By Kimberly Johnson
To borrow a phrase or two from singer/songwriter John Mayer: “It’s better to say too much than to never…Say what you need to say, Say what you need to say…”
Those words underlie the crux of Jason Whitlock’s sports column Real Talk—say what you mean or better yet, write what you mean.
That’s why I relish reading Whitlock’s articles for FoxSports.com. Whitlock has the chops. He majored in Journalism from Ball State University. He’s the first sports writer to win the National Journalism Award for Commentary from the Scripps Howard Foundation. He even played high school football with Jeff George, a former NFL quarterback. He’s got some notoriety for being fired from ESPN.
I want to strengthen my writing style and use Whitlock’s techniques. I don’t if I could take the stones and daggers from his detractors. No worries though, I still like his flair because:
#1: He frames out his main argument in simplistic terms. Most writers know that is not as easy as it sounds.
#2: He provides provocative examples to illustrate his argument.
#3: He has an astute sense of humor.
Here’s one example from a September 7, 2012 column:“Some football fans believe I dislike Peyton Manning and refuse to recognize his greatness out of some twisted loyalty to my high school teammate and former Colts QB Jeff George. …“Breaking Bad” is Peyton Manning. We want both of them to be what they once were. We want them to fulfill their promise. It’s not going to happen. That does not mean I hate either of them. It simply means I’m not going to sit quiet as a significant portion of the media mislead (and in some cases lie) you into believing something that isn’t true. Elway and/or Montana are still the greatest. Tom Brady has the best chance of catching them. Manning is one of the 10 or 15 best QBs to ever play the game.”
Ouch. For non NFL fans, that’s the equivalent of soap opera diva Susan Lucci slapping a young, blond ingénue in the face for disrespecting her. Again, Whitlock got to the point (Peyton Manning ain’t that great.). He provided an example. (Read the full story online). He gave us a laugh. (Compared him to a t.v.show).
By the time this blog comes out, there’ll be a winner in the NCAA basketball tourney.I’m sure that Jason will have a lot to write…and mean it.