I’m back


Have returned from my four-day vacation to Paris. Great trip, blah, blah, blah. More on that later.

First, a big thanks to Mike Lewis, who kicked some real ass as my fill-in. If I’m Warren Moon, Lew is—at the least—Oliver Luck. Great work.

Second, Steve McNair. Was fascinated by the coverage of his funeral in today’s Tennessean, in that it’s a r-e-a-l-l-y complex situation to report. As everyone surely knows by now, McNair was killed by his 20-year-old mistress, who existed at the same time the former QB was married with four children. Although we all certainly have flaws, both big and small, this was, ahem, a BIG one. And a sticky one. Generally, when someone dies we reporters all seek out quotations on how great an individual the deceased was. He loved kids … he loved dogs … he gave to the homeless … he worked with the handicapped … etc … etc. When a married person is gunned down by his lover, however, those quotes don’t really work. They might be true—one can simultaneously be a good person and a sleaze at the same time—but they’re oddly inappropriate.

Anyhow, it’s hard. But I thought The Tennessean covered it well.

Third, read two books on my trip, both excellent. The first was Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chavalier. I’d heard of this one for many years, but never expressed any interest. Then, last week, I was donating some stuff to the Salvation Army when I saw the paperback resting in a box. Picked it up, couldn’t put it down. Such a beautiful writer.

The second was Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. For the first 20 pages, I hated the damn thing. Arrogant, snooty, rambling, dull. Then—giving it a second shot—I fell in love. Soooo creative and out there. I’m the type of writer who things he can write anything. Almost anything. This book, I couldn’t figure out. Blew me away.

2 thoughts on “I’m back”

  1. I look at that photo and my heart aches for all the people who have been destroyed by McNair’s inability to keep it in his pants.

    No one deserves to be shot and killed, regardless of their flaws, but you seem to be one of the few in the media NOT pulling out all of the “hero” comments when discussing McNair. It’s refreshing.

  2. Kevin Van Valkenburg

    Jeff, you should check out Safran-Foer’s first book, “Everything is Illuminated.” It’s flawed — it doesn’t quite come together in the end in a way that makes sense, and it’s probably too clever by a third — but it really does have some beautiful moments. I liked EL&IC but EIL was an interesting blend of humor, saddness and heartbreaking in the way that books so rarely are.

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