The blog that is sort of about Pat Tillman and how the Army mishandled that whole deal and also kind of about how Sports Illustrated doesn't get enough respect. If you like long winded titles, this blog is right in your wheelhouse!
I have no evidence to support this theory, but I think it seems reasonable. I thinks sportswriting is viewed by serious journalism types as a redheaded-foster child. Or like your younger sibling of the same sex who’s better looking than you, and bigger where it counts, but not as smart. But still, you always end up with the uglier dates 'cause nobody actually thinks smart is sexy. Maybe this is not the case, but if it is that kind of sucks, because once in while there are amazing stories in Sports Illustrated.
I’m going to talk about Sports Illustrated here. I’m not sure if my theory holds water, but I had to start this blog somehow. It’s due at 2 am. 72 minutes.
I don’t read many magazines with great frequency. I’ve read SI and Newsweek for years. I sometimes check out the odd People, Maxim, Rolling Stone. Time and ESPN (the magazine) once in a while. SI, as far as quality journalism is concerned, is making those other guys look silly. Sometime on their own turf.
Such was the case when SI broke the Pat Tillman story we’re currently hearing a lot about. It was an amazing story. I can’t remember reading such an important story. Anywhere. It's really more of a Newsweek story. It’s the kind of story Drew Digby will assign to History of American Journalism students in ten years. Find it at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/09/05/tillman0911/index.html. 62 minutes.
For those who may not know, Pat Tillman was professional football player who gave up his career to join the Army after 9/11. A lot of people made a pretty big deal about him. He was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire in 2004. The Army kept that pretty quiet. The story revealed the circumstances of Tillman’s death and the reaction from the Army, which can only be described as scandalous (and even that seems generous). 52 minutes.
Granted, this may be an unusual story for Sports Illustrated. It would be an unusual story anywhere. The research that went into the story was so thorough you’d think the reporter had grown up with Tillman, had been there when he died, had sat with his mother afterward as she fought to find out exactly what happened to her son. It’s heart wrenching stuff.
This story transcends the genre of sports reporting or even war reporting. Like all the best reporting it’s about people. I guess what I’m trying to say is read more sports stuff.
As long as I’m on the subject of SI, I miss Steve Rushin, Rick Reilly is the greatest columnist in the world and RIP David Halberstam. All that with half an hour to spare. Thanks for your attention.
Olwell out. Peace.