You never know how far some of your words can travel.
A case in point was back in 1989, when yours truly wrote a sports column about Jerry Jones’ first press conference after buying the Dallas Cowboys. Jones talked and talked about all kinds of things for the first 45 minutes, including his future plans with the team and that his longtime friend Jimmy Johnson would be the new head coach.
What he didn’t talk about was Tom Landry, the first and only head coach of the Cowboys at that time. I wrote that Jones should have mentioned Tom much earlier in the press conference and shown him the respect and thanks he’d earned in coaching the Cowboys from a struggling expansion team to Super Bowl champions.
A couple of weeks later I received a letter postmarked from Canberra, Australia. The writer complimented me on my column. Bear in mind, this was before the internet has drawn the world so much closer.
It was a reminder to me that words can travel fast and far.
I was reminded again recently about how far your words can travel when I wrote a sports column about the Mavericks’ young star Luka Doncic and how he reminded me of Klemen Breze, a foreign exchange student from Slovenia who was a great high school basketball player for the Rains Wildcats in 2000-1, leading them to bi-district and area titles. Like Doncic, Breze is from Slovenia.
Breze, who is a fitness trainer in Slovenia, found my column, which was posted on the internet and commented to me about it on Facebook.
He said he didn’t know Ducic personally but knows his “father, ex-teammates and coaches.”
“Of course he’s a big hero here in Slovenia,” wrote Breze. “Dragic as well.”
Goran Dragic, who is also from Slovenia, has played in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and now for the Miami Heat. Dragic was named an NBA all-star in 2018.
Breze, a 6-6 small forward, played a number of seasons in Slovenia’s top professional basketball league.
Another former Rains basketball player is currently playing professional basketball in Germany: 6-6 Klara Brichacova Bradshaw. Bradshaw, who once blocked 22 shots in a game for the Rains Ladycats, played college ball at TCU and SMU. Bradshaw, who holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the Czech Republic, plays for the Saarlouis Royals and has averaged 9.9 points and 8.8 rebounds.
When sportswriter Skip Bayless wrote for 17 years for two Dallas newspapers I saw him as a bit of a provocateur. Though he was usually pretty quiet in the interview room after a Cowboys game he seemed to enjoy stirring stuff up with his sports columns.
Bayless is stirring stuff up again with the Cowboys, this time after he hinted that quarterback Dak Prescott is weak for admitting that he’d suffered from depression after the recent death of his brother Jace.
“He’s the quarterback of America’s team,” Bayless said on the Fox Sports show “Undisputed.”
“The sport that he plays is dog-eat-dog,” said Bayless. “It is no compassion, no quarter given on the football field. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spot.”
I disagree with Bayless. Prescott showed great strength in admitting he’s human. That’s not a weakness. Though just 27, Prescott has lost his mother Peggy and now a brother. That would be tough on anyone.
If anything, I would think his teammates would admire him even more after Prescott opened up and shared his pain. I know I do.
David Claybourn is sports editor of the Herald-Banner.