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Adventures in Journalistic Confrontation

3 Jan 2012

Joe Cowley shouldn’t be necessary in this town, but sadly, he is.

Ideally, America’s third-largest media market would have several columnists and other opinionistas willing and able to speak bluntly about our local teams, but most focus primarily to exclusively on uncritically shoveling sports-related pablum into our voracious collective maw.

Cowley is the Ron Paul of the Chicago sports media ecosystem: For all his faults as a messenger, the message often is sorely needed and elsewhere unavailable. (And often co-mingled with crazy other stuff.)

This is to say, then, that as transparently confrontational as it was, I’m glad Cowley came out and said it: We’re all pretty tired of Carlos Boozer, and he’s got a lot to prove this year.

Cowley clearly went to Sunday’s home opener to pick a fight, as usual, and I’m not sure how much of his analysis I really agree with. (If we dislike Boozer partly because of his association with Duke, please explain our affinity, if hard-earned, for Luol Deng.)

But I welcome this kind of plain talk:

At age 30, Boozer isn’t going to change. The perception isn’t going to change. League-wide, he’s considered a bit of a phony. Media-wide, he can come across a bit condescending with his wink and a ‘‘God bless’’ at the end of interviews. No Bulls player would come out and throw him under a bus, but the feeling is he’s not one of the boys. He might try to be. But a roll of the eyes would seem to be a more realistic reaction from teammates than open arms. All of that will be overlooked if he performs in the clutch, however.

Cowley is way too pleased with himself and is wrong as often as he is right, but I’ve got his back on this one.


Today’s example of how the quotes you read from coaches and athletes are rarely exactly what they said:

Cowley quotes Boozer as saying:

I’m not concerned about that. I don’t know what story you’re trying to write, but we’re just trying to get better and reach our goals. You can write that story.

Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago has it as:

I’m not even worried about that, honestly. I don’t know what story you guys are trying to write but what I’m going to tell you is, we’re just worried about getting better every day as a group of guys. And continue to march in a direction of our goals. You guys can write that story.

Always take direct quotes with a grain of salt.


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