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RIP Pete Gent


BlueSky

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Pete Gent has died at age 69. Though perhaps best known as the author of North Dallas Forty, he also wrote another terrific football novel (The Franchise) and of course was a member of the 1960s Dallas Cowboys.

Always thought the helmets depicted for the fictional Texas Pistols in The Franchise - crossed six-guns - were very cool and would have worked nicely for the real-life San Antonio Gunslingers. Love the uni...basically a Cowboys jersey and old Vikings road pants. :wacko:

754bc0a398a0018cc90b0210.L.jpg

Before someone else goes there...today we're all North Dallas Bulls. B)

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Just last Saturday, my dad gave me his old copy of North Dallas Forty to read. It's one of his favorite books from college, despite the fact that he doesn't in any way care about football, college, pro, Bears, Cowboys, or otherwise. I'm looking forward to reading it, especially in light of the new Walter Payton biography which is upsetting people with its frankness as much as North Dallas Forty and Ball Four seem to have.

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Just last Saturday, my dad gave me his old copy of North Dallas Forty to read. It's one of his favorite books from college, despite the fact that he doesn't in any way care about football, college, pro, Bears, Cowboys, or otherwise. I'm looking forward to reading it, especially in light of the new Walter Payton biography which is upsetting people with its frankness as much as North Dallas Forty and Ball Four seem to have.

Its really sad about what's coming out about Payton.

He was a great player, and did alot for charity, but as is so often the case with most athletes, you probably don't want to know anything more about him then that, because as it appears to be the case with Walter Payton all we ever knew about him was his positive side. But everyone has the other side of the coin to them as well. Most of the time I think your better off just not knowing and that goes for anybody. Nothing here is good, so why do you want to know?

Its ok to admire Payton for his work ethic and what he did for charity. Beyond that, I don't know if there's anything else that he presents as a role model and I think there's more to life then just working hard and trying to help those less fortunate then you. Those are nice things, but I can think of a bunch of other qualities as well that I view as being just as important if not moreso.

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Just last Saturday, my dad gave me his old copy of North Dallas Forty to read. It's one of his favorite books from college, despite the fact that he doesn't in any way care about football, college, pro, Bears, Cowboys, or otherwise. I'm looking forward to reading it, especially in light of the new Walter Payton biography which is upsetting people with its frankness as much as North Dallas Forty and Ball Four seem to have.

Its really sad about what's coming out about Payton.

He was a great player, and did alot for charity, but as is so often the case with most athletes, you probably don't want to know anything more about him then that, because as it appears to be the case with Walter Payton all we ever knew about him was his positive side. But everyone has the other side of the coin to them as well. Most of the time I think your better off just not knowing and that goes for anybody. Nothing here is good, so why do you want to know?

Its ok to admire Payton for his work ethic and what he did for charity. Beyond that, I don't know if there's anything else that he presents as a role model and I think there's more to life then just working hard and trying to help those less fortunate then you. Those are nice things, but I can think of a bunch of other qualities as well that I view as being just as important if not moreso.

Wow, he was human and imperfect like the rest of us. Shocking news. That's not directed at you but at the stupid media who would promote dirt on Mother Teresa if they could find it. Sure, Sweetness was off the wall and did some things that should be condemned, but who hasn't? And do you really want the details of your life on every computer monitor in the world?

It irks me that their headlines focused only on the dirt. The best parts of the SI excerpt were the beginning and end - his kindness to a sick little boy on an airplane and Payton's son remembering finding something that reminded him of his dad after he died. But that doesn't get ratings or sell issues.

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I take serious issue with the people who think these things shouldn't be published at all because "he's not alive to defend himself" or "we should just focus on the good." As Peter Gent and Jim Bouton showed us, professional sport is a sordid, sordid world. No one has any responsibility to keep the illusion going; it does us no good as a society to believe that people engaged in televisual bloodsport are among our most admirable citizens. This whole Payton controversy is like having to explain that Santa Claus isn't real, except it's being explained to men now in their early forties. So weird.

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Pete Gent has died at age 69. Though perhaps best known as the author of North Dallas Forty, he also wrote another terrific football novel (The Franchise) and of course was a member of the 1960s Dallas Cowboys.

Always thought the helmets depicted for the fictional Texas Pistols in The Franchise - crossed six-guns - were very cool and would have worked nicely for the real-life San Antonio Gunslingers. Love the uni...basically a Cowboys jersey and old Vikings road pants. :wacko:

754bc0a398a0018cc90b0210.L.jpg

Before someone else goes there...today we're all North Dallas Bulls. B)

Read 'em both, and I HIGHLY recommend them both as reading to our CCSLC members; I think they'd enjoy them.

While they are both great books, they are both very different:

North Dallas Forty was more personal, a focused story more on one player with keen insight into the world of a "typical" pro football team, with emphasis on the relationship of the coaches, players, and their personal lives.

The Franchise, I'd have to say I enjoyed more. Although it also primarily focuses on a main character (ridiculously heroic Heisman-winning franchise quarterback Taylor Rusk) and deals with the personal lives of Rusk and other characters-- the novel has a wider span than North Dallas Forty, getting into the business of sports, unions vs. ownership, league expansion, tie-ins to organized crime via gambling, rabid fandom, the super-stadium game, etc. It's almost Michener-like in its breadth, but also a little prime-time soap opera-ish in terms of its plot lines and such.

Anyway, RIP Mr. Gent. We are all ALSO Texas Pistols today.

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I take serious issue with the people who think these things shouldn't be published at all because "he's not alive to defend himself" or "we should just focus on the good." As Peter Gent and Jim Bouton showed us, professional sport is a sordid, sordid world. No one has any responsibility to keep the illusion going; it does us no good as a society to believe that people engaged in televisual bloodsport are among our most admirable citizens. This whole Payton controversy is like having to explain that Santa Claus isn't real, except it's being explained to men now in their early forties. So weird.

@ B-Rich, agree with everything you wrote.

As for The Admiral, just to be clear, my problem isn't with telling these stories, it's with how the media cherry picks the bad stuff to pursue and present and how they promote it. Most are hypocrites and bloodsuckers out for one thing: ratings.

One example from my emergency response experience. A correspondent from a major TV network posed as a relative of an air crash survivor (AA965, 1995 near Cali, Colombia) to fool the hospital staff into admitting him into the patient's room. Now in fairness, the majority of media we dealt with in the several accidents I worked were decent enough, but some were like him, always shoving mics in the faces of people who had just crawled from the wreckage or were burying their spouses, siblings, or children...or both.

Fast-forward to when those TV news helis collided in Arizona and those stations have the balls to publicly ask that they be left alone to grieve in private. Unbelievable.

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Shouldn't selection of excerpts be taken up with the publisher? Doesn't that usually fall under their purview? Are they "the media" for the sake of argument?

The excerpt isn't the issue. It had the good and the bad. But the author is an SI writer and SI and other media outlets discussing the book are the problem. Their promos/headlines/mentions are yellow journalism, all the "shocking revelations about Payton" crap.

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the stupid media who would promote dirt on Mother Teresa if they could find it.

Not to get too off topic but there is tons of dirt on Mother Teresa and if you don't believe me just do a five minute internet search.

I'd argue she actively fought generally accepted medical practice methods in the name of preserving her theory that suffering brought you closer to god and this sentiment has also been made by multiple people who either worked under her or with her which in turn has resulted in the publications of dozens of books questioning her legacy.

I think it is very accurate to say her that her duty in life was to her Church first and foremost. Anyting beyond that was purely a side effect. Unforunately religion doesen't always get it right and even if you read history badly that's pretty easy to see. I don't think she was much different. I like the good nature of Mother Teresa. I don't like the narrowness of her logic and just because you well meaning does not offer you a free pass from stupidity. My view of her is a very good natured but flawed person in the way she preceived the world.

As for Walter Payton, my whole point was that I think in most instances your best off just looking at what athlets do on the field and just leave it at that. Charles Barkely had it right. I can't blame a ten year old for looking up to somebody like LeBron James. I can even understand an older person looking up to someone like a Mickey Mantle well into their 60's simply because he was their childhood idol. But if your 35 years old and are citing Kobe Bryant as one of your personal heroes, you really need to wake up about what really matters in life.

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I actually know very little about Mother Teresa. I was using her as an example of someone most people have a favorable opinion of. Apparently I ran afoul of my own belief that if all you know about someone is the conventional wisdom, you really don't know jack. Mea culpa. My intent was to illustrate how the media cherry picks the worst or most controversial material and promotes it because it gets attention. It's not balanced. But I suppose in the end it's up to us to see it for what it is.

Your last point about adults idolizing athletes is very true.

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