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Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

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  • Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

    Jackson story is bad news

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell

    On most occasions, this is a fabulous job. You spend most of your days and nights covering the games people play. You chronicle the victories and the defeats, you record the successes and failures of athletes engaged in the pursuit of human achievement. Sports is supposed to be the fun house, and for the most part, it usually is. But far too often, it's just not fun anymore.

    The happily ever afters keep dwindling, and the unsettling bad dreams keep rising like swelling flood waters. It's too much shame and scandal, it's too many stories that begin with bad news then rapidly descend into an even worse, gawdawful mess.

    I wish I could tell you that I've grown numb to it, but I haven't.

    Thursday was another one of those heartbreaking days that just makes you sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    Welcome to the latest episode in the cloudy TMZ-infested celebrity cesspool that has once again crept into the sports world. Steven Jackson, it's your turn inside the not-so-fun spin cycle.

    But before we allow the "He said, she said" brush fire to spread out of control and turn Jackson into a guilty man or his ex-girlfriend into a money-grubbing harlot without a single shred of credible evidence, can we please slow down?

    Right now, here's the only truth that we have:

    This is an awful and disturbing story that won't end well for anyone concerned.

    Jackson, the Rams star running back, is caught in the middle of a bad and unfortunate story, being forced to defend himself against the most heinous allegations: His former girlfriend claims the 6-foot-2, 235-pound running back physically abused her while she was nine months pregnant with their child. If this is the ugly and disgusting truth, then Jackson has done something despicable and beyond explanation.

    But what if it's a lie?

    If it is a fabrication, then his former girlfriend, Supriya Harris, would be guilty of something equally despicable and beyond explanation. What kind of mother would lower herself to use her famous ex's reputation as a bargaining chip and their infant son as the means to extract a bigger, better paycheck for child support from this millionaire athlete?

    Right now, we have no way of knowing who's telling the truth. But sadly, the truth isn't a necessary commodity in scandals like this. Regardless of his ultimate innocence or guilt, Jackson's image as a high-profile pro athlete — the Pro Bowler who has starred in Nike commercials and is the most recognizable face of this struggling Rams franchise — is about to take a serious beating. The brush fire has already started burning, and it won't take long before it rages out of control. Less than 24 hours after she submitted a voluntary statement to the police accusing Jackson of assault, Harris's story and photographs of the wound Jackson allegedly caused popped up on TMZ, the dot-com site that feasts on scandal and salacious tell-alls.

    And just like that, this story predictably descended right into the gutter. Internet message boards were hurling insults at Jackson and Harris, too many folks were taking strident positions armed without a single clue. By the time Jackson responsed to the allegations Thursday afternoon, things were already out of hand. "It's disheartening that I have to address any alleged allegations 10 months later," Jackson wrote, "but ... they are untrue. The accusations are especially hurtful because those who truly know me know that those actions would be out of character for me. Miss Harris is the mother of my son, a son that I love and that I willingly support emotionally and financially. I will address this matter thoroughly through the appropriate avenues, but not through the media."

    He may not want to address it through the media, but now Jackson is sure to be singed by the heat of the latest TMZ-induced blaze.

    Now remind me once again, that Tiger Woods fellow, what exactly did he do?

    So this is how it goes.

    And by the way, just in case anyone out there tries to reach the wild conclusion that there are parallels to be drawn between how this Jackson story will play out in the media and how the Mark McGwire mess already has been handled let's say one thing:

    Stop it.

    Let me state this loud and clear. There's only one flimsy connection between McGwire's mess and the Jackson scandal: SJ39's troubles take the public's eye off Big Mac and cast the unforgiving public glare on the Rams star. For that, McGwire needs to send out a big "Thank You" to Jackson.

    Other than that, there should be little connection or comparison. One guy is an admitted drug cheat who is trying to rehabilitate his image and restart his baseball life with an awkward series of alibis and half-truths that no one with half a brain is buying.

    The other guy is a man who has been accused of an awful criminal act but deserves the presumption of innocence until he has his day in court because all we have against him is the word of a woman who accuses Jackson nearly 11 months after the fact with domestic violence.

    Anyone who can't see the difference between the two situations is just looking for something to grumble about.

    Now back to reality. Jackson has the right to fight these accusations vigorously through the judicial process. Just because she accused him of beating her up doesn't mean it happened. It wouldn't be the first time an angry ex-girlfriend was upset that getting pregnant by a wealthy celebrity athlete didn't automatically lead to matrimony or a staggering payday for child support.

    Yet just because she waited so long to report the alleged incident, it doesn't automatically mean her accusations of assault weren't true, either.

    Unfortunately, I suspect we are just beginning to discover the sordid details of Jackson saga, and they do seem to be a lot closer to the dilemma facing Tiger Woods' untidy personal life than demons that McGwire faces in his uncomfortable public life.

    The more I think about it, perhaps there is one other common thread between the sad stories of all three of these athletic stars.

    Good luck finding a happily ever after.

  • #2
    Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

    Article tells a lot of (unfortunate) truths about the media today. I wish it wasn't the case, but it is.


    • #3
      Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

      Originally posted by shower beers
      Article tells a lot of (unfortunate) truths about the media today. I wish it wasn't the case, but it is.
      Media sucks, they like to expose people make the situation seem worse.. Its also the damn journalist going around looking for stuff to get good ratings.. I don't like the media, but I hate journalists even more..


      • #4
        Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

        Innocent until proven guilty, right? RIGHT!
        sigpic :ram::helmet:


        • #5
          Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

          Burwell: Jackson story is bad news
          HUbison: Burwell is bad news
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.


          • #6
            Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

            Lets hope this isnt true. I've met Jackson in person and he doesnt seem to be that type of guy. My nephew played ball with him in highschool at Eldorado and knows him a lot better than me but you never know. One thing I do know if it is true, that really screws the draft up because rb could become a priority if he faces suspension from the NFL. Women can be evil and if she feels wronged because he left her, I dont see it to be far fetched she make up some story to get him to pay her more cash.

            On the other hand the media is completely out of control. I see now there is a show thats gonna have top highschool recruits announcing the college they choose live on some tv show. This is rediculous, these kids are being made into stars before they do anything. Why anyone watches TMZ is beyond me. They actually seem to enjoy invading into peoples lives and finding things to destroy their lives. I wonder if people started doing this to reporters what kind of crap you could find hiding in their closets?
            Aim high Willis, Aim High!


            • #7
              Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

              The sad part of these kinds of stories is that even if the charges are dismissed or Jackson if found not guilty, he'll always be left with lingering doubts about his character and innocence. A very tough situation for him to get through unscathed.


              • #8
                Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

                Not to sound insensitive to this whole thing but for an accusation such as this it couldn't have come at a better time. Everyone is focused so much on the superbowl that this won't get nearly the amount of media coverage it would've gotten if it was any other time of the year. Being on the Rams also helped SJax here. Can you imagine how huge of a story this would've been if the overated, overhyped and less talented Adrian Peterson was accused of something like this.


                • #9
                  Re: Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News

                  Originally posted by HUbison
                  HUbison: Burwell is bad news
                  I don't know, HUb, I think he's making a fairly valid point here. Burwell's reputation certainly precedes him, but all I can see here is a fairly straightforward observation. Jackson has been accused of a heinous crime and it's not something that society is going to turn a blind eye to, especially in light of the Woods scandal and the prevalence of domestic violence legislation in the media. This is something that is going to dog Jackson for the remainder of the offseason, certainly until he has his day in court and he deserves the presumption of innocence until that time.

                  Unfortunately, as Burwell has indicated, the chastising has already begun across message boards and gossip websites. This is not something that is going to end well for the parties involved and I think that's the point that Burwell's trying to make.


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                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    What can Steven Jackson do now?

                    By Bryan Burwell
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                    Fame is not all it's cracked up to be. Not when all your private peccadilloes and all the uncomfortable details of your personal life become fodder for the public's hearty voyeuristic appetites. This is the distasteful side of fame, and there's nothing Steven Jackson can do to turn back the clock and make it all go away.

                    It's been barely two weeks since he was accused of physically abusing his former girlfriend, and now the Las Vegas police have decided that there is insufficient evidence to bring charges against the Rams' star running back. So now what? What exactly is Jackson supposed to do about his damaged reputation now that the Vegas police have closed the case and the district attorney's office determined that there was a lack of evidence to proceed with the accusations that were hurled at him by Supriya Harris?

                    Is there some place he can go to erase the bad images that some people immediately formed about him based on nothing more than the unsubstantiated accusations of Harris? You've seen the Internet chat rooms calling him all sorts of ugly names the minute the accusations leaked out on TMZ. Everyone leaping to the conclusion that he must have done something, even now insisting that he is just another powerful man blessed with an abundance of fame and fortune who used his celebrity to get away with ... well ... it had to be something, right?

                    Jackson will never get those people back on his side no matter how many times they read the news reports that announced the undisputed fact that the police said they lacked evidence in their investigation to go after Jackson.

                    So where does he go to get his reputation back?

                    But that's not how fame works anymore.

                    Modern fame takes no prisoners. Contemporary celebrity is a lovely and intoxicating game just as long as you are inside the velvet ropes lapping in all the goodies. But there is a backlash to this game, and it ain't pretty. Associate with the wrong crowd, spend too much time with people who have less to lose than you do, make just one fateful step in the wrong direction, and the repercussions won't be pretty and they can last a lifetime.

                    There are a lot of unhappy endings to this story, and one of the biggest is the damage that has been done to Jackson's reputation. The Vegas police may have exonerated him, but in this TMZ-obsessed world, there will always be another opportunity to prosecute him in the court of gossip and innuendo.

                    This is how the fame game works now. Jackson may think he's done with this, but this ugly fight isn't over until TMZ says it's over.

                    This is how it used to work. Allegations like this would never see the printed page until police actually filed charges against someone. If the police believed there was enough...
                    -02-09-2010, 11:12 PM
                  • MauiRam
                    Jackson gets cleaned ..
                    by MauiRam
                    Down and dirty

                    By Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports

                    Coming off a frustrating, injury-marred '07 campaign and approaching a contract year that could trigger his becoming the NFL's highest-paid runner, Jackson learned last month that agent Gary Uberstine had fired him . Upon reading an email from Uberstine informing him that their representation agreement was being terminated, Jackson says, "I was in a state of shock. Where was the loyalty? The crazy thing is, I'm not a high-maintenance guy. Gary's done a lot of good in my life, and I at least thanked him for doing it before I started negotiating with the Rams. But I didn't see that coming at all."

                    Players switch agents all the time, but because they're almost invariably the ones initiating the breakups, Uberstine's 'Dear Steven' letter took on a man-bites-dog novelty. Throw in the fact that Jackson, whose breakout 2006 season stamped him as one of the league's brightest offensive stars, stands to land a lucrative long-term deal that will likely carry a seven-figure commission, and the whole thing seems downright stunning.

                    What prompted the move? Jackson says Uberstine was upset about the player's decision to use a former associate of Uberstine's as his marketing representative, among things. "It was a power move," says Jackson, who has since signed with Eugene Parker. "It was his way of saying that I need him more than he needs me."

                    Uberstine, in a telephone conversation on Thursday, declined to discuss the situation in specific terms, saying of Jackson, "I wish him and his sister Rhonda (an informal business adviser to the halfback) the very best, and I really don't want to go into the factors that went into my decision. I have no doubt that he will soon be the highest-paid running back in football."

                    To Jackson, such an eventuality is no sure thing. After St. Louis's disastrous 2007 season, in which the Rams lost their first eight games (four of which Jackson missed with a partially torn left groin) and sputtered to a 3-13 record that put second-year coach Scott Linehan's job in jeopardy, he sees his and his team's futures as shrouded in uncertainty.

                    "It's a one-year bid for everybody," Jackson says. "It could be Scott's last year, and my last year, and even the franchise is in jeopardy – the team could get sold and leave St. Louis. There's a lot riding on this year, and we all know that. Just as much as the Rams need me, I need them."

                    A 6-2, 231-pound specimen who runs with speed, power and elusiveness, Jackson took over the offense formerly known as the Greatest Show on Turf in '06 after future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk went on injured reserve with what turned out to be a career-ending knee injury. Jackson responded by gaining 2,334 yards from scrimmage, the fifth-highest total in NFL history, with 90 receptions,...
                    -06-20-2008, 01:17 PM
                  • RamWraith
                    Jackson enjoys monumental moment with parents
                    by RamWraith
                    By Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports

                    Steven Jackson sat in the living room of his suburban St. Louis home Tuesday night, waiting impatiently for history to hit him over the head and wondering what the two people who raised him must be thinking.

                    The St. Louis Rams’ star running back had insisted that his parents, Steve and Brenda, extend their visit from Las Vegas so that they could spend election night with him and his girlfriend, Supriya Harris.

                    “Just looking at them as it all unfolded, as the wall came crumbling down,” Jackson says, “I almost started crying.”

                    For Jackson and so many other NFL players, Barack Obama’s ascendance to the U.S. presidency was a landmark moment they never saw coming as kids. For people of his parents’ generation and background, it took on a different level of incomprehensibility.

                    “They grew up in a small town in Arkansas,” Jackson marvels. “They went to segregated schools their whole lives. For them to experience that moment was just really, really special, and I wanted to make sure we shared it.”

                    If you still subscribe to the stereotype that professional athletes are so self-centered and oblivious that they avoid politics like drug tests – well, that’s as outdated as the notion that a biracial man can’t get elected to the highest office in the land.

                    Consider that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte called me Tuesday evening after getting off a flight from St. Louis to Minneapolis, frantically seeking updated electoral-vote tallies, or that Cincinnati Bengals wideout Chad Johnson and Denver Broncos wideout Brandon Marshall each planned touchdown celebrations (both of which ended up getting aborted) in support of Obama.

                    At the Rams’ training facility, which is hardly unique, players were engaged and argumentative in the months leading up to the election, paying as much attention to issues like health-care reform as they did, say, luxury-car customization.

                    “In the morning, we keep all our [locker-room, training-room and weight-room] TVs on CNN,” Jackson says. “We definitely argue back and forth, and the main issue is always taxes. It pisses me off because we have so many issues facing this country, and the guys who supported McCain seemed to only care about that one thing. Even a couple of the [African-American players] on the team said they would vote for McCain, and it was all because of money.”

                    As Jackson’s comments suggest, he is a staunch Democrat who supported Obama’s candidacy based on policy. Yet there’s no debate that for him and so many other African-American NFL players, the election’s obvious social significance triggered a new level of enthusiasm.

                    Again, that goes back to Steve and Brenda, whose outlooks were shaped by their experiences growing up in Warren, Ark., population 6,752.

                    Steve, who joined...
                    -11-07-2008, 02:44 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Learning To Lead: The Evolution Of Steven Jackson
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    Learning to Lead: The Evolution of Steven Jackson
                    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

                    By Nick Wagoner
                    Senior Writer

                    “Our response to an offense determines our future.” – Author John Bevere, “The Bait of Satan.”

                    Right there in black and white for his eyes to see, Steven Jackson constantly goes back to this book. It’s one of his favorites though if you ask him to name them it might take a while because he’s constantly diving into a new one.

                    On the surface, passages like the one above might seem simple. Then again, on the surface, a person might be viewed the same way.

                    What you don’t know is how complicated something or someone can be when you dig a littler deeper. In the case of Steven Jackson, a little closer look can reveal something you never would have guessed or even attempted to try.

                    A BORN LEADER

                    At the conclusion of nearly every Rams practice, a few players always lag behind the group on the long walk back to the locker room. Some stay behind and catch passes, others work on footwork. They all do it by choice but some undoubtedly do it because that’s what Jackson does.

                    Jackson is the one who will quickly peel off his pads and run extra gassers, not because he’s out of shape but because it sets the right example of what it takes to be successful.

                    The Rams have the fourth-youngest team in the NFL with an average age of right around 26. Coincidentally, Jackson is the same age. But because he entered the league when he was only 20, Jackson’s ascent to a leadership role has happened quicker than most.

                    As he’s grown and developed as a player, he’s seen players come and go and just now, in 2009, has he taken it upon himself to become the leader of this young group.

                    “I have seen nothing but great things,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “His greatness in that regard, in the leadership regard is shining right now when it’s not the best of times and the results haven’t been what we want. I’m not going to share with you one other thing but there was something he did that meant the world to me and I appreciated him and how he’s gone about things right now.”

                    Growing up in Las Vegas, Jackson’s lessons in leadership began at an early age. His father, Steve, practically majored in the subject as a Marine veteran in the Vietnam War.

                    That meant plenty of “yes, sir” and “no, sir” in the Jackson household but it also began a cultivation process in the planting of those seeds of leadership.

                    Jackson learned a lot of the details from his father, things like always being on time, keeping your word and being dressed presentably for every occasion. Those little things that can determine one’s character.

                    “You have to go through a maturation of becoming a leader,” Jackson said. “Everyone doesn’t have leadership qualities but those...
                    -10-08-2009, 09:20 AM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Jackson Energized By Adventurous Offseason
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    Jackson Energized by Adventurous Offseason
                    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

                    By Nick Wagoner
                    Senior Writer

                    Lying on an operating table following back surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in early April, Steven Jackson couldn’t help but let his mind drift to the idea of football mortality.

                    In his six years in the NFL, Jackson had never suffered an injury serious enough that he had to undergo offseason surgery let alone feel any pain of any kind that extended beyond a normal three to four week rest period in January.

                    But for the first time, Jackson was going to have an offseason quite different from any of his previous ones.

                    It was then and there that Jackson decided to cut it loose and take a different approach to how he’d spend his summer vacation.

                    “I had uncertainty in my health for the majority of the offseason and was not really enjoying myself,” Jackson said. “It allowed me to really think about the NFL and sometimes you think you can play this game forever. It was a reality check, one that I was probably taking for granted because I have always been healthy for the most part. This time I had to rehab, go through the operation. I was constantly working and not enjoying myself in my down time. Once the back was feeling good and I was feeling physically fit, I wanted to take advantage of my opportunities to enjoy myself.”

                    OUTSIDE THE LINES

                    Each offseason, Jackson makes it a point to try to see at least one new country, if not more. Long before the surgery, Jackson had already planned to venture to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.

                    In addition to South Africa, he’d also planned to make stops in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. Along the way, Jackson initially figured he’d see the historical sites, tour the land and sample the local food.

                    At some point during the back issues, Jackson morphed into the Vinnie Chase character from Entourage who used a back injury of his own to develop a desire for thrill seeking adventures.

                    So Jackson called his travel agent and added shark diving, three safaris and sand dune hikes to his itinerary.

                    “I just kind of wanted to go into overcoming fears and living outside the lines and boundaries,” Jackson said. “You hear people all the time say that your mind traps you in fear. I kind of tried to step outside of myself and mimic somewhat of a daredevil. This year, I told my travel agent ‘let’s walk on the wild side a little bit.’”

                    Of all of the heart pounding exploits on his trip, it was the first one that really set the tone.

                    On his first day in Cape Town, Jackson hopped on a boat and was ferried to an area known as Seal Island, where great white sharks are known to congregate in large groups.

                    After a bit of trepidation, Jackson climbed into a cage, was hooked up to an...
                    -09-07-2010, 03:53 PM