Monday, March 05, 2007

just another American family.

Sports coverage outside of the NY/NJ area in the New York Times is actually interesting to me -- they have writers who find interesting and compelling human interest stories about athletes and their families, and UNLV forward Joe Darger's is no different.

Darger gets about six points a night in a little more than 13 minutes of action, but the NYT's fascination with him has more to do with his unorthodox family -- his father is a practicing polygamist, and the total number of kids is 19 -- and how they follow him around in games. (The article's tone is good -- I'm not a polygamy fan, but I think non-condemnation's a good way to go here.)

His story is interesting for the way we handle stories outside the accepted or common Judeo-Christian norms; Mormonism is one of the last few religious practices with a history banded about as "weird" in America (Islam is another; Buddhism has always seemed more of a philosophy to Americans.) Most of the stories we get about the old polygamist practices are about the ugly fallout -- see Warren Jeffs for the latest example -- but Darger's sounds highly all-American and pretty consistent with a strong, religious background, except for that one "deviant" aspect (it is worth noting that his father said he and his wives don't force their life choices on the kids.)

Darger's is a Rorschach test; we will read what we want out of it since the writer's tone seems neutral enough -- it's just an interesting backstory in college basketball, where there are plenty to be had, although many more of them have to do with rising above poverty, violence, etc. What will happen, though, if the NYT isn't exactly the last word on this? We may find out, depending on how UNLV performs in two weeks.

6 comments:

Mini Me said...

There is nothing wrong with polygamy in my opinion. People should do what they want to do as long as they aren't harming others.

Scrap said...

I agree and so do my four wives.

Sanchez said...

lol scrap.

Nice article, I wonder how this might develop?

Anonymous said...

wow i freaking go to unlv and i didnt know this, there are a bunch of mormons out here as they did found some outpost in the 1850's, dargers a pretty good shooter too this is kinda awesome.

mark said...

Congrats on winning the Crag.....

NFL Adam said...

Hey, they always do stories about players from single-parent families. It's nice to see somebody trying to even it out.