Thursday, January 1, 2009

A story with unusual timing ... but it works

It's not often you see an obit story almost six months after the person died.

But Darryl Slater of the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote a somber, touching story about a Virginia Tech football manager who died in a car crash in July. The story appeared on the eve of Tech's appearance in the Orange Bowl, and Slater emphasized what the team would be missing without J.D. Burroughs on the sideline by reaching back to a scene from last year's Orange Bowl.

It was an anecdote that worked, because it fed the theme of the story. Clearly, Slater knew his subject and had paid attention even when he didn't have to.

And in this piece, Slater kept the tone even throughout -- sad, but not too sad. Uplifting here and there, but it's not overdone.

Just a good read.