Spider-Man Guy: The story that never ran
At some point in our career as journalists, we will all run into stories that fall through at the last minute. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s the fault of our sources.
Ever have an amazing interview, only to be followed by, “Well, I don’t want my name in the newspaper or anything.” And you respond with something like, “Well, I told you I was a reporter, and I grant you off-the-record privalages, you can’t just ask for it.” (Hopefully you worded it a little nicer than that).
But what do you do when you aren’t reporting hard news and this happens? What if the person you are interviewing is nice as can be? And what if he has one of the nation’s largest Spider-Man memorabilia collections in the nation? And how do you heal a heart (mine) that was broken by a grown man that collects toys?
If you don’t stop by the “Social Media Hub” on the 9th floor very often, those questions probably sound strange. Let me clarify.
In late June, I was finishing up a story about a man we’ll call, “Spider-Man Guy.” He owns one of the top-five largest Spider-Man memorabilia collections in the nation. He says its about 4,000 pieces strong and worth “a nice sports car.” It was the perfect local connection to the newest Spider-Man movie premiering in theaters. The story was done. The photos were taken.
Here was the (revised for this blog post) lede:
Remember your eighth birthday party when you tore the wrapping paper off that special toy? Remember that action figure or doll you took everywhere, playing with it until the arms fell off or you lost it in a sea of childhood memories?
It’s bliss. It’s youth. And it’s a feeling (NAME), 39, gets when he walks through the doors of a 400-square-foot room tucked in the back corner of the (LOCATION) home he shares with his wife and (X)-year-old daughter.
Sounds innocent enough, right? Why remove all the identifying parts? A light-hearted story about feeling like a kid again, what could go wrong? A lot, actually.
I got a call a couple days before the story was slated to run. It went something like this.
Me: Hey Spider-Man Guy.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 17746Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale - performance episode
- 14365Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 11370Police shoot, kill man holding child hostage in Midwest City
- 10980'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 10448Norman man threatens Oklahoma Gov. Fallin's 'child' and local sheriff in emails
- 9120Dillon Overton rips former Sooners coach Sunny Golloway on Twitter
- 7765OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 6828Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
- 6277Brad Lund granted two-year lease to Taft Stadium for soccer team
- 5681Two teacher programs at Oklahoma universities called ineffective
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients