1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

"You Will Weep and Know Why"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Only a third through this but Water Valley's '05 team and coach reminds me of a New Hampshire team I covered in '03. Its semifinal loss (32-0) has remained with me and I think of it often because it wasn't a 32-0 game in the sense that you see that score and think, They got their ass kicked. Because they didn't.

    Back to the story.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    A lot of young writers might read this and draw the wrong lessons about putting themselves "in" the story. Goes with the territory.
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Songbird asked me to expand on that thought a bit. Might as well do it here.

    This is a very personal piece of writing, infused with a sense of time and place that the writer knows well.
    And it's a delicate balancing act, blending the game and the personal context. In the wrong hands I think the reader would say, "Quit talking about yourself and get back to the game." But it's seamless.

    And it reflects the self awareness that comes with the passage of some time. If we asked him - and I will, one of these days - I'm sure he'd say this would have had a very different texture if written in 2007 or 2010.

    I'm reminded of one of my favorite pieces of writing, William Nack's famous elegy to Secretariat. Nack is our guide to that story and we learn a lot about him along the way - but it's organic to the story. He's never in the way.

    Same here. Browning never gets in the way of the story he's trying to tell. It's a part of him - yes, that's why he's compelled to tell us. But he's a part of it, too, by looking back and so vividly illuminating it for us.
  5. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, the last thing I want to do is read 200 inches on a high school football game that's described in the first five grafs as mundane and completely ordinary.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    You missed the point of story..... with all due respect.
  7. I don't think he did.
    I slogged through that story looking the nugget of enlightenment.
    I want that 20 minutes back.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I hung with it expecting a payoff that never came.

    It's a self-indulgent that depends on the reader believing this game holds extra significance just because the writer tells him it does.
  9. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Trust us!
  10. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it was very significant to the writer. And I'm happy for him.

    But, I don't give a shit. You'll actually have to try pretty hard to get me to give a shit. You'll certainly have to try harder than this:

    After sunset on a cool Friday evening in November 2005, two high school football teams played a game in Water Valley, Mississippi.

    Unless you were a player, coach or spectator you know nothing of what transpired after the lights came on. Even if you were, it may hold no special place in your memory.

    Not very long ago, a former newspaper reporter who was there told me, "Doesn't stick out." An assistant coach who stood on a sideline said, "The details are vague." A player who cried after time expired admits to hardly any recollection.
  11. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the holder wanted to be a hero.
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    If Glenn Stout felt there was a nugget of excellence in there, there was a nugget of excellence in there.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page