This is a sports column, but if you’ll indulge me in a moment of personal privilege for the next few paragraphs …
The multiple-fatality shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., occurred after I wrapped up last Saturday’s issue. (It doesn’t help my psyche that “Gazette” is in the name of their paper, and ours.)
According to local reporting, the shooter had a long-standing feud with the paper because its coverage of a criminal harassment charge brought against him. That’s a legal matter, based in fact, and truth. Some people, to use a line already used, can’t handle the truth.
Shootings like this always circle back to mental health — and I have to question the suspect’s mental health like in so many other cases — but we all have to live with the results of our actions.
In essence, if you don’t act like a criminal, the newspaper won’t have to report on your criminal acts.
If you feel our reporting doesn’t speak for itself, talk to us about it. We can resolve it without carrying out an act of terror like last week.
Terrorists are people who were never, at any age, taught to settle their differences by using their words.
At least for once — and I hate to think it took taking the lives of journalists to change this — the story was about the “human issue” rather than the “gun issue”. As I write this, nobody has quoted the type of firearm used.
I highly doubt that, had any of the Gazette’s employees owned a firearm and the proper carry-and-conceal permit to have it to try to thwart Thursday’s tragedy, they would have been permitted to thanks to a black-and-white rule in the employee handbook regarding weapons.
One more thing:
Gerald Freeman, Rob Hiassen (brother of Carl Hiassen, who you may be more familiar with), John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters — you all did not die in vain.
Your newsroom summoned the strength — grieving while they typing and laying it out — put out a newspaper for the next morning.
We’re all doing that — thank you for continuing to read this and indulging me — in the spirit of the craft, just like those at the Capital Gazette will continue to do …
… Can I talk about a different kind of shots fired now, like those on a goal during a soccer match?
The World Cup is providing hours and hours of late-morning entertainment on the Fox sports networks. Bosses everywhere are probably happy that the United States didn’t qualify, in the name of workplace productivity.
But if you’re a big fan of one of the other brand name teams who have a legit shot of winning that rather-ugly trophy for their home countries, you haven’t scheduled much at work until at least halftime.
Unless you’re the place where those fans are watching the game, such as Las Palmas Restaurant on Orange Blossom Trail up by Gatorland. As I rode past on Thursday, I couldn’t understand the commotion going on in the parking lot at drive time. Turns out the restaurant opened its outdoor patio area early for Colombia fans to watch their nation’s high-stakes, win-and-we’re-in match against mighty Senegal to get into the Round of 16.
This was shortly after 9 a.m. The match didn’t start until after 10. That’s a lot of early tostones, yucca, tres leches y Colombia. And now I’m hungry.
By the way, the final score was Colombia 1, Senegal 0, so the party went into the afternoon — at work, for their and their bosses’ sake …
… If you’re an American, it’s not hard to find a team to back during the World Cup. Just go back to your heritage. Mom’s side? Polish. Meh, Poland finished fourth in Group H and are headed home.
Dad’s side, Scottish. The UK members play separate, so there is a Scotland side, called the Tartan Army. But they couldn’t do enough in their kilts to qualify. But, just south of Glasgow and Edinburgh sits … England! And yes, they’re in and very much still alive, having sweated the likes of Tunisia and Panama to get to the Knockout Stage. Queen Mum’s Kids are alive and now face … Colombia.
Not sure if I’m welcome at Las Palmas on Tuesday.
And, yes, I am a Scottish Pole. The punch lines write themselves, but they can’t be shared in this family newspaper …
… I feel for Tampa Bay Bucs fans, and the team won’t even play a down of meaningful football for another nine weeks.
Quarterback Jameis Winston won’t play the first three games of the season, because of how he alleged treated a female Uber driver — over two years ago.
Just like the Ezekiel Elliott investigation last year, it’s a mess. Nobody’s sure what he did. Everyone assumes he did, because his reputation precedes him such as, well, most of his waking moments at Florida State spent away from a football field.
The three-game suspension was actually a settlement between him, the team, the league and his union. By how everything’s been worded, the NFL thought it had enough on him to suspend him for six games.
That’s the only way to explain how his suspension for taking excessive liberties with a woman is a game shorter than Tom Brady, who allegedly knew about the lowered air pressure of some footballs.
If he’s guilty, this is criminal behavior and should be dealt with as such.
The Bucs can start that process by cutting Winston as soon as they are able. And then the other 31 teams can follow by saying there’s no place for his antics in the NFL and leaving him to twist in the wind like Colin Kaepernick.
Put it this way — doesn’t bother me if Kaepernick won’t salute the flag at my house, but Winston best not touch one of the women in my life.
I’m already in an emotional state as it is.
But I’ve used up my space for this week.
Thanks for taking the time to read.