Friday, August 16, 2002

NWS guys in Monterey office are a little bent that the ETA drastically underinitialized low level moisture this morning. They think it'll miss the boat again. But that's OK: means temps in the low 80s through the weekend for those of us who live inland (but not too far inland). Ah, the Napa summer!
What's the key to becoming a better triathlete? It ain't fancier, more expensive equipment. It might not even be piling on more hours of training, suggests Slowtwitch's Dan Empfield.

I think Dan makes good points, and so does Gordo, here.
Christine Brennan of USA Today thinks it's time sportswriters stopped writing about what Tiger Woods does on a golf course, and get to the heart of the matter: His views on political issues.

I'm with Brennan in thinking it would be great if Tiger were highly engaged on social issues. He could probably do a lot of good. Then again, I think simply by playing his sport with great dignity he's already done a lot of good as far as breaking down barriers in golf. Golf participation by minorities and women is way up in the last five years or so, and Tiger clearly has much to do with that. Jackie Robinson changed the world not by getting up on a soapbox, but by playing ball with incredible skill and intensity--the same way Tiger plays golf.

It's also worth pointing out that Tiger is barely in his mid-20s and he's entirely focused on his craft (or art, or sport, or whatever golf is). Maybe he hasn't figured out what he thinks about these other issues. Maybe he knows that when you're young you tend to say stupid things (I'm sure glad I wasn't quoted on political issues when I was in my mid-20s). Our culture is so demanding that everyone have an opinion--or "take" in the Jim Rome vernacular--on everything. Doesn't matter if they've studied the subject or even paused to think deeply about it. I kind of respect somebody who doesn't fall into that trap. Let's give the young man some time. Lastly--and I say this as a PR guy and a former reporter, and someone who will doubtless commit journalism again some day--I think it's just this sort of vaguely pious holier-than-thou hectoring that hurts journalists' standing with the public. I don't doubt that many of the questioners are asking them out of sincere journalistic curiosity and/or a sense of journalistic obligation. Fair enough. Ask the questions. And if Tiger has something to say, great. If he doesn't, back off.

BTW, Romenesko links to a nice Star Tribune column on the topic, wherein Dan Barreiro takes on Tiger's disingenuous lecturers.
Lots of letters to Jim Romenesko's MediaNews regarding the twin issues of Tiger Woods and his obligation to speak out on social issues, and the obligation of journalists to demand answers from celebrities such as Woods on such issues.... My own missive, narrowly focused on factual claims of another letter writer, appears at the top of the list of August 15 letters. To follow shortly, a more complete rendering of my view on the aforementioned twin issues.
Now that I understand how this works, a few quick works about me: I'm of midwestern stock, grew up in California, educated in public schools from Stipe Elementary for kindergarten through UC Berkeley, spent several years as a sportswriter, then as a copy editor, then a website editor, then a freelance writer, and now I'm a PR guy.

And about this blog: The best blogs focus on topics that the writer is passionate about. My faves are family, wine, triathlon, politics, media, weather and baseball. If I'm smart, these are the things you'll read about here.

Look what Randall Grahm is up to now. I'm going to ponder this further, but I think the Bonny Doonster might have gone a tad far with this one. "It's crude, but it gets people thinking about the concept that wine is a complex product that derives from many factors in its creation," he says. I'm skeptical; mostly it gets Randall publicity. Grow the grapes well and in the right place and you'll really get people thinking about the many factors in the wine's creation.
You mean you don't have a blog? Wow.

OK, now I do. Real live must-read bloggish matter to come (when I figure out how this works).