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Life out Here by Bret Kofford: Now that's thinking!

December 19, 2001

Some people are always thinking of ways to do things better, of ways to get the answers to both their personal and the world's problems.

Nowhere do you find clearer thinking about solving problems than among football players and coaches, our gridiron heroes of the present and the past.

Take Nate Newton, the former star guard of the Dallas Cowboys who retired from football a couple years back.

Nate was busted Nov. 4 for transporting 213 pounds of marijuana in his car. Big Nate, possibly as he was sitting in the pokey before being bailed out, no doubt started thinking deeply about his mistake. Apparently what he thought was the problem wasn't that he was transporting marijuana but that he was transporting just a smidgen too much marijuana. Less than six weeks after his first bust, Big Nate was caught last week with some co-conspirators allegedly transporting 175 pounds of marijuana.

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I don't want to say I have a full grip on Nate Newton's thinking. I can't claim to think that deeply. Maybe he was thinking that since he got busted just the other day, his turn to get busted wouldn't come up again for awhile, so he was free to transport a big load of weed again, with the tacit approval of the authorities.

Now that's thinking.

Since we are talking about football players and drugs and guys who are always thinking, we naturally go to the one and only O.J. Simpson. Simpson is a football legend and a man with a huge head no doubt brimming with big ol' brains. The Juice had his home in the Miami area searched recently by drug investigators. The cops said activities at the home had been linked to a drug ring.

For those of us who know he is always thinking, it is quite obvious what O.J. was trying to do in associating with a drug ring. The Juice knew that if he infiltrated such an evil organization, he finally might find the "real killers," the ones who killed his wife and her friend a few years ago in Los Angeles.

There is little doubt that for the same reason he tried to scratch off the face of that motorist in a traffic dispute in the Miami area earlier this year. Obviously O.J. thought under the mask of a middle-aged commuter might hide the "real killer."

The same goes for all of O.J.'s undercover work on golf courses. What group of people is more violent, more scheming, more evil, more likely to kill two innocent people than golf course groundskeepers? They are almost like a union of killers, those horrible groundskeepers!

In his tireless search for the killers, O.J. is like that guy from "The Fugitive." He is always on the hunt for the man who killed his wife, except instead of the one-armed man he is searching for the one-gloved man.

Now that's thinking.

That takes us to Michael Jackson, but that's too creepy, so let's go back to football and that man of many complex thoughts, Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings pro football — more or less — franchise. Multimillionaire Mr. Moss recently admitted that he only plays hard when he feels like it, apparently thinking he could dispel the idea that many football fans have that Mr. Moss unwillingly turns into a human clam whenever he and the football Cro-Magnon visage of Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher are on a collision course. Randy Moss wants people to know he curls up like a human pill bug on the football field because he chooses to, baby.

Now that's thinking.

Thinking about deep thinkers takes us to George O'Leary, recently hired and quickly departed head football coach at the University of Notre Dame. Coach O'Leary had been falsely claiming for years on his resume that he had played football at the University of New Hampshire, apparently thinking that no one would doubt that claim because, hell, anyone could play football at the University of New Hampshire.

"Heck," Coach O'Leary probably thought while preparing the lies on his resumé, "Carrot Top could start at quarterback for the University of New Hampshire."

Now that's thinking.

Not that all really good thinking at universities comes from football coaches. Oh no. One college student was recently told that in the essay she was writing she was lifting too much writing directly from sources. She was informed that the teacher could tell the difference between her own writing and that of people with doctorates in the subject matter. This could be deemed plagiarism, she was told.

She had the perfect solution. In her next draft, she took out all of her own stuff and plagiarized the entire essay.

Now that's thinking.

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