I'm Just a Guy Whose Library Went Dark
August 17, 2014 9:51 AM   Subscribe

"Friends tell me I’ll be remembered as the author of the definitive book on football [The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football]. Or as the writer who popularized weekly NFL picks. Or one of the early crossovers into 24-hour sports television. To me, none of that matters. Right now, I’m just a guy whose library went dark on November 22, 2008."[auto play video] - Paul Zimmerman, known as Dr. Z, collaborates with Ken Rodgers, the supervising producer for NFL Films, to tell his story. Thank you, Dr. Z. Yours truly, Everybody.
posted by nadawi (6 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Extraordinarily, powerfully moving. I never heard of this guy, and I love him now. (In case, like me, you don't care all that much about the pro football... the story has little to do with that.)
posted by mondo dentro at 10:06 AM on August 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dr. Z's writing was instrumental in my falling in love with football. His power rankings especially were a weekly treat for me. I've missed his humor, intelligence and generally accurate prognostication. I wish he'd experienced a kinder fate but am very much looking forward to reading this the whole way through.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:40 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure what the exact mechanism is that allows you to see the intelligence behind the eyes of someone who can't communicate, but it's never been clearer than this video. Amazing.
posted by selfnoise at 10:43 AM on August 17, 2014

For anyone who's not familiar with Dr. Z and wants a little more framing before watching the video (you should watch it), he had a stroke and lost his ability to speak, read, and write, but his cognition is intact. He can say yes, no, and "when." A voiceover actor reads Dr. Z's essay that was painstakingly written through a collaborative process with Dr. Z using just those three words, as we see Dr. Z going about his life post-stroke. It's not so much about football as about aging, communication, and a writer losing his voice.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:13 AM on August 17, 2014 [12 favorites]

I wonder if he could use a morse code of whens.
posted by stavrogin at 1:51 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I cannot begin to approach in my mind how frustrating it must be to be trapped inside your head like Dr. Z was. I like Peter King, but he's not the same as Doc was in his prime.
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:51 PM on August 17, 2014

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