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Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

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  • Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

    What can Steven Jackson do now?

    By Bryan Burwell

    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 credible evidence out there, then and only then would it be treated as news.

    But the rules have changed. Tabloids have tossed innuendo into the mainstream, and it's way past time for athletes to catch on to that unsettling rule change. Your reputation is for sale, and you aren't necessarily the one who is conducting the auction anymore.

    The wink-and-a-smile, "boys will be boys" tolerance of the past has been ditched. If you're going to behave badly, someone is going to blow your cover. If you're acting like a clown, someone's going to either take your photo or shoot a video, then blast it on the Internet. If you're a thug or a phony, you will eventually get exposed.

    And that's just if you're lucky.

    If your luck runs out, you could end up in jail, or in court, or in the tabloids battling to scrub all the muck off your damaged image. If you have any skeletons, someone is going to find them, and if the price is right, they're going to sell them to the highest bidder.

    And those are just the penalties if you're guilty as sin. The cost is even greater if you're just plain stupid or a naïve innocent who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging with the wrong people who can only look at you and hear the sound CHA-CHING ringing in their larcenous heads.

    Sooner or later, everyone who lives inside that bubble better get smart and figure out this modern reality, and accept that the cost for not understanding can be the erosion of a reputation that will never be fully restored.

  • #2
    Re: Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

    The best thing for Jackson to do is nothing. Don't make an issue where none exists. Don't discuss it, don't volunteer at a womens' shelter, don't make statements to the press- NOTHING. The passage of time will make it a dead issue. Conduct yourself properly and act classy at all times. Take stock of yourself and make any changes in your personal life that need to be made. A 2nd "allegation" won't be so easy to dismiss.

    Don't worry about the bloggers and others who spout profanity and hate. They have nothing better to do. This too will subside- until another scandal involving someone else rears its head and their attention is focused elsewhere.


    • #3
      Re: Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

      Originally posted by nj ramsfan1 View Post
      the best thing for jackson to do is nothing. Don't make an issue where none exists. Don't discuss it, don't volunteer at a womens' shelter, don't make statements to the press- nothing. The passage of time will make it a dead issue. Conduct yourself properly and act classy at all times. Take stock of yourself and make any changes in your personal life that need to be made. A 2nd "allegation" won't be so easy to dismiss.

      Don't worry about the bloggers and others who spout profanity and hate. They have nothing better to do. This too will subside- until another scandal involving someone else rears its head and their attention is focused elsewhere.
      +1 .


      • #4
        Re: Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

        I enjoyed reading this article, if only for the fact that is echoes my sentiment about tabloid media. I would be surprised if TMZ ever ran a story about Steven Jackson prior to this, unless it was another story where they were running his name through the mud. And they'll probably only run "stories" pertaining to this incident in the future. They really have no business in the sports world and should just stay out of it.


        • #5
          Re: Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

          At this point, I'm not sure that the PD has the right to condescend to the "tabloids."


          • #6
            Re: Burwell: What Can Steven Jackson Do Now?

            I think the whole non sufficient evidence is just for them to keep face in she's lying.

            I do not buy a word of it and keep to my stance about Jackson being a model citizen, and a special player. He is my favorite and I stand fully 100% behind him.

            I think this is another quick money grab, and that the media's job is to sell papers even if it is not fact.

            Go Rams :helmet:


            Related Topics


            • r8rh8rmike
              Burwell: Jackson Story Is Bad News
              by r8rh8rmike
              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...
              -01-30-2010, 01:17 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
            • RamWraith
              Jackson need not apologize for speaking out truthfully
              by RamWraith
              By Bryan Burwell
              Friday, Sep. 21 2007

              Leadership comes in many forms. It can be as subtle as a look, as complicated
              as a plan, as forceful as a sermon or as compelling as the cult of personality.

              In the simulated battlefield environment of pro football, leadership is most
              often identified in emotional men who rage wonderfully in the heat of battle.
              There is no place on the football field for anyone who cringes or panics in
              their athletic wars. So it strikes me a little odd that anyone would demand or
              quietly coax an apology from Rams running back Steven Jackson for baring his
              dissatisfaction with another fourth-quarter meltdown by his team in last
              Sunday's 17-16 loss to the San Francisco *****.

              I would never undercut the passion that Jackson shows on the field. I would
              never suggest for a second that he turn down his competitive fire even one
              notch. I would never discourage the intensity he carries in his gut and the
              will to win that he displays every time he steps on the field. In fact, I would
              stoke it so all his positive emotion spreads to some of his underachieving and
              nonchalant teammates.

              A year ago, quarterback Marc Bulger ripped into unnamed underachieving
              teammates, and he was hailed as a team leader. He exposed some unvarnished,
              inconvenient truths about the passion and commitment of some of his teammates,
              and Bulger was not convinced to tone down, smooth over or distill his outrage.

              There was no polite backtracking, and there never should have been. It was the
              last thing that struggling team needed at the time, and it's the last thing the
              Rams need now as they try to break out of this mistake-filled 0-2 start to the
              2007 regular season. Nearly 10 months ago, Bulger was trying to rattle a few
              cages and deliver a message that there were more than a few young, gifted and
              underachieving athletes on this squad who must learn, as Bulger put it, the
              difference between being a professional and being on scholarship.

              And here we are with another Rams team struggling to get its act together and
              another team leader expressing his outrage over the way things are going.
              That's what leaders are supposed to do, and he has no reason to apologize.

              Instead of questioning him, the folks at Rams Park ought to listen carefully to
              Jackson, mimick his desire and share his hatred of losing these close and
              winnable ball games.

              It has been a long time since the Rams have had such an athlete like Jackson, a
              rising star who wants to race full speed into the burning spotlight and take on
              all the joys and burdens of stardom: high performance, visibility, high
              character, role model and team leader.

              I don't...
              -09-21-2007, 04:41 AM
            • 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
            • MauiRam
              Jackson gets cleaned ..
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              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