The Story of a Man Who Still Could Be

After reading Mike Sager’s article, “The Man Who Never Was” I am initially left wanting. I feel like the article itself was incredibly well written from start to finish. I wanted to hear something more about Todd and whether or not he feels that his upbringing contributed to his doing drugs in such a manner. I suppose it stays true to exactly what the article is though. It is a thorough profile of former football star Todd Marinovich. It begins exactly where he began and it ends exactly where he is in April of 2010 when this article was released.

This story is incredibly tragic in nature and through solid anecdotes and action; it truly makes relatable the utterly un-relatable. The entire article is written as though it is all happening in the here and now. The imagery is incredible through the use of these two things. The point when I was hooked was early on when he paints the picture of the football in Todd’s hands – Sager says, “It seems small in his hands and very well behaved, like it belongs there.” The quotes throughout the article do pull the reader back into reality, but it doesn’t seem to last long as each quote seems to lend itself to yet another upcoming story that is no-less captivating than the story that precedes it.

The angle in this piece is telling the life story of Todd Marinovich and his recovery by way of his athletic successes. There are other aspects of Todd’s life intertwined in this piece but those are the main points that I picked up on. There is nothing that seems to be withheld from Todd’s story as there are so many of his very intimate moments being revealed throughout by Todd, himself, through quotes placed strategically by author Mike Sager. I think it was incredible how Sager weaved together his life story using so many different levels of writing – wrapping many facets of the story around one another to weave the tapestry that is this article. The main two themes are his fall from glory and his party life combined with his successes in sports. The tone is set from the beginning with the quick build up of Todd’s success stories which quickly turn into Todd’s downward spiral of drug use.

This article is aimed at those who have an interest in sports as well as readers with general human interest. It hits home with people who have ever been involved in the drug scene or who have loved ones who have. I find Sager’s ability to transcend the interest of sports fans and break out into the interest of the masses something to be desired. I would steal from his writing style the intense captivation that he achieves through the use of direct quotes and master-crafted imagery. With my finishing thought of “Thank God I never did heroin” I can only hope to instill equal inspiration throughout my career as a writer.

  1. July 5th, 2012

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