Friday, January 05, 2007

Peripheral vision



Now this is the sort of swaggerjacking we like. Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News writes:
The brutal truth is that if Darrent Williams weren't a Bronco but just another young black man, his shooting death early on New Year's morning would have been noted as the first homicide of 2007 and little more.
He also makes mention of the role alcohol seems to play in high profile acts of violence involving athletes.

I spotted this story via thebiglead.com which is a fine site, and not just because it gave a nice boost to my piece on Tuesday about Darrent Williams, young black athletes, hood culture and violence. Yes, that does sound like a very familiar arc, because you read it here first. But for once, I ain't mad.

I usually (like most bloggers) get pissed off when print journalists, through plagiarism or subconscious haughtiness rip off a theme or idea from a blog without mention or citation. I am not suggesting that Krieger read the Sardines for Dinner post here on Tuesday and then lifted the idea, because that may not have been the case, although close to a thousand people read that post. But if he did, I don't care in this one particular case, and if he did, I am glad. The purpose of that post was to implore mainstream journalists to ask difficult questions that make people uncomfortable, to be journalists.

As many of you know, I am somewhat contemptuous of sports journalists, both because of their twisted perspective about the relative importance of sport and their complacency borne out of the simple and formulaic nature of most sports news. (Note: Sean Salisbury is considered a "journalist.") However, swaggerjacker or not, Mr. Krieger is doing his job as a journalist by taking this on. Hopefully others will follow and be more wont to, as I said, "connect the dots," despite the potential unprofitability of doing so. The price of public trust is responsibility, even if it doesn't sell papers.

[Rocky Mtn News- Krieger: We all can learn from Williams' death]
[Just Sayin- Sardines for Dinner]

P.S. As the web's resident erudite Steelers scribes, you know we're going to weigh in about the cosmic implications of Cowher's retirement, but we need to meditate on some beer and rare electro records first.