FanPost

More on Guerrero

gbruin was right about the Guerrero era, and islandbruin2 helped by comparing the bios of Guerrero and his counterpart at Stanford, Bernard Muir, so I thought I'd follow up by looking at the opening paragraph of Chianti's bio, which is referred to as the "lede" in journalism. (That's the traditional way of spelling it.)

As IB2 said, the first sentence reads this way: "In 11 years, Dan Guerrero has clearly established a pattern of 'image and substance' that few in his profession can match." Leaving aside the accuracy of that statement - and I don't agree with any of it - it's an example of muddled thinking, as far as I can tell. The distinction or choice is usually between style (pretty close to image) and substance.

But since Chianti's bio embraces both goals - the best of all possible worlds - it's reasonable to expect some support for each of the claims in the lede. And while I did see an effort to justify the claim about substance (24 NCAA championships, etc.), I didn't see any evidence to support the claim about enhancing UCLA's image.

The announcement of Muir's hiring is a "breaking" story, requiring a main headline. Underneath the main headline there's a "deck head" - a nationally recognized athletic administrator with nearly 25 years of experience, Muir comes to Stanford from the University of Delaware - which has value to reporters, who are often seeking a quick focus for a news or feature story. Unfortunately, Chianti's tenure is old news, so it didn't require a main headline, but a deck head summing up his perceived accomplishments would have been helpful to reporters, and its absence is not a sign of professionalism, in my opinion.

(FWIW, while I don't think Muir's bio is that good, either - a simple reference to "athletic director" would have been preferable to the "Jaquish and Kennedy" title, which could have been explained later - it's still much better than the UCLA bio of Dapper Dan, with its reference to "image and substance.")

OK, if I haven't bored your socks off, here's another interesting point. Donut's bio is 1,361 words; Muir's is 798. By my count, that's a difference of 563 words. Put another way, that means Donut's bio is 40 percent heavier, err, longer than his counterpart's - just sayin.'

There are other things worth mentioning before I get to the question that really interests me. First, am I wrong or is there a problem with saying, "The football team has appeared in 10 bowl games, and the men's basketball team advanced to consecutive Final Fours from 2006-08"?

Let's see ... Guerrero was appointed in the spring of 2002 and toward the end of the year we got "the thinker," Karl Dorrell. And regarding the three consecutive "final four" appearances under Ben Howland, everyone appreciates that, although we used to do a bit more than appear in the "final four." So putting those facts out as hallmarks of success may be exaggerating to the point of arrogance.

There's more to consider, and perhaps it fits in well with how we see Guerrero. For instance, Chianti's bio includes this sentence: "He also reorganized the external relations area, in anticipation of major revenue-generating initiatives designed to address capital-project needs, operational support and program endowments."

Here's a thought: Do Guerrero or his minions think it's worth telling anyone what specific steps he took in anticipation of these initiatives? I'm not sure, but maybe the pay of writers on the UCLA sports site is docked when they use a few extra words to explain something. And I'm not even going to touch the remarks about Pauley Pavilion.

So at last we come to the area for which I have a special enthusiasm, or at least interest. I'm referring to the part of Chianti's bio that says, "Guerrero, known as Warrior during his playing career, was inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996."

Now, I'm not saying he wasn't known as "Warrior" during his playing days, but here's my problem: I haven't been able to find a contemporary reference on the Internet, and the mind reels with possibilities. Let's start by asking the question of when he was first called "Warrior."

For example, when he was 10, did his parents remind him, "Warrior, it's time to take out the trash"? At parent-teacher conferences, did teachers say, "Warrior's doing well in class and socializing with his friends"? Did he later go to bars to meet people, and was he ever introduced as "Warrior"?

These are all possibilities worth considering. But I'm an old, cantankerous guy (long past bar hopping), so the word I'm looking for in an athletic director isn't "warrior"; it's something else. Something like "helpful." Yeah, that should do it.



<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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