Thursday, April 13, 2006

Stick to sports, Whitlock

Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star sports columnist and weekly writer for's Page 2, has used his space this week to write about "The Sopranos" instead of his usual thoughts on Jeff George, race relations, or Hollywood hotties. He opens with a quick mention of Knicks coach Larry Brown and compares him to David Chase. And for the next few hundred words, it's all about HBO with only an occasional aside about sports to remind the reader that Whitlock's a sportswriter. At the end, he compares Tony to Shaquille O'Neal and himself to Stephon Marbury. Page 2 already has Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons to cover pop culture. We don't need Whitlock doing it too. Besides, I thought it was cool that I had to check out a TWoP message board the day after this season's second episode aired to get some insight into the extended dream/coma sequence. I LIKE a show that requires more from me than just mindless acceptance. I thought the most interesting parts of this season so far were when Tony was in a coma and everyone in his crew started looking out for themselves. I was actually disappointed when Tony didn't die -- I would have loved to see how the rest of the characters reacted to the massive power vacuum his death would create. And I don't know what show Whitlock is watching, but the "Sopranos" episodes I've seen in the past five weeks have had plenty of "mob stuff," including people getting killed, beaten, and intimidated.

I really like Jason Whitlock's sportswriting, and I've enjoyed his guest appearances on "PTI." I just think he's way out of his element this week.

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