Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Goldman’s Goat

While many in Richmond have been fascinated by VCU’s unexpected success in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, gadfly Paul Goldman has apparently been suffering. You see, the whole town has been talking about the Rams stunning victory over the Jayhawks on Sunday. It seems that in the shadow of all the big sports news, lately, folks have not been paying enough attention to poor Mr. Goldman's opinions.

This week it's all about V! C! U!

So, STYLE Weekly’s publisher decided to go against the grain and let Goldman out of his padded cell. With a cover story about what it called “An improbable, unthinkable weekend," the magazine filled its Back Page with an anti-sports screed that would be a reach any week.

Perhaps STYLE wanted to throw a bone to its readers who hate sports, but there's just no reason to connect Joey Rodriguez and Shaka Smart to any of the problems Goldman mentioned.

It's hardly news that Goldman is still pissed off because the city’s government still hasn’t solved the problems on his list of pet peeves. However, it seems what has really gotten Goldman’s goat this time is that like so many people all over the metro area, Richmond’s elected officials seem to be enjoying VCU’s miracle run in the tournament.
Despite spending millions of dollars on more studies and commissions, the city has no workable plan, in terms of a real-time document officials could produce if subpoenaed into court, for creating jobs and improving education, transportation, housing and health care. But the mayor and City Council say not to worry — Richmond basketball makes us a first-tier city.

We have no economic development plan for Shockoe Bottom, the Boulevard, downtown or any place in the city that would pass muster in any of Richmond’s many successful businesses’ planning offices. But the mayor and City Council say not to worry — Richmond basketball makes us a first-tier city.
Click here to read Goldman’s “Fantasy Camp.”

This piece could easily have run two or three weeks from now and it would have done just as much good, whatever that good might be.

Instead, the magazine’s decision-makers saw fit to air out Goldman‘s laundry list of familiar I-told-you-so grievances this Wednesday, three days before VCU (28-11) will play Butler (27-9). Saturday’s semifinal game (6 p.m on CBS) will be the most important sporting event any team from the City of Richmond has ever been a part of … in any sport.

Well, given the timing of this thing, I'm calling Goldman’s latest demand for attention a deliberate foul. I'm kicking Goldman and his goat out of the game.

Go Rams!


Scott said...

Look the VCU basketball team is great. No doubt about it. That team is amazing.

Does that mean we shut off all critical thinking until the FInal Four is done?

While Goldman could have written it better, I think his piece expressed shared concern that this city (and country, for that matter) is in a state of denial about the challenges it faces.

You know, I am glad Obama and VCU can do no wrong in your world, but I hope you leave some room for the rest of us who are not so distracted by college basketball.

F.T. Rea said...

Scott, sorry, this really isn't the best week for being strident and anti-sports. But I'm not surprised, as your perpetual hate for VCU is well documented.

Maybe you just can't stand it when you are numb to the joy others are feeling. Given its timing, Goldman's silly rant was nothing short of mean-spirited.

Go Rams!

Scott said...

You are wrong. I don't hate VCU. Many of my friends went to school there. I agree Go Rams!

What I dislike is blind boosterism. I dislike Trani's corporate expansionism. I dislike dangerous denial of the challenges this city and country are facing.

its not anti-VCU basketball to be concerned as well as celebratory about what their success might mean for Richmond.

You are really going to twist those things into being strident and anti-sports? That's sad and that's totally your hang-up, not mine or Goldman's.

RobinsonSt said...

Scott, the biggest success of VCU's Final Four run is the potential it has to attract new ideas and people to Richmond. Besides hearing about our past crime issues, or mentions of Project Exile's initial success, or small obscure media blips, like Henrico County's MacBook stampede (which was reported as being in "Richmond"), Richmond does not get national exposure often, especially positive exposure. For the past two weeks, RVA's media presence changed drastically and, best of all, it was free. As someone who claims to hold Richmond's old guard with such disdain, it's important to understand the long-term impact the influx of more and more college students has--ultimately, it dilutes the old ways. As much as older residents may or may not like VCU's affect on The City, whether it's concerns about noise or parking, it's important not to underestimate the impact VCU's student body has had on: increasing our property values, increasing RVA's census population totals, improving our cultural offerings, keeping our art community thriving, and more than likely doubling the number of renovated properties in the past decade. Motivating everyone to register, be politically active, and vote is another matter, but signs of improvement are abound (We never do anything too fast here, do we?). Goldman wanted to rain on VCU's parade, and his article was most certainly in poor taste.