Sunday, April 01, 2007

Someone Please Send Copies of Strunk and White to The Tennessean's Editorial Department

The editorial writers for The Tennessean, having evidently decided that its sports columnists were not up to the task, decided to weigh in today on the important matter of the current status of one Adam Jones, who the paper decrees to be "an embarrassment for the Tennessee Titans, the city and the state." Perhaps it was only due to lack of space that they failed to add the United States of America and the human race. Nonetheless, the editorial is so poorly written, that a critic hardly even knows where to begin. Should one start with the awkward wording, the factual inaccuracies, or the simplistic thinking of what is little more than an uninformed rant?

Awkward writing: "But what's worse is that Jones has become the prime example of a problem in the National Football League that increasingly shows a lack of discipline and accountability for players who get into trouble." I think that the writer means that the NFL has failed to require discipline and accountability, but that is a rather strained way of saying it.

Awkward writing: "Another statistic, which has gone far too unspoken, is that Jones leads his team in second chances...." Unspoken?

Awkward writing: "The most recent trouble for Jones is his being linked to an incident that involved a shooting Feb. 19 in Las Vegas." It would have been more smooth to say, "Jones has recently been connected with...."

Awkward writing: "The excuses for Jones are long since tiresome." "Have become" reads better than "are long since."

Awkward writing: "The seductive nature of watching Jones make an interception or return a punt for a touchdown shouldn't skew people's judgment, but that is what has happened." Seductive? The seductive nature skewed? Which people?

There is more awkward writing, but one must move on.

Factual inaccuracy: "The most quoted statistic in the NFL at the moment is that Jones has been involved in 10 incidents where he was either questioned or arrested by police since being drafted by the Titans in 2005." Really? No stats are quoted more?

Simplistic thinking: "It's high time the Titans acted on Pacman. If the reason for inaction has anything to do with money, that says plenty about the principles and priorities of the team. The Titans shouldn't have to wait for the commissioner to deal with wider league problems in order to clean up their own house. Owner Bud Adams and his front office should get with it now and cut Jones." Perhaps it has not occurred to the writer that by waiting for events to unfold the Titans are improving their chances of not having to pay Mr. Jones more money?

Here is my favorite statement in the entire piece: "But not even [Vince] Young, the brightest new light in the NFL, can keep his delinquent teammate off the front page of the newspaper." That is true, but The Tennessean editors could -- if they would decide to keep news about athletes in the Sports section.

And news about entertainers in an entertainment section.... And news and pictures of good looking female teachers who have sex with students somewhere in the state and local news section....

But one mustn't ask too much of this paper.

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