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Wright Thompson on Steve McNair

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by silentbob, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. silentbob

    silentbob Member


    Let me start by saying that I consider Wright Thompson one of the best writers out there.

    But he overwrote this one. I think it's fine for a writer to include himself in longform stories, but this was forced. Returning to McNair's home turf was compelling enough without Thompson using himself as the story's motor. Yes, he's from Mississippi, but never once in the story did I find that especially relevant.

    I'm also not a big fan of a play-by-play of the reporting process. In this story we learn that Wright thought about McNair and news stories of McNair as he drove through Mississippi. We learn that he called sources as he drove, somehow quoting them (i guess it's possible to take good notes while driving.)

    Nitpicking? Absolutely. But good writing means capturing good scenes. Driving down the road and thinking about the story shouldn't make the cut.

    Of course if someone were to point out that his storytelling here works because it moves the story along, I'd find it hard to argue.

  2. spud

    spud Member

    Agree with you on the overwriting bit. And I caught it immediately, which isn't a hallmark of Wright's work at all. I was pretty surprised. He adds way too much superfluous stuff, like the whole thing about them cooking out waiting for McNair with the stars... seemed saccharine to the point of diabetic to me. The premise was fine if a little heavy-handed on the nostalgia, but his own glowing memory of the area, the time and the man seem to color this story more than it maybe should.

    And let me add that I eagerly clicked on it knowing the author to be a respectable writer who's penned works that I greatly admire. But this was a clunker.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    No train whistles or searing noon sun on the town square.

    Needs both.
  4. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    How 'bout an ol' houn' dawg a nappin' on the porch?
  5. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Didn't feel overwritten to me. It was a nice piece.

    The part at the end, when he talks about feeling old because a friend died... I know that feeling. And it's true.
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    A cool 2,766 words...

    I'll pass.
  7. spud

    spud Member

    You must think highly of Bill Simmons.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Dont think I've read more than a handful of his columns ....
    But never been a fan of Thompson's l-o-n-g, s-l-o-w style. it's painful to get through.
  9. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    You must love Faulkner then.
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I thought it was a good piece. Flew right through it in no time, too.
  11. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Excuse me for asking, but before I think about writing this, who is Wright Thompson?
  12. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Judging by the link, he's a writer for ESPN.com.

    What exactly are you writing?
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