Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sportswriting By The Word

There are three explanations for Monday’s effort by Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley: he’s paid to fill a set-space and needed to pad his column, he’s paid by the word and facing a killer orthodontic bill for his kids, or he’s just plain lazy.

Whatever the cause, his editor should have smacked him upside the head for setting his keyboard to auto-fire during this hagiography of Kathy Holmgren, wife of Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren:
Losing the Super Bowl — even when the coach of the losing team is your husband of 35 years — doesn't have the same sting when you're in a country like the Congo, witnessing real pain and suffering, experiencing what real loss feels like.

The impact is altered when you're in a country where approximately 3.9 million people have died from preventable diseases since 1998.

Losing the Super Bowl feels much different when you're volunteering in a dangerous part of the world, watching visiting surgeons from Northwest Medical Teams work under the most primitive conditions.

A loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, as hard as that was on the family of the coach, takes on a different meaning when you're in a rebuilt village hospital in the Congo watching a doctor repair a cleft palate.

The perspective is altered when you see surgeries performed on burn victims and children with bone infections, when you see tumors removed and hernias repaired.
Any one of those paragraphs would've done just fine. Two would be redundant. Three: an effect. But five?

Hell, why even play a Super Bowl when you live in a world where you can see non-sports-related hernias repaired everyday? It makes a guy think.


At 11:00 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

But seriously though Avi, just consider how the impact has been altered...Please?


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