More Messages: Afield of Play
Here's the key passage in Kiszla's offering:
In the aftermath of D-Will's death, angry feet have righteously stomped around town, with demands the mayor do something about Denver's gang problem. Now, there's nothing wrong with trying to honor Williams by fighting the good fight.
But will there be the same outpouring of emotion to combat heart disease and the same pressure put on the Broncos to financially support the charitable foundation of Nash?
We already know the answer.
Last year, Frei wrote a column inspired by his late father, Jerry Frei (pictured below), a onetime University of Oregon football coach who had served as a fighter pilot during World War II; he flew over sixty missions in the Pacific theater beginning when he was just 20 years old. Frei concluded the submission with a call for "a universal draft, minus student deferments or any other loopholes, for young people into national service, whether military or otherwise. A draft of young people, including athletes playing in nationally ballyhooed college football games, musicians and prospective journalists." Had such a World War II-style call-up been in place during subsequent years, Frei believes that "our decisions about Vietnam and Iraq might have been different."
Don't remember this material turning up in the Post? That's because the Denver broadsheet declined to print it, leaving Frei to search for another venue. The article eventually appeared in the Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard, and can be read by clicking here.
"In Portland and in Denver, I've argued that a capable sports columnist should have the widest possible latitude in subject matter. I have the bruises to prove it and I lost some of the battles. So on the issue of whether the subject matter is appropriate, I'm 100 percent on Dave's side. I respect what he's trying to do. But I have to admit that I've felt that if I were his editor or confidante, I would gently ask him to at least think about whether he diminishes his impact if intelligent readers -- and I mean readers who have no problem with him addressing the topic and acknowledge its importance -- now feel he is being repetitive and are tuning him out, or worse. I don't know the answer to that, but I'd ask him to think about it. I'd say the same thing to any columnist in any section in parallel situations, so this is not an issue of subject matter per se and I greatly resent any suggestion that sports columnists should stick to pounding the table about playcalling."
As for how he felt when the Post turned down the column he wrote about his father, Frei added, "I certainly conceded the sports editors' right to make that decision, but, as they know, I still respectfully disagree with it. But I bet you don't agree with all of Westword's decisions, either." -- Michael Roberts