Belated kudos to Pioneers hoops fans

On the evening of January 25 of this year, when one of Otterbein University’s basketball players desecrated the flag by sitting during the singing of the National Anthem at Ban Johnson Arena, the Marietta College student section had the best response to his demonstration.

“USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!” the students cheered in unison not long after the song.

The Pioneer men then went on to crush the Cardinals, 94-75.

At the end of the winter hoops campaign, Marietta (26-5 overall, 16-2 OAC) finished first and Otterbein (7-18, 3-15) dead last in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Interestingly, guess what place the San Francisco 49ers finished in the NFC West last season? Bottom dwellers at 2-14.

Who was their QB for much of the year?

Well, I think you all know, and I’m not going to mention his name. But he started it all as a “sitter or kneeler.” He’s no longer at SF and looking for a job in the NFL. Who knows, he might even get one. He’s got a lot of people on his side, including Marshawn Lynch, Spike Lee, Skip Bayless, etc.

He also has many who disagree with him, including the great Jim Brown, Kid Rock — and for what it’s worth — me. (Hey, this is my column, after all.)

This former 49er reportedly says that he won’t desecrate the flag if hired by some team. But how can he be trusted? He’s become a major distraction, a disruption.

Is he a team player?

I don’t believe so.

He and his “other supporters” say that they’re protesting “police brutality” and not disrespecting the military. How ignorant can they be? Very.

If they want to see how a real police state operates, they ought to try dissenting in countries like Russia, Iran, Syria, China, Cuba, and North Korea, where it even prosecutes and penalizes for “allegedly removing a poster.”

Y’know, there are a lot of children who worship the ground that these professional athletes walk on. They buy and wear their jerseys, and imitate their gestures.

They get their autographs. And, some may even dream of becoming just like them when they grow up.

Like it or not, these very, well-paid pros are role models. (According to the internet, this QB’s salary last year was “$11.90 million USD.”

Well, the kids won’t have to look up to these demonstrators, subversives anymore, because more than likely, they’ll be at eye-level with them, especially with the playing of the National Anthem.

If this quarterback is still unable to hook up with a team very soon, he could always enlist in the military. After all, he reportedly says he’s not against the military.

The timing would be perfect, because recently the President announced a troop surge in Afghanistan. Maybe over there, he might appreciate the United States of America more.

Of course, my guess is that he would probably rather be in Somali, watching “Black Hawk Down.”

Well, like the MC student section once cheered, “USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!” to that.

Let me add, “USA, forever!”

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, who can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com