Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Back from vacation today.... and I find the following: "Blazer player with gun on airplane."

I love mid-winter vacations-breaks up the long, boring, and mostly damp winters. So fresh from a ski holiday I get back and start thinking I will talk some Olympics today, and then BANG (pardon the pun) I see the following headline from OregonLive.com

Brith gun BREAKING NEWS-TELFAIR CAUGHT WITH GUN
This will be a hot topic today, to be sure. Steve Patterson will be on at 3:25 on 1080 The Fan. So here goes.....

Sebastian Telfair: Not the WORST thing ever, just another dumb move for a franchise that is known for it’s players doing dumb things, making poor and sometimes criminal decisions, and despite the many changes to the roster, the stench lingers-this team still has one of the worst reputations in professional sports-not just the NBA, but all of sports..
*The big problem here comes from the fact that no matter who the player is, bringing a loaded gun on an airplane is against the law, and it is a story-but when it is a BLAZER, the stakes are different. This team is now and probably will always be held to a different standard because of the past mistakes by the Isaiah Riders, Damon Stoudamires, Rasheed Wallaces, Shawn Kemps, Qyntel Woods, and Bonzi Wells of the glory days gone by.

The thing that I find most stunning is not the fact that Telfair did this, maybe it was just an "honest" mistake. But what is most appalling to me is the team didn’t suspend him for the "mistake" immediately. WHY? Because he is a Trail Blazer. He must pay the price for the idiots of the past. And the "talk tough" stance and 25 point pledge means NOTHING unless they follow through. Charges weren’t filed, and won’t be, but I think the fact they played him that night is wrong.

For pure comedy is a serious situation, how about the excuse? He took the gun by mistake after grabbing his girlfriends bag? When did he discover this "mistake?" Did he do so During one of the first two flights they took? The flight from Portland to Indianapolis? Or the flight from Indianapolis to Boston? He must have since the gun was found in a pillow case. He knew he had it and he must have known it was wrong to bring a loaded gun on a plane or he would not have hid the weapon in a pillow case. The Blazers should have suspended him immediately, for stupidity if nothing else.

So what is the real issue here? Is is the fact Telfair hid a loaded gun in a pillow case and brought it on an airplane? Or is it the fact that after he did so and was caught by federal aviation officials, that the team didn’t immediately suspend him? I think both, but the team has to be held accountable here and while the spin doctors at One Center Court have been hunkered down today getting ready to take the offensive, the fans have to ask themselves the simple question: Would this story have ever been made public, and thus would Telfair ever have been punished, if not for the fact that someone leaked the information to The Oregonian’s Jason Quick today? The answer is probably no! That to be is the most disturbing thing about this story.