Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thoughts on Justice

The things that bother Hugh Douglas about Winston Justice are cause for serious concern. But do any of us want to be defined by our worst moment?

Thoughts on Justice


     In today's Daily News, I lay out the popular criticism of offensive tackle Winston Justice, as voiced by former Eagle Hugh Douglas. There's no doubt that Justice's performance, the one time the Eagles really needed him to step up in a meaningful game, was horrifying. There's certainly room for a lot of concern about Justice's competitive makeup. When I asked him yesterday if anyone, other than Douglas, had ever questioned his heart, Justice said: "He's the first one that did it out loud."

    That wasn't too reassuring.

    But here's where Hugh and I differ. Yeah, he knows more than I do about what makes a football player, and maybe he really can say, for sure, that Justice doesn't have it. But I always try to put myself in the shoes of the person I'm interviewing. An ability to do that is one of the requirements for this job (along with an ability to scarf down prodigious amounts of free food). When I stand across from Winston Justice, I can't help but think that I would not want to be judged by my worst professional moment. Would you?

    I've been a sports writer for 30 years now. A few times, the worst of them very early in my career, I made really dumb, careless mistakes. Not dishonest or malicious mistakes, but brain-cramp screwups that could cause a reasonable person to wonder if I was cut out for this business. I survived them, maybe partly because I didn't have a journalistic Hugh Douglas figure peering over my shoulder, announcing to the world that I would never have what it takes.

      Yeah, journalism isn't pro sports. And every sport is different. A rookie pitcher can come competely apart in his first start, throw every pitch to the backstop, get lifted in the first inning, and the consensus will be that he just needs seasoning. But if you're a young offensive tackle and you fall apart on the field, you're forever a hopeless wuss?

     Maybe so. Again, Hugh Douglas is a former Pro Bowl player, I'm an old guy who stands on the sideline. Maybe the guys who practice with Justice every day see the same things Hugh sees, and they tell him that.

       But if I were in charge of the Eagles, I'd have to put Winston Justice back out there, in a meaningful situation, against good competition, at least once or twice more before I came to any sweeping, permanent conclusions

Staff Writer
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Les Bowen Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter