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Seattle Times Commentary - Survive and advance?

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  • Seattle Times Commentary - Survive and advance?

    This was in my local paper and i thought maybe everyone would here would like to read it as well.




    Jerry Brewer
    This NFL postseason, survival has a new meaning

    By Jerry Brewer

    Seattle Times staff columnist



    Darrent Williams was shot to death Monday.

    Survive and advance?

    Before we could even greet the NFL playoffs with our favorite mantra, a bullet burst through a player's neck.

    Darrent Williams did not survive.

    He will not advance.

    For the first time, the NFL begins its postseason in a shockingly tragic haze. Williams, a Denver Broncos cornerback, died early Monday morning. He was 24, a father of two and a son whose mother considered his heart larger than their hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. A man whose coach, Mike Shanahan, thought he couldn't meet a person who "wasn't his friend."

    Shanahan was wrong, sadly. He underestimated evil. We all do.

    Survive and advance?

    In football, at this time of year, winning is surviving. And losing is dying. About nine hours before the fatal drive-by shooting, Williams experienced the death of his football season. The Broncos needed a victory or a tie Sunday to make the playoffs but lost 26-23 to San Francisco.

    Williams' description of the performance, according to Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla: "Brutal."

    Football brutality is nothing compared to real-life brutality. In football, there's always a next year, always a chance for reincarnation. In real life, in an increasingly cruel world, avoiding maniacs is surviving. And dying is dying. No next year.

    Somehow, we are supposed to deal with this, to find joy in having the good fortune of circumventing violence, to cherish each day because, in this warped world, you never know what might happen.

    Meanwhile, the people who don't value their own lives and who value the lives of others even less roam carefree.

    Survive and advance?

    How?

    Four months on this job have exposed a trend. This is my third column already about an athlete getting shot. First came news of gunshots escorting five Duquesne basketball players home one night. Then Miami defensive lineman Bryan Pata took a bullet to the head. Now there's Williams' tragedy, the Mile High City's third shooting incident involving athletes since 2003.

    As a sports fan, I'm saddened because I never figured exit wounds would become a statistic. As a black man, I'm embarrassed because too many of these shootings involve men of my skin tone settling disputes in the most hot-headed way imaginable.

    Denver police are still investigating Williams' death, but what they've pieced together so far follows a familiar, eerie pattern: There was nightlife, this time a party at a club called The Shelter. There was a dispute that night between some Broncos and others at the party. Someone's pride got hurt. And after the club closed, it was time to get revenge.

    So a white sports-utility vehicle pulled next to the Hummer limousine Williams rented for New Year's Eve. Gunfire ensued. Two people in the limo were wounded but survived. By some miracle, Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker was not injured. But he lived to watch a teammate perish before his eyes.

    This story is becoming too common. We know the details before we know the victim. If this keeps up, these slayings won't even be major news.

    While following this story, a single quote has irked me the most. It came from Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, who had his birthday celebration at The Shelter that night.

    "I was there. He was there. I left. I saw him. That was about the extent of it," Martin told Denver reporters Monday while talking about Williams. "It is what it is. It's an unfortunate thing."

    It is what it is.

    Martin uttered the trendy sports cliché while speaking about a man's death. It was probably accidental, just a thoughtless remark to make reporters get away from him. And that's understandable.

    But Martin needed either to say "no comment," or select his words more carefully. "It is what it is" makes it sound like brutality is so common and unpreventable that we shouldn't even bother trying to comprehend it.

    The words came from a basketball star who grew up in Dallas' poor Oak Cliff neighborhood, where crime and violence reigned. He has seen it all, and the cruelty has hardened him and maybe even desensitized him a little, too.

    The point isn't to blame Martin for an upbringing he couldn't control. It's to wonder whether we're all, regardless of how we were raised, getting distressingly closer to looking at these killings and saying, "It is what it is."

    That would be a sad day. Unfortunately, while dealing with Williams' death, we are reminded of all the less prominent Williamses who die daily because of violence.

    Survive and advance?

    It means something different this week.



  • #2
    Seattle columnist

    thank you for that......

    Makes one think. 3rd sports shooting in Denver since 2003.
    Teams will not want to come to town.

    B

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kalekona
      While following this story, a single quote has irked me the most. It came from Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, who had his birthday celebration at The Shelter that night.

      "I was there. He was there. I left. I saw him. That was about the extent of it," Martin told Denver reporters Monday while talking about Williams. "It is what it is. It's an unfortunate thing."

      It is what it is.

      Martin uttered the trendy sports cliché while speaking about a man's death. It was probably accidental, just a thoughtless remark to make reporters get away from him. And that's understandable.

      But Martin needed either to say "no comment," or select his words more carefully. "It is what it is" makes it sound like brutality is so common and unpreventable that we shouldn't even bother trying to comprehend it.
      My sentiments, exactly.

      Very well written article from the Times. Thanks for posting.

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      • #4
        Thanks for posting this. Best article I've read anywhere... tells the truth that some just don't want to hear. Which to be honest, is tragic in itself!
        "I'm never going to lose to Denver, watch." - Colt McCoy (2010 NFL Draft)

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        • #5
          Amazing Article..thanks for the posting. Very deep and very REAL.
          sigpic
          BRONCOS #1


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          • #6
            How come we don't have sports writers capable of this type of writing? The guy makes sense on a lot of issues. What we get is a Kiszla article that makes me feel like slime.

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            • #7
              That was so good!


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              • #8
                True..ever so true...

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                • #9
                  This is one of the better articles that I have read regarding this tragedy. Thanks.
                  Patriotic dissent is a luxury of those protected by better men than they.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for posting that. It's the best written article I've seen.

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                    • #11
                      I thought it was an impressive piece of writting and very straight to the point. I'm
                      glad others enjoyed it.


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                      • #12
                        Thanks. KMart should have said no comment. He is a prick anyway and my buddies beat his ass at shotgun willies 2 years ago.

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                        • #13
                          that is a great article...
                          sigpic

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