I wrote the article Nice Work, Seattle Times: A Hostile Hochuli Editorial as a way to get some things out of my head. I wanted the world to know that it wasn't cool that these writers decided that now was a good time to drag a dead man's name through the mud.
My Father responded with his article My Father's Response to the Seattle Times, and I hoped that this would open some more eyes as to why these articles were so irresponsible.
Now I give you this. An email exchange between former Husky Tight End Kevin Cooper. He sent me an email about the article and we spoke. This is what happend.
(I have updated some of the formatting so as to make it easier to view. No words have been changed)
What’s up Matt,
I just wanted to say that enjoyed reading your Hostile Hochuli editorial about the Seattle Times article about Curtis Williams. I felt almost the exact same way when I read the article and I thought you did a good job putting it into words.
I played at UW from 96-99 and Curtis was one of my best friends. I actually emailed the Seattle Times several times after one of my former teammates sent me the article and to my surprise I got a call today from Nick Perry.
The main thing I tried to get across to him was that 1. They had misrepresented the situation with Michelle (and that I had been a first hand witness to their relationship) and 2. and more importantly that Curtis became a much different person after his injury.
I was unaware of the claims the Perry had misled people about the nature of the story when taking interviews but it makes total sense. Your article was the first I had heard of Kyle and Chad's part in the story but I’m glad to know that somebody is sticking up for CW. I’m down here in Long Beach, CA so I’m kinda out of the loop but I was hoping I wasn't the only one that was going to bat for Curtis. Jeremiah and Jerramy were my buddies too but they can handle themselves. It’s good to know there are guys like Mike Vanneman (I also had never heard his story) and yourself up there making noise about this.
Alright, thanks Matt...
Kevin Cooper Former Husky tight end
First off I want to say thank you for reading my article. It is always nice to hear from a reader.
Second, I appreciate your kind words. I didn't know any of these guys, but I grew up in Kent and went to Western Washington University, so heard about everything.
Your email gave me goose bumps. The fact that what I could say meant something to you makes what I am doing worth it.
I wrote this because there was no reason (in my mind) to bring this up 8 years after the fact. These reporters say that nothing was said when it happened, yet they site sources from that time.
Curtis' story hit me the hardest. This was a hero to fans (me included). My parents are rabid Huskies and I grew up watching the team. I remember Brunell and Emtman. My Grandfather was roommates with Hugh McElhenny.
I didn't mean to turn this into my fan resume, I just want to let you know that this piece meant a lot to me and it means more that people have read it and appreciated it.
I would like to ask your permission to post your email on the blog to let my readers see that these guys were misunderstood and given a bad name just to make these reporters a career.
I thank you for you words and hope that my piece can help others you may know from the team.
Hey Matt, thanks for getting back to me.
I’m really glad I came across your article. I think I found it when I was searching for information about Nick Perry.
After talking to him I still don't understand why they wrote the article, let alone why they wrote it the way they did.
The upside of all of this is that it has brought back a lot of great memories of Curtis. The guy I knew was not a violent or intimidating person. We skipped class a lot and he skipped some court dates, which is really why his legal troubles lingered as long as they did, but he was a very down to earth guy. He treated me like a brother (even though I’m not a brotha!).
He was really only with Michelle during our freshman year. By the time he got injured he was with a different girl and he had begun to turn his life around.
I think it's more of an indictment of the program if they were letting guys play who had warrants. Anyway, you can definitely put my email on the blog. I know at this point a lot of the damage is done but I still think it's important for people to come out with stories of what kind of person Curtis really was.
Check this out; I’ve got a couple videos on YouTube [link goes to Kevin's site] of high school highlights from guys in our recruiting class, including me, Curtis, Jeremiah Pharms, and Corey Dillon. Last week there were a couple comments on Curtis' video including one that said "wife beater, loser, good riddance." I realize it's just some jerks on YouTube but it shows that an article like that can do damage. It didn't sound like the Times had any plans to follow up on the story so I guess it's up to the rest of us.
Anyway, again let me say that I appreciate you taking the time to write back and for writing the editorial in the first place.
I’ll start checking your blog from time to time so keep up the good work... Kevin
That’s awesome that your grandpa was roommates with Hugh McElhenny, I wonder if they skipped class and played Madden as much as me and Curtis!?
I want to thank Kevin for sending his thoughts. The idea that someone from the team was outraged should mean more then my anger.
I hope that anyone who feels this way please feel free to let me know and I will post them.
Thanks for the reading, Kevin.
Edit: I spoke to my family and I guess my Grandfather was Hugh's Frat brother. We aren't sure if they were roommates. All I know is that after my Grandfather moved to Arizona and we purchased his home, Hugh showed up on our doorstep looking for him.