Steve Gleason goes to the United Nations, and other tidbits from Monday's column and beyond, before I get to your mail:
• Gleason, the 35-year-old former New Orleans Saint special-teamer now battling Lou Gehrig's Disease, is one of the speakers at the Social Innovation Summit at the United Nations in Manhattan Thursday. More than 200 executives and high-level philanthropists will gather to discuss strategies and causes like Gleason's teamgleason.org, which helps Gleason raise awareness and money to help ALS patients live more active and normal lives. In particular, the summit could help Gleason focus on new technologies to assist the victims of the neuro-muscular disease.
• Two clarifications from things I wrote about Monday: The NFL's 32 teams agreed last week to change the trading deadline from after Week 6 to after Week 8, and it's likely to go into effect this season; but the league's Management Council and the NFL Players Association must agree on it before it becomes law ... And when I wrote about the Giants' and Jets' practices last week, comparing the coverage of Tim Tebow practicing and Hakeem Nicks breaking his foot, I said the Giants' practice Thursday was open to the media. It was not. The practice Wednesday was open to the media. My point about the coverage remains the same.
• Another great piece from the late Marina Keegan, who died in a car accident five days after her college graduation. Her editor-in-chief, Max de La Bruyere, urged me to read another of her stories, and I thought I would pass along "Song for the Special." A snippet: "Every generation thinks it's special -- my grandparents because they remember World War II, my parents because of discos and the moon. We have the Internet. Billions and millions of doors we can open and shut, posting ourselves into profiles and digital scrapbooks. Suddenly and totally, we're threaded together in a network so terrifyingly colossal that we can finally see our terrifyingly tiny place in it.''
Amazing how the death of someone we don't know can have the kind of impact Keegan's death had on many of us.
Now for your email:
SADNESS. "I spent my weekend at Brown University's graduation- my girlfriend's sister Rachel graduated with a degree in Economics and grew up with Marina. Rachel found out about the accident just hours before her ceremony and needless to say it was a very rough and emotional day for her. Just wanted to say thank you for acknowledging the story. I read MMQB every week and it is crazy how small the world is and more importantly how short life is.''-- From Michael, of Hoboken, N.J.
LET THE TEBOW STORY DIE. "First, let me just say that I loved your bit on the origins of Memorial Day, as well as the story about Marina Keegan. This is the kind of stuff that really makes MMQB worth looking forward to every week (besides all the good football stuff, I mean). Now, my question: Is the media ever going to let this Tim Tebow story die down? At least a little bit? I'm a Jets fan, and I'm more than sick of seeing Tebow in the lead of practically every Jets story, so I can only imagine how all the non-Jets fans feel. I happen to think the trade was a good move for the Jets, but I get the feeling some of the reporters want to create a QB controversy, even if there isn't one. Do people really want to keep reading about this, or does the media just think they do?''-- From Baruch Gitlin, of Beit Shemesh, Israel
I guess we'll find out. Tebow crosses cultural and religious and sporting lines. I understand the interest -- I really do -- but I fear the world will be sick of Tebow, through little fault of his own, and he'll be shoved down our throats so much that it'll be hard to simply judge his football ability.
ON SPORTING OVERKILL. "You're right about media overkill at sporting events. As a Mets fan since the sixties who grew up with nothing but the PA announcer and the organist, I can no longer attend their games. My first and last trip to Citi Field only lasted seven innings, as the constant barrage of blaring music between batters and the screaming scoreboard imploring fans to cheer left me with a headache. Incredibly, the subway ride home was like being in Superman's fortress of solitude. I long for the day when you can actually have a conversation with the person seated next to you without feeling like you're in a noisy bar, for the day when you can start cheering on your own. The spontaneity of "Let's Go Mets" chants back in the day was what made them special. Maybe other stadiums should take a page from the Red Sox playbook. They honored their late PA announcer with nothing but quiet. Those "turn back the clock" uniforms are fun, but it would be nice if we could go back in time to the whole experience of enjoying a game without feeling like you're at a rock concert.''-- From Jenny Logan, of Stamford, Conn.
I don't mind music, at about half the volume. But thanks a lot for helping me realize that quite possibly I'm not crazy.
THE OTHER VIEW ON SPORTING OVERKILL. "As an Arizona Cardinal season ticket holder, I subscribed to FanVision last season. It's great. I can watch all the out of town games, get the network feed for the Cardinal game (along with the Cards radio audio), game stats and choice of replay cameras. It has fantasy stats and Twitter, but I don't use them. It has a dedicated wi-fi system as opposed to a stadium full of people trying to get wi-fi on their personal mobile devices. Why are you against technology that enhances the in stadium experience?''-- From Bill, of Glendale, Ariz.
Because I thought at the game you attend you should watch the game on the field, and perhaps occasionally exchange ideas with the people around you.
WHAT TOMLIN MEANT. "Is it just me or does Mike Tomlin's quote sound like his players will hurt/injure other players for free? "I ain't got to offer them anything. Guys like James Harrison -- they'll do it for nothing." The bounties were not about paying money to players, but more about intent to injure.''-- From Nate, of Ithaca, N.Y.
I think Tomlin referred to players playing their hardest, without having any additional motivation. I didn't take it as Tomlin saying: "My guys will hurt other guys for free, and I don't have to give them any financial motivation to do so.''
JAY'S NOT SAD ABOUT THE DECLINE OF NEWSPAPERS. "Thanks for primer on Decoration/Memorial Day. Re the Times Picayune focus on the online version of the paper, why the sadness? Is that not technology moving forward and changing the way business is conducted? I am sure that you have purchased music albums, 8 track tapes, compact discs, and digital downloads. They all deliver the same content - music - but in different format. With newspapers, isn't the switch to a digital format the same change - news content delivered via electrons rather than dead trees? Why should the legacy media be immune to technological changes that benefit their subscriber base? I know that "Bless You Boys" looks much better on a large paper than on a screen, just like album art looks better with the vinyl product rather than a CD package or on an iPod, but that it not reason to resist change and convenience. Of course, the problem remains how to monetize the readership and to convince readers that not everything on the Internet is free.''-- From Jay, of Cincinnati
Excellent points, Jay. Really, really good. And we will get used to the new way of receiving news. I am a dinosaur. I read three papers every morning at breakfast. I probably will as long as the papers are available in printed form. It's the way I was raised, and what I'm used to. But I also read papers from out of town on my computer too. I will be able to adjust. I guess my main point about the people of New Orleans is in time of disaster, newspapers have been there for them, in printed form. And people of my generation -- and the ones before me and at least the one after -- will miss them.
SICK OF THE FIGHTING. "I grow more weary by the week with all the non-football football news. It's clear that the schism between labor and ownership is wider than before the lockout. There seems to be a lot of anger, resentment and mistrust between both sides. My question is, at what point does all this acrimony start to kill the game? The NFL is really becoming the No Fun League and threatens to dampen the enthusiasm the average fan has for the games. Do the players and owners realize they have tainted the sport or do they just believe that they're too big to fail?''-- From Will, of Charlotte
I understand your frustration, but I believe it'll wane when the games start. The offseason is covered so well now that anytime a lawsuit connected with the game is filed, it's covered with significantly more intensity than the coverage similar cases got 15 or 20 years ago.
DON'T MOVE THE TRADING DEADLINE TO LATER IN THE SEASON, HE SAYS. "I disagee with you Peter on the trade deadline. I feel strongly that teams should 1) make the playoffs with the team they build and that includes back ups, so an early trade deadline is still part of that team build up and 2) Teams should not be allowed to trade once they are officially out of the playoff race, because especially in a year with an Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin coming up in the draft, they can sell their team in order to save money and hope for a bad finish and higher draft pick.''-- From Hanan Stern, of Modiin, Israel
The NFL is about giving all teams a chance to win every year, and I believe that a team out of the playoff race in one season should be able to get a head start on the next season by trading a veteran player for a draft choice if it can. It's really not revolutionary.