The Winter Olympics – The Best I Can Do…

For the simple reason that I do not know much of anything about the Winter Olympic events nor anything deeper than the names of a few of the US athletes in the games, I will not be providing you with any commentary or analysis on the games.  Simply for the purpose of keeping you somewhat up to date about these events, let me provide you with a few comments by Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald:

“The biathlon event involves shooting a gun. Just so there’s no misunderstanding, can we move that as far away from the North Korean border as possible?”

And …

“To cover figure skating we assigned our skating expert: an employee who once slipped on the ice in front of the building.  You think that’s bad, The World-Herald luge expert is a guy who got a sled from Santa when he was 9.”

And …

“The easiest job in the world is figure skating analyst. You can just make it up and no one will know. ‘He completed a quadruple Huckleberry followed by a Reverse Rodman!’”

And …

“The four-man bobsled features people holding on for dear life as they plunge down an icy track. Or, as we call that in Omaha during winter , ‘carpool’.”

Now that you are up to speed – so to speak – on the events in PeyongChang, let me turn to a much more serious topic.  Reuben Foster is a very talented young linebacker for the Niners; let me just say that he has not been a “model citizen” for all his adult life.

  • Two years ago, Foster was present – but not involved – in an incident involving firearms that left three people dead.
  • At the NFL Combine last year it was announced that he had “failed a drug test” and he was sent home.  Later it came out that Foster submitted a diluted urine sample to the testers at the Combine.
  • About a month ago, he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.  Since the diluted urine sample counts as a “failed test” in the NFL taxonomy, this could mean even stricter monitoring of Foster in the league’s substance abuse protocol.
  • Over the weekend, Foster was arrested again in an incident that involved domestic violence and an assault rifle.

Please note; those last two events are arrests; there has been no legal disposition of those matters.  Notwithstanding Foster’s presumed innocence, he faces liability in the court of public opinion where there is no such thing as “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty”.  Possession of marijuana has faded in significance in the court of public opinion in recent time; however, “domestic violence” and “assault rifles” are hot button issues and the emotions they arouse in the general public in February 2018 are not remotely positive.

Reuben Foster’s career may be on a knife edge here.  The NFL is likely to be handing him suspension time with reinstatement contingent on completing some therapy.  The Niners may be in a very delicate situation here.  Not long ago, they had to deal with Aldon Smith and his issues with DUI arrests, assault weapon charges and a hit-and-run incident.  Not too many years ago, the Niners also had to deal with Ray McDonald and his issues with alleged sexual assault, domestic violence and child endangerment.  The Niners are in a precarious place regarding the way they deal with Reuben Foster.

My guess is that if Foster is not convicted of some heinous action, he will be back in the NFL because he is – as I said above – a very talented young linebacker.  I recognize that he is an adult and is fully within his rights to live his life the way he wants to live it; but if the Niners want to keep him in their family for a long career, I suggest that John Lynch go and read Homer’s Odyssey.  There is a character there named Mentor; he is charged by Odysseus to be the teacher and guardian of Telemachus – Odysseus’ young son.  Mentor’s job was to teach Telemachus how to be a leader and how to be a king.  Reuben Foster needs a mentor (small “m”) who takes on a task similar to the one that Mentor (capital “M”) took on.  I don’t think this is going to be easy…

As NFL free agency approaches, one of the staples for football writers has been to opine about how the half-dozen or so teams that desperately need a QB are going to resolve that issue.  The pundits round up the usual suspects for these articles such as:

  • Bills
  • Broncos
  • Browns
  • Cards
  • Jets
  • Vikes

I read something over the weekend at that makes me think there is another team that might have a QB quandary on its hands.  Consider the Baltimore Ravens…

  • Joe Flacco is signed through 2021 but there is a buyout provision that might kick in at the close of the 2019 season.
  • In the next two years (2018 and 2019) Flacco will consume $51.25M in cap room.
  • In 2017, Flacco threw for 18 TDs and threw 13 INTs.  His yards per attempt was only 5.7 yards and his total yardage was only 3141.

I think that John Harbaugh and the Ravens’ FO have some serious thinking to do.

Finally, since I started today with some observations by Brad Dickson in the Omaha-World-Herald, let me close with one more:

“Police in Sunrise, Florida, caught Jets receiver Robby Anderson going 105 mph in a 45 zone. He stuck out because the average resident of Sunrise drives 6 mph in a 45 zone.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



6 thoughts on “The Winter Olympics – The Best I Can Do…”

  1. Growing up in the South and seeing snow about once every three or four years created a gap between me and so-called winter sports. I am not quite sure of the difference between a luge and a bobsled and Flexible Flyer.

  2. Hah.. a couple of days ago i tried to explain the differences between downhill/Super G/Grand slalom/slalom. About the best i could do was increasing amount of gates, more turns/technical as you go down the line.

  3. For many years, the Niners were considered to be the “civilized” alternative to the Raiders in terms of behavior (although the Raiders fans might say “soft”). Now that the Raiders will be off to Las Vegas in 2019, perhaps the Niners are trying to expand their fan base by being naughty.

    1. Rugger9:

      The Niners have had more than their share of “naughtiness” over the past several seasons. To win back their fan base, what they really need is to win enough games to avoid double-digits in the loss column.

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