SPORTS TALK: Usain Bolt is about to take over another sport

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Emotional support squirrels. That’s what this has come to in 2018.

If you don’t know by now, a woman was kicked off a Frontier Airlines flight in Orlando, Florida after she tried to bring her emotional support squirrel onto the flight that was heading to Cleveland earlier this month. Now, some people have been saying she should have been able to have the animal because she told the airline she was bringing one, which the airline admitted in its statement on the matter. Sure, but she didn’t mention it was a rodent. If you have a need for an emotional support animal, fine. You need to prove you need one, as plenty of other people do when they bring a dog/cat/bird with them and their documents from a medical professional.

All of these silly instances like the emotional support peacock and a duck in diapers – yes, that has happened – simply trivializes those who are in genuine need of such an animal.

Anyway, on to other less trivial things … or maybe not:

 

The world’s fastest soccer player

Usain Bolt needs to prove his greatness to absolutely no one. He’s done that, been there and washed the T-shirt hundreds of times over.

He now fancies himself a soccer player and is doing his best to transition into the professional side of the game with the Central Coast Mariners of the A-League in Australia, which has given him a chance to train with the team for what it calls an “indefinite period of time.”

One thing for certain is the marketing department should get a raise no matter what happens.

Bolt made his debut on Oct. 12 in a friendly against Macarthur South West and potted a pair of goals in a 4-0 win. You know what? He didn’t look out of place at all. More often than not, you get an athlete who thinks he’s a two-sport superstar and ends up looking like the bum you knew he was going to be in his second sport. Not Bolt, though.

And Bolt being Bolt, he celebrated both of his goals with his trademark lightning strike pose. Because you knew he would. Whether he gets offered a contract is up in the air but he’s said this is what he’s always wanted to do once his track career was over and he’s getting a genuine shot to do it. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch him take over soccer like he did track and field?

 

Why is he out there?
As someone who’s umpired, I’m ready to give the benefit of the doubt to officials everywhere, especially when it’s a close play. We have the toughest job on the field because it has to be split-second.

Then there’s Angel Hernandez, who makes our jobs even tougher because not only does he manage to keep everyone guessing, he does it with such impunity.

You’ll have seen Game 3 of the American League Division Series when the New York Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox. Hernandez was the first base umpire in that game and had three calls overturned upon review. There could have been a fourth but he got that one right. He batted .250 that night, which is actually amazing considering he’s in a race to the bottom with C.B. Bucknor when it comes to who’s the worst umpire in Major League Baseball.

I’m just going to come out and say it – the only probable reason Hernandez got the assignment is because he’s in the midst of suing Major League Baseball for discrimination. Yeah, he thinks the reason he doesn’t get plum assignments or isn’t a crew chief is because he’s Hispanic. Not even Pedro Martinez, an analyst with the MLB Network, would defend Hernandez. He’s even called him a terrible umpire and has said he can sue Major League Baseball all he wants because he’s still a terrible umpire. I haven’t seen any umpire support for Hernandez either. Even they know it.

You can’t defend the indefensible and I can’t defend Angel Hernandez.

 

And finally…

Good Idea: Making a great open-field tackle

Bad Idea: Making a great open-field tackle when you aren’t supposed to.

I always wanted to do this when I played football.

We take you to Minnesota where St. Cloud Cathedral and Zimmerman were doing battle in a high school contest. Zimmerman was coasting home to victory late in the fourth quarter when their running back, Camerin Morey, was breaking off from St. Cloud defenders for a big run from scrimmage. He was literally home free to the end zone and in the words of Chris Berman:

“HE … COULD … GO … ALL … THE … WAY!”

He didn’t, though. Brad Reuter, the team’s captain of all people, burst down the sideline and tackled him short of the goal line. Great play, right? Wrong. You see, Reuter was on the bench and for some reason, he felt it would be a good idea to snare Morey to stop him from putting some more salt in the St. Cloud wound by jumping into the play and taking him down.

Naturally, it was illegal and after some back and forth between the officials, they ruled that Morey would have scored had it not been for Reuter and awarded him the touchdown. That was the right call because Morey wasn’t going to be caught by anyone.

Reuter then took to social media and apologized profusely for what he did. It seemed sincere and I believe him when he said it was stupid. It was a stupid decision and even though I said I always wanted to do it, I would never do it because I would never have heard the end of it. Plus, I would have had to run ‘gassers’ until I bled courtesy of my coach. If you had been part of my high school team, you’d know Mr. Ellis was not to be crossed.

 

Until next time, folks…