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Friday, June 16, 2006
Vecsey's Thoughts on Fortson v. Colangelo

I asked Peter Vecsey if he had any thoughts I could share with our readers regarding his victory in Fortson v. Colangelo, which I blogged about yesterday. Here's his response:
From: Peter.Vecsey
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 4:36 AM
To: Rapp, Geoffrey
Subject: RE: Fortson v. Colangelo

As a veteran NBA columnist/analyst, upon cringing at the sight of Danny Fortson, "The Flagrant Forward," unconscionably upend Zarko Cabarkapa in mid-flight, I couldn't help but insult him every way imaginable.

If you've played the game at any level, it's understood how dangerous it is to knock someone off balance or be knocked off balance while stretched out airborne holding the ball. You're completely vulnerable. It's like slipping on ice. You're walking gingerly and suddenly you're seeing your legs splayed above your head and your back and neck are about to hit the ground hard with scant reflex time to brace your fall, other than throw your arm back.

This is what Zarko did and, as a result, he broke his wrist. He lost almost the entire season a rookie year (maybe even a career) that had been very promising. While physically repaired, I'm still not sure if he has recuperated from the mental trauma. The Suns certainly didn't think he had because they traded him first chance they could.

In any event, the 6-8, 260-pound Fortson's intentional two-handed shove of a defenseless opponent was as dirty as it gets, especially since the game had long been decided. There was nothing to gain other than to show people how little regard he had for another human being. Had that happened in a playground, schoolyard, "Y" or whatever, and the submarined player was able to get up in one piece, there would've been a fight.

Fortson prides himself on being an enforcer. He relishes his role as a hit man. His eyes flash demonically after nailing opponents with forearms to the backs of heads. He loves that distracted opponents fear how far he might escalate his bent for violence. He revels they're always on the lookout. He wants us to believe he's the baddest bully on David Stern's block. He wishes there were no referees to protect them.

Next thing you know, Fortson, a multi-repeat offender when it comes to uncivilized behavior between the lines, is crying to the court because Jerry Colangelo and I branded him a thug...when, in fact, he is a broken down wanksta.

The court should have thrown out Danny Pigtails' frivolity at first base, not wait until it was rounding third and charging into home plate.

Outsiders may view the court's decision as merely a first amendment victory. Or, because Fortson is a public figure, they may believe proving slander against a columnist with an acutely negative opinion, is impossible. I find comfort in the cliche that there's no defense as unbeatable as the truth.

Peter Vecsey


My earlier comment doesn't seem to have made it through, so apologies if this is posted twice.

I noted Vecsey's language in his e-mail: "...I couldn't help but insult him every way imaginable."

Just wondering if the Torts experts think his column still qualifies as "rhetorical hyperbole." Sounds like there was clearly intent to injure. Maybe it's good (for Vecsey) the case has already been decided.

Blogger Jeff McFarland -- 6/16/2006 12:58 PM  

Definetly a good thing to see this case over and done. Vecsey's comments could be taken in a different context, even though I agree with what was said.

Anonymous Sports Overload -- 6/16/2006 2:39 PM  

I'm not opposed to an 'enforcer', but Fortson goes way beyond that. To the point he really should have been suspended for a season if not kicked out altogether. I hate Vecsey, but this one time only I fully agree.

Blogger BLAZER PROPHET -- 6/16/2006 5:10 PM  

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