On Dez Bryant, the Penn State sanctions and why Olympic Basketball bores me to death


It can no longer be ignored. I mean, we’re past the draft and all of the important free agency shit has happened and the Dwight stuff, for now, has calmed down. Hell, even the NBA summer league ball has stopped bouncing.

Basketball season is over.

I mean, really over. Hurts to say it, but it’s a fact that can no longer be ignored. For the next 10 weeks, I’ll tread onward in it’s absence, forced to survive on a diet of Baseball, Boxing and as is the case every fourth year, the Summer Olympics.

Oh well. I can make it ten weeks, right?

In the meantime…

Nobody with any sense would be rushing to condemn Dez Bryant just yet. Or rather, nobody who knows anything what it’s like to really grow up in a dysfunctional family. If you have any understanding of what it’s like to grow up under genuinely violent circumstances or dire poverty (or both), you might just be less likely to judge those who were. Not saying I know what did or didn’t happen, just that I know better than to make harsh pronouncements regarding the behavior of someone whose life circumstances might beyond anything I could possibly fathom.

So, it evens out on both sides. Having grown up hard doesn’t give you a permanent behavior exemption, and being ignorant to such hardships probably makes you look a little stupid.

Here’s My “If I ruled the world (imgaine that)” solution to the Penn State sanctions. I would have found a way to punish everyone involved to the fullest without making the school or it’s students suffer going forward. Not like that would have been easy, or even possible. Still worth trying, though.

This shit just got way too complicated, way too emotional, way to divisive, for anyone to make sense of. Here’s what I do know, in the most basic sense: It’s impossible to separate what happened from the football program, even it wasn’t exactly a “football violation”. It’s also downright offensive to suggest that the program should get a pass here just so that no student, player or well-meaning Penn State fan should have to suffer for the sins of other unfathomably selfish, less humane people. I mean, that’s how I feel on a very basic level but that’s waaaaay beyond what could ever happen down here in the real world.

leave it to me and I’d be looking for ways to reanimate Joe Paterno’s corpse so I could give him a cell right next to his old buddy. I’d stick everyone else involved in the cover up in there with ’em, make it a big ol’ reunion. If only it were that easy.

I will say this much about the NCAA’s ruling. Whether or not you think they were within their jurisdiction to punish thefFootball program for what happened here, it’s going to send an unmistakable message to every athletic department in the country, and one that needed sending so long ago. If what happened here causes another big money football program to think twice before attempting to sweep some scandal under the rug, we will at least have learned something here. Personally, I can defend throwing the enitre Penn state football program in the ocean before I can defend letting them skate. An example had to be made here in the hopes of avoiding anything remotely similar to this in the future.

That’s just all there is to it.

 Olympic Basketball does absolutely nothing for me. I just don’t get it. Of course, I’m not exactly what you’d call a patriot and I don’t get any enjoyment out of watching competition that lacks any kind of drama, so why would I want to waste my time on a tournament that revolves around America’s everlasting desire to prove their superiority to the world once again?

I’m hardly saying we should boycott or whatever, I just can’t fathom why anyone really cares? We send a team full of superstars to London and they’ll likely win every game by 30, and even if they should lose to Spain or Argentina or the republic of Outer Mongolia, is anyone really going to be convinced that the United states is no longer the mecca of Basketball?

Sorry, the whole thing is just pointless to me.

-John Hathwell


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