Sports Outside the Beltway

What were they thinking- Mark Whicker and the Orange County Register

Sports Columnist Mark Whicker wrote a column yesterday about all the sports events Jaycee Dugard missed over the last 18 years. Who is Jaycee Duggard? She was an 11-year-old girl abducted in 1991 by Phillip and Nancy Garrido and had only escaped captivity late this last August. For 18 years Jaycee was held captive by a sex offender and had two children by Philip Garrido. If you want to read more about Dugard’s experience, click here or just do a google search.

A girl has been violated and scarred for life and some sports writer thinks this is a good hook for a column. A column about all the trivia she missed out in life while she was abused and tortured. I don’t know what is more appalling, that Whicker thought this was suitable for a sports column, or that his editorial supervisors at the Orange County Register approved it for publication. All the scorn that is being thrown at Whicker and the Orange County Register are well deserved in my opinion.

Tomorrow is 9-11′s eigth anniversary. If Whicker’s editors and the public hadn’t given him such a smacking to his brain matter deprived head, I could have just seen him writing a similar column featuring what the people killed on 9-11 missed over the last eight years.

BTW Whicker takes full credit for what he wrote. Columnists are often told by their editor to write about a topic but Whicker is not taking that way out.

Whicker came out and apologized today. The apology is worthless in IMHO. Why is that? Whicker had an email exchange with Michael David Smith of Fanhouse. He said it should come as no shock that Whicker’s clumsy attempt of using Duggard’s tragedy as fodder for a sports column has horrified and shocked people. Whicker then told Smith in a second email.

“Thanks for ripping me. I’m really happy I devoted part of this very hectic day responding to someone who had as little interest in my viewpoint as the crazies out there.”

Whicker is so sick between the ears he thinks his behavior is normal. What a pathetic human being he is. In light of his reply to Smith, Whicker’s apology should be considered both insincere and worthless. I’m betting he was made to apologize and feels he did nothing at all wrong.

Also I could point out that if Whicker or his employer wanted the apology taken seriously, it might help if they didn’t place an advertisement featuring a big breasted woman on the same web page. It makes it look like the OC Register and Whicker still have their heads in their rectums the gutter.

Ryan Ballangee writes-

Look, I try to make connections between social and political events with the sport that I cover. It’s natural to try to use sports to put things into context, and vice versa when the tone of sport needs to be reset. But nearly two decades of personal hell and painful captivity at the hands of a deranged freak of society is no context for an escape like sport is for many people.

Whicker may as well have used the Holocaust to talk about how 6 million Jews really lost out on some great World Cup action after World War II ended. It is that bad.

Clearly, Whicker did not have any kind of empathy for Jaycee Dugard or her family. Using their ordeal – and that’s putting it mildly – as a basis for a lame column defining a sports time capsule screams of someone who simply does not get what has been happening to Dugard without his knowledge until just a few weeks ago.

Every writer makes a big mistake like this at least once in their career.


Mark Whicker probably shouldn’t get fired for what he wrote. Far worse is said in all corners of the Internet everyday about a host of people. What Whicker needs, though, is a serious adjustment in his perspective about the connection between life and sport.

Sport, yes, is an escape and Whicker’s sentiment in that regard is correct. Sport could never be used to explain something like what happened to Jaycee Dugard. To even try to make the connection is just rubbing salt in the many deep wounds that Dugard has because of what Phillip Garrido has done.

Much of what Ryan writes, I agree with. Except I think Whicker and whomever at the Register who approved that pile of excrement impersonating as a piece of journalism should be held accountable. Whicker should be fired, that will send a message loud and clear. Induction into Sports Journalism’s Hall of Shame just isn’t good enough. The rape, kidnapping, and torture of a being found suitable for a sports column should lead to permanent banishment from the profession of journalism.

Note- I won’t quote one word from Whicker’s column. It is such a piece of filth, I won’t let it soil this website. You’ll have to go to the link if you want to read it yourself.

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