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saintz08 01-11-2003 10:11 AM

The Haz Perspective
This column stinks, and it's your fault


By Chris Rose
Staff writer/The Times-Picayune

I've been off of work for the past two weeks. You might think the most poignant event during this time would have been the birth of my third child last Monday, but you would be wrong.

The most life-altering occasion of the past two weeks for me was the loss of the Saints to the Carolina Panthers and the team's total self-immolation and subsequent failure to reach the playoffs, and then the team's collective condemnation of the fans for their troubles -- led by the whining and infallible coach Jim Haslett.

But maybe he was on to something. I've had some time to think about this. This is not some off-the-cuff, post-game locker room remark I'm about to make here. But I want to get this off my chest: I have come to the conclusion that the reason my column sucks is because of you.

That's right: You, the reader. You don't support me. The reason I have never won a Pulitzer Prize is because you have not stood behind me in my times of tribulation but instead, at breakfast, you have booed me.

Don't think I haven't heard it, and don't think it doesn't affect my work. How can I be expected to deliver droll and witty commentary to your breakfast table every morning when you greet the delivery of the newspaper wearing a paper bag over your head?

No wonder I suck. I write a crappy column because of you. It's not my fault. It has nothing to do with my lack of work ethic. It has nothing to do with my lack of heart and my lack of preparation. It has nothing to do with my surly attitude nor my grandiose and delusional posturing and self-worship.

It has nothing to do with my decades-long legacy of suckiness.

(And don't call my miserable writing performance at the end of 2002 a "collapse." That's not what it was. It was something else. But I don't have the right word for it. Because I suck. And that's your fault.)

Yes, I know you've been subscribers for many years and have remained loyal subscribers through all my empty promises, through so many columns that looked informative and entertaining at the beginning, only to devolve into just another Britney Spears piffle piece, more of the same-ol' same-ol'.

Through all the subscription rate increases and personnel changes at The Times-Picayune, you have been there. I realize that.

But it's still your fault that I suck.

Sure, maybe there are some of you out there who do love me, who support me with phone calls and e-mails and pats on the back, but then you go and belittle the work of my esteemed colleagues -- my editors, for instance -- but just remember this: When you boo my quarterback, you are booing me.

When you have a big hoo-ha at the expense of some sucky Angus Lind column, then you are mocking me, too, for we are a team -- me, Angus and the rest.

We all suck together.

And it's your fault.

You know, I've worked at other papers in other towns and it was different there. I felt the unflagging love and support of the readers. There's just something different about this place, I guess.

(Never mind that 49ers fans booed the hell out their team last week and the team responded, not by folding and then giving the collective finger to their fans, but by bucking up and mounting the second-greatest come-from-behind victory in playoff history. But that's about football and this column is not about football. It's about me. Again. And it sucks. And that's your fault.)

You don't deserve me. I should move to San Antonio. I need a new facility, a bigger newsroom. I need speedier news clerks around me.

I don't know. Maybe I should just work harder. Maybe I'll just have shoulder surgery and hope it makes my writing better.

But I seriously doubt it.

I lie awake nights, not because there's some screaming newborn in the next room, but because I can't fathom why you, the readers -- my fans! -- won't give me the love and respect that you give that diminutive and truck-drivin' Michael Lewis, the only Saint who didn't seem to blame fans for the team's colossal meltdown this season.

Why can't you accord me the same affection?

After all, I love beer, too.

. . . . . . .

WhoDat 01-11-2003 04:12 PM

The Haz Perspective
I am framing that article. That might be the single best article I have ever read.

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