Friday, November 13, 2009

Bob Weeks profiles Jim Armstrong

Noted curling author Bob Weeks has a profile of Jim Armstrong in the Globe and Mail. It rehashes the same information that has been appearing in the mainstream media for several months now.

Jim told me that he'd done the interview. "Bob Weeks is a good guy," he said. "I'll be disappointed if it turns out to be only about me."

Jim has always emphasised two things abut his connection to wheelchair curling: that he's in it for the long haul, and it's not all about him.

It's understandable that editor's look for the celebrity angle, but it's a missed opportunity when a curling writer makes no effort to look beyond personality.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

We do have to remember, though, Eric, that Jim has brought the sport a ton of coverage we never would have got otherwise. Good on Bob Weeks for showing a bit of a different slant....REMEMBER, this is the GLOBE AND MAIL.

Eric Eales said...

My point, that I put in an email to Bob Weeks, is that it wasn't a different slant. It was a rehash of every mainstream media article that has been written about Jim this year.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Bob Weeks managed to put a little more intimate side to Jim.

Also, check out the related links...all OLYMPIC SPORTS, NOT Paralympic.....another feather for wheelchair curling....

Anonymous said...

But, Eric....while You and Jim may have a preference, celebrity stance was where this was to be profiled, and any article is better than NO article....keep up the good work, Jim

Anonymous said...

Gret article, and great for the sport

Anonymous said...

All good for this article....well done, yet again....can you imagine how little media coverage we would have without Armstrong?

Anonymous said...

How is this for a point of view......I believe that the CCA and the wheelchair curling staff are expecting too much from Jim, way too soon for what he has gone through these past three months.....shoulder surgery while his wife is likely dying, a horrific car accident that he concedes he should have died, his wife dying within days of his accident.....the damage to his shoulder in the accident, the change in lifestyle.....and we still expect him to represent Canada in the sport that has the greatest growth potential in curling..........

Come on people, when is he going to run out of gas? Media interviews on a regular basis, practicing almost every day, competing almost every weekend....traveling tens of thousands of miles in the last few weeks...what if he is simply human, and burns out weeks before the Olympics????

No one can go through all of this without problems........I love what he has done for the sport, but he is human

Anonymous said...

This poster makes a number of good points...does Jim have the right to beg off of some of his obligations? Would this affect his carding?

Everyone understands that this is a big season for the sport, but are they compromising nowin the hopes that Jim will work his way through all of this?

Anonymous said...

My initial thought was that Jim is an adult, and can make the decisions, but you really look at what this guy has gone through, I don't know if anyone can objectively make all the decisions without some help. I hope the CCA Program is providing him with the supprt he needs.

Anonymous said...

These guys are absolutely right...love or hate him, Jim brings SO MUCH to the sport......I don't think we want to flog him today and have nothing left for the Big Race.....BE careful, CCA

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts.....

If you view Jim as "our celebrity", you think he gets what he deserves...reality is that he adopted us, and he did not set out to be our spokesperson......this guy is weathering an onslaught of pressures that we likely experienced only once, when we hit the chair.....

Let's support him...NO ONE thinks he is egotistical, not charismatic, nor did he sign up for his, now, celebrity status...

ask the Richmond wheelchair crew....everyone supports him for who he is...and so whould the entire wheelchair community..........

R

Anonymous said...

You know, perhaps it is time to simply endorse Jim, through Eric, as our spokesperson.....WHY NOT?....No one else gets media coverage, anyway, so let's marry our light..........

Anonymous said...

Sonja Gaudet is constantly in the media,read Eric's website

Anonymous said...

Sonja is a good spokesperson, but does not attract the mainstream media like Jim

Eric Eales said...

It's obviously true that Jim Armstrong is generating mainstream media attention. He has a compelling personal story and is an all-round great guy.

But we don't want public perception of wheelchair curling to be of a sport that is a celebrity vehicle for ex-Brier competitors.

The target audience to grow the sport is wheelchair users. We (also) need publicity that appeals to them.

Anonymous said...

Well, Eric,

Let's not blame im for his celebrity status, or his success in the able-bodied game.

I hear what you are saying, but you must remember that Jim caonnot edit his interviews.

You do continue to support his "long term" committment to wheelchair curling, so I imagine that as his transition story gets overworked, he can lead reporters back to the joys of the sport. The Weeks' intervies was certainly an up close and personal kind of intervies, which paralleled the other stories done by other writers.

Good intervies, by a great guy.

Eric Eales said...

I'm really not sure why so many who comment here see everything through a lens of potential criticism of Jim. No one is blaming Jim for the cult of personality being forced on him, and indeed I know he is doing what he can to discourage it.

Personally I expected better from Bob Weeks, given his involvement in the sport. He is not some general news or sports flack coming to an unfamiliar subject, and I thought his report was, let's just leave it as disappointing. (And told him so, not that he has any reason to care what I think.)

Anonymous said...

To the contrary, Eic, I, and many others found the article newsy, personal (since he has obviously written about Jim for years), and a very enjoyable read. Obviously it doesn't delve inot the whole story of wheelchair curling, but who really cares. It was good, and with it will come, I am sure other interviews, and all that is good.....remember this was in the GLOBE AND MAIL....and exposure of this type is good for the sport.

Anonymous said...

Eric, Don't be critical of Bob Weeks' We can certainly use someone with his following, and you emailing him criticizing him does notheing for the future. You cannot get your point across by jumping on him

Anonymous said...

The earlier blogger makes a good point. If I were Armstrong' handlers, I would be seriously concerned with burn-out prior to Paralympics. It seems like they flogging their favourite horse, and hope he doesn't die before the finish. Be careful. CCA.

Anonymous said...

Absolutrly correct.......take it easy on Jim, CCA, since you are betting a ton on him for March....

Anonymous said...

I don't think Jim is really at risk of runnng out of gas....if he feels pushed, I am sure he will push back.

Remeber, he doesn't feel like his spot is at risk with the team.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that jIim would be torn between his own needs and his perceived obligation to the National Program.

The CCA should be proactive in handling Jim's obligations, and making sure he will be ready when he is most needed.

I hear his shoulder is still a major problem, and he is still practicing almost every day.

Anonymous said...

Jim's committment to the CCA Program is matched by hi moral obligation to the sport. Look for some change post 2010 The CCA HAS to listen to his suggestions if he is to continue under their umbrella.

Anonymous said...

While one would like to think that Jim would be unique, and get by the self-serving part of the involvement with CCA, do you really think he will champion any cause of us low-life regular players? I hope so, but asking a lot.

Anonymous said...

Why , why do you people elavate Jim to this GOd like status????

Yes, a good player, yes has done alot but part of alll of this is due to the paralymic hipe!!!!!

Any other year and Jim is just JIm>

COME ON PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

Point taken, BUT it is a Paralympic year, and it IS in Canada, and with Jim, Canada IS a if not THE favourite for the first time ever......

Thus Jim's importance, ignoring the media following he brings anyway.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone should question Jim's impact or involvement in our sport.

One simply has to ask oneself who is the most identifiable player in the sport, by far?

End of discussion.

Anonymous said...

Jim is not "God", but in this gig, he is the next best for promotion.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break, Canada was a favourite at the last games as well...and oh THEY WON!!!!!!

Do not discredit those that came before Jim.

Jim is not a god!!!! Jim is just Jim!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Who is the most Identifable....

Sonja
Daryll
Ina
Chris Daw
Gary Cormack

How about any one of the player who play!

Jim is not the most identifiable he is just point out becuase he is Skip of the team as Daw was when he was skip.

Jim alos has a story....Brier, wife, etc.

Jim get the news coverage not because of his impact to the sport but because he has a story.

If Sonja, or Ina had something happen to them then the focus would change.

Have you ever watched the news....

Come on people, come back to reality

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry, jim is the most identifiable...he has the interesting story, he has the profile, he is as good as there is, and he is an interesting interview....get used to it.