W118 went at motive which I think is fine. That's one question that columnists seem to get caught on: "why are you writing this?"
Oh they have an answer ready and may have even offered it upfront in the column, but some readers will look deeper and realize that there may be an obscure motive underlying their offered reason, which the columnist may not even be aware of himself.
"you attack someone's ability and background and their basis as a writer, that's where things might get sketchy."
A few of the posters took great exception to the SUBSTANCE of what Mr. Sesker wrote without making it personal. Surely that shouldn't be out-of-bounds.
My problems with the column begin with the opening paragraphs, continue with selected passages, and end with the closing sentence.
Put it this way, if I were his editor (I don't know if he even has one) the red pen would have been out in force as I reviewed his copy.
"I get defensive when people say, "horrible article," but I want to know why it was horrible. Was it sentence structure, missed modifiers ... "horrible" doesn't mean it isn't well-written and without thought."
Example--right our of the gate he states that Metcalf "probably" went over the line, but then states that the referee was correct in his ruling. Isn't the reader faced with an inconsistency right there? One has to believe that Mr. Sesker's choice of the word "probably" in that sentence was the result of a considered decision on his part. It does imply that the referee was potentially incorrect while saying in plain English that the referee was correct. Was Mr. Sesker aware of that or was it intentional in the first place? It's either inept writing or brilliantly subtle.
Continuing on with his subsequent comments about Caldwell and exactly how he presented that:
Is Mr. Sesker aware that Caldwell has caught a lot of flack along with Metcalf, that Caldwell has caught, in essence, some of the booing? Yet Caldwell's action is not defended at all in his column. Instead Caldwell's action gets included in a categorical criticism of celebrations in general (actually a sub-category of celebrations--those with "time left on the clock") along with an implication that the referee was incorrect to not have also called a USC penalty on Caldwell in this specific instance. I have got to believe that, in his clearer-headed moments, Mr. Sesker would know that that is a debatable point. The writing is unclear, and I believe that Mr. Sesker decided that, upon review, it suited his purpose to leave it that way.
OK, that's a brief look at his first five paragraphs (of 27 total). Others have critiqued the subsequent content in the work in a fashion that had great merit IMO, without making it personal. Those critiques have disappeared.