Myron Rolle, an athlete to root for. And Charlie Crist flies solo, literally

I haven’t given you an athlete to root for in a while, so let me tell you a little about new Tennesee Titan Myron Rolle.

Rolle was a star defensive back at Florida State, with good speed, great cover ability, and all that you’d normally be looking for in an NFL player.

He’s also one of the smartest college football players in America, and I don’t mean that like, he knows when to blitz. He didn’t play for Florida State last year because he’d won a Rhodes Scholarship, and took a year away from football to study at Oxford.

So who wouldn’t want a guy like this on their NFL team? He’s a great football player, a role model (he wants to open up free medical clinics in the Bahamas, among other things), and an incredibly intelligent young man.

And yet, Rolle lasted until the end of the sixth round last week in the Draft, when Tennessee plucked him.

Why did he fall so far? Because NFL teams are scared of smart people. Seriously. They don’t want guys with other outside interests, or players who are too “smart” for their own good. Some even asked Rolle how he could “desert” his team last year to take the Rhodes scholarship.

This is pathetic. The NFL is filled with morons who only know how to read a playbook. And here’s a guy with some actual “life” skills and intelligence that can’t be shown on a blackboard with X’s and O’s on it, and he gets passed over for six rounds.

I hope Myron Rolle becomes an NFL All-Pro. He’s exactly the kind of role model the NFL needs, not guys like Terrell Owens.

Here’s a good column by Jemele Hill on Rolle, and a great background story from last October by Pete Thamel in the New York Times.

**And now, just for fun, and because I can’t watch it enough, Leo and Ainsley’s first interview from “The West Wing.”

**So the big political news here in God’s Waiting Room Thursday was Florida governor Charlie Crist, a man who once described himself as a “Ronald Reagan Republican,” deciding to bolt the GOP and run for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

This is no principled change of heart for old Charlie, though he doesn’t really fit in with the new hard-right Republican party. He was going to get drubbed in the upcoming primary by Marco Rubio, so Crist realized the only way he could win would be to run as a third-party candidate.

Is he going to win a general election? Probably not. I’m hoping he and Rubio spend the next six months beating up on each other, so Democrat Kendrick Meek can win.

What kinda made me sad Thursday was that after Crist’s announcement, most of his staff, including his campaign manager and communications director, resigned. Just because he was no longer a Republican. Don’t you sign up in politics to work for an individual, as much as for a cause? So basically the staff who spent thousands of hours and years working for Crist, suddenly bail on him because he’s not a Republican anymore.

That depresses me.

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