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Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968.

Reusse: False patriotism of NFL scoundrels could keep Kaepernick unemployed

There is enough evil in the hierarchy of the National Football League and among the league’s 32 owners for the blackballing of quarterback Colin Kaepernick to be an unofficial policy.

There’s also the possibility that Kaepernick’s inability to find a landing spot is based on business decisions made independently, with all 32 clubs fearing the loss of a local sponsor or two should they sign the young man who chose to kneel during the National Anthem before games during the 2016 season.

Option No. 3 is that every personnel boss in the league has deemed that Kaepernick’s skill set – remarkable runner, unreliable passer – is not workable with the read option having come and gone so quickly as a prime NFL offensive weapon.

It is unfortunate on varying degrees in all three options, because Kaepernick was sincere in making his mild protest to what he saw as troubling times for the poor and displaced.

He has backed up the Anthem kneel-down with hundreds of thousands of his dollars and much energy to support causes, including the shipping of tons of food in an attempt to save the starving in Somalia.

So what if he knelt in the background as the Anthem was played?

A player who doesn’t stand in some football stadium in America and he is tarnishing those who have fought for our country for 250 years, and those who are serving now?

Give me a break.

It’s a song, not an action.

Kaepernick has acted nobly in recent months, while millions of the rest of us have done nothing other than to pat ourselves on the back for being offended that this committed athlete knelt during a weekly ritual.

Samuel Johnson, the distinguished Englishman of the 1700s, was credited with the famous quote: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’’

His friend and biographer, James Boswell, said that Johnson was referring to “false patriotism,’’ and there’s plenty of that going around in the case of Kaepernick’s critics  – plenty of it to be found in the NFL offices and with 32 NFL teams, for that matter.

Heck, numerous teams have accepted nice chunks of money to put on artificial displays of patriotism in their stadiums, including our anything-for-a-big-buck Vikings.

I don’t know where Colin fits with those unique skills, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the hard-partying, hard-drinking punk without a cause, Johnny Manziel, gets a shot in the NFL before Kaepernick.

It might be a fine idea for Kaepernick’s agent to call teams in the Canadian Football League and find him a place to start for a couple of years. The politics aren’t as restrictive up there (even though O Canada is a catchier anthem), nor are the guidelines for playing quarterback.

Dear Colin:

Check this out with Doug Flutie. He was another unconventional quarterback who went to Canada, resurrected his career and got some run when he returned to the NFL. And you're taller, faster and with a stronger arm.

They'd love you in Canada.

Reusse: Packers GM Thompson clinging to his green and gold

Aaron Rodgers turned 33 in December. He has to be so peeved over the Packers’ behavior in this free-agency period that he might call up his family to discuss feelings on the issue.

Really.

If I was a Packers follower, I would be seriously worried about the mental stability of Ted Thompson, a general manager who seems dedicated to wasting the remainder of the career of an all-time great quarterback.

This has to be clinical for Thompson. He has the glitch in the thought process that you find occasionally with sports decisionmakers (and U.S. presidents):

The more that key employees, media members and the public tell him what he should do, the more Ted will make certain to do the opposite.

Would it come as a shock if we started hearing reports from anonymous sources that Rodgers had told Packers President Mark Murphy that it’s “him or me’’ when it comes to Thompson?

Offensive line issues have plagued the Packers more often than not during this unfulfilled decade — frequent injuries and questionable depth. In response, Thompson allowed T.J. Lang, the Pro Bowl guard, to leave for Detroit, and also lost center J.C. Tretter.

Right now, Don Barclay — the poor man’s Everett Lindsay — is a starting guard for the Packers.

Also gone are Micah Hyde (big loss), Datone Jones and Julius Peppers from the defense, and fat running back Eddie Lacy and tight end Jared Cook from the offense.

Thompson signed Martellus Bennett as a tight end and picked up another tight end, the released Lance Kendricks. That’s it.

Rodgers has lost Lang, and as important, that pathetic defense on display in the Atlanta playoff loss has gone backwards.

Meantime, there was much misplaced angst about free-agent losses here in Minnesota. Rick Spielman did what needed to be done in getting durable tackles in Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, and a running back in Latavius Murray, both a pass catcher and willing to throw a block if someone is about to mutilate his quarterback.

Yes, Spielman is flawed, but he’s not pathologically opposed to paying for the necessary as is his counterpart to the East.

PLUS THREE

Most important players in the Gophers hoops turnaround (in order):

1. Reggie Lynch: Foul trouble aside, he transformed the Gophers defense from an afterthought to a team strength.

2. Amir Coffey: The freshman played up to his four stars and changed the whole perception of the program’s talent level.

3A and 3B. Nate Mason and Jordan Murphy: Big comeback season for the point guard, and a terrific stretch run for the power forward.

Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at preusse@startribune.com.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Vancouver at Wild

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at New England

    1 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Gophers men's hockey vs. Notre Dame

    2:30 pm on ESPNU, 1500-AM

  • Twins at Baltimore (spring training)

    5:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Portland

    9 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Wild at Detroit

    11:30 am on Ch. 11, 100.3-FM

  • Boston at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Pittsburgh (spring training)

    5:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN

  • Timberwolves at Indiana

    6 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Washington at Wild

    7 pm on NHLN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Boston (spring training)

    12:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Tampa Bay (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • L.A. Lakers at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Ottawa at Wild

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

  • Rochester at Twins (exhibition)

    11:05 am

Today's Scoreboard

  • Atlanta

    Detroit

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • Philadelphia

    NY Yankees

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • Tampa Bay

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    0

    4

  • St. Louis

    Washington

     

    - F

    3

    1

  • Boston

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • Houston

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    2

    0

  • Cleveland

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    4

    2

  • Milwaukee

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    11

    12

  • Arizona

    LA Dodgers

     

    - F

    6

    13

  • Chicago White Sox

    Oakland

     

    - F

    2

    8

  • San Diego

    Texas

     

    - F

    3

    4

  • San Francisco

    Colorado

     

    - F

    6

    5

  • Kansas City

    Seattle

     

    - F

    3

    4

  • Washington

    Miami

     

    - F

    0

    3

  • Baltimore

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    5

    5

  • Seattle

    LA Angels

     

    - F

    0

    4

No NFL games today

  • Cleveland

    Charlotte

     

    - F

    112

    105

  • Brooklyn

    Washington

     

    - F

    108

    129

  • Detroit

    Orlando

     

    - F

    87

    115

  • Denver

    Indiana

     

    - F

    125

    117

  • Phoenix

    Boston

     

    - F

    120

    130

  • Atlanta

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    97

    100

  • Philadelphia

    Chicago

     

    - F

    117

    107

  • New Orleans

    Houston

     

    - F

    107

    117

  • Sacramento

    Golden State

     

    - F

    100

    114

  • Minnesota

    LA Lakers

     

    - F

    119

    130

  • NY Islanders

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    4

    3

  • Tampa Bay

    Detroit

     

    - F

    2

    1

  • San Jose

    Dallas

     

    - F

    1

    6

  • Winnipeg

    Anaheim

     

    - F

    1

    3

No MLS games today