Dane County Ismael Ozanne And The UW Football Player With Stolen Gun In His Possession

There are ample reasons daily in our state why we need to be diligent about pressing for gun control measures in the legislature.  We rightly decry gun violence while in liberal places such as Madison and Dane County, there is much lamenting the lack of tougher laws and stricter enforcement to stem the violence and death from guns.  This is why the mostly muted response to the arrest of a UW-Madison player with a stolen gun in his possession seems odd. 

Markus Allen was arrested on April 29th for possession of a concealed firearm by Madison police during the Mifflin Street Block Party, but as of this posting, no criminal charges have not been filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. 

In the released search warrant made public to the media last week nothing suggested that Allen is even being investigated. The warrant was served to search Allen’s backpack where it was discovered the football player had an unloaded Glock 19 handgun and a magazine loaded with one round of ammunition in a separate pocket. Upon further discovery, it was learned from the gun’s registration information that Madison resident Casey Walker, had reported the gun stolen out of his mother’s car in June 2022.  Additionally, Allen does not have a concealed carry permit in Wisconsin or his home state of Ohio.

Why a person heading to the alcohol-laden street party would bring along a Glock weapon, and a stolen one at that, is concerning for a society that is sick and tired of too much gun violence.  While I am not suggesting that Allen was intending to use the gun that afternoon it does beg the question as to how this story remains low-key for the most part in our city. If it were any one of my readers, not in the UW football program, we would know with certainty and post-haste that possession of a concealed firearm is a Class A misdemeanor.  Add in the fact the weapon was reported as stolen, and we would be most aware of the gravity of the situation.

If we are going to be consistent about our collective understanding that gun violence is excessive and undermines our society then we also must be asking Dane County DA Ozanne why the lack of energy on this case seems to be occurring? Is there a double standard being applied to a football player?

Quintez Cephus “Suspended Indefinitely” From NFL, Released By Detroit Lions, Might UW-Madison Have Helped Him Find Guardrails Of Life?

Well, here we go again. Character matters.

I often stress those two words when it comes to presidential candidates, strongly implied it just yesterday when talking about astronauts of my youth who so very much impressed me, and say it repeatedly when writing about athletes who have a bevy of youth looking up to them. I made it plain in 2019 when writing about Quintez Cephus that what was lacking in the larger story was the issue of character. For those who need a quick primer, he was accused by two women of sexual assault but was acquitted of those charges by a Dane County jury. This morning his name landed in my email box as a news feed from the Washington Post dealt with his time with Detroit Lions upended due to….yes….lack of character.

Quintez Cephus was “suspended indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2023 season for betting on NFL games in the 2022 season”. (By the time I reread this post for editing I learned the Detroit Lions had released him from the team.) While no one should take any glee about this news, as having a dream of any profession ripped apart is sad, there still can be a lesson learned from what happened to this man. The lack of constructing the guardrails of life, those ways of living and abiding with the proper conduct as one moves through society, while also not working to ante up on the character side of one’s personal ledger has a cost. What I found so glaring and lacking in this young man in 2019 are seemingly the ones that made him a headline today. Had there been a more strict application of the rules for this football player in 2019 might he have been alerted to the behavior changes required for adulthood?

My issue at the time this story made headlines galore was direct and can be summed up this way. Did Cephus honor the sports program, or the school where he was a student, when he went to a bedroom with two women, asked another man to join the trio, and where a photo was taken and then deleted from a phone?  Do these actions from a football player, and a UW student rise to the level of acceptable behavior for the university?

We all recall the tight restrictions and demands a high school coach would place on players about how they were to handle themselves when off the field.  It mattered in small towns and communities when a player, who made the local paper for a play in a Friday night game, was able to walk with dignity and self-respect down Main Street Wednesday evening.  Values mattered.  And they still must.

I stated in 2019 the obvious. Let us pretend that all other aspects concerning the Cephus controversy were equal.  If that only then left character as the determining factor any common-sense outcome to the question of his being readmitted to the university sports program would need to come back as negative.

I do not wish to be harsh to anyone wishing to gain higher education.  But there must be standards of behavior employed when one takes on the name of being a UW-Student.  Even more so when wearing a red jersey for the Badger Football team.  Given the out-sized role college football has in our culture the very least we should expect is for the players to exhibit a level of deportment that can be known about in the light of day.

There are many people who let Quintez Cephus down. First, and foremost, himself. But all those in sports programs who wished to use him for their wins and profits but seemed unwilling, or perhaps unable, to shape the type of character that makes for a winner on and off the field also must take ownership of today’s news.

(No, I am not a parent, but I think I might have been a good one.)

Aaron Rogers Must Simply Exit Wisconsin

I was correct about my complete disdain for Aaron Rodgers. He endorsed an anti-vaccine candidate for president on Wednesday and furthered his efforts of spreading false information about vaccines. Insulting the intelligence of state residents, and undermining vaccination efforts within the demographics that looked up to and followed Rogers hurt the efforts of the medical establishment to stem COVID. Now this most irksome and foolish football player wishes to continue his absurdity. The Jets must take him and remove him from our Wisconsin.

I firmly believe that if a person seeks to be elevated in the public eye through sports, entertainment, or some other noteworthy undertaking where the young people of the nation look up and offer admiration then they better walk straight and be worthy of the accolades. We now know that Arron Rodgers did not speak honestly about being vaccinated. He promoted his alternate treatment other than the vaccine. He contended that allowed him to be “immunized”. That is patently absurd on the face of it. Homeopathic remedies are not an antidote to COVID. Shame on him for trying to use such a sham to cover his lack of responsibility to his team and the larger community in which he lived.

My bottom line is that Aaron Rogers is an absolute embarrassment in leadership to our state and the youth who admire him. With his actions, he needs to ask what message does he send with his refusal to admit the efficacy of vaccines? What message does he send to the medical professionals in the state who were maxed out with stress and duties due to chuckleheads who refuse(d) the Covid vaccine?

Aaron Rodgers might consider these matters as he watches yet another Super Bowl away from the end zone come 2024.

WIAA Needs To Sanction Muskego High School For Overt Racism, Beloit Boys Basketball Team Demonstrated Best Among Us

Late Saturday, I was alerted by a friend that WMTV was reporting about a most outlandish and truly sad story concerning how the Beloit High School boys’ basketball team was treated at Muskego. The N-word and swastikas were written and drawn in the dust in the visiting boys’ locker room.  Overt racism extended to a parent in the stands hearing monkey noises and racist words from the student section at the game. Video evidence shows some Muskego students standing to watch the game dressed in black face masks and tank tops, an aim to depict Black people from a racist perspective. 

Ah, yes.  The idea a high school curriculum and sports program should be an elevating experience for students where character enhancement and maturity are shaped and molded by teachers, coaches, and school staff seems to have bypassed many at Muskego High School. While a grasp of civics, geometry, and literature is openly pressed in the classrooms there must also be a quiet continuance of shaping the moral character of students in our taxpayer-funded public schools. We desire those who graduate to have integrity as a foundation so an ethical way of living and behaving in society results throughout life.  We trust that young adults will demonstrate the basics of respect for themselves and others. It does not take long to read and watch, however, about Muskego High school students on Friday night to notice the goals for character development have failed. 

What was striking about the student-athletes from Beloit is how poised and mature they proved to be considering the blatant racism exhibited by Muskego students. When it comes to strong character and how we wish young people to face the world, even when they have every right to be angry and disheartened, the Beloit basketball team demonstrated the best among us. There is no way not to be appalled at the mocking Muskego boys who dressed for a reaction, some wearing black masks.  We are aware of the derision masks created among a certain demographic during the pandemic, and had students been ordered to wear them during the playoff basketball game Muskego parents would have been apoplectic. Is it any wonder many in the state will think, upon seeing the behavior of Muskego students, that their tax dollars are not creating the bang for the buck that is desired when paying the yearly bill.

The backwater mentality of Muskego seems willingly mired to racism since the school team’s name remains the Muskego Warriors with a logo of a spear. One would trust news has traveled to the Waukesha County school district that Native American mascots are no longer acceptable in modern society.  When efforts were made in the state to remove such racist team names some in Muskego spoke out against the move claiming it took away ‘their heritage’. It is almost impossible not to scream aloud over such obliviousness. The demographics of the town speak volumes about why such behavior at the school abounds.  The Bulwark reports that Muskego’s population is 96.6% white, with a mere half a percent being of Asian descent. Those who do not share in the diversity of life or are expected to find empathy with others often lack vital aspects of character development.

It is time for the WIAA to step away from their often timid and reserved nature and level sanctions on the Muskego School sports program.  If players and coaches feel the sting they can then be instruments for good in their school to usher in the needed changes in attitudes, where there must be a complete redress, and then in decorum that our society demands. What took place Friday night is no longer in any way acceptable. There must be consequences. Sports programs, in part, are designed to build character.  The WIAA can provide a beneficent effect with tough sanctions to force some sunshine into a school district that has openly and disgustedly displayed overt racism.

Brett Favre, Short On Character, Not The Man We Want Our Sons To Emulate

The story of Victor Hugo is well known.

In the 1840s the writer was walking about when he noticed that a thin man was being taken away by police for stealing a loaf of bread. Hugo will turn that man, who had ragged clothes and human misery all over him into a most memorable book, Les Miserables. The poor man who just wanted bread for his family can be understood. The rich man who took money needed by those in poverty can only be scorned. This week one can only ponder how Hugo would have constructed a Brett Farve story based on the news coming out of Mississippi.

Favre was always less than what his image makers wished to make him.  His years in Green Bay as quarterback for the Green Bay Packers produced enough stories about his antics and shortcomings off the field to alert anyone listening that he was just another typical sports figure, certainly not a role model. Favre, as a married man, further lowered himself with his sexting scandal and redneckish ways.

The last nail in the coffin, however, for what constitutes Favre’s lack of character can be found in text messages made public last week. His conversations with utterly disgraced Mississippi nonprofit executive Nancy New, who has pled guilty to 13 felony counts concerning $77 million in funds from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families which were improperly siphoned elsewhere in the Magnolia State are truly troubling.

For years Favre has simply denied he received roughly $1 million in welfare funds, the money I should not need to add which was to have been spent on folks who, oh, I don’t know, do not live in a mansion built from being an overpaid sports personality. Last week with the release of text messages we know Favre was not telling the truth. There is no doubt whatsoever that in 2017 Favre was most aware that monies he had no right to have, or use were being improperly channeled for his whims.

The reason this matter lands on CP is my concern about the lack of real heroes when it comes to the sporting world.  Since so much of our culture surrounds sports it seems we should have a bevy of men and women who today’s youth should be able to look up to and truly admire.  But that is not the case. As I read the accounts of Farve it struck me again how no parent would wish their son to emulate him.  I take no glee in that conclusion, but the facts are clear.

There is an old song recorded by Bill Anderson which sums up this mess with unseemly sports figures and our nation’s youth. Where Have All Our Heroes Gone has a few lines that make my point.

This country needs a lotta things today friends
But it doesn’t need any one thing anymore than it needs some real heroes

Men who know what it means to be looked up to by a griny faced kid
Men who want to sign autograph books and not deal under the table
Men who are willing to play the game with the people who made them heroes
Men who don’t mind putting on a white hat and saying thank you and please

I wish I knew more men that I’d be proud of for my son to look up to and say
Daddy when I grow up I want to be just-like-him (Where have all our heroes gone?)

Brett Farve should be asked that question in his next interview.

Good Sportsmanship Should Not Be In Short Supply For Adult Americans

I read in the Monday newspaper that a quarterback was roundly and soundly booed as he made his entrance onto a football field this week.  I generally do not opine on sports and have no thoughts whatsoever on the game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. Rather why I post today is what happened when the former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson took the field. It was then that a large portion of the audience displayed their sharp disapproval of the player.

As I quickly read the other paragraphs, I learned the guy they were trying to shame had been very important to the team, so much so that it was during his contractual period with the team they garnered their only Super Bowl success.  There was a rather messy, it seems, off-season trade of his role to the Broncos.

Hence the booing?

I well understand decorum and manners in much of the nation have been packed in a box and placed in the upper reaches of the garage.  People know where they are, but seldom wish to revisit the reasons they learned about them in the first place.  Additionally, there is no longer any reluctance to show off boorish behavior even in the most public of places, even with live television noting all that occurs.

With the huge amount of taxpayer money that has been used for school sports programs, both at the public and college level, and not only for the aim to impart physical education but also to instill a firm grasp of good sportsmanship, we still somehow wind up with the outcome in Seattle. I strongly suggest that taxpayer money has not been used wisely when we continue to witness bad form when it comes to sporting contests.

I can understand the urge to whoop and holler for a team touchdown or growl when a mistake is made on the field, but to act out in a truly low-brow form for someone who just walks out onto the field is so tacky it demands a post on a site that mostly dismisses sports.

Just Plain Dumb, Herschel Walker Talks About Climate Change, Makes Sarah Plain Look Like Rhodes Scholar

I have never been a fan of stupid jocks. I never found them of interest in high school, and even less so as an adult. I do not much care if they find their way to some sports channel to talk about this team or that play on the field. After all, capitalism allows for even the most base to make money, too.

But when the seriously inept and cerebrally challenged wish to trade their name and fame for a powerful political office we need to stop them.

Georgia Republican senate nominee Herschel Walker is such an example of being just plain stupid, and also wanting to secure a senate seat in this year’s midterm election. The troubling candidate who seems more suited for an election as a hall monitor in grade school wanted to talk about climate change on the hustings.

In Columbus: “China’s bad air floats over into our good air. And now we’re trying to clean their bad air and of course it just floats over here and now we gotta clean it, so all we’re doing is throwing money at it.”

In St. Simons: “The trillions of dollars that you’re paying for is cleaning up their bad air but now it’s gonna float back over to China because of the Earth’s rotation and until we can get China and all of these other places to invest in it, it isn’t gonna be any good.”

In south Georgia: “We’re gonna clean it up a little better than it’s already cleaned. But our good air, since we don’t control it, is gonna float over to China where they got bad air. Now China’s bad air floats over to us, where we have the good air.”

I have never been a fan of Sarah Palin, and this blog reflects that fact. But she does not fall as far down the hole of absurdity as Walker has willingly taken. I place her name in this post, however, as she was used by the Republicans for political purposes, even though she has a limited IQ. Just like Walker is now being used. Her acceptance by much of the party has allowed for more of her kind to be elevated and praised as candidates in the GOP.

I know from having done public speaking there were times when my thoughts and words took somewhat separate directions. But I can claim I never made the same mistake or blunder twice. A person who speaks publically learns the lesson.

Walker did not. Will not.

After clearly receiving brain damage from football allows some wiggle room for Walker’s bizarre ideas about how air pollution spreads. But the fact he is not now able to read and learn that reducing or increasing pollution in either China or the U.S. affects the entire globe, or that “our” air does not just say…’hey, some travel time would be fun’ and heads to China points to why this baffoon needs to be stopped by the voters.

If anyone thinks our atmosphere operates like geopolitical masses they need to be scorned, not elected.

UW-Madison vs. Michigan Basketball Brawl Was Over A MERE Game!

This weekend many people were often checking the news headlines to find out the latest information regarding the massive Russian build-up on three sides of Ukraine. Had the rhetoric ratcheted up to tanks rolling and missiles being launched? Had Putin unleashed a European War? There are really large international consequences to the outlandish military campaign Putin is envisioning.

So when many Wisconsin residents tuned in to their local Sunday evening news broadcasts to discover the fate of the world they were doubtless taken aback to find the top story was not from Kyiv, but from UW-Madison’s Kohl Center.

Michigan coach Juwan Howard appeared to throw a punch after arguing with Wisconsin coach Greg Gard during the postgame handshake line following the Badgers’ 77-63 victory. Howard appeared to take that swing at Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft. Then it was like a hockey game broke out with players from each side getting involved in the shouting and shoving.

Now, let me be very honest. I do not care a whit about the last minute of play in the game, or the time out, or even, frankly the final score. None of that matters to the content of this post.

Juwan Howard told reporters he did not like being touched by Gard. Meanwhile, Gard told the press he was trying to explain the reasoning for decisions he made in the game.

But I strongly suspect a large portion of the television audience was saying to all involved, ‘Grow the hell up!’

There are real people who are packing up belongings in case they need to flee from Ukraine. There are many who know that should Russia invade the loss of life will be high in Kyiv. There are many who have loved ones in that country and worry about them from homes around the globe.

Meanwhile, at the Kohl Center, two teams had the chance to play a game, while thousands watched the players go back and forth between baskets. The most anyone had to contend with was to wonder what they might eat for dinner after the final buzzer.

Then after playing the game the coaches and players had to fight about it!? Really?

We like to talk about the role of sports and how it supposedly engenders good sportsmanship. We all pay a lot of money with taxes so sports and the benefits from the games can make an impact on people.

In high school sports, I recall that it was often stressed the behavior of the coaches set the tone for parents who would be at times highly vocal in the bleachers. We know from little league through college sports that young athletes need to be able to look at their coaches and witness behavior that will fit with the vision we have for sports participants. Anger and shouting and the throwing of a punch are just totally and completely unacceptable.

If this brutish behavior today is the result of a MERE basketball game among college coaches and athletes what message does that send for how differences are to be resolved on the inner-city streets when young people confront challenges with other people?

Or for a large nation like Russia?

Once again, there needs to be a stern message sent SOON so that neither basketball team can miss the point.

Grow The Hell Up.

And so it goes.