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T.J. Simers on Jeff Kent and an L.A. columnist

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SCEditor, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I know many of you hate T.J. Simers, but he offered an interesting perspective about Jeff Kent retiring in relation to a fellow columnist being laid off.


    The last line, to me, was perfect.
  2. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    Damn good column. I'm sure there are people who would say nobody wants to read about a sports writer getting laid off, but in comparing it to Kent's silly blubbering, Simers pulls it off.
  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Different board and a weird thread title...but it has been discussed over here in case not as many people post here.


    That way you can still see the praise it got.
  4. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Great column.
  5. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    I always liked when media types had one another's backs, in tough times.

    Nice gesture T.J.

    Sorry to hear about this Steve.
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    I've known Steve for more than 20 years, and it sucks what happened. Nice move by T.J.
  7. Dog8Cats

    Dog8Cats Member

    Don't know Simers. I'd give my right testicle to have his touch. Why? From an analysis of NFL coaching changes, when Bobby Ross went from San Diego to Detroit, back, like almost before I could drink:

    "5. Bobby Ross. Last time someone wrote he was in over his head, he got mad and replied, "God will be your judge." In the meantime, buster, I'm yours. If the guy's going to coach and be G.M., he's in over his head and sinking fast. He was a burnout victim in San Diego; what's he going to be like when Scott Mitchell goes erratic on him?"


    Anyway, showing that he has gone to the well for colleagues before: Simers used his news hole to point out the exquisite perspective of Chuck Culpepper's take on Pat Tillman. Culpepper ran April 24, 2004, in Newsday. For those of you without Lexis/Nexis, here it is:

    So, in addition to the fear of death, the fear of pain, the fear of extreme discomfort, the fear of insolvency, and the fear of the unfamiliar, Pat Tillman somehow found the wherewithal in a mere 27-year lifetime to vanquish a fear even more pertinent in the day-to-day puzzle: the fear of what others might think.

    He did so despite spending generous time in sports-team locker rooms, bastions of pack mentality and of stringent behavioral codes.

    It's astounding.

    All hail to the soldier, yes, and all hail to the volunteer, and all hail to the fallen who died Thursday in southeastern Afghanistan trying to ensure no other dates would match Sept. 11 for poignancy. But let's try to remember one aspect that made the heart plunge into the gut when the news flashed: All hail to the "eccentric."

    All hail to the "flake," to the devotee of the alleged "different drummer," to the unconventional. We don't have enough courage of conviction running around not to bemoan when we lose it.

    So the Arizona State student Tillman routinely climbed the 200-foot light tower at Sun Devil Stadium to ruminate above Phoenix among the low-flying planes. Even if somebody spots you taking the first steps and starts whispering you're loopy, it had to be one peerless vista.

    So the Arizona Cardinals defensive back got a five-year, $9-million offer sheet from the Rams, but declined because the Cardinals had been loyal to him and because he didn't like making decisions based on money. Even if money-minded fellow players might resent that, it had to pacify a soul.

    So the candidate for the Army Rangers spurned fanfare, driving to Denver to sign up quietly and declining a heap of interview requests. Even if that seemed kooky in a TV culture, it acknowledged the part-fraudulence of fame.

    He walked through the woods as a teenager - on the branches. He supposedly high-dived off bridges. He spoke flatly to Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder of the recruiting process: "It stinks. Nobody tells the truth."

    He unthinkably told Snyder the coach could redshirt him if he wanted but he wouldn't get any more than four years out of him because he had other plans. Despite campus stardom and its peer pressures, he kept the same girlfriend from high school to college to marriage. He told Rose Bowl reporters in 1996, "I've got a couple schemes in mind," and he meant business - no, real business.

    "There's a lot of opportunity in this country and I'm going to reach for the sky."

    He grew his hair in college - for three years. He got a 3.84 grade-point average. As an afterthought, last-minute scholarship recipient, he became Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

    According to Sports Illustrated in 1996, he stood behind a coach who designed a pass-defense scheme that excluded him and, peeved, repeatedly said, "Touchdown, this play."

    He inconceivably rode a bicycle to Cardinals camp. He refused to get a cell phone. When he studied his first Cardinals playbook, as a seventh-round, 226th overall draft pick, he handed it back with highlighted misspellings and with corrections of contradictions that occurred pages apart.

    He honeymooned in Bora Bora.

    On Sept. 11, 2001, he stared at a TV at Cardinals camp and said, over and over, "Unbelievable," according to the Arizona Republic. Days later he said, "You can't live the rest of your life with your tail stuck between your legs."

    Last December, Republic columnist Paola Boivin wrote, "Anyone else hear about Saddam Hussein's capture and immediately think, 'Pat Tillman?'"

    Made sense. He'd spent his amazing life of momentum as the proverbial only one - the only one doing this, the only one doing that.

    As we can grasp much from his conquest of physical fear, we also can learn from the "eccentric," who always risks the chance of derision from the pack but in memory winds up sitting atop the light tower for good."

    The story moved Simers to call it a brilliant tribute. And Chuck, if you're out there, brilliant sells it short.
  8. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I think A) the lack of the regular legion of T.J. bashers here and B) the fact that at least one guy who doesn't like him at all praised this column on the other thread are testaments to what a good column this was.
  9. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Separating "Man" from "Schtick" isn't always easy. This was "Man."
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I heart Chuck Culpepper, but had never read that. Thanks for the story.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Great column.
  12. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    Thanks for the link. I don't check out the other board often, so I didn't realize it was posted elsewhere.

    Spnited praised a Simers column? I didn't think I could be shocked on this Web site.
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