Second Thought – The Newnan Times-Herald

Most college football teams have just finished their spring training sessions with a scrimmage advertised as a “game”.

If some of the fights were televised, I didn’t watch them.

It’s a big change. For as long as I can remember, college football has been my favorite sport. This year, the thrill has definitely been called back.

Not because the game has changed. I have a problem with players.

Most college football fans I know – myself included – have believed for years that it’s fair for a player to share the profits if his school makes money selling products bearing the name, image or player likeness, commonly referred to as NIL.

It finally happened. NCAA guidelines now allow sponsors to pay whatever the market will bear to use a player’s smile or grunt to promote a product.

Today’s gamers are entrepreneurs. Good for them. If I were a gambler, I’d be there with my hand outstretched and my wallet open.

What troubles me is the ability of players to be transferred to another school without having to be absent for a season. Most swingers admit they only made the switch to improve their chances of playing pro ball in the NFL.

Watching players change schools in the middle of their playing “career” makes college ball less special to me.

Once upon a time when a college football player put on his school’s jersey for the first time, they said, “This uniform represents my school.” This uniform represents who I am, what I stand for and where my heart is.

Today’s shirts should be labeled, “That’s where I got the best deal.”

Watching Joe Namath slip into an Alabama jersey one year and show up the next fall in Auburn colors would have made my head explode.

Such scenes will soon be routine.

To control my blood pressure, I have decided that from now on, I will support the team that I know will always be loyal to me.

The members of this team do not wear shoulder pads or fancy sports shoes. Instead of footballs, most of them carry a badge and a gun.

No police department or sheriff’s office is perfect, but I’m happy to live in a place where law enforcement officers – often referred to as LEOs – are way above average.

The good ones are rewarded. The bad ones get the boot. The citizens are satisfied.

If you live somewhere where you can’t shoot for local LEOs, you need to move. I heard that real estate is stealing in Antarctica.

LEOs are sometimes lured to another location by higher pay or better benefits. The same goes for IBM executives.

But when the members of the LEO team transfer, the adversaries are always the same… the bad guys.

And these days, the bad guys are popping up in places where people once felt safe.

About a day ago I saw a clip on TV of a group of little kids trying to play baseball. The match was interrupted by a volley of shots fired just off the pitch.

The children were terrified and confused. Parents and coaches did their best to get the youngsters down and out of harm’s way.

No injuries were reported, but the scene was disturbing. It was scary. Events like this are becoming more common every day – and they have one thing in common.

When people come face to face with big problems, they don’t call a football player.

They dial 911.

Think about it. And the next time you come across one of your local LEOs, say “Thank you”.

Alex McRae is an author and ghostwriter. Her first novel, “Rough Draft”, is now available. He can be reached at: [email protected] .

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