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After years of sobriety, columnist returns to the bars

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Write-brained, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Interesting column from Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier sports columnist Ken Burger, a local legend who alludes to time spent in AA years ago but returns to the bars for the first time in 25 years to watch March Madness, only to find the bar scene has changed dramatically.


    "The advent of wall-to-wall sports has simply added another dimension to the genre. Now there are TVs everywhere you look and people are encouraged to let their particular passions punctuate what once was a quiet, peaceful place to drink.

    But underneath, it's still a bar.

    Each day the patrons add another layer to the mix, and on some days it multiplies depending on the rationalization rate. That's the amount of money you have in your pocket multiplied by the number of reasons you have to drink.

    Saturday was the daily-double.

    Not only were the sports bars filled with folks watching games, they had the extra incentive of it being St. Patrick's Day, our national drinking holiday."

    I particularly liked the ending. PS. I changed the quote to more adequately reflect the column.
  2. oh please

    sports fans have always been obnoxious loudmouth assholes
  3. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    I liked the whole thing. It takes guts to write that.

    As a sports editor, it takes even more guts to assign it. If i'd put him in that enviroment and he fell off the wagon, I'd never let myself live it down.

    But, aside from that, a nice piece. At the end, I wished it had been longer.
  4. I could say the same thing about you ... ::) ... read the whole column ..
  5. Just did the math ... about 25 years or so without a drink ...
  6. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Maybe he was just too drunk to notice it the first time around.
  7. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I'm not knocking the concept or the column but...
    let's take a realistic look:

    25 years ago (that's 1982 and Write-Brained did the math right..9,360 days = 25+ years) sports bars as we now know them did not exist.
    There was no satellite TV; cable TV was a novelty, not a necessity; very few bars had banks of televisions showing games from all over the country; ESPN was pretty much in its infancy (it started in '79, as I recall); the NCAA tournament was not the spectacle it is today; and the large majority of people on SportsJournalists.com we not old enough to be in a bar (if you were 21 in 1982, you're 46 or older now and there ain't many of us of that age here), so most of you can't have any concept of what it was like back then.
    You can not relate a "sports bar" of 1982 to a sports bar in 2007. Which leaves me questioning the validity of the column from that standpoint.

    Also, as for I'll never tell's post... there is no way in the world a responsible sports editor would ever have assigned a recovering alcoholic to do this piece. Logically, Burger had to decide on his own to attempt this and I commend him for doing it and doing it well, as far as it went.
    The problem I have is, sober or not, 1982 was a far different time than 2007 and there is no sense of that in the column.
  8. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Damn right.
  9. I think he's considered a sports editor emeritus or something like that but mostly writes columns ... point is he probably took it on himself.

    Added: Bio says executive sports editor.
  10. sheos

    sheos Member

    Thanks for trying to ruin's everyone fun, 'cause this was a fun column - why bother getting into the technicalities?
    And do you really think, for a second, that this guy, who's been sober for 20+ years, would walk into a bar on assignment and suddenly drink? I'm sure the sports editor had no reservations.
  11. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    great column. fresh, original, bold, detailed, observant. strong point of view and voice. important subject. an award winner.
  12. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Sheos: You are a fucking moron. If you think a recovering alcoholic going into a bar 25 years later is a "fun" column, you better grow the fuck up real fucking fast.

    (Not really) Henry Hecht: I don't think it was great or an award winner..I think it was good and bold and original and had a solid point of view..but it never really got to where it seemed to be heading.
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