The trouble is, at some point, all those other things faded away. He’s not a breathtakingly good running back now. He’s not especially famous, not particularly successful, and being rich — assuming he has been smart with his money — isn’t enough. This is the the sad thing about Larry Johnson. All he’s left with is the anger.
I read this two years ago. It was written by my favorite writer Joe Posnanski (Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated) about Larry Johnson, a former Penn State and Kansas City Chiefs running back.
I started to read Joe’s writing when I was eleven years old.He wrote a story about a local high school basketball team. I do not remember much about the story, but I took it to school with me and put it up on the bulletin board because I liked it so much. That was twenty five years ago.
Because of him, I wanted to be a writer. You always want to be like your idol, right? The hard part about being a writer is knowing the meaning of a writer.
For me, I thought it was about the grammar. I do not have very good grammar skills. Every time I would write something, my teachers would correct it. The content meant nothing to them. I got embarrassed, so I did not write. For over twenty years I did not put anything on paper. Why, to get ridiculed?
I kept reading Joe’s work. I read him when he was a columnist in Augusta, GA and Cincinnati, OH. I read him when he won awards as a writer for the Kansas City Star next to famed writer Jason Whitlock. Some posts made sense to me, others did not. Some were way too long, some were not long enough.
A little over three years ago I was over 420 pounds. I have had a life long battle with my weight. One that I have lost numerous times.
I decided to lose weight, and thought it would be kind of cool to document my weight loss.
I heard that Joe had a blog. I thought it would be cool if I did one as well. It was easy to set up on Blogger. I did not tell anyone. I just wrote how much I lost each week and that was about it.
Then I started to put little stories about me. I started to give my opinion a little more. Kind of like Joe does in his blog. I started to gain a little more confidence in my writing. I used styles like Joe did.
Then I did something courageous. I told my wife about my blog. She read it and started to cry. She told me that it was good and that I should show it to more people.
I did. I publicized my blog. I wanted more people to read it. I wanted to let people know what I went through, and how alone I was while being obese.
Two years ago, I read the story about Larry Johnson. I do not know anything about Larry Johnson. I have no interest in knowing about him.
But I know anger. I am an angry person. Angry with the cards life dealt me. Angry with things I have no control over. Angry with decisions I have made.
When I read the story, I realized that anger does nothing. Anger does not change life, decisions, or things I have no control over. I do not want to be angry. For what?
After reading Joe’s post, I realized what a writer is for me. It is not about punctuation or the people who roll their eyes when you use “Your” instead of “You’re”.
A writer tells a story and making you think……..
The Penn State scandal has been horrific. Actually, horrific is not even the word. How things went on for so long, how people knew about it and did not do enough. How this monster had been around for so long. I have been glued to ESPN over the last week.I have heard numerous commentators and read so many blogs about it trying to wonder why….how this could have happened? I catch myself crying at times, and I am angry.
I read Joe’s latest post about Joe Paterno and everything that is going on at Penn State. It is a little different than what I have read about from others. Most of Joe’s work is.
1500 people have commented. Most are angry, and rightfully so. Some people see his view, others do not. I read it three times. It made me think. That is what a good writer does.
What I do not understand is how people keep on saying that Joe is only saying things because of saving a book. That makes no sense to me.
The book will be good regardless.
Because my brother is the best and most honest writer I know.