Tim Danielson, June 1966, photo courtesy of New York Times
When I moved to California in 1974, Tim Danielson was already a legend. Danielson had run a 3:59.4 mile on June 11, 1966, becoming only the second high school boy to break four minutes for the mile, at the time. California's golden boy, Danielson had won the CIF State Mile title twice. Then, after a short college career, he disappeared...
I had heard the Jere Longman was working on a piece on the ecstacy and agony in the life of Tim Danielson, who is awaiting trial on murder charges in California. Tim Danielson is a far cry from the golden days of his youth, and writer Jere Longman has crafted one of his best pieces ever, giving the reader a view into the qualities that make one a great athlete, and also those same qualities can make a normal life nearly impossible for such a former athlete. This piece should be passed around and read, and discussed.
Recently, Brooks Johnson, the famed coach, in his blog, wrote a series of blogs about Suzy Favor Hamilton, Oscar Pistorious and their plights. Johnson's theme was, that one must be careful to put blame on someone who goes to great lengths to be a fine athlete, and then condemn them for those same traits when exhibited in other parts of their life. How can one celebrate actions in one part of life, and then, be amazed when those same traits stray into another part of one's life?
James Wolcott, the media writer for Vanity Fair, has written an excellent tome on the peculiarities of fallen sports heroes in the April issue of Vanity Fair.
All should be read and considered.
But for today, go to a quiet place and consider Tim Danielson, the golden boy of California track & field.....