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Thread: Culpepper takes back necklace from paralyzed player

  1. #1
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    Culpepper takes back necklace from paralyzed player

    Ice, ice baby
    Culpepper takes back necklace from paralyzed player




    Daunte Culpepper's necklaces were very impressive,
    until he asked for them back after Wednesday's ceremony.


    Article
    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Daunte Culpepper showed off his scrambling ability Wednesday -- in a crowded convention center ballroom.

    The Minnesota Vikings quarterback presented a paralyzed high school football player two diamond necklaces worth about $75,000 during an NFL awards ceremony, but then awkwardly asked for them back after it was finished.

    The apparent gift prompted a mother to cry, a father to think about buying a safe to store it and Culpepper to find a way out of the mess.

    "I'll get him something else," Culpepper said sheepishly.

    The confusion began at the FedEx ground and air player of the year honors, where finalists Culpepper, Peyton Manning, Shaun Alexander and Curtis Martin were on stage for the announcement.

    When the master of ceremonies opened the floor for questions, Jerry Townsend spoke up from his wheelchair in the front row.

    "Hey Daunte, can I get some of that ice?" he said in a low voice, referring to the two sparkling necklaces hanging around Culpepper's neck.

    Culpepper jumped up, pulled them off and brought them over to Townsend, a senior defensive back at Jacksonville Episcopal High School who was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle in October.

    Townsend spent the last four months in various hospitals and was released Wednesday -- just in time to go to the Super Bowl event.

    After Culpepper put the necklaces around Townsend's neck, his mother started to cry. His father talked about needing to get a safe for the expensive jewelry.

    Culpepper, meanwhile, went back to his seat and finished the awards ceremony (Manning won the air award, and Martin won the ground one). After it was over, Culpepper patiently answered dozens of questions while keeping a close eye on his jewelry across the room.

    One of the diamond-laced necklaces was the No. 11, Culpepper's jersey number, and the other was a large pepper (for Culpepper).

    "Where's that kid at? I've got to get my stuff back," Culpepper said.

    Culpepper then walked over to the Townsends and asked them to write down their address so he could send them something else. Culpepper wasn't sure what it would be.

    In an unrelated note, Culpepper will appear in a 60-second NFL Network commercial to air during the Super Bowl along with several other players and coaches from around the league that didn't make it to the big game. They'll be singing Tomorrow, a tune from the musical Annie.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    Mr. Culpepper doesn't come off bad here to me, though he ought to either take a course in being more explicit about his intents or just how to say NO gracefully for when or if a similar situation occurs in the future.

    No blaming the student for the question, but its obvious it put Duante on a spot he hadn't prepped in advance how to handle.

  3. #3
    I see dead people SQUATMAN's Avatar
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    awkward, but he has the $$$ to get the kid something with his own jersey number on it...real diamonds, though ??? Buy the man a safe, too.

  4. #4
    ☆ Janie Queen of BB cottoncandy's Avatar
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    http://www.startribune.com/stories/510/5221966.html

    This whole thing got misinterpreted through the media. The family had no issues with Culpepper and didn't expect to keep his $100,000 necklaces (which are diamond encrusted #11 and a hot pepper). Culpepper instead was going to send the kid some gifts and memorabilia. The local news sportscasters also made a point to correct this story. Very unfortunate that the Associated Press didn't get their facts straight before tearing down someone who has always seemed to have a lot of honor and integrity.
    Last edited by cottoncandy; 02-13-2005 at 09:51 PM.

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    I don't personally see where the AP reporter got things too wrong, and reading the Star-Tribune story, letter to the editor, or whatever it actually is, their 'writer' Kevin Seifert apparently doesn't either, though he says he does.

    From the linked opinion (my bold):

    "One of the NFL's most genuine and kind players carried out a genuinely kind act Wednesday. And what did Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper get for his thoughtfulness?

    National scorn, thanks to an Associated Press reporter who misinterpreted the scene and never bothered to follow up with the key players.

    Here's what happened: While participating in a news conference Wednesday, Culpepper fielded an awkward question from a paralyzed 17-year-old boy. "Hey Daunte," said J.T. Townsend. "Can I get some ice?" -- a reference to the $100,000, diamond-encrusted necklace around Culpepper's neck."

    There's likely no way for someone in Culpepper's position of responding to this situation in which someone wouldn't manage to interpret in less than adoring fashion. My personal choice would have been for Culpepper to have at hand a gracious way of saying "not a chance", while segueing into what he WAS prepared to do, such as getting the feel for a moment of what the "ice" actually feels like around ones neck. Were it almost anyone else other than this paralyzed young man I'm certain Duante would in fact have responded in that manner. Not that I blame the young man, but he did, inadvertantly or not, place Culpepper in an awkward position.

    I don't know much about the Associated Press. I was under the impression that rather than having their own flock of intepred reporters, they used stringers as well as pieces generated by local news organizations that collectively constitute the AP. Rather than do extensive follow-up, the AP seems to fill a breaking news and blurb role, with other news organizations stepping in if there is actually a story. Most times all that one sees is the initial blurb, but they were pretty close to the mark from the way I read things, and that wasn't in casting a negative light on Duante Culpepper.

  6. #6
    A Random Foot Kitty Throw Champion, Rancho Ice Racer Champion, Tire Toss Champion, Little Protectors Champion PIMguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftcoaster
    No blaming the student for the question, but its obvious it put Duante on a spot he hadn't prepped in advance how to handle.
    I don't know. I think its a pretty ballsy (and inappropriate) question to ask. Why not "Can I have your house" or "Can I have your wife?" I feel bad for the kid's situation but this question should not have been asked.

  7. #7
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PIMguy
    I don't know. I think its a pretty ballsy (and inappropriate) question to ask. Why not "Can I have your house" or "Can I have your wife?" I feel bad for the kid's situation but this question should not have been asked.
    I'd agree wholeheatedly that it was a ballsy question, but I don't think it was inappropriate. I'd never ask a question like that, but thats just me. I don't know and haven't heard the kid in question; that might be the sort of thing he'd shout out if he had a ringside seat without his paralysis even being a factor. For arguments sake I'm thinking that IS the case, that he hadn't factored in how his comment might conceivably be handled differently due to his disability.

    Even if he had considered it though, it is others more than him than need to examine their reaction to his situation, in my opinion. Culpepper should have been able to offer the same good humored "HELL NO!" to the kid as he'd have presumably offered to just about any one else I can imagine.

    To do otherwise is to acknowledge that you are primarily dealing with the disability, and not the person that happens to be disabled, which seems condesending to me. Giving your seat up for one that is aged, pregnant, or infirm is one thing; giving up your jewelry is something that should never, ever be considered. Not if you're doing it because you feel like your on the spot.

  8. #8
    Allez les Bleus! Zaius's Avatar
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    Culpepper did nothing wrong. He had all these cameras pointed at him, what could he do? Even a tactful "no" would have been taken badly. He did the only thing he could do: give him the necklace momentarily, then ask for it back and offer to send other gifts. Also he had little to no time to think about it. When a kid like that asks me to put on that necklace and I'm sitting in front of all that press, my first and immediate instinct is: let him wear it, clear things up afterwards.
    "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding bureaucracy."
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  9. #9
    ☆ Janie Queen of BB cottoncandy's Avatar
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    The whole tone of the AP article, from the headline - Culpepper takes back necklace from paralyzed player to the wording of the article, implies that Culpepper wanted to act like he was giving away his necklaces for the cameras, and then cruelly taking them back when the cameras were no longer rolling. I think he was just broadsided by the question, and couldn't think of what else to do. I think he handled it the best he could think of at the time when he wasn't prepared, and what we have here is a non-story.

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