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Re-Write: Justin Blackmon Story



Welcome to a new feature here on Pistols Firing called “re-write” where we take stories done by NewsOK or the Tulsa World and re-write them the way we would have done them to begin with. I understand that creating a daily column is far from the easiest job in the world and I commend the work of journalists who clearly put the time in to produce a quality product. It irks me though when they mail columns in, and I feel like it happens more often than it should. So up first is Jenni Carlson’s story on Justin Blackmon. Read her version first before you read mine:

“It was a lot of pain”

Justin Blackmon was talking about his ankle after Bedlam, but he just as well could have been talking about his emotional state before the Kansas State game.

The arrest outside of Dallas, the DUI, the suspension – all written in permanent marker on his otherwise spotless college resume.

A resume that is shaping up to be one of the most well-rounded, if not historic, in Oklahoma State athletics history. Blackmon is having the most prolific season at wideout by anybody since Larry Fitzgerald was running routes in the Big East. He was simply better than anyone else who played Big XII football this season.

He also has full confidence from his head coach who, when asked about the DUI incident said, “It is unfortunate that this happened for him because he really is a good person” and “[he] has made a mistake and he is going to suffer the consequences.”

That’s a ringing endorsement from someone as long on coach-speak as Gundy.

It took a toll on Blackmon though, “sitting out a week,” he said, “you feel what it’s like to be away from the team. I just tried to be the best teammate I could be”

The way in which Blackmon handled the situation proved he meant what he said too.

Oklahoma State fans are well-versed by now on their wide receivers brushing up against authority. It was refreshing though, after everything that happened a year ago, to see a young man own his mistakes in a press conference just two days after he was arrested. It was refreshing to see someone in today’s “no-it-wasn’t-my-fault” athletic culture be held accountable to the expectations levied not by me or you, but by himself.

It was also nice to see someone who handled a tough situation so admirably not miss a beat in his run towards history – trying to become the first wide receiver since 1991 to win the Heisman trophy.

He never had a realistic chance at the award, Cam Newton buried it in Tuscaloosa and shoveled dirt over its grave in Atlanta against the Gamecocks. But Blackmon will have another shot again next year (the NFL notwithstanding) and the nation should be ready because he’s proven he knows exactly what to do with second chances.

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