FRIDAY (7:30 A.M.): No briefing today. Lot of running around to do, highlighted by UVa football media day in Charlottesville and Salem Red Sox returning home tonight. Here’s the FSU preview story I mentioned would be coming today.
Also saw that the NCAA is working on creating a four-tiered structure of violations rather than just “major” and “secondary,” and the organization also is beefing up the infractions staff. I think those are good steps. As I’ve written before here, clarity needs to be the goal.
Great job by all of you this week. Good debates mixed with good times; probably the most lively it’s been around here since Greenberg was fired. As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinions/jokes/stories.
“IN WRITING, YOU MUST KILL YOUR DARLINGS.” William Faulkner said that. The first time I heard that line, I was a young journalist, and a veteran colleague offered it to me as a piece of advice. Except he said: “You gotta be willing to murder your babies.” He was gross like that.
Let’s be honest: That’s a horrific way of phrasing a writing tip. But the upshot is I always remembered it. My colleague’s point was that there are times in writing where you’ve got to eliminate some of the quotes/details you like most, just because they’re incongruous with the rest of the article. Maybe they disrupt the flow. Maybe they stray from the overall theme. Readers are smart; they can tell when something’s been shoehorned in. Let ‘em go, he said. Murder ‘em.
I was thinking about this last night as I transcribed a 30-minute group interview with Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel from last month’s ACC Football Kickoff. I found myself chuckling several times while going through the tape. Manuel’s terrific — smart, funny, intellectually versified, and most of all, comfortable in his own skin. He provided more babies than the Octomom.
So many of them will be murdered when I write the Florida State preview for tomorrow’s paper. Infanticide makes me sad. So here, I shall let those babies run free, some of them unburdened by context. Here you go:
- “I bought a dry erase board from Wal-Mart. I’m very proud of that.”
- “I’m not a Harry Potter guy by any means.”
- “The fact that I have dreadlocks [on the NCAA 2013 video game] really upset me. I’ve never had dreadlocks in my life. Nor cornrows.”
- “People asked me if I grew dreads from the spring game to now. Dreads take like two years!”
- “I didn’t buy [the video game]. Dreadlocks killed it, man. I was a member of the NCAA club every year until then, too…No dreads for E.J.”
- (On scoring his youth soccer team’s lone goal at age 6): “The only goal of the whole season. We were really good, right?”
- “You can’t be a quarterback and guess.”
- “[Twitter is] an easy way to brand yourself without doing an NCAA violation. You can give off that you’re a good person on Twitter, whether you are or not, people would still think, oh, he’s a good guy. He has nice tweets.”
- (on whether he could tell Andrew Luck would be a first round pick when he first met him at a camp when Luck was a junior): “You know what’s funny? Not really. And not to say he sucked or anything like that because he was still good.”
- (on whether FSU can actually live up to expectations for once): “I’ve been keeping a tally. That’s about the eighth time I’ve gotten that question.”
And, of course, he answered it anyway. Thanks to E.J. for his refreshing candor.
Now, all fun aside, yesterday was a tough news day for FSU. Star defensive back Greg Reid was dismissed from the team for team rules violations. Reid’s loss will be felt most on special teams; he was on pace to break FSU’s career record for punt-return yards held by Deion Sanders.
Meanwhile, a police official in Florida speaks out against objectionable tweets by FSU defensive back Tyler Hunter.
Remember Daniel Rodriguez, the Purple Heart recipient initially thought to be joining the Virginia Tech football team? He’s been cleared to play at Clemson.
I went to see The Biff, and here’s what I produced — mostly a story about the massive changes at Bristol and how drivers are anxious about it. Interesting quote, I thought, from Biffle on new points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
“I hope that you’re running well, because if not, you’re probably going to be looking for a job, really,” Biffle said of Earnhardt. “Right? You’re in the best equipment in the sport and you’re parked next to the 48 car [of five-time champion Jimmie Johnson]. You’ve got to be performing at some level, and they are.
“Every time the end of the race comes down and I look in the mirror, he’s either right behind me or right in front of me. This [past] weekend, same thing. We finished third, he finished fourth. It’s hard to gain points on somebody like that.”
THURSDAY’S OTHER LOCAL HEADLINES: Duke, stung by close losses last season, is focusing on finishing games better this year (story here)…Doughty’s college notebook, leading with Virginia Tech baseball news (story here)…Princeton beats Pulaski…Salem-Potomac suspended after 8.5 innings with game tied 3-3.
NATIONAL HEADLINES: Sandusky upset over Penn State penalties (story here)…He’s really not helping matters, IMO…Roethlisberger says his rotator cuff is “a little torn,” but “it’s OK.”
READER COMMENT O’ THE DAY
From shaun: “NASCAR needs to stop blaming the economy and figure out they have a problem. NFL and college football are huge all over the country and don’t seem to have a problem drawing fans. And baseball continues to set attendance records too. I am one of the 2,000 fans on NASCARS fan council focus group and all they ever ask is marketing questions like “what driver makes you want to buy a product” or “who has the best look of any new driver” REALLY!!! Plain to me they don’t care about the racing. No not at all.”
Police think they can see me lean
I’m tint so it ain’t easy to be seen
When you see me ride by they can see the glean
And my shine on the deck and the TV screen
Ride with a new chick, she like hold up
Next to the playstation controller
Is a full clip and my pistola
Turn a jacker into a coma