Grahame Jones with Sunil Gulati
Nick Green spells out the dire situation for journalists, and specifically those who cover soccer, these days.
As Nick mentions, the latest cuts at the LA Times put Grahame Jones at risk.
It's hard to explain what Grahame means to the local press corps. He's seen it all, basically. Why look up information on the World Cup twenty-two years ago if Grahame is sitting right there to tell first-hand stories about it? Yet Grahame is never snobby, quick with jokes to lighten the mood, willing to share observations and just all-around the godfather of the LA soccer press (minus the threatening criminal nature). Grahame pays soccer the true respect it deserves - he never babies it along or gives it props for effort. He sets high standards and can be absolutely withering when players and teams fall short. Yet no one who knows Grahame holds any grudge against him - he's straightforward with what he thinks.
Thing is, every writer covering soccer is like a little light - people may not like the color or intensity of it, they may argue whether the light illuminates what it should, but different opinions are what foster debate. Every soccer beat that gets cut means the sporting landscape for the beautiful game gets darker, the discussion a little more limited. Grahame never thinks of his fellow writers as competition. If anything, his encouragement has kept some of us going through tough times. That sort of camaraderie used to be the best thing about the LA soccer beat.
It's like how this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Luis being willing to work with me on it. Yet the Riverside Press-Enterprise is another paper making cuts, and if he loses that gig, Luis is considering a career change. "Doom and gloom" perhaps, but that's the view from this corner of the soccer world.