Sorry for the late start. Blame Brandon LaFell. Before we talk about a very un-Bengal-like move, some loosely-connected thoughts on the Urban Meyer situation.
I wrote a piece about Meyer for The Athletic. Spoiler alert: it's not kind to the OSU head coach, which has made my Twitter mentions fun.
Few things are as predictable as sports fans putting themselves through the mental gymnastics needed to justify abhorrent behavior from their heroes.
Be better. Words for Urban. Words for Ohio State. Words for Buckeye fans selling their souls to defend their favorite head coach.
I want to know why, besides the obvious, Urban felt compelled to lie. Does Zach Smith have something damning on him? Does Urban not remember what he said about basketball coaches who may have lied to NCAA investigators? Does he not remember the series of events that led to him getting the head job in Columbus, events that included lies told by Jim Tressel?
I want to know if Ohio State as an institution has any interest at all in being better, in standing for something besides the big brand of its football program.
I want to know if Buckeye fans laying down in front of the oncoming freight train that's barreling toward his career are fans of a program or fans of a coach? Isn't Ohio State Football, as big a sports brand as their is, bigger than Urban Meyer? And won't it be more fun to simply root for a team instead of bending over backwards to justify your fandom?
I want to know who else knew. What other Ohio State staff members were aware of what was happening between Zach Smith and his now ex-wife, and did nothing? Who else helped enable? Who aided in the cover-up.
And yes, fellow Bearcat fans, I want to know what Luke Fickell knew. Courtney Smith says that "All the [coaches'] wives knew" about the alleged abuse. Does that includes Fickell's wife? And by extension, does it include Fickell?
I want to know.
Here's some stuff...
Brandon LaFell is now a former Bengal. I like this decision for three different reasons...
*It demonstrates faith in an encouraging group of young wideouts, a group that collectively shown well so far in camp.
*It opens up the number two wide receiever spot for Tyler Eifert. (OK, not really, but I can dream.)
*It's un-Bengal-like, because moving on from a reliable pass receiver to guys who are unproven carries with it some risk, but a higher upside than keeping LaFell. It's a roll of the dice with the potential of a nice payoff, the kind of thing the Bengals typically don't do. I like it.
My self-imposed football hiatus this offseason has me more excited than usual for Ravens v. Bears. Give me some LaMar Jackson tonight, John Harbaugh.
My friends who follow college basketball recruiting and watch high school players tell me to be excited about Samari Curtis coming to UC. So I'm excited about Samari Curtis coming to UC.
Oh, and hey, the Reds lost yesterday.
Here's some other stuff....
Radio Show: We go to Columbus at 3:20 and 4:20. We go to Paul Brown Stadium at 3:42, 4:42, 5:05, and 5:42. I'll sit in the studio and talk in between. Join me at 3:05 on ESPN1530.