Calvert County Times August 10, 2017 - Page 7

Thursday, August 10, 2017 Sports The Calvert County Times Just Listed ! 39150 GOLDEN BEACH RD, MECHANICSVILLE MD Blackbirds and the Big Baller The NBA and NHL are on hiatus. The NFL just re- sumed play- ing practice games. MLB is nearing its stretch run, but the play- offs and the World Series still seem far away. These are the summer doldrums of sports, a time when not much of anything signifi cant happening. But there’s still a lot going on. With QB Joe Flacco having back is- sues, the Baltimore Ravens are, as of this writing, considering signing quarterback, and NFL enemy-of-the-state, Colin Kae- pernick. Head coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome – gentlemen whose job security hinges on winning games - are reportedly on-board; owner Steve Bisciotti – a guy who’s ten- ured for life - is having reservations. Kaepernick, of course, is being black- balled by the NFL for his anthem protests last season (this despite assurances that he wouldn’t continue the protests this year). Meanwhile, Bisciotti, the owner who has the Ray Rice debacle on his resume, whose team is among the league leaders in arrests in recent years and who saw fi t to put a statue of Ray Lewis, a player who took a plea deal to avoid murder charges, outside of M&T Bank Stadium, has had a sudden blast of moral conscience. De- spite that dubious track record, Bisciotti is concerned that Kaepernick, a player who peacefully protested during the national anthem to raise awareness of law enforce- ment’s treatment of minorities, will stain the Ravens’ brand. Not to worry though. At a recent fan forum, Bisciotti invoked the Almighty and asked that folks “pray for us” while he mulled Decision Kaepernick. Super. I hope God takes a break from helping others through very real and complex is- sues – like law enforcement and minority relations - to help Bisciotti through his overwhelming football conundrum. In the meantime, maybe Kaepernick will observe this circus and conclude that Baltimore, with all its documented mis- steps, isn’t worth his services. In life, and in sports, sometimes the character of the judgers falls short of those being judged. Enough of that. On to LaVar Ball, mas- ter of the crazy. I loved this guy – past tense. He was so refreshing, outrageous and, most im- portantly, fun. His sanity was debatable, but he gave you enough winks and smiles to indicate that his behavior was mostly tongue-in-cheek, an act by a father hopped up on caffeine and serotonin. I questioned his parenting skills, given his unabashed marketing of his children, but by all ac- counts his boys don’t seem to mind (to their credit) and he’s certainly present and involved in their lives. And how could you not respect a guy who boldly challenged the sneaker company establishment and created his own Big Baller Brand (and $495 shoes)? He was an American hero! Was. Ball’s fi rst hiccup occurred after his son Lonzo’s UCLA team lost to Kentucky in the March Madness tournament. When asked about the defeat, Ball remarked, “Realistically, you can’t win no champi- onship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” Still, Ball’s quip felt less malicious and more a tired stereo- type expressed in poor taste. Benefi t of the doubt hereby extended… But Ball wasn’t done throwing shade. While coaching his son LaMelo’s AAU team last week, Ball received a technical foul…from a female offi cial. Ball’s post- game reaction, a rant in which he accused the offi cial of being out of shape, unquali- fi ed and trying to over-compensate for her gender by being hard on big bad LaVar Ball, was disturbing – far beyond Ball’s typical shtick. It wasn’t funny and there could be no misinterpretation. It was sex- ist, plain and simple. It’s fair now to question the entirety of Ball’s fl amboyant act. Is it actually some- thing sinister masked by humor? Is he a solid father or exploitive of talented sons? Is there more to his one-off comment about white players? Is the outrageous jokester a bully in disguise? A misogynist? An ego- maniac at heart? It’s still too early to say, but until Ball proves to be none of those things, I’m departing his bizarre thrill ride. Ah, but maybe Ball’s sly like a fox; these times seem strangely tilted toward egomaniacal, insensitive, polarizing bul- lies and worlds of make believe. Send comments to LIST P $32 RICE 9,90 0 SPECT ACULAR RENEWED HOME ON INCREDIBLE 3 1/2 ACRE PICTURESQUE LOT! OVER 1700 SQ FT ON 1-LEVEL!! MUST SEE TO ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT! 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