By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
OK, let's do that.
The same day Taylor's story ran, a copy of it was pinned up in Williams' locker, which is why everyone I talked to in the D-FW sports media thinks that Williams was the author of the unsigned note. That's the hunch here, too. Williams denied it to NBC 5 sports anchorman Newy Scruggs. "Right before we went on the air after it happened," Scruggs says, "he told me that he only wrote the 'dear reader' part and that some of the other guys filled in the rest."
The important thing is the timeline, not the lame excuses. Taylor's story ran on a Wednesday. On Thursday, offensive lineman Torrin Tucker snapped a Polaroid of Taylor while he was in the locker room. Then, on Friday, the response/letter, along with the picture of Taylor, was posted in the team locker room in plain sight. So maybe Tucker aided Williams in writing the note, or maybe a number of other players helped, too. Either way, how it unfolded offers yet another reason why their cowardice is so damn offensive: Had it been a spur-of-the-moment reaction, had they written the letter the same day Taylor's story came out, you might be able to explain it away. But they had two days to think it through and calm down. Which they didn't. Not only was it an example of poor judgment and infantile behavior, but it was also lazy. They had two days to write something really good or scathing, but instead all they managed was a letter that read like a cry for its author to be enrolled in one of those "Hooked on Phonics" remedial literacy programs.
"It's something we don't condone as an organization, and it's been handled internally," was the team's official response through PR director Rich Dalrymple.
That's a start, but it's not enough. There should've been a formal apology, or at least a public reprimand of the offenders. Instead, we're left to wonder about the authors while talking about their spinelessness as an abstraction.
So to whoever wrote the letter, I say this: We've known for a while now that you need to become better football players, but now we know, too, that you need to become better, and bigger, people.
Also, feel free to pin this story up in the locker room when you're done sounding out the big words.