This is what I set out to discuss in my Vick article. I also wanted to discuss some of my football observations, but ESPN was less interested in that, perhaps rightly so. As is typical in the magazine business, a writer hands in his copy and then it goes through an editing process. We knew it was a complex piece and worked on it very carefully, wanting to get it right, not wanting to offend. But the writer does not have a say in the title or the artwork that goes with a piece. I've been writing for magazines and newspapers for almost 20 years and I can't recall ever being asked about or even knowing about the title and the art surrounding my stories. That is not considered the magazine writer's purview. So I had no knowledge of or say in the title of the story and the horrific, misguided picture of Vick in whiteface, which dismayed and disgusted me when I saw it.
And that's what happens when the left hand doesn't talk to the right hand. Ironically, this has happened to Toure before:
In the book world you title your books, but you have no say in the book cover. In my first book, a collection of short stories called "The Portable Promised Land," I wrote a short story about a basketball player with Air Jordans that let him fly short distances. He was named Falcon Malone.
When I got my finished book cover there was a painted image of a man with what looked like a chicken on his shoulder. I asked my editor why there was a chicken on his shoulder. He said that was supposed to be a falcon. I said, "But there are no flying birds of any sort in any of these stories. I wrote about a man nicknamed Falcon." He shrugged.
…which brings up an interesting question: What if Michael Vick were a Falcon?
Oh. Well that's not so interesting.
H/T to John for sending