Friday, February 19, 2010

No medal for Weir, or Web comments

My guy Johnny Weir did not make it to the medal stand in Vancouver.

Weir started in sixth place heading into the finals of the men’s figure skating, and that’s where he wound up. Teammate Evan Lyascek did pull the upset, however, overtaking Russian Evgeni Plushenko and winning the gold medal.

That was not the most eye-opening part of the day for me, however.

Yesterday morning I posted an item about Weir, and his connections to my home town of Oxford, Pa. I went to school with his parents, and actually played on our high school football team with his dad.

Shortly after I posted the item, a reader left a comment that didn’t leave much doubt that he or she could not disagree more with my belief that Oxford should take pride in this somewhat of a native son.

The commenter also made it pretty clear why. Let’s just say it doesn’t have anything to do with his skating.

It has to do more to do with who Johnny Weir is, and his lifestyle off the ice.

I have to be honest here. I have never met Johnny Weir. Hell, I haven’t talked to his parents in about 30 years. I don’t particularly care what he does off the ice. That’s his business.

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t pulling for him. I was.

The reader disagreed, and made a lot of narrow-minded comments about who Johnny Weir is and that I, “as a reporter,” should have mentioned that Oxford is a place inhabited by “normal people who believe in God, and normality.”

The person claimed the residents of Oxford are happy that Oxford is not mentioned in the same breath as Weir.

Yep, that sounds an awful lot like the town I grew up in. I would like to think that does not represent most people’s beliefs.

I know it doesn’t represent mine. No, Johnny Weir did not win a medal in Vancouver. I’m still proud of him, and his connections to my hometown.

Yes, I grew up in Smallville. It’s a little town.

But not as little as the space between some people’s ears.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of the Olympians who are good enough to be there are "normal" -- thank God for that -- or they of course wouldn't be there. Wonderful job, Mr. Weir.

February 20, 2010 at 9:08 AM 

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