Like the Sun rising in the East, Rick Reilly wades, inevitably , into the Iowa-highschooler-won't-wrestle-girl-because-of-his-religious-beliefs dust-up and dispenses the usual Rick Reilly ass-hattery we used to endure from time to time before we stopped reading his overbearing sanctimonious crap altogether.
The Herkelmans -- and most of the state of Iowa -- praised Northrup for being a boy of faith. "It's his religion and he's strong in his religion," says Megan Black, the only other girl who made state. (These were the first two in the state's history. Black lost both her matches.) "You have to respect him for that."
Does any wrong-headed decision suddenly become right when defended with religious conviction? In this age, don't we know better? If my God told me to poke the elderly with sharp sticks, would that make it morally acceptable to others?
So, Reilly has established himself as arbiter of what people can and cannot believe and act or not act depending upon that belief. Good to know.
And what a ridiculous straw man. No one is getting poked. The young man is refraining from activity not engaging in obviously anti-social behavior as justified by God. To take this ridiculous strawman to its deserving ridiculous end, the wrestler, one Joel Northrup, is refusing to poke the elderly with sharp sticks.
Given Reilly's logic, he should probably think that refusing to eat bacon is wrong-headed as well. Bacon's awesome. Why would anyone refuse to eat such a delightful meat? Because God or Allah told them so? In this age, don't we know better?
Perhaps Reilly should be taking to task athletes' refusals to play on certain religious holidays, a predicament that has faced Jewish baseball players like Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg and Shawn Green (Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the '65 World Series against the Twins as it fell on Yom Kippur. Don Drysdale got the start instead but gave up seven runs in 2-2/3 innings prompting Drysdale to quip "I bet right now you wish I was Jewish, too").
But no, Reilly chooses instead to ridicule some Christian kid (home-schooled, no less) living in fly-over country. Nothing like a soft target, eh, Rick?
What a testament to the deplorable state of sports journalism that this clown is only 3 National Sportswriter of the Year awards (11) behind the greatest sportswriter of all-time, the late, great, Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times. Murray once wrote of the Boston Celtic point guard legend, Bob Cousy, "He led the fast break like the lead kid out the door on the last day of school." Reilly prays to the sportswriting gods he could turn a phrase like that. Just once.
Good lord, Reilly is a tool.