Putting the puzzle together

An old editor of mine used to say that when he got the job, he was just trying to put the puzzle together. First you pour the pieces on the table. Next step, flip them right side up. Then the corners. Then the edges, and the middle. Each step was crucial. What step are you at?
Rick Neuheisel: “We’ve got the edges. We’ve got the edges. But different than that puzzle, is that things are splintering off all the time. You can feel like you’ve got pieces in place, and then all of a sudden your left tackle goes on his mission, Carnell Lake wants to be with his family…as unexpected as it is, it’s expected. You have to continually be re-working the puzzle. It doesn’t ever end. Those magical years where it looks like it’s completed, you just enjoy those, because pretty soon it’s going to splinter again. Brian Price going early… Do you have to anticipate that? Sure. You anticipate all of it.
“But with recruiting classes, you’re trying to predict the future. Why do you put Brett Downey on scholarship? Because you had to assume that Xavier’s leaving. Which then raises the question to other walk-ons like Andrew Abbott who wants a scholarship – why not? Well, I’ve got corners… I can’t predict. All those things play into it as you’re trying to put together your puzzle.”

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  • Mark Lieske

    Your writing is strong and you write for a top flight paper. As such, do you really want your by-line to appear after the text you wrote – What step are you at? – by ending a sentence with a preposition? You can, and should, set a higher standard.

  • UCLAVES

    Very candid answer from CRN. I like it

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Mark L., please no more grammar lessons! You remind me of that joke about the young man from the midwest that went east to attend Haaaaaaaaahvard. On his first day, he asked some uptight arrogant twit (Mark, was that you?), “Excuse me, but do you know where the library is at?” To which Mark replied, “At Haaaaaaaaaahvard, we do not end our sentences in prepositions.” The young man thought for a moment and said, “Sorry. Do you know where the library is at, azzhole!”

  • BruinWood

    An old, old story about Winston Churchill (almost certainly misattributed) is retold one more time by Joe Carter at The Evangelical Outpost:

    After an overzealous editor attempted to rearrange one of Winston Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, the Prime Minister scribbled a single sentence in reply: “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.”

  • Anonymous

    Yes, using correct grammar and writing intelligently is so overrated. Those who write for a living should be expected to do so. Those like you, who apparently will read anything and call it acceptable, well, enough said.

  • Strunk or White, I can’t remember

    Look kiddies. Once you know the rules, you know when to break them. If Captain Kirk had gotten anal with split infinitives, we’d never have had, “To boldly go…” If Jon wants to end a sentence with a preposition, then I’m happy to assume that he has a perfectly good reason to do so. If you are fearful of beginning a sentence with a conjunction or ending one with a preposition, then you will never earn a living writing prose.