From Pure Fun To Accusations of Impurity: Two Very Different Storylines Dominate Sports News

I can’t tell you how much I wish this could just be about Sister Jean, the 101-year old Loyola of Chicago basketball team chaplain, and not about Deshaun Watson allegedly rubbing his private parts against one licensed massage therapist and allegedly pressuring another one into oral sex.

Talk about polar differences in the big stories right now! Can’t we just have a nice, sweet story?

Sister Jean, who has survived two pandemics 100 years apart, gave her blessing to Loyola and filled out her bracket, with Loyola beating Georgia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and going all the way to the Elite Eight. And with that blessing, next thing you know, a guy named Moses -- Georgia Tech’s star Moses Wright -- suddenly has to sit out the game with some COVID-related connection.

Apparently, Sister Jean is one powerful woman!

Meanwhile, three lawsuits have been filed against Watson, the Houston Texans quarterback who has been the big story over the past month. It seems that roughly half the teams in the NFL, their local media and their fan bases clamored to find some way to get Watson to come to their towns.

The lawyer who filed those three lawsuits says he has three more to file.

I’m not here to make any judgments for or against Watson, who says he didn’t do anything wrong and looks forward to the chance to clear his name. This will play itself out in the courts and probably the media, too.

But I have to think this effectively ends the Watson sweepstakes, and even might jeopardize his career. Of course, if these massage therapists were his victims, then he deserves what he gets.

In Houston, he has been portrayed as an all-around good-guy, which he still might turn out to be. But he was unhappy there and reportedly demanded a trade. At 25 years old and among the top three or four quarterbacks in the NFL, Watson represented potentially a decade of hope for every team without a legit QB. 

His clean reputation only added to things, making fans feel good about cheering for him.

Now, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting him, at least not until his legal issues are resolved. And in the best case, that’s going to take some time. Who could possibly take a chance on this guy now?

Meanwhile the NFL, which had a great thing going with the buzz Watson had created over the past month, might be facing its own tough decisions. Fortunately, we are months away from the season starting.

Houston went ahead and signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor, a low-risk, low-reward player, for one year and $12 million as a contingency plan in case Watson followed through and refused to play for them. You wonder what they knew about these lawsuits and when they knew it.

That’s $12 million they won’t be able to get back if Watson ends up clearing his name but stays with the Texans.

For the most part, the media seem to be staying away from Watson now, and how this affects the quarterback carousel. If he did what he’s accused of, then there are bigger issues.

Besides, we’ve had a year of COVID now, and people would rather just focus on getting their vaccines, getting back to normal and picking the right underdogs in their brackets.

We get a sequel with Sister Jean now, after she became a national symbol three years ago. Little Loyola went all the way to the Final Four, and Sister Jean was about wholesomeness and the little guy doing good.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a new Sister Jean bobblehead just in time for the tournament. Apparently, that’s a true story, though it’s hard to imagine such a museum really exists.

She predicts a second-round win over No. 1 seed Illinois, which would definitely start the talk again about Loyola. But she picks undefeated Gonzaga to win the national championship.

She apparently doesn’t have enough pull to get Loyola a championship. Taking down Moses is the best she can do.

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Greg earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary in and The Guardian. Couch penned articles and columns for Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.