RCS Sidelines

September 9, 2009 5:55 PM

Sports Columnist Fail: Mark Whicker

As you may have heard, Jaycee Dugard was recently rescued and reunited with her family after missing for more than 18 years. She was abducted in 1991, at the age of 11, and was held captive in a shed in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido. During her time, Dugard was forced to bear two children. It was obviously a terrible and unimaginable ordeal she had to endure. So why is it being mentioned, at all, on a sports site? Because of the Orange County Register’s Mark Whicker.

It doesn't sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page.

Box scores were not available to her from June 10, 1991 until Aug. 31 of this year.

She never saw a highlight. Never got to the ballpark for Beach Towel Night. Probably hasn't high-fived in a while.

She was not allowed to spike a volleyball. Or pitch a softball. Or smack a forehand down the line. Or run in a 5-footer for double bogey.

Now, that's deprivation.

Can you imagine? Dugard was 11 when she was kidnapped and stashed in Phillip Garrido's backyard. She was 29 when she escaped. Penitentiary inmates at least get an hour of TV a day. Dugard was cut off from everything but the elements.

How long before she fully digests the world she re-enters? How difficult to adjust to such cataclysmic change?

Yes, after everything Dugard had been through, Whicker decided that the thing she needed the most was an 800-word recap of what she missed in the world of sports during the past 18 years.

The column is full of snarky, trite and insulting one-liners, on everything from NASCAR ("Stock car drivers now marry international models and are invited to the White House.") to high school football ("You missed absolutely no Servite victories over Mater Dei in football.") to Major League Baseball ("Joe Torre now manages the Dodgers, after a fruitful detour through New York. Tommy Lasorda? Sure, he's around. He hasn't called?").

Then to wrap it up, Whicker offers this gem: "Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard."

Whicker (whose Twitter account has now been protected...shocker!), and the OC Register, should be embarrassed that his column was ever published. Yes, Mark, many odd things have indeed happened in sports the past 18 years. And now, many more ignorant things have been written in the past two days.

Many odd things have happened in sports the past 18 years - Mark Whicker

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