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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    Who said anything about rights? Feinstein is a journalist, or at least he holds himself out as one. That means he has an obligation to his readers to provide them with information, opinions and insights based on his professional analysis, not his personal grudges. Bashing Duke based on the actions of officials that have been gone from the university for the better part of a decade is an act of pettiness unworthy of an adult, let alone an ostensible professional.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    “I’ve always been fast. I was fast when I was at The Chronicle," he told the paper a few years back. "And I think in writing like I talk, I tend to be opinionated when I talk, so my writing is opinionated. When I was writing straight news in the news section, I had to back off from that. But in sports obviously even when you’re not a columnist, you have more liberty to voice your opinion.”
    Feinstein's right here. The suggestion that he must be objective because he's a journalist is kind of off the point. He's a sports journalist, which, let's face it, is different from covering the Fed or U.S. relations with China. We tolerate -- no, we expect -- opinions. "Brady had the best performance of a quarterback this year," "Jeter can't buy a hit the last few games," "the Red Sox are just godawful." Would we really read the sports page if it was all in the form of: "then, Ibanez grounded a ball between short and third, and the winning run scored"? We want writers to say what they think. We might object to Feinstein's opinions, but I think it's nonsense to say it's based on some principle that he shouldn't be voicing them in the newspaper. I'd rather read a guy who's pro-Duke than anti-Duke, but above that I'd rather read a guy (or woman, of course) who has opinions than someone who just reports the facts.

  2. #22
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    As I noted, I do not begrudge his opinions--nor his negative opinions--but how he delivers them.

    It is one thing to disapprove of President Brodhead's leadership, and another to compare it to that of an amoeba and to call him "Mr. Chips."

    It is one thing to disagree with the management or direction of Duke football, and another to suggest continously that it abandon the ACC.

    It is one thing to be angry that he's been omitted from the "distinguished alumni" list and another to disparage the Duke alum who became a finalist on Survivor--Kelly Bruno, a friend of mine, who has done plenty of good to merit recognition without the scorn of someone out to score a point or two on his blog.

    His articulation of his opinions and observations are what made him so darn good for so long. His standards have slipped.

  3. #23
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    Off topic, and my memory may be going foggy here, but working within the athletic department in the mid to late '90s, someone (and I am almost certain it was Jill Mickle, although it could have been Mike Sobb or Mike Cragg saying it in Jill's presence) told me that the Blue Devil mascot's smile (pre-current tough guy devil) was based on Tom Mickle's smile. Even if they were just ribbing me, I liked to think it was true.

    Tom was working for the ACC at the time, but I got to meet him as well while a student. Awesome, awesome guy.

  4. #24
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    Feinstein

    Here's all you need to know about Feinstein and Duke. Because of his self-righteous fury at not getting his man as AD, he jumped on the lacrosse story as a form of
    personal vindication, got it spectacularly wrong, never apologized and kept getting it wrong to the end. I lost all respect for him and have tried to ignore him ever since. He's not a standard bearer for anything other than his own ego.


    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com...lightness.html

  5. #25
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    Feinstein is a talented writer, what I don't understand is why he took it so personal that Duke didn't do what he wanted and hire Tom Mickle.

    John like any of us, has a right to his opinion, but when he puts himself on the same level as a University President and throws a baby fit when he doesn’t get his way, he comes off as a spoiled, petulant child.

    If John wants the authority to make such decisions (hiring, firing, etc…) then he should work his way into a job that actually has some responsibility associated with it and stop writing stories for a living.

    I guess it is the season, but I am growing tired of “journalists” who believe that their opinion is the news.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    As I noted, I do not begrudge his opinions--nor his negative opinions--but how he delivers them.

    It is one thing to disapprove of President Brodhead's leadership, and another to compare it to that of an amoeba and to call him "Mr. Chips."

    It is one thing to disagree with the management or direction of Duke football, and another to suggest continously that it abandon the ACC.

    It is one thing to be angry that he's been omitted from the "distinguished alumni" list and another to disparage the Duke alum who became a finalist on Survivor--Kelly Bruno, a friend of mine, who has done plenty of good to merit recognition without the scorn of someone out to score a point or two on his blog.

    His articulation of his opinions and observations are what made him so darn good for so long. His standards have slipped.
    There are a lot of things to object to when it comes to Feinstein and his behavior, but I am 100% with Feinstein on his Brodhead assessment. In fact, Feinstein may be too kind in his assessment of Brodhead. Brodhead may be many good things but he is not a leader.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnavy View Post
    Feinstein is a talented writer, what I don't understand is why he took it so personal that Duke didn't do what he wanted and hire Tom Mickle.

    John like any of us, has a right to his opinion, but when he puts himself on the same level as a University President and throws a baby fit when he doesn’t get his way, he comes off as a spoiled, petulant child.

    If John wants the authority to make such decisions (hiring, firing, etc…) then he should work his way into a job that actually has some responsibility associated with it and stop writing stories for a living.

    I guess it is the season, but I am growing tired of “journalists” who believe that their opinion is the news.
    In the range of successful journalists and sports writers, John Feinstein is at the "highly emotional" end of the spectrum. What you see is what you get, both in writing and in conversation or spoken commentary. Yet he seems to have the respect of his colleagues and was close to Brill at Duke. As I posted a few days ago, he thinks the world of both Mike Krzyzewski and Gary Williams.

    Feinstein is controversial at many basketball schools. On sports radio in DC a few years back he was a substitute host for a drive time show in the afternoon. As soon as he came on, there was a deluge of calls from Georgetown fans berating him for daring to say bad things about John Thompson (Big Jawn, in this case). I don't know if he is still persona non grata in the State of Indiana, but he sure was after "Season on the Brink," the inside story of Bobby Knight, was published. Kentucky fans also have a grudge against him, because the Wildcats and their various coaches have not been spared criticism.

    I have no problem with JF. At the 100th anniversary of the Chronicle a few years ago, John put together and led an interesting panel on sports at Duke. Seth Davis BTW was a no-show. But he also volunteered his opinion that Duke should drop out of the ACC in football and form a more academic conference with the usual suspects (Vandy, Rice, service academies, etc.). He has also spoken at many other Duke events I have attended, and his love for the school is palpable.

    John Feinstein is not warm and fuzzy -- or even diplomatic -- and he never will be. If you want warm and fuzzy, there is my classmate Charlie Rose, who is both of those things, but spends little time on Duke matters. OTOH JF has published two of the most successful sports books of all time ("Season" and "A Good Walk Spoiled") and continues to write on many different sports matters. Funny, but his golf commentaries rarely seem to be a lightning rod -- maybe it's just a laid-back sport.

    The world is not a simple place, and while I like JF, you have my permission to hate his guts.

    sagegrouse

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Feinstein is controversial at many basketball schools. On sports radio in DC a few years back he was a substitute host for a drive time show in the afternoon. As soon as he came on, there was a deluge of calls from Georgetown fans berating him for daring to say bad things about John Thompson (Big Jawn, in this case). I don't know if he is still persona non grata in the State of Indiana, but he sure was after "Season on the Brink," the inside story of Bobby Knight, was published. Kentucky fans also have a grudge against him, because the Wildcats and their various coaches have not been spared criticism.

    John Feinstein is not warm and fuzzy -- or even diplomatic -- and he never will be.
    I was going to point this out. The difference between him and Billy Packer is mainly one of degree -- if Feinstein is a curmudgeon, at least he's a big-picture curmudgeon. And anyone who is so universally loathed in the state of Kentucky can't be all bad.
    As suburban children we floated at night in swimming pools the temperature of blood. -- Douglas Coupland

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Lauderdevil View Post
    Feinstein's right here. The suggestion that he must be objective because he's a journalist is kind of off the point. He's a sports journalist, which, let's face it, is different from covering the Fed or U.S. relations with China. We tolerate -- no, we expect -- opinions. "Brady had the best performance of a quarterback this year," "Jeter can't buy a hit the last few games," "the Red Sox are just godawful." Would we really read the sports page if it was all in the form of: "then, Ibanez grounded a ball between short and third, and the winning run scored"? We want writers to say what they think. We might object to Feinstein's opinions, but I think it's nonsense to say it's based on some principle that he shouldn't be voicing them in the newspaper. I'd rather read a guy who's pro-Duke than anti-Duke, but above that I'd rather read a guy (or woman, of course) who has opinions than someone who just reports the facts.
    But there's a difference between professional opinions and personal grudges - that's the problem. If Feinstein wants to criticize Duke because he thinks Krzyzewski or Cutcliffe is doing a poor job, that's fine. But Feinstein bashing Duke because he didn't like Nan Keohane is about as logical as bashing the Yankees because you don't approve of Casey Stengel. SHE ISN'T THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT ANYMORE. Get over it, move on and start acting like an adult.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    It is one thing to disapprove of President Brodhead's leadership, and another to compare it to that of an amoeba and to call him "Mr. Chips."
    Off topic Feinstein seriously overestimates Brodhead in this comparison.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    He is one of the most widely read sportswriters in America, his opinions are valued by millions, and he is undoubtedly an excellent writer.
    He's OK. It's not like he's Updike or anything. I've read three of his books (they were all Christmas gifts). Honestly, I didn't find his writing to be that much further advanced than my own writing, honed in the English Department at Duke. I'm sure that he is a good to very good reporter. He seems to do a fine job of tracking down all of the information for his books. I don't find the actual writing, however, to be anything special.

    I would consider Duke's own Reynolds Price to be in the "excellent writer" category.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    In the range of successful journalists and sports writers, John Feinstein is at the "highly emotional" end of the spectrum. What you see is what you get, both in writing and in conversation or spoken commentary. Yet he seems to have the respect of his colleagues and was close to Brill at Duke. As I posted a few days ago, he thinks the world of both Mike Krzyzewski and Gary Williams.

    Feinstein is controversial at many basketball schools. On sports radio in DC a few years back he was a substitute host for a drive time show in the afternoon. As soon as he came on, there was a deluge of calls from Georgetown fans berating him for daring to say bad things about John Thompson (Big Jawn, in this case). I don't know if he is still persona non grata in the State of Indiana, but he sure was after "Season on the Brink," the inside story of Bobby Knight, was published. Kentucky fans also have a grudge against him, because the Wildcats and their various coaches have not been spared criticism.

    I have no problem with JF. At the 100th anniversary of the Chronicle a few years ago, John put together and led an interesting panel on sports at Duke. Seth Davis BTW was a no-show. But he also volunteered his opinion that Duke should drop out of the ACC in football and form a more academic conference with the usual suspects (Vandy, Rice, service academies, etc.). He has also spoken at many other Duke events I have attended, and his love for the school is palpable.

    John Feinstein is not warm and fuzzy -- or even diplomatic -- and he never will be. If you want warm and fuzzy, there is my classmate Charlie Rose, who is both of those things, but spends little time on Duke matters. OTOH JF has published two of the most successful sports books of all time ("Season" and "A Good Walk Spoiled") and continues to write on many different sports matters. Funny, but his golf commentaries rarely seem to be a lightning rod -- maybe it's just a laid-back sport.

    The world is not a simple place, and while I like JF, you have my permission to hate his guts.

    sagegrouse
    I don't hate him at all. I actually like his work for the most part. I just think that in this particular situation, he elevated himself to a position that he has no claim to. He is a journalist and can express his opinion and is expected to express his opinion, but he was offended that the University didn't do what he wanted.

    His job is not to select AD's, yet he felt that his opinion on the matter was reason enough for the University to select who he wanted. I have no idea if he was right or wrong, but that is not my point. My point is that he stepped out of his pay grade when he felt that he should be the one to chose who the AD at Duke University because he was a noted author and alumnus. Obviously John thought that he had more juice than he does, and he was hurt when he realized that his opinion is just that his opinion, not dogma or marching orders for a University.

    I just think he has an extremely high opinion of himself, and like others have said, in life you win some and you lose some, so show a little maturity and get over it.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edouble View Post
    He's OK. It's not like he's Updike or anything. I've read three of his books (they were all Christmas gifts). Honestly, I didn't find his writing to be that much further advanced than my own writing, honed in the English Department at Duke. I'm sure that he is a good to very good reporter. He seems to do a fine job of tracking down all of the information for his books. I don't find the actual writing, however, to be anything special.

    I would consider Duke's own Reynolds Price to be in the "excellent writer" category.
    For fear of straying further off-topic, that's fair enough; Reynolds Price was surely an excellent writer (as was Updike). I'd argue that the latter two are perhaps belonging to a higher echelon than "excellent" suggests, but also that fictional writing requires a different skillset and assessment than does sportswriting or reporting generally. There are many that have done both, and well (Hemingway started out as a sportswriter, for example).

    I'd already impugned Feinstein plenty as it were, and I don't know his writing well enough to go beyond what I think is a fair assessment in saying that he is indeed an excellent writer of sports. But perhaps this is just semantics. It would make for an interesting thread on the off-topic board to discuss the sportswriters we all most admire as writers. Clearly, Feinstein would not be as high on your list as others.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edouble View Post
    He's OK. It's not like he's Updike or anything. I've read three of his books (they were all Christmas gifts). Honestly, I didn't find his writing to be that much further advanced than my own writing, honed in the English Department at Duke. I'm sure that he is a good to very good reporter. He seems to do a fine job of tracking down all of the information for his books. I don't find the actual writing, however, to be anything special.

    I would consider Duke's own Reynolds Price to be in the "excellent writer" category.
    Feinstein excels in a couple of areas: getting access (is he ever a namedropper!) and collecting little tiles for the mosaic of his story. I find his writing to be no better than a typical sports columnist - namely, not very good, but passable for the genre. But he's no Frank Deford, that's for sure.

    The fact that he can be so bombastic and prone to jumping to conclusions further undermines the credibility of his judgment regarding AD selection. I'll take his word for it (and that of others) that Tom Mickle was a fine person, but what's this about Nan and the power structure being afraid of his good ideas? Really? Any evidence for that claim? It's such a tired and empty accusation - that people at the top are afraid of good ideas or innovators, or that they didn't have any good reason to hire someone else. There are a great many considerations to balance when making such an appointment, and unless JF was in the room and aware of all the deliberations, he's going off with inadequate information - something he did in the Lax case, too. That's his move, I guess. And a reason to not take him that seriously.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I don't see any need to revise our low opinion of Alleva, he was Duke's equivilent of Dick Baddour -- a minor functionary who was a bookkeeper, not a leader. We are MUCH better off with Kevin White.
    I criticized Alleva a lot on this board, but I will say this for him - ask Maryland if there are worse things than having a bookkeeper running your athletic department.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    I criticized Alleva a lot on this board, but I will say this for him - ask Maryland if there are worse things than having a bookkeeper running your athletic department.
    In addition to whatever skills and strengths an individual has to do a job, the match with the job is also important. Joe seems to be doing pretty well at LSU.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    Feinstein excels in a couple of areas: getting access (is he ever a namedropper!) and collecting little tiles for the mosaic of his story. I find his writing to be no better than a typical sports columnist - namely, not very good, but passable for the genre. But he's no Frank Deford, that's for sure.

    The fact that he can be so bombastic and prone to jumping to conclusions further undermines the credibility of his judgment regarding AD selection. I'll take his word for it (and that of others) that Tom Mickle was a fine person, but what's this about Nan and the power structure being afraid of his good ideas? Really? Any evidence for that claim? It's such a tired and empty accusation - that people at the top are afraid of good ideas or innovators, or that they didn't have any good reason to hire someone else. There are a great many considerations to balance when making such an appointment, and unless JF was in the room and aware of all the deliberations, he's going off with inadequate information - something he did in the Lax case, too. That's his move, I guess. And a reason to not take him that seriously.
    Here's some more background:

    John was asked to serve on a selection committee to find a new AD post Tom Butters. The committee came up with Mickle. JF evidently thought highly of him, so much so that he brought Mickle to DC and other places to meet Duke alumni and sports fans. That's where I met him.

    Nan picked Alleva. Why? Who knows? But K and Alleva played racketball regularly, and it is widely reported that K recommended Alleva for the job. (JF also says that K, at the same time, said he was OK with Mickle being hired.)

    Now, Nan selecting Alleva because she reportedly wanted a lower profile for athletics, as JF has been quoted as saying? Give me a break!! I've been in business and government for several decades, and I can never remember when someone got promoted because he or she would do a mediocre job. CEOs want good outcomes, strong subordinates, and someone to hold accountable. University presidents all agree that successful athletics is important to the contentment of the alumni and the level of support for the school. The fact that Nan came from Wellesley doesn't mean that she didn't understand fundamental truths about more athletically inclined schools. So, Sagegrouse comes down on the side of Nan's going with K's pick vs. the selection committee's.

    There is an exception to the above: sometimes a weak candidate gets picked for a job because the big boss wants to the job himself or herself and wants someone who will take orders. Whatever her other faults, I do not believe that Nannerl Overholser Keohane wanted to be the closet athletic director at Duke University.

    Anyway, JF gave his opinion, and I think he was wrong.

    sagegrouse
    'Another funny thing -- last December Feinstein campaigned for Maryland to fire Randy Edsall, its first-year head football coach. I don't think he got any heat from Terp fans, many of whom probably agreed with him'

  18. #38
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    Feinstein is a very talented writer. If you read several of his books, they start to become a bit formulaic, regardless of the subject matter, and it seems that though he does an excellent job of researching his books, he makes sure that the facts are shaped to fit the story's arc as he best sees fit.

    As he has gotten older, he has apparently become a bigger fan of himself and the importance of his opinions. This applies to the Duke AD selection. He is entitled to his opinion and I can understand his being a bit upset that Nan chose otherwise, but I think that his reaction has been childish. As well chronicled as it is about some of the disasters of Alleva's term at Duke, he is also the guy who hired Cutcliffe (after striking out with earlier hires) and Coach McCallie, among others, which would be universally considered to be great hires.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    Feinstein is a very talented writer. If you read several of his books, they start to become a bit formulaic, regardless of the subject matter, and it seems that though he does an excellent job of researching his books, he makes sure that the facts are shaped to fit the story's arc as he best sees fit.

    As he has gotten older, he has apparently become a bigger fan of himself and the importance of his opinions. This applies to the Duke AD selection. He is entitled to his opinion and I can understand his being a bit upset that Nan chose otherwise, but I think that his reaction has been childish. As well chronicled as it is about some of the disasters of Alleva's term at Duke, he is also the guy who hired Cutcliffe (after striking out with earlier hires) and Coach McCallie, among others, which would be universally considered to be great hires.
    Yeah, I think that gets it right. Feinstein has gotten better known, but his writing hasn't really improved much; his first (or was it nearly) first book, "A Season on the Brink" is a classic, but I don't think any of the rest of his books are. He's gotten a more exaggerated sense of his own importance in recent years, and when people do that, they tend to butt into things that aren't their business. He should stick to sports reporting.

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