IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Protests, politics permeate sports
PROTEST OF SPORTS: Tom Brady refuses to discuss it. Jim Kelly comes out against it. Trump’s comments elicit even a stronger response from NFL Players. Steph Curry will not go to the White House. LeBron James chimes in and many other NBA players follow suite. A’s Bruce Maxwell is the first baseball player to kneel. The National Anthem is turned into a mockery. It is surely one of sports’ most polarizing issues. Yet, does this all make the climate for a Colin Kaepernick return more favorable?
RAY LEWIS ON HOTSEAT: A petition is gaining steam after former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis knelt during the National Anthem in last Sunday’s game. There is a statue honoring him outside the stadium and certain fans now want it removed. They only have 35,000 signatures at this writing, but one has to wonder if the silent majority is becoming more of the vocal majority.
BRUINS CONTINUE HEALTHY ROLL: It is another big win for Bear River as the Bruins beat the El Dorado Cougars on the road. It is a 34-19 win to run their string to 5-0. Coach Scott Savoie says, “It’s great to win on the road.” It is the normal cast of characters in a game they won early…again. League play now begins. A lot is expected of surging Bear River.
DISAPPOINTMENT IN ROCKLIN: The Nevada Union Miners suffer four turnovers and 10 penalties in route to a 39-22 loss. Simply too many mistakes. The offense sputters and the defense is severely tested by the Thunder. Miners mistakes gift Rocklin 26 points. There certainly will be better games to come, but there is a strong need to get the offense to gel.
RAIDERS DOMINATED: The Washington Redskins play an almost perfect game. They negate the Raiders’ running and passing game. Quarterback Derek Carr suffers four sacks. Late in the game, the Raiders are 0-for-10 on third down. They also have 99 total yards until their final short-lived drive in garbage time. Michael Crabtree gets but one catch. The only Oakland score comes on turnovers deep in Washington territory. Final is 27-10 but it is really worse than that.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ROCKED: A “cooperating agent” enables an FBI undercover agent to get into hotel rooms, meetings and deals. The result: a lengthy report that indicts an Adidas executive, college coaches, agents who filter money to college players, high school prospects, their families and agents. This one may rock NCAA college basketball to its core. It is a huge conspiracy and a total mess. The big question is how does the legal system and the NCAA deal with it?
RICK PITINO GONE IN FALLOUT: Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is placed on administrative leave in the wake of the NCAA scandal. He is the first of what will likely be many victims of the FBI probe that uncovered many violations. His legendary career may well be overshadowed by this debacle. The NCAA basketball footprint may never again be the same.
WADE JOINS LEBRON: Dwayne Wade apparently has cleared the way to play with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers this season and signed a $2.3 million deal. Wade, 35, played four seasons with James in Miami, winning two NBA Championships. Can his presence give new meaning to a championship push for Cleveland?
GIANTS POSTSCRIPT: The season in a capsule for the San Francisco Giants: on Wednesday night, Jeff Samardzija pitches six strong innings in route to a 3-1 lead. Relievers weave their way through the seventh and eighth. Then comes the ninth. Sam Dyson starts it off by surrendering a home run. Then loads the bases with one out. The Arizona Diamondbacks scratch for the tying run. With the game now tied, Dyson walks in the winning run. It has sadly been that type of year. With two games left, the Giants are left to lick their wounds and find a closer for 2018.
FINAL THOUGHT: Is it time to temporarily eliminate the national anthem from professional sports contests in order to allow the controversy to simmer? As NBA Coach Greg Popovich states, “Our country is an embarrassment.”
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14