Live too long and all your heroes will retire.Pretty much every sports fan knows that this saying eventually comes true, because athletes are human and knees give out and every career eventually comes to an end. I’ve seen some of my favorite players retire — Heather O’Reilly, Tony Gonzalez, Peyton Manning. It’s bittersweet, but you know it’s coming.And yet, when Adrian Wojnarowski announced on Monday night that long-time superstar writer Lee Jenkins would be leaving Sports Illustrated to work in the front office of the Los Angeles Clippers, I was stunned.I was partly confused because — I don’t know, because it didn’t make sense? As much as I respect Jenkins for his ability to interview athletes and craft a lede, I don’t see what he brings to the front office of any NBA team. What are the Clippers thinking? I’m fairly convinced Jenkins pulled off the greatest heist of all time, and I can’t begrudge him for it.But mostly, I was sad. Every young writer is raised on the work of the greats. When their columns and features are released, we cancel our plans and hunker down to read them. For any young writer desperate to get better, these people are our greatest teachers. We don’t just read their articles for fun. We rehash, we obsess, we dig through archives of their work to learn.That was Lee Jenkins for me. He was a tutor, a constant guide. Of course, he didn’t know this — I spoke to him in person a grand total of once, when he came to one of my classes last fall. (I was so excited when he walked in that I almost started crying.) But every time Jenkins wrote a profile, I was there, ready to rehash it all and figure out how the hell he wrote so well.As an intern at Sports Illustrated over the summer, I took full advantage of the publication’s archives database to scroll back through Jenkins’ body of work and reread each of his stories. There was always something to learn, something to gain in a Lee Jenkins piece. How to interview, how to select quotes, how to craft a transition or build to a conclusion. Each feature was a master class in the art of writing.Most importantly, however, Jenkins knew the key to great writing — how to make the reader feel something. His pieces made the reader feel as if they were there, in the hospital room with Chris Bosh, in the locker room with Kevin Durant. And he broke down pro athletes like nobody else, removing the statistics and the sponsorships to reveal the human underneath, and somehow coaxing that human to be vulnerable, at least for the length of his story.I want to write like Lee Jenkins. That’s not a bold statement in any terms, because every sports writer wants to write like him. So it’s a strange thing to mourn, perhaps, but it’s hard to face the fact that this teacher, who guided the way I wanted to write for so much of my life, is leaving us for good. If I had known his last article was, in fact, his last, I probably would’ve savored it a little bit more. Instead, we’re now left with an expansive backlog of his greatest hits. It’s not the worst thing, for sure; but there’s just a little less to look forward to when my copy of Sports Illustrated arrives every Thursday.Jenkins’ departure also leaves a hole in the world of sports writing. That hole feels approximately the same size as the one that Rick Reilly left when he retired (and then unretired again, only to write kind of badly, which was somehow worse than when he retired in the first place).Despite what movies like “Set It Up” might lead you to believe, there isn’t really such a thing as a “superstar” journalist, at least not in the written media. It’s rare to see a person become a mogul through their writing. While Peter King or Bill Simmons pulled this off by establishing their brands, it’s even more rare to see someone like Jenkins, who exists on a higher plane of sports writing simply through the power of his words.This is the writer who LeBron James hand-selected to announce his return home to Cleveland. The amount of respect that Jenkins commands is incomparable; he could enter the life of any NBA superstar and make himself completely at home. Over his career, Jenkins perfected the “art of hanging out,” the most vital skill for any journalist. Now, he’s as much a part of the NBA as any of the star athletes he wrote about.Who will follow in his stead? There’s certainly a wealth of great sportswriters in this world, but there’s no one quite like Jenkins. It’s hard to say who will rise up to this level after him, and how they will do it. But if anything, this change makes me excited to see who will come next.On Tuesday, I asked my sportswriting professor what he thought about Jenkins’ move, and his response surprised me. He wasn’t upset or sad; just happy that Jenkins had found a new avenue to pursue. He told me that it’s hard to grow old as a sportswriter. The job stops being fun, the shine of the athletes wear off, the words come less easily. For Jenkins, maybe it’s best to go out on top.For many of us this feels like a loss, but for Jenkins it’s just the next step. All we can do is be grateful, and spend way too much time reading those old features — and say thank you, for inspiring an entire generation of writers like me.Julia Poe is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs Thursdays.
Home » News » Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman calls for UK to stay in EU Customs Union previous nextRegulation & LawZoopla founder Alex Chesterman calls for UK to stay in EU Customs UnionEntrepreneur joins 100 other business leaders who have attacked the ‘softer Brexit’ agreed over the weekend by the Cabinet.Nigel Lewis9th July 201801,434 Views Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman has made a rare foray into politics after signing an open letter along side 100 other business people that calls for the UK to stay inside the EU Customs Union after it departs Europe next year.Organised by Innocent drinks founder Richard Reed (pictured, below), other signatories of the letter include Julian Metcalfe of Pret a Manger as well as the founders of clothing website Net-a-Porter, food firms Domino’s Pizza and Yo! Sushi plus clothing firm Jack Wills.The letter is a direct response to the ‘softer’ Brexit agreed at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequer’s cabinet gathering over the weekend.During the meeting a ‘facilitated customs arrangement’ was agreed. This would remove the need for a hard border with the EU in Ireland by making the UK into an EU Free Trade area.But the group of business leaders who signed the letters have attacked this solution as being not soft Brexit enough, while hard-line Brexiteers have criticised it for making too many concessions to the EU.The letter says that: “The cost, complexity and bureaucracy created by crashing out of the customs union and adopting alternative arrangements is the last thing that our businesses need as we seek to grow and employ more people. It would amount to the British government tying the hands of British business.”The letter also pleads with Conservative MPs to put aside their ideological differences and instead back a clutch of amendments introduced by several rebel Conservative MPs led by Anna Soubry and Labour’s Chuka Umunna.Customs UnionThese amendments have been added to a pair of customs and trade bills due to be debated in Parliament next week which would “offer business the certainty of remaining in a customs union with the European Union”.Last week Anna Soubry said that: “Beyond a fringe who are committed to leaving the EU for ideological reasons, Conservative MPs are instinctively pro-business and pragmatic.“They have seen the way in which leading businesses have warned about the potential for huge damage that a hard Brexit will bring, and they have heard business organisations and firms – large and small – make their case.”Read more about Brexit and property.Alex Chesterman Anna Soubry Brexit Brexit legal challenge Chuka umunna customs union July 9, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021