tremendous responsibility of those paid to write, talk and comment upon others – and the impact those words can have – strikes at a visceral level. The sheer outpouring of support for Sean today, the goosebumps that came from the anecdotes being relayed, speaks to the impact this young man had on others. This wasn’t fabricated emotion, and the size and passion of this audience wasn’t just some reflection of the fact that a young, rich and famous athlete was being buried today….

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Written by dwil

December 4, 2007 at 10:14 am

Sean Taylor’s Murder: Morality and the Lesson of Hope

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staylorbanner.jpgWhere I live there is a dusting of snow on the ground, all the foliage, save for the firs, is bare. If you were foreign to this time of the year you might think most everything is dead.

But this is only a time of rest. In a few months another season will be in bloom, color will return to all that we see and all life will be awakened once again.

That, is nature.

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By now, everyone has heard the news and knows the story. Sean Taylor’s sister’s boyfriend was innocently bragging to his boys – they are that, literally – about Sean Taylor’s possessions. One or more those listening got the idea to rob Taylor’s house. You know, grab some of his riches for themselves.

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Sean Taylor Murder: More of the Picture Is Developed

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huntewardlow.jpgAccording to an Associated Press article, three of the suspects in the Sean Taylor murder, Charles Wardlow, Eric Rivera and Venjah Hunte, (Wardlow and Hunte are pictured at right in jail) were denied bond today during a brief videoconference court appearance in Fort Myers. Jason Mitchell, the fourth suspect, was charged but did not appear in court.

All four have been charged with unpremeditated murder in the death of Sean Taylor:

Robert Parker, Miami-Dade County police Director, indicated that the four did not expect Taylor to be home when they broke into his residence:

“They were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone,” Parker said. “They were expecting a residence that was not occupied. So murder or shooting someone was not their initial motive.”

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Written by dwil

December 1, 2007 at 8:03 pm