Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale was the first "wow!" musician I discovered when I started listening to smooth jazz a few years ago. My enjoyment of light jazz first began as a casual listener who just turned on the smooth jazz channel while eating dinner, but then I realized that not everything was just "elevator music". Of course, I knew Tisdale's name because he had been a basketball star, but was surprised at how lively, complex and enjoyable his music was.

Tisdale died Friday, May 15, at age 44. He had been taken to the hospital after having difficulty breathing, and he had been battling bone cancer for two years.

Of course, because some people are insane when it comes to sports, Tisdale once reported that former coaches and players actively wished he would not survive the cancer, their animosity against him from his basketball days was so great.

This seems like hyperbole, but allow me to illustrate: In keeping with being a big fucking asshole, Chuck Woodling, retired reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World, decided it would be a good idea to bring up some trivial college basketball incident for no reason other than to cast the recently-dead Tisdale in a bad light. See, back in 1984, Oklahoma played University of Kansas in Lawrence and the team, led by the arguably psychotic coach Billy Tubbs, acted poorly. Tisdale was a 19-year-old on the Oklahoma team at the time, so Woodling thought now would be a great time to grouse about how horrible Tisdale was because he was associated with the incident.

Except, if you'll read the article, you'll see Tisdale wasn't really involved. And the article isn't about Tisdale at all, except for a sentence or two saying, essentially, "Wayman Tisdale died, oh hey, remember when Oklahoma University was TOTES MEEN to our team?"

Chuck Woodling, you may suck it.

As you can see from the comments in the article, almost everyone thinks Woodling was out of line. And he was. It wouldn't matter if Tisdale was alive or not, the fact is that he was not a big player in the incident, that the incident was 25 years ago, and every sane person in the world has moved on by now.

Every day, I get a little more disappointed in humanity.

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