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Great Scott


Hey I make fun of Dave Hyde too much not to point out his story on Sunday about Dolphin great Jake Scott. It was a good idea to track the guy down and a lucky stroke not only to find him at home, but that he was kind of enough to give Hyde (barely) enough for a story. And it's an excellent article, well told -- one of those things you have to read to the end the moment you start.

What you have to like about Scott is that he's the antithesis of certain pro athletes who milk their stinking fame -- with endorsements at, oh, say, car dealerships and diet programs, just for random examples -- until nobody can stand the sight of their mug anymore.

That said, Scott is just as much an enigma as ever. While we find out where he is and generally what he's like, we still don't have any better idea what makes him tick. There is nothing about his childhood in the article -- it's all one evening with the man and a few anecdotes he's picked up from Dolphins people. He's a southern man, honest to a fault, an iconoclast, a guy who has lifelong grudge matches with his two main coaches, Vince Dooley and Don Shula. You get the sense that he retreats from the world so that he won't be in a position where he's constantly fighting it. And, as for the bit about not having his picture taken, I included a recent shot that's on a sports memorabilia site (so he's really not that reclusive).

Thanks to Hyde for giving us a taste of Scott and trekking all the way to his home at Hawaii near Mt. Waialeale (which, as Hyde notes, is the wettest spot on Earth, though it gets 480 inches of rain, not 480 feet, as Hyde misstated -- c'mon, you didn't think I was going to let him off that easy did you?) to do it.

After the jump: The Short and Hard-Luck Life of Joshua Mendelson and More Unspeakable Tales


-- Had to point out this story by Wanda J. DeMarzo in the Herald about Joshua Mendelson, who was killed by a Fort Lauderdale police officer on Oct. 31 at the tender age of 17. God I felt sorry for this kid after reading DeMarzo's well-done story. His tumultuous life was full of isolation, starvation, and violence -- then an oft-investigated, less-than-stellar cop shot him under dubious circumstances. Writes DeMarzo: "One time, Joshua was hit with a bat so hard in the back of his head that his eyes popped out. It took four surgeries to repair the damage ...".

Goddam this world can be cruel. Lucky most of us never find out how much.

-- Speaking of horrific circumstances and cruel fate, the Palm Beach Post's Robert P. King tells us of the death of a father (40-year-old Barry Mazer, who was a trustee at the swank Pine Crest school) and his two-year-old daughter in a traffic accident. Four of the man's other children were also seriously injured. It was damn drunken driver named David Whiting, who rammed into the back of their vehicle. Of course, the culprit, who was apparently returning from the Dolphins game, went completely unhurt.

-- Moving on to horror No. 3, an 18-year-old FAU student and a "male friend" were found this morning dead in her dorm room this morning, the victims of apparent drug overdoses. Stephanie Slater of the Post is the first to identify the girl: Nikki Phillips, from Weston, Conn. FAU president Frank Brogan gave Slater this poignant quote:

"I spoke with the family of the deceased and returned home several hours later," he said, taking a long pause as his eyes welled with tears. "I hugged my own boy just a little tighter than I ever have."

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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