Tone’s Sports Notes

A Gonzo Sports Column Worshipping the Devil(s), Planning a Game of One-on-one to Avoid Nuclear War, Considering Dennis Rodman’s Diplomatic Credentials, and Examining the Effect of Jordan Johnson’s Acquittal on the Brawl of the Wild.

The best college basketball team in the country finally revealed itself this weekend, as the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils handled fifth-ranked Miami at home on Saturday, 79-76. I’ve been saying this for nearly two months now, but Duke is not the same team without Ryan Kelly on the floor, and Kelly proved me right on Saturday, scoring 36 points in his return from a foot injury that’s kept him out since early January. The Blue Devils haven’t lost a game with Kelly on the court and may have secured a No. 1 seed going into March Madness with the win. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In other basketball news, Dennis Rodman returned from his trip with the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea with praise for its pimply dictator, Kim Jong Un, saying, “He’s a good guy to me, as a person to person, he’s my friend. I don’t condone what he does.” The Globetrotters received top-shelf treatment from the young dictator while North Koreans starve to death. Un’s recent nuclear tests and threats to America have many seeing another Korean War on the horizon, but the dictator told Rodman, “I don’t want to do war.” The problem with that statement is Un has been at war with his own people since his old man bit the dust, and instead of doing what we all try to do and avoid becoming our parents, Un embraced his father’s legacy wholeheartedly.

Un, a huge basketball fan, wants just one thing — a phone call from fellow basketball fan, Barack Obama, so they can talk, not about diplomatic relations or avoiding war, but basketball. This is how dumb this kid is: He thinks our President has time to call him and talk Kobe and LeBron. I think the President should call Kim Jong Un and challenge him to a game of one-on-one.

Oh, and the next time you want a phone call from the President, I wouldn’t ask Dennis Rodman to deliver the message. He may be the best rebounder of all time, pound for pound, but he’s not exactly a respected diplomat. He’s not even a respected citizen.

Speaking of respected citizens, University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson was acquitted of rape charges Friday and was back on the field with the Grizzlies Tuesday after being reinstated by UM President Royce Engstrom. Head Coach Mick Delaney expects Johnson’s to return but that Johnson he will have to fight for the starting job, saying, “Jordan is a good athlete and the thing he brings is a leadership quality to the way that he plays and the way that he studies the game.”

Frankly, regardless of the jury’s not-guilty verdict, I think Johnson got a second chance and should take advantage, if you’ll excuse my bad choice of words. The good news for Bobcat fans is this verdict will have little effect on the field. MSU is still the team to beat in the Big Sky Conference, and Johnson will have his day in Bobcat court when the Grizzlies visit Bozeman for the Brawl of the Wild next season. I can’t even imagine how hostile that crowd will be, but it has to be better than spending the next two years of his life in prison.