Part of me doesn’t even want to justify the inane Tweets of our President by paying any attention to them. The general rule seems to be, the more unhinged and ridiculous his Tweets are, the bigger the shitstorm that’s about to come down (which means today could be a big day for Robert Mueller and his group).
So I don’t know what to expect today after the orange-faced grifter in the White House went off half-cocked on Sunday, spewing some crap about how LaVar Ball, father of one of the three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China, and then released, should be more grateful and stop dissing Donald Trump in Ball’s own Tweets. (Honestly, if you have no idea what I’m talking about here, you’re probably better off.)
But anyway, the three yahoos from UCLA are indeed home, safe and sound, and not that Trump gives a damn, but there actually is an American athlete being held in China who appears to be innocent, and whose situation is a nightmare.
This sensational Dan Wetzel column tells the tale of Wendell Brown (above), a former star football player from Detroit who, by September of 2016, had found a home in China as a personal trainer and as a coach in the American Football League of China. Then, after an altercation at a bar, Brown was arrested, and has been held in jail for the past 14 months.
No bail, no political leaders able to help, just an innocent man (video surveillance from the bar shows Brown didn’t do anything wrong) sitting in a Chinese prison, for God knows how long.
Wendell’s parents have tried everything, involving the U.S. Consulate, U.S. Senators, everything they can. But they don’t have the power of UCLA, or a President visiting China who knows about the case of their son.
“They basically got a saint locked up over there,” said Travon King, Wendell’s father. “There isn’t any other way to look at it.”
And so three stupid kids who were guilty of shoplifting get to go home after two days in China, while an innocent man sits in jail for 14 months.
Hey Don, go ask your friend the Chinese President about Wendell Brown’s case. And his parents have already said they’d thank you if you did anything, so your massive ego can get a little boost too.
“I’ll thank him,” Antoinette Brown, Wendell’s Mom, says. “If Trump helps us, if he helps Wendell, I won’t stop thanking him. He helped get three basketball players who were guilty get out. I pray he’ll help get my innocent son out. And if he does, I’ll thank him and thank him and thank him.”
There you go, Don. We know that’s all you care about. So get on the phone, will ya?
**Next up, I’ve written a few times about how much I respect Chance the Rapper, for what he’s trying to do in his hometown of Chicago (donating time and money to help poor people.) He hosted “Saturday Night Live” Saturday and while there were some other good sketches, this one, as a brand-new to hockey reporter trying to talk about the game, had me laughing out loud.
As we always say when we watch my favorite teams play, “Let’s do that hockey!” I also love the facial expression when he’s told he’ll be covering hockey for six months.
**Finally today, the New Orleans Saints, ladies and gentlemen. The New Orleans Saints! That’s better.
Man oh man. Nobody thought this team would be any good before the start of the year, and now they erased a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit and won their eighth game in a row. Drew Brees is playing great, they’ve finally got a running game and a defense, and they look darn good. I could very easily see a Saints-Pats Super Bowl.
If only the fine residents of New Orleans had any kind of nightlife in which to celebrate their team’s good play …
— The Eagles, though, sure look like the best team in the league. Going into Dallas in prime time and dominating them Sunday night? Very impressive. Carson Wentz, the pride of North Dakota, is so poised for a second-year QB.
— Beyond the Eagles, Pats, and Saints, I have no idea who’s any good in the NFL. The Chiefs lose to the Giants? Terrible. And the idea that the Jets, my Jets, are one game out of a playoff spot the week of Thanksgiving is kind of nuts. Mediocrity, thy name is the AFC.
— Poor Nathan Peterman. Yes, I’m partial to the Bills’ rookie QB who made his first start Sunday because his first name is my older son’s name, but wow did he have a rough day. Kid threw FIVE interceptions. In the first half! Oy. I hope he gets another chance somewhere down the road, so that’s not his only NFL memory when he’s 80.