As a journalist you get all kinds of press release emails, and as a sportswriter, so many of them come from college athletic departments. They can’t wait to tell you about this amazing female volleyball player or male track athlete who won this award or did this amazing thing. Most of the time, you read the email for five seconds, realize that the college media relations department is seriously overhyping said accomplishment, and hit delete.
I gotta say, though, this story, this award, stands out as the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.
Washington State University decided to honor a football player in its midst. A fellow named Logan Tago was feted and held up as a sensational role model, and given the CCE Community Involvement Award, as given by the school’s Center for Civic Engagement.
“Tago was honored for his commitment to service around the City of Pullman and Palouse communities where he volunteered 240 civic engagement hours this past fall,” the press release states.
Whoa! That’s a lot of community service hours. Two hundred and forty is nothing to sneeze at. Man, Tago is a terrific guy, to spend that much time…
Oh wait. What’s that again?
Yeah, it seems Tago did all that community service because he was ordered to. By a court. In a plea agreement Tago accepted last year, ridding himself of a felony robbery charge and pleading guilty to a reduced third-degree assault charge. Tago was arrested in 2016 following an investigation in which a man accused him of stealing a six-pack of beer and punching him in the head, resulting in a concussion for the victim. As a result, Tago was ordered to perform the aforementioned community service and spend 30 days in jail. He was also suspended from the team.
But hey, way to go, Logan! You could’ve skipped out on those hours, gone back to jail, and we’d never have heard of you again. But way to go dude! You did it, you fulfilled what the law demanded of you.
I mean, did ANYONE at Washington State take five seconds to reconsider this award?
Apparently not. It did give me a great laugh though.
**So I finally watched a little Olympics coverage Tuesday night, and I picked a good night to do so. After 17-year-old tiny pint of awesome Chloe Kim kicked butt on way to a gold medal in women’s half-pipe, “old man” Shaun White, aka “The Flying Tomato” won yet another gold medal at age 31.
I know nothing about this sport, but even I’m blown away by the tricks this guys can do. Watch this crazy-great run above (you can skip to 1:35 for the actual performance)
**Finally today, it’s pretty rare I get THIS excited about a new book. But Jonathan Abrams, who used to write for the New York Times and Grantland, has just published a new book. And it’s an oral history of the greatest television show of all time, “The Wire.”
I have prophesized on here many, many times about the greatness of this HBO show that ran for five seasons in the mid-2000s. But I know there are still people out there who haven’t seen it, and I’m here to once again tell you, you must.
The book arrived today and since I couldn’t wait I already read some excerpts online, and it’s fabulous. One quick thing I’ve already learned? The actor originally in line to play McNulty was John C. Reilly. That’s right, the incredible actor from “Chicago” and “Boogie Nights” and so many other great flicks was going to be cast as a Baltimore homicide detective.
But his wife didn’t want to move to Baltimore, so Dominic West got the part.
So much good stuff in this book. If you’re a “The Wire” nut like me, buy it here.