‘Booster Proud of His Largess and Game-Day Parties’ Analysis

He may not be the world’s most interesting man, but he certainly could make a case.

Roy Adams, a 75-year-old super-fan extraordinaire, is one of those rare people you meet in life where there is really nobody like him. He was described in the story as “the Great Gatsby of college sports” due to his lavish parties that really, in a way, are only comparable to something you get out of a book/movie, like “The Great Gatsby.”

This man was a former University of Tennessee booster, who has just about probably always done exactly what he wants to do in life. He is one of the few boosters that openly admits to providing impermissible benefits to players, while shrugging it off as no big deal.

“I knew the N.C.A.A. rules,” he said. “I just didn’t care for them.”

Even as just a mere reader who has never met Roy Adams or heard him talk, I can tell you that he is most definitely a quote machine based off that quote alone. The writer of the piece, Ben Strauss, did a good job by feeding us no mundane quotes. Every quote he used from Adams was gold, but then again going back to what I was saying, as a perceived quote machine, I don’t think Strauss was ever going to have a hard time getting great quotes into this story from Adams.

Another great thing Strauss did when he wrote this piece is how he told the story. In more cases than not, you’re not going to start a profile story on someone with basic information, like the person’s birthplace and who their parents were. That’s not to say that’s not important information that shouldn’t be included at all in the story, but that’s something that anyone can probably look up on the Internet. I want to know interesting details, which is exactly what Strauss did and did well.

The detail and description used was excellent. Although he’s the type of guy that you can probably get a worthy story out of just by talking to him on the street, this story was really made because of his house and the weekly gameday parties he throws there on Saturdays.

It was things like knowing that there weren’t just a lot of TVs in his house, but that there are 36 in all across five TV viewing rooms, in addition to three game rooms and a wet bar. He has a picture with Nick Saban hanging on the wall, and a signed picture of Richard Nixon, too. There is also a urinal in the pantry and a stuffed deer head on the wall. I even know that at these Gatsby-esque parties, there are big-name people who attend, such as Romaro Miller, Bobby Ray Franklin and Ron Gust. All in all, just great storytelling on the writer’s part.

So to sum things up, it was definitely a piece I enjoyed. Sure, I am maybe a little biased because I really enjoy college football, but I think it was a compelling enough story where even someone who doesn’t like sports at all could enjoy it. I think that if you can accomplish that as a writer than it was probably a job well done on your part.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/sports/ncaafootball/booster-proud-of-his-largess-and-game-day-parties.html

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