I Shot the Sheriff.


Actually, it turns out I didn’t. But for some reason, I thought I did, and I’ve been telling anyone and everyone that it was I who shot the sheriff. Moreover, I did not and do not deny also shooting the deputy. No one ever asked me about the deputy. But I have been, and remain, prepared to admit–nay, boast–about my central role in the deputy’s demise.

Man, I like Brian Williams. Always have. Same way I like Tom Brokaw. Tom gave the commencement address at my undergraduate institution nearly 25 years ago. I remember at one point he proclaimed that beer counted as “food.”

Then, he hoisted me above his head, grabbing me by my knees and neck. The assembled throngs at Wally Wade Stadium went absolutely wild. From my prone and sideways position, I spied a rabid, fanged javelina and dispensed with it by hurling a Swiss Army Knife through its eye socket at 250 paces. And the entire Duke community–undergraduates, graduates, and Tom Brokaw–all enjoyed a spectacular feast of boar that evening. And Coach K. All of us.

Yep, that is exactly how it happened. Ask anyone.

Wait a minute, on second thought, I may actually have imagined everything after the “food = beer” remark. I don’t know how I managed to conflate a stack of triangular finger sandwiches with a wild boar.

That I ripped asunder! With my bare hands! Putting its gristled skull on my head like a crown! Yeah, a crown. And the masses proclaimed me “King.” Of everything. And I appointed Coach K as my Sergeant-at-Arms. Ask anyone.

Oh gosh, I seem to have done it again. Forgive me.

Yeah, so I like Brian Williams. I like that he often returns to his anchor chair after a vacation with obvious tan marks from his sunglasses. I like that his face is imperfect, a little crooked. Maybe he broke his nose once and it wasn’t quite fixed back to the way it was. I like his straight-forward delivery, and the way he doesn’t seem to emphasize certain words a certain way and at a certain cadence the way every other journalist SEEMS…to…DO. The way Adam West’s Batman did. I don’t like that. Brian Williams doesn’t talk like that.

So I’m inclined to cut Bee Dub some slack. (No that is not his nickname, I just made it up, but I like this nickname too.) The dude made a mistake. Remembered something in such a way as to have someone else’s halo appear over his own head. This is not an admirable thing to do. And I’m not advocating stealing someone else’s thunder this way. But of all the potential transgressions perpetrated by people the rest of us watch on TV or on movie screens or on iPad screens, a tale of false bravado seems trivial.

Which reminds me of an epic wild boar feast back in 1990….

Thanks for reading.


  1. I am an NBC girl. I loved Tom Brokaw and now I love Brian Williams. I will even say I like Dr. Nancy Sneiderman. I don’t have to like every single thing they do because they are humans and they make mistakes like the rest of us.

  2. Brian, if that is his real name, thank you for admitting your false story is a mistake. I’m so relieved for your well being. no ptsd flashbacks for you!!!! Shocks me though, that anyone is the media would lie. p.s.that boar fest was awesome!

  3. I think your walk down memory lane has been flooded by the stream of consciousness. I hope you have flood insurance.

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