The NFL slapped Aldon Smith's large wrists, suspending him for 9 games for offenses that would have put the average young man off the streets behind bars. Not that being incarcerated is always the best solution, but for our wealthy, pampered professional athletes, some time in an orange jumpsuit doing a little hard time is in fact, in my opinion, the best solution. Aldon Smith is 23 years old and enormously talented. His talent is not going to disappear between the start of the season to the time his suspension ends on Nov. 10th. The suspension does not ban him from the 49er's training facility; it allows him to attend team meetings. His teammates will be supportive. Why wouldn't they be, considering what Aldon can do for them on the field?
So, what has the NFL Commissioner's suspension accomplished? Is he suspended without pay? I couldn't find that in the paper. I have to assume it's without pay. But even so, what does it matter to Aldon? Really? Check out the salary Smith is making and going to make given his skills. I hesitate to say future, because I believe Aldon Smith will NOT change his behavior, that this last episode is NOT the end of his stupidity, just as I don't believe the savage beating the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice inflicted on his wife will be the last time he'll be involved in domestic violence.
One might argue that proportionally the Knucklehead club of the NFL simply reflects percentage-wise the Knucklehead Club of the general population of males. If so, then what's the big deal? We'll let the analytics' guys figure out the math.What's real is that, aside from Hollywood stars, professional athletes are the most publicly visible citizens of our country, their actions noted and considered by young males who look up to them as models of behavior.
Some model Aldon Smith is. Yeah, let's have crazy parties with lots of guns and booze. Let's drive drunk. Let's bomb threat in airports. And let's get away with it with a slap on the wrist. 9 GAMES? GIVE ME A BREAK!
Since I'm down on football this morning, my closing poem will be about a game that's fun, pure fun. No gun totting knuckleheads involved.
The Yo-Yo King by Syma Cheris Cohn
When he showed up on the sidewalk in the old neighborhood, the children gathered around him At the top of an incline he stood, his black hair glistening, the lavender yo-you spinning. With pressed black pants and white shirt, he was willing to play game. He could make a yo-you walk, sleep and rock the baby, than snap it back. He proposed contests. he gave glittering yo-yos and singing strings a prizes.
Was he sent by the company, all the way from the Orient?
It coast 50 cents for a fairly good Duncan, shiny and black. the lavender model with rhinestones was $2.50. Nobody had that kind of money. Most of us bought the dull, red and black twenty-five-centers.
We tried to make our yo-yos do his tricks. We practiced. We bought new string, believing the secret was in the strings. We dreamed we could make our yo-yous dance.
We waited for the king to return. After long intervals, new kings would appear. Never the same king. We put our yo-yos in a drawer. We played jacks. We played ball. We went to school. And slowly we forgot.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.