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New SI: Charles Pierce on Wes Welker

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by DietCoke, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. DietCoke

    DietCoke Member

    Long-time poster. Long-time lurker. First-time re-poster. After following the Wright Thompson piece on Cleveland sports, I think this board needs to get back to its roots a little and tear apart and praise some writing:

    Just got the new SI this morning (Mark Wahlberg cover). It is good timing, because there's been some talk about Charles Pierce on here this week, and there is a Pierce story in the magazine - a takeout feature on Wes Welker.

    I'm curious what people think about the piece:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1179944/1/index.htm

    Seems to me that the lede is overwritten and unnecessary. The Mark Twain reference seems a little obscure, at least as written. I would have probably started here:

    Wes Welker's eyes are blue-gray and wide. Their gaze is steady, and their focus is like something alive. It misses nothing in a circular field of vision that seems greater than other people's. Welker sees spaces that nobody else sees. He looks at a field where everyone seems to be colliding and sees a place to run. He looks at a game played by much bigger men and sees a place in which a man who stands 5'9" and weighs 185 pounds can create a kind of art. An old friend of his remembers a broken love affair and sees the words of a song, a deep blue tint on every syllable. Wes Welker looks at a noisy, crowded, violent profession and sees a career.

    I know he ties his genius lede back to the beginning with his final paragraph, but by the time you get there, it's been so long that I don't think it has any impact.
     
  2. DietCoke

    DietCoke Member

    I will try to periodically post pieces on here and try to get some discussion going on them. We'll see how popular the threads are. I think it would be good for young writers - and also for veterans looking to sharpen their games.
     
  3. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    I'm going to give him another shot, with an open mind, though the lede doesn't bode well.
     
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    We have a place called Writers' Workshop for these kind of threads. Doesn't get a ton of traffic, but maybe this kind of thing can help make it a popular board again. So I'm gonna move this.
     
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The lede is way, way too much...

    It's well-written. I don't know much about Welker now that I didn't know before I read the story.

    It's a solid feature, but I expect more, a lot more, from SI and Pierce.
     
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    This is better on the journalism board.

    I don't think anyone is trying to tell Charles Pierce how to write better. I think it's just letting people know that something from a board fave, like Thompson or Posnanski is out there.

    Just my opinion. I'm sure it will be ignored.
     
  7. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I read it and thought the same thing. He could have started a story off with that second graph. But I still think it was a good story. I enjoyed reading it.
     
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Wow, seven whole posts (this makes eight).

    What a good decision to move this off a board where it would have been read.
     
  9. AD

    AD Member

    calm down, mizzou. it's posted on the j-board and takes one more click to get here.

    i've read the first two grafs, and agree that the first one is overloaded with false portent and significance and history that the life and game of wes welker certainly has no business supporting. at the moment -- and i'll be happy to be surprised by this if i end up being wrong and welker's ancestry includes columbus, michalangelo and mark twain -- it seems like pierce saw a story about a guy whose worldview comes down to the glass being half-full and realized, "fuck! how'm i going to make that new and interesting?" with the nagging undercurrent being, "shit! i should've been a culture writer like malcolm new yorker! sometimes sports is about sports and not the usual steroidal puffery i try to make every story...."

    that said, i also really liked it. part of me thinks pierce is a talented but annoying blowhard, and part of me admires that he tries to throw the long bomb with every piece even if there's no foundation for it, and has the ego to make every subject -- whether they warrent it or not -- a vehicle for his very special historiographic view of the world.
     
  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Welker sure seems to get a lot of pub. He's a good player, but nobody would know who he is if the Chargers never cut him.
     
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Nobody comes here. This thread would be hovering around 100 posts if it was left where it was originally.
     
  12. AD

    AD Member

    yeah, you're probably right....
     
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