Joe Posnanski: Lord of Lists

JimBoSox9

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Pos on twitter:



Not sure what going underground means, but good luck to him, hope he is able to sort through this mess.
I'd bet that his Paterno access was revoked, so now he's going to go offline and bang out the first draft of his book.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Joe Pos is the real victim here.
I'm not sure if you're being facetious or not, but I think that his credentials took a mammoth hit in this mess. I've heard other sports writers (like Gerry Callahan for example) just rip into him and that's a shame. I don't think that he's ever going to remove this stink from his work and that sucks.

Do I agree with what he said? Or what he's written? No, I don't. But at the same time, I love 99% percent of what he's written and I want him to keep writing. His Blog hasn't been updated since November 9 (he did something on the death of Joe Frasier) and that sucks. Obviously I care about kids getting raped and that is the real crime and the real victims here, but I don't give a shit about college football and I care even less about whether Penn State plays another down. What I do care about is getting daily musings from a guy who has likes his life, wasn't completely disillusioned with the sports world and could write with the best of them. I think that this has been taken from us. And it sucks.
 

Foulkey Reese

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I'm not sure if you're being facetious or not, but I think that his credentials took a mammoth hit in this mess. I've heard other sports writers (like Gerry Callahan for example) just rip into him and that's a shame. I don't think that he's ever going to remove this stink from his work and that sucks.

Do I agree with what he said? Or what he's written? No, I don't. But at the same time, I love 99% percent of what he's written and I want him to keep writing. His Blog hasn't been updated since November 9 (he did something on the death of Joe Frasier) and that sucks. Obviously I care about kids getting raped and that is the real crime and the real victims here, but I don't give a shit about college football and I care even less about whether Penn State plays another down. What I do care about is getting daily musings from a guy who has likes his life, wasn't completely disillusioned with the sports world and could write with the best of them. I think that this has been taken from us. And it sucks.
This is a good post and it's all true, but I'm just really disappointed by how he's handled all of this. A real sense of "woe is me" coming from him and I find it slightly irritating.

Maybe that's unfair, but I can't shake this sense of being annoyed by his response to all of this.
 

terrynever

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This is a good post and it's all true, but I'm just really disappointed by how he's handled all of this. A real sense of "woe is me" coming from him and I find it slightly irritating.

Maybe that's unfair, but I can't shake this sense of being annoyed by how he's handled himself since all of this stuff broke.
Poz is in the belly of the beast right now. I'm sure he fell victim to Joe's aura and saw himself as the writer who was going to do the definitive book on Paterno. He spent so much time around Penn State people this year that he may have committed the worst sin a writer/reporter can commit. He got too involved with the story, instead of keeping the distance a writer needs to maintain perspective.

I have no doubt that Poz will achieve his goal of writing what really happened to Paterno. But it's a story more complicated than Hamlet. He has to go underground just to figure it all out and put it into words.

It doesn't surprise me that his blog is suffering. Everything must seem so trivial to Poz now that he has seen how quickly a man like Paterno can flush his own career down the toilet.
 

johnmd20

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This is a good post and it's all true, but I'm just really disappointed by how he's handled all of this. A real sense of "woe is me" coming from him and I find it slightly irritating.

Maybe that's unfair, but I can't shake this sense of being annoyed by his response to all of this.
He took an extreme position in a horrible situation when emotions were highest. I get that he was just trying to put a counter opinion out there, but he could have done that without staking such a strong claim towards Paterno. It wasn't disgusting the way he was fired, it was disgusting the way Sandusky was allowed around campus despite what was known and Paterno had to answer for that. It didn't appear Paterno deserved any defense. Poz could have said, "I'm overwhelmed and want to see how the facts shake out before I can comment on whether Paterno deserves our scorn." Instead he said, "He doesn't deserve scorn."

Yes, it will take a while to remove the stink of his comments. I am saddened by all of this, I feel the same way as JMOH.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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This is a good post and it's all true, but I'm just really disappointed by how he's handled all of this. A real sense of "woe is me" coming from him and I find it slightly irritating.

Maybe that's unfair, but I can't shake this sense of being annoyed by his response to all of this.
I agree with you about this and I've been trying to wrap my head around his response and I'm while I can never claim to be inside the head of a person I've never met, I've tried to place myself in his shoes. It's been written a couple of times in this thread that Posnanski was charged with doing a book about a guy who (on the surface) was the football coaching equivalent to him. In other words, Paterno and Posnanski are men in an industry filled with miserable pricks who often do the wrong things. Those two stood out as guys who weren't dirty, loved their job and did things the right way.

While I doubt that Posnanski would ever really say it, deep down I think that the Paterno book he was writing about was really about Joe Posnanski. Which sounds kind of corny, I admit, but to me seems the only reason why Posnanski is taking all of this so damn personally and why this normally, level-headed man is swinging like a drunk in a crowded bar fight. This book was going to be about the triumph of ideals and true sport, sort of like a bio of a more famous Buck O'Neil. All of a sudden this scandal, probably the worst scandal to ever effect a college sports team, comes out of nowhere and it's like an H-bomb not only on Posnanski's work but his entire life. This book was going to make Joe Posnanski, KC writer, SI writer into JOE POSNANSKI -- chronicler of the gods. It was his life's project on a person he obviously admires thoroughly and now it's fucked up, not directly because of Joe Paterno but because of his defensive coordinator and friend.

I'm sure it's made him completely reevaluate his life and the truths that he holds to be sacred. I mean, if he can be wrong about Paterno, what else is he wrong about? I can see why he's so vexed.
 

Spacemans Bong

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He can still become that guy and rescue his reputation, he just has to write the definitive book on what happened. I'm trivializing a massive undertaking, but he has spent more time with Paterno than any writer will for the rest of Paterno's life.

The Pulitzer is there...if he wants it. If he waffles like he has in some of his blog posts, he'll be a really nice guy who was too nice, too...weak, really, to be great.
 

JBill

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I'm sure it's made him completely reevaluate his life and the truths that he holds to be sacred. I mean, if he can be wrong about Paterno, what else is he wrong about? I can see why he's so vexed.
I also think a big part of it, like Deadspin mentioned, is just the frustration of a writer having his huge project fall apart. He can't get all of his book deal money I assume until he actually produces the book, and he can't really finish the book and have it sell until we figure out the entirety of Parerno's involvement, which will take a long time. That would cause a lot of frustration.
 

RingoOSU

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Right, this was a sabbatical in which he left his family and job behind for a dream book. Not only does he not get the hero worshipping book he imagined (don't get me wrong, I know there would have been some warts even if Paterno retired a saint) he's stuck with a project that will take much, much, longer to do correctly. At the expense of his career and family.
 

mandro ramtinez

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While I doubt that Posnanski would ever really say it, deep down I think that the Paterno book he was writing about was really about Joe Posnanski. Which sounds kind of corny, I admit, but to me seems the only reason why Posnanski is taking all of this so damn personally and why this normally, level-headed man is swinging like a drunk in a crowded bar fight.
It seems severe to say that Posnanski is "swinging like a drunk" in response to the scandal because he has written much less in the last two weeks about the topic of the moment than he usually does about such topics. Posnanski's longer essay about Paterno clearly missed the mark and included misguided sympathy for Paterno and Pos should be criticized for expressing that point of view. But I don't think his reputation is permanently sullied and I don't think his judgement is no longer trustworthy. I think it is telling that Posnanski has not written more since his criticized essay and that he has not stepped out to vehemently defend that point of view. I wonder if he feels that he erred with that essay and will not weigh in again until he has gained more persepctive.

As far as I know, he has written one short and one long post about the scandal and spoke at that PSU media class and besides that has not written very much at all about anything since the scandal broke. He has stumbled, for sure, but I think "swinging like a drunk" would be defending that position with more posts, instead of the withdrawing that Posnanski seems to have done.

Great writers are allowed missteps and lapses in judgement and I expect that if Posnanski writes well in the future and shows his typical discernment, his reputation will remain intact and probably will gain even more esteem.

However, if his book about Paterno ends up being an encomium to Paterno's honor and an attempt to rebuild him instead of an unsparing inspection of how Paterno failed in this matter, Posnanski will deserve to lose the respect he has gained.
 

Leather

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I don't think his reputation will be irreparably tarnished.

Look, this is a guy who, over the past 2-3 years, went from being an everyday, mid-market, sportswriter to being hailed as the best sportswriter in the country. In the past year, he's been handed a coveted SI writer position, released an almost universally acclaimed book (The Machine), won some more awards, and was in the process of writing what was sure to be the definitive book on one of America's most well-known sports figures. Oh, and he had a highly-regarded blog, and somehow was also respected by those pesky young folks who seemed to hate every other sportswriter over the age of 35. He was even lauded by the stat heads!

Is it really a surprise that he's being raked across the coals right now by other sports writers? Especially when he has often taken other writers to task (rightfully, IMO) when he felt it was warranted?

No matter what Joe Posnanski said regarding the Paterno scandal, there were going to be folks out to take him down a peg. He just made it easier for them.

He's doing the right thing. He'll disappear for a while, because he knows nothing he says will be the right thing to say. When he emerges, I imagine he'll start out discussing completely unrelated issues. Then the book (or whats left of it) will be released, and he'll be able to answer some questions on Paterno with the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom that will bring.

In the long run, this will be a stumbling block on a great career that will, hopefully, make Joe a better writer in the long run.

Yet another way in which Joe Posnanski distinguishes himself from his peers is that, unlike so many of them, he is often willing to admit and correct mistakes. This will be no different.
 

Reverend

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I agree with you about this and I've been trying to wrap my head around his response and I'm while I can never claim to be inside the head of a person I've never met, I've tried to place myself in his shoes. It's been written a couple of times in this thread that Posnanski was charged with doing a book about a guy who (on the surface) was the football coaching equivalent to him. In other words, Paterno and Posnanski are men in an industry filled with miserable pricks who often do the wrong things. Those two stood out as guys who weren't dirty, loved their job and did things the right way.

While I doubt that Posnanski would ever really say it, deep down I think that the Paterno book he was writing about was really about Joe Posnanski. Which sounds kind of corny, I admit, but to me seems the only reason why Posnanski is taking all of this so damn personally and why this normally, level-headed man is swinging like a drunk in a crowded bar fight. This book was going to be about the triumph of ideals and true sport, sort of like a bio of a more famous Buck O'Neil. All of a sudden this scandal, probably the worst scandal to ever effect a college sports team, comes out of nowhere and it's like an H-bomb not only on Posnanski's work but his entire life. This book was going to make Joe Posnanski, KC writer, SI writer into JOE POSNANSKI -- chronicler of the gods. It was his life's project on a person he obviously admires thoroughly and now it's fucked up, not directly because of Joe Paterno but because of his defensive coordinator and friend.

I'm sure it's made him completely reevaluate his life and the truths that he holds to be sacred. I mean, if he can be wrong about Paterno, what else is he wrong about? I can see why he's so vexed.
Good thoughts.

This last, part, I think, is key. I actually think Poz can write an amazing book about Paterno. In fact, the subject matter and the issues to be grappled with are terribly, terribly important and speak to core elements of human being--getting the book right is significantly more important now, in fact.

The project is going to be much, much more emotionally and psychically draining to do right, though, whereas the old project was going to be spiritually uplifting and gratifying for Poz.

Poz's joy ride turned into a heavy burden, a responsibility with which he is now saddled.
 

JimD

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I don’t see Posnanski shrinking from the moment. As myself and others have noted, one of Joe’s favorite books is The Power Broker, the story of Robert Moses. Prior to reading this book, I had a fairly conventional opinion of Moses as a power-hungry man who destroyed parts of New York City and stunted the growth of the city and its transit system in favor of its suburbs and the miles of parkways that made those communities possible. In essence, that is still a true statement about the man, yet the picture of Moses that was painted by author Robert Caro is far more complicated, including revelations about how Moses as a young man was determined to fight corrupt Tammany politicians and the moneyed interests in favor of the little guy who had precious few beaches and parks to enjoy. He accomplished many good endeavors but in turn became a powerful autocrat whose iron-fisted way brooked no opposition. I’m going to give Pos the benefit of the doubt and assume that he knows he has a similar opportunity here to delve into the life of a man who did many great and good deeds but also had a dark side led to his fall from grace. I don’t know if he will be Caro’s equal, but I do not expect a sunny book with one sordid chapter tacked onto the end either.
 

Gravistar

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Good thoughts.

This last, part, I think, is key. I actually think Poz can write an amazing book about Paterno. In fact, the subject matter and the issues to be grappled with are terribly, terribly important and speak to core elements of human being--getting the book right is significantly more important now, in fact.

The project is going to be much, much more emotionally and psychically draining to do right, though, whereas the old project was going to be spiritually uplifting and gratifying for Poz.

Poz's joy ride turned into a heavy burden, a responsibility with which he is now saddled.
Imagine the thought of having to revise an entire manuscript or even realizing you have to scrap it entirely? For any writer that prospect has to be about the worst thing a person can face. For that reason alone, I think this whole clusterfuck is not mainly a personal response from Posnanski, but more of a professionalone. As Rev says, what complicates the whole matter is that the things that the first version of the book were probably going to celebrate -- details of Paterno's biography that Posnanski likely shares with JoePa, like their Catholicism and working-class white ethnic backgrounds -- must now be approached with ambivalence and treated as a moral quandary.

It's possible that even as good a writer as Posnanski won't be able to bear that burden. There are many things Americans won't read which are far more tame than a biography of a man who condoned child sexual abuse. How could you write a biography, no matter how engrossing, that would have that cloud hanging over it from the very beginning? That's an albatross heavy enough to require a completely different style of writing -- a form very alien to the straightforward realist biographies of most sportswriters, or the personally inflected, objectively considered writing style that Posnanski brings to the page.

If Pos can pull it off, I think he deserves some sort of prize, Pulitzer or otherwise. But it would be at considerable risk to his career (which I don't think is currently tarnished, though I do think it could be if there's a strong negative response to his book, which there might be even if he does justice to the topic. The safe move would be to scrap this book altogether; I'm not sure that will happen, however, since everything about his personality suggests that he is courageous and willing to speak truth to power.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I don’t see Posnanski shrinking from the moment.
Jim, I'm not picking on you or trying to quote you out of context, but as much as I like him, I can see Posnanski shrinking from the moment. This might be a bit strong, so let me see if I can back up a bit. I read "The Machine" about two years ago and while I thought that it was an ok book (I was expecting a bit more from it I guess after reading "The Soul of Baseball"), I thought that it really elevated Pete Rose as the hero of the story and kind of made Johnny Bench seem like a bit of an asshole*.

I may be wrong about the Bench part (and I have no dog in the fight of whether Bench is an asshole), but I know that Posnanski admitted to idolizing Rose and when people brought up the Rose as a dirtbag thing in one of his blog comments, Pos said he wasn't going to go there for the book. Which, I guess I can see, but on the other hand writing a book where Pete Rose is one of the main characters and "not going there" in terms of some of his off-the-field indiscretions seems a bit like a half-story to me.

In any event, my point is this: Joe Posnanski is a wonderful writer; but I'm not sure of his abilities as a reporter or his abilities to distance himself from his subject. Getting up close and into a subject is perfect for his 9-to-5 job as a reporter for a newspaper or a weekly periodical or a blog. But I'm not so sure that's the skill set you want to bring to the table when it comes to writing a biography. Does this mean that I think that Posnanski sucks? No and I've made my point pretty clear, I'm just not sure if I have enough confidence in him to bring the goods in the Paterno book.

I hope that he does, but I wouldn't bet the house on it. And I'm not sure if there is a way to write this book without having the scale of biases tip either pro or anti-Paterno. I was thinking of who could do a good job and thought of Charlie Pierce, but he'd end up skewering Paterno. I bet that Leigh Montville would do an awesome job, but again, it's an unknown.
 
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I also think a big part of it, like Deadspin mentioned, is just the frustration of a writer having his huge project fall apart. He can't get all of his book deal money I assume until he actually produces the book, and he can't really finish the book and have it sell until we figure out the entirety of Parerno's involvement, which will take a long time. That would cause a lot of frustration.
Pos strikes me -- unlike Shank, et al -- as a guy who doesn't go into book projects motivated much by the money. I think he truly believed there was a great story here to be told about a legendary giant in the sport and that he was to be the chronicler of that Olympus-like figure. I still think he drank some of the Kool Aid while in State College (way more than he should have or wants to admit) and so the news rattled him like someone who just woke up from a weird dream. I still have faith he will come to his senses at some point and see this as a tremendous opportunity to do an important book, not just a popular one.
 

Hee-Seop's Fable

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Pos' reputation will recover.

For those that are paying enough attention, eventually the smarter among us, Posnanski included, will recognize that Paterno's legacy and his role in the scandal is a tangled story of virtue and weakness. JMOH's insight to Pos' empathy for what Paterno stood for simply reinforces how complex human virtue and fallibility are tied to one and other. Paterno's virtues sold Penn State and Pos on how great a man he is (was), and the betrayal of that impression is difficult to accept. It's a story of human nature and the power we have to rationalize and to overlook what we don't want to see in people we've grown comfortable with, especially if it suits our own interests. It reminds me of "Crimes and Misdemeanors" - people faced with stressful challenges to their self-image are capable of some pretty crazy shit, compounding their mistakes in an attempt to varnish over them - I think what Paterno did was a colossal example of this. Pos will eventually recognize that Paterno's handling of this immolation is one of the greatest illustrations of that human weakness we've got, and he'll tell both sides. It's got everything a Shakespearean tragedy needs. He'll sort it out, and it'll end up as one of his, if not his greatest work.
 

The Overhang

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The deadspin take on Posnanski seems like an accurate one to me--writers DO get cranky when the story goes wide and carefully-laid plans go by the boards. Understandable but disappointing, because I see Joe as both a writer and a reporter -- and as a reporter in this case, he has blinked. Implicit in his statements is the sense that the only light shed thus far is of the torch-and-pitchfork variety. And that's a cop-out, quite frankly.

Look at someone like Spencer Hall of everydayshouldbesaturday.com. A blogger without Posnanski's big-time media credentials, he has written fairly and thoughtfully -- even hauntingly -- on the Sandusky case. Check this out if you haven't seen it:

http://www.sbnation....ked-in-the-door

I suspect Joe may be having a confidence crisis about covering this kind of story, or even wanting to. The "Rashomon" complexity of the stories we'll be hearing in the next few months will take a special knack to unfold clearly, Ultimately, it wouldn't surprise me if SI's writer of record on this one turns out to be Gary Smith. He's brilliant at this kind of stuff.
 
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The deadspin take on Posnanski seems like an accurate one to me--writers DO get cranky when the story goes wide and carefully-laid plans go by the boards. Understandable but disappointing, because I see Joe as both a writer and a reporter -- and as a reporter in this case, he has blinked. Implicit in his statements is the sense that the only light shed thus far is of the torch-and-pitchfork variety. And that's a cop-out, quite frankly.
That's the knee jerk criticism that's lobbed by pro-PSUers -- that the media is unfairly whipping up public sentiment against St. Joe because he's so well-known and successful. Frankly, if the prospect of a child sexual predator freely roaming your campus and community for 30-40 years and the people who knew of his criminal proclivities and had the power to do something about it did little to nothing ISN'T a time for torches and pitchforks, I don't know what the hell is.
 

Dehere

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Read Overhang's post again. It's a fair critique of Poz's reaction to the developing story.

It's hard to defend Poz's statements about the story to date. If your a fan of Joe Po you're mostly holding out hope that in time he'll deliver the kind of telling of this story that you believe he's capable of. So far, to say that he's "blinked" as a reporter......it's unfortunately a fair comment.
 

twothousandone

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Imagine the thought of having to revise an entire manuscript or even realizing you have to scrap it entirely?
Was he really that far along? 'Cause if he was, here's what I'd want to know ---

Isn't a notable part of the Paterno story the "when will he retire" question? It's been there for 15 years, at least. So, if you want to take a measure of Paterno, don't you have to wonder if his grip on the top spot impacted other lives? Probably there would be something about naming his son coordinator, which another head coach may not have done. Who might have been the coach to follow Paterno?

Hmm, in the late 90's it seemed like it might be Sandusky. But he didn't get the spot, retired, and never coached again. Wow -- I wonder if Joe Pa' hangin' on negatively impacted Sandusky, or maybe it postively impacted him. Maybe Sandusky left football frustrated but found something even better.

Wouldn't digging have uncovered that Joe Pa said he wouldn't get the spot? Then, at that point, doesn't it become "why not?" Maybe the answer for Joe Pos was "that's when it became clear Paterno was never going to quit. He'd die as head coach." but doesn't distance or even just thoroughness of reporting require figuring out a bit more?

I'm thinking that if this book was in any way an excercise in reporting, Pos may have failed miserably.
 

GoJeff!

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I don't get what everyone sees as the great book buried in all of this. There may be a great book about the scandal itself, but that will depend on whether more was covered up than we already know about. Otherwise, this whole thing feels like too many people doing too little when in mattered most--a tragic result, but not a great story.
As far as working it into a biography of Paterno, I can't imagine anyone would read some life story crap now. The good deeds/upbringing/etc. is a big who cares until the guy is ONLY known as the coach from the rape scandal.
 

johnmd20

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So when he said he was going underground, he really meant it, huh?
The Joeblog site seems to be nearly dead now. He is posting most to all of his stuff on his SI blog.

SI Blog

Joe Pos stepped in front of a bus crash and tried to stop it and the bus ran him over. Really sucks.
 

rembrat

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His tweeter feed is also completely dead since that day. It's a shame really. A lot of exciting things have happened since then and he hasn't commented on them.

(I don't check his SI blog)
 

weeba

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The Joeblog site seems to be nearly dead now. He is posting most to all of his stuff on his SI blog.

SI Blog

Joe Pos stepped in front of a bus crash and tried to stop it and the bus ran him over. Really sucks.
So he's probably only doing what he's contractually obligated to do.

On a side note, I was flipping through the Pawnee Parks and Rec book. There is a character in there called Joey Posnanski.
 

Leather

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He seems like a sensitive guy. I'm sure the bashing from his readers and from his colleagues really stung.

I wonder if SI pulled him aside and asked that everything related to sports that he writes go through them for awhile. There may be legal reasons as well as proprietary issues that, after the beating "Sports Illustrated Senior Writer" Joe took, made them take a harder stance on what and where he writes.

I suspect this because the only things he's posted on his personal blog aren't related to sports news or sports reporting. They're more human interest related.
 

johnmd20

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Well, if the bus is filled with child molesters, you're better off letting it crash.
I'm not saying he's right, he should have taken his own advice and not rushed to any kind of judgement. He said he wasn't going to rush to judgement and then he rushed to it and took a pretty aggressive stance. Joe Paterno deserved NO defense, even a half hearted one. And he should have been tossed out like he was.

I can't read anything Joe Pos writes right now without thinking the whole thing is affecting him, there is nothing he has written in the past month that has the same kind of heart as his pre Paterno stuff. It feels forced. Like what Weeba said, he's just writing because he's obligated to. But he's got nothing for it. This is a horrendous waste in the short term but I'm guessing Pos can turn this around and get back to what made him so great and so popular. Well, hopefully he can do this, I hope he doesn't lose his honesty.
 

Dehere

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I'm so bummed at the demise of Joe's blog. I have to agree that the most recent stuff on the SI blog feels kind of perfunctory. I really enjoyed the community of readers at Joe's blog, even if it did veer into the sycophantic at times.

I remain very hopeful for the book. I think it's harsh and premature to say you've lost respect for him. He's earned the benefit of the doubt while he researches and writes the book. The whole thing just saddens me. Joe's blog was a mandatory daily check-in for me. Even more than Simmons he showed what's possible in sportswriting on the Internet. It's depressing to see it fall apart.
 

JBill

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I think it's harsh and premature to say you've lost respect for him. He's earned the benefit of the doubt while he researches and writes the book. The whole thing just saddens me. Joe's blog was a mandatory daily check-in for me. Even more than Simmons he showed what's possible in sportswriting on the Internet. It's depressing to see it fall apart.
I agree. But I'm not sad or anything, I don't think he's sitting somewhere depressed or forlorn, I think he's just busy writing the book. He'll be back.
 

johnmd20

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I agree. But I'm not sad or anything, I don't think he's sitting somewhere depressed or forlorn, I think he's just busy writing the book. He'll be back.
I think he's both depressed and writing the book. His last few posts feel depressed to me. Or at least not as heartfelt and honest, like he's holding something back because he's depressed about how this whole thing happened. He is a sensitive guy and I bet the scathing comments directed at him hurt him. A lot.
 

Alternate34

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I think he's both depressed and writing the book. His last few posts feel depressed to me. Or at least not as heartfelt and honest, like he's holding something back because he's depressed about how this whole thing happened. He is a sensitive guy and I bet the scathing comments directed at him hurt him. A lot.
I think the most obvious reason for depression, and what is mirrored in the Albert Pujols post, is that he has now seen some of the inhumanity to achieving greatness. What happened at Penn State should depress people and the closer you are to it, the more depressing it is. He got extremely close and so what happened is depressing. I don't think he gives a shit about what people said about him. He had a pretty good idea on how people would respond. I think he was writing a book about a person and a sports program that had achieved something more and it turned out that it had not. Pos wants to see the beautiful side of sports and the ugly presents itself.

Seriously, as a fan of sports, how can it not be depressing that underneath every great sports story is dirty bullshit?
 

touchstone033

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Oct 29, 2007
244
Erie, PA
I think the most obvious reason for depression, and what is mirrored in the Albert Pujols post, is that he has now seen some of the inhumanity to achieving greatness. What happened at Penn State should depress people and the closer you are to it, the more depressing it is. He got extremely close and so what happened is depressing. I don't think he gives a shit about what people said about him. He had a pretty good idea on how people would respond. I think he was writing a book about a person and a sports program that had achieved something more and it turned out that it had not. Pos wants to see the beautiful side of sports and the ugly presents itself.

Seriously, as a fan of sports, how can it not be depressing that underneath every great sports story is dirty bullshit?
I think you nail it here. Really, when all is said and done, this Sandusky thing is a football scandal, and, in a large sense, a university sports scandal. When Penn State officials -- and JoePa -- were faced with a choice between protecting the image and reputation of Penn State football and Penn State university, or to protect the victim of a child rapist, they chose football and a brand image.

Pos is absolutely the wrong guy to write that story. The thing that makes Joe so great is his unbridled affection for sport -- to him it's something redemptive, bigger than the people that engage in it. He's a mensch, empathetic, and naturally looks for the good in people and is great at profiling good men. Buck O'Neil. Dan Quisenberry. H*ll, his "The Quisenberry Tree" made me cry. He's great at lifting us all up, giving us something beautiful to admire. Hope. Dreams.He's unabashedly romantic, but not cliche. Which is great, especially in these cynical, sarcastic times.

But Penn State doesn't need someone looking for redemption in the story. We need someone to burn it all down. To tell us flatly and plainly that we all value sport too much, and that there's serious problems with our major college sports programs, and we enable them. I don't Posnanski can do that.
 

Judge Mental13

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Apr 16, 2002
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I think you nail it here. Really, when all is said and done, this Sandusky thing is a football scandal, and, in a large sense, a university sports scandal. When Penn State officials -- and JoePa -- were faced with a choice between protecting the image and reputation of Penn State football and Penn State university, or to protect the victim of a child rapist, they chose football and a brand image.

Pos is absolutely the wrong guy to write that story. The thing that makes Joe so great is his unbridled affection for sport -- to him it's something redemptive, bigger than the people that engage in it. He's a mensch, empathetic, and naturally looks for the good in people and is great at profiling good men. Buck O'Neil. Dan Quisenberry. H*ll, his "The Quisenberry Tree" made me cry. He's great at lifting us all up, giving us something beautiful to admire. Hope. Dreams.He's unabashedly romantic, but not cliche. Which is great, especially in these cynical, sarcastic times.

But Penn State doesn't need someone looking for redemption in the story. We need someone to burn it all down. To tell us flatly and plainly that we all value sport too much, and that there's serious problems with our major college sports programs, and we enable them. I don't Posnanski can do that.
Great post. If Pos writes a book about JoPa and State U looking at redemption it could very well be the end of his sports writing career. Considering how many awful sportswriters there are in the world, that bums me out, because I think Pos is one of the best sports writers who's ever lived. But there would be no coming back from that.
 

Van Everyman

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Just read The Quisenberry Tree based on your recommendation -- it really does nail why he's a great writer. Awesome piece. And I agree that the Pujols piece indicates a man struggling with the dark side of competition. Will be interesting to see where Pos comes out of all this.
 

touchstone033

lurker
Oct 29, 2007
244
Erie, PA
If Pos writes a book about JoPa and State U looking at redemption it could very well be the end of his sports writing career. Considering how many awful sportswriters there are in the world, that bums me out, because I think Pos is one of the best sports writers who's ever lived. But there would be no coming back from that.
I don't know about that. It has already affected his writing, though. I think the Twitter thing really affected him. He was always pretty open in his writing - I think the vitriol startled him, and it made him crawl him into a shell, which is very un-Posnanski-like. But being a writer, like a being a person, is an ongoing process. Posnanski will come out on the other side. But, as what?

I feel bad for Posnanski in all this.
 

johnmd20

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I don't know about that. It has already affected his writing, though. I think the Twitter thing really affected him. He was always pretty open in his writing - I think the vitriol startled him, and it made him crawl him into a shell, which is very un-Posnanski-like. But being a writer, like a being a person, is an ongoing process. Posnanski will come out on the other side. But, as what?

I feel bad for Posnanski in all this.
Twitter SUCKS in that regard. People you don't know can talk shit and send it right into your in box. It doesn't take much for someone to be an asshole. Multiply that by hundreds or thousands and it has to be chilling.
 

Dehere

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Apr 25, 2010
3,143
Good piece here about Bill Cowher - SI.com - The Coach Who Wouldn't Coach.
Good piece.

Some high school AD in North Carolina should call Cowher and offer him a coaching job. He just might take it. I think he loves teaching the game and motivating people. It seems like the wear and tear of coaching pro ball just doesn't appeal to him compared to the easy money of doing TV.

And before you call me crazy just know that Mike Perreira currently officiates 8th grade football games in California. Some guys just love the game on all levels.
 

cannonball 1729

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Don't know if anyone noticed, but Poz is back to posting on his blog. He's got a post up on Tebow and Strat-o-matic football and another one on the new Hall of Fame ballot.
 

Dehere

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Apr 25, 2010
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Nothing like the Hall of Fame ballot and an MVP debate to get Poz back on track. His most recent posts on these subjects have seen him getting back into form.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Nothing like the Hall of Fame ballot and an MVP debate to get Poz back on track. His most recent posts on these subjects have seen him getting back into form.
As Mark Twain said, "rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated". So there is hope that Poz is back on track despite what some of us on here might think.
 

terrynever

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Nothing like the Hall of Fame ballot and an MVP debate to get Poz back on track. His most recent posts on these subjects have seen him getting back into form.
Baseball will bring Poz back from the brink. I imagine his publisher told him to finish the Paterno book as soon as possible to get it published while the iron is still hot. That's why he is underground. They probably gave him a big bonus to finish it sooner than his original deadline. And when he's done, it should be time for baseball season.