Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee Tech
There is a large news-story brewing in Tennessee, where a star collegiate football athlete has refused to play for his school if they continue to fly the confederate flag outside the stadium. If he continues to refuse to play by game-time, the school will reportedly suspend him indefinitely. Five other players, in a show of support are refusing to sit out the game as well; they too have been threatened with indefinite suspensions, a loss of scholarship and a one way trip out of academia.
Sports Night is covering the story. Sports Night is produced by Isaac Jaffee, an influential and powerful black man. An even more influential and powerful man, Luther Sachs owns the network (CSC) that operates Sports Night, and he is an alumnus of the university at the center of the controversy. Dan wants Isaac to make a public statement, forcing Luther Sachs’ hand to wield progressive influence over his proud alma mater. Luther Sachs has given Isaac explicit instruction to instead run a segment on the “Southern tradition in sports, in culture, in history”, a feature on the “Southern Gentleman”.
Isaac: Luther Sachs has taken a special interest in that situation in Chattanooga.
Dan: He’s an alumnus.
Isaac: He’s got a couple of buildings named after him.
Dan: Yeah, he’s a helluva guy.
Isaac: He’s a Southerner.
Dan: Luther Sachs is German.
Isaac: He’s a Southerner for three generations.
Dan: Faulkner was a Southerner.
Isaac: Faulker was a Southern Gentlemen.
Dan: There’s a difference?
Isaac: The difference, Danny, is all the difference.
. . . .
It has been reported that in the text 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About The South, Daniel Hindley defines the Southern Gentleman as “having a natural dignity of manner” with “the utmost self-possession – that much coveted savoir faire, which causes a man to appear perfectly at home, whether it be in a hut or a palace…remarkably easy and natural.”
Other therapists perceive their role differently, but much like Faulkner, I strive to be the ideal home care physical therapist: gentlemanly in nature.
I hope that the difference, to my patients, is all the difference.