By Ron Johnson
People seem to shy away from our thoughts sometimes. But when two magically accurate words come into play, and the evidence is presented, no one can shy away after that. People have heard it if they actually paid attention to what is in front of them, and IF they pay attention, they learn that it can be a good thing…sometimes.
It’s called Sports Karma, and for all the times it is bad, it can have its good moments, too.
The Ineligible Suddenly Become…Eligible?
The NCAA thought they had the perfect plan. They were determined to put the Big Ten Conference on a pedestal they didn’t deserve by squeaking Ohio State into the CFP Semifinals. But they didn’t expect Washington, Oregon, Florida State and even Michigan to be the monkey wrench in their plans.
But for once, this isn’t about them. It’s about two schools that were deemed ineligible.
Both Jacksonville State and James Madison were deemed ineligible for postseason play since they are transitioning to the ‘top’ level of college football, the FBS to be exact. And despite both teams applying for waivers to allow them to play postseason ball, the NCAA said there was no way they were going to play in a bowl game.
Sports Karma decided to object heavily.
Due to circumstances beyond their control, the NCAA had no other choice but to deliver an invitation to both programs for postseason play. This was due to the several teams (including Nebraska, Minnesota, Florida and Colorado State) not securing their sixth win to make them eligible. Granted, James Madison couldn’t play for the Sun Belt Championship, which they rightfully deserved, but at least they get to send their coach off on a high note with a bowl game.
The addition of these two now brings the total of bowl-eligible teams to 81, but only one 5-7 team will get an invite to the bowl games.
Tyreek Hill Comes to the Rescue of Disrespected Friend
Earlier this week, the NFL chose not to punish Tyreek Hill for a touchdown celebration utilizing a friend’s phone. The friend in question happens to be NFL Cameraman, 20-year-old Kevin Fitzgibbons. The NFL instead chose to suspend Fitzgibbons for the remainder of the season.
The NFL clearly did not get the memo that Sports Karma doesn’t just affect teams.
In one of the most humbling and respectful gestures, Hill has chosen to pay Fitzgibbon’s salary due to the ignorance of the league. It is almost safe to say that the NFL did not expect Hill to jump to his friend’s defense, and they definitely did not expect anyone else to call them out on their hypocrisy.
King James Shows He’s a Dad Above Anything Else
LeBron James has had his share of critics over his career (this reporter included). But sometimes he even does something that even Sports Karma provides the assist on. James’ son and USC player Bronny James has been fully cleared to return to basketball after a cardiac arrest five months ago.
After the Lakers’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, James made it crystal clear that he fully intends on attending Bronny’s first game, whether the Lakers are playing that day or not.
James has shown that despite all the accolades and championships, he is a father first before everything. It is this mentality that has made me start to respect LeBron James, the man. In fact, he started earning that respect five months ago when he focused all his attention on Bronny’s health after the incident. The Lakers will host the Houston Rockets this weekend while USC plays Gonzaga in Vegas, and the two teams will overlap again on December 28. If the Lakers make it to the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship Game, it will be a close call due to the Trojans playing Long Beach State the day before.
Did you say that girls can’t play football????
People were thinking that it can never happen, but it has happened before. And it will happen again next season as Jackson State has a fully committed woman on its football roster.
Sports Karma comes in the form of soccer star and kicker Leilani Armenta who announced on Twitter/X that she will be stepping away from soccer to become the full-time kicker for the 2022 SWAC Champions. Armenta made history this season by becoming the first woman to score in an HBCU game when she went 3-for-3 on extra points in huge win over the UAPB Golden Lions.
After watching kickers in the NFL as well as the college ranks botch and doink kicks all season, expect Armenta to be a sought-after player if she decides to enter the NFL Draft in the next few years. But in any event, she has earned the respect of her teammates, fellow writers and even critics who said that she has no reason to be on a football field.