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Morning Sun
  • SISNEY COLUMN: Dire Straits for Dyer?

  • Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, gave the world these famous words at the Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, 1978: "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

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  • Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, gave the world these famous words at the Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, 1978: "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
    Rotten then stormed off the stage after his famous words ended the one-and-done encore performance of the Stooges' "No Fun," at least for Rotten.
    Cheated describes how I feel after having to write not one but two stories on former Auburn and former Arkansas State running back Michael Dyer not too long ago based on rumors and speculation he would transfer from Arkansas State to Pittsburg State. I wasted a few hours of precious time researching this guy and I hate to imagine how cheated those closer to him feel right now.
    Typically, journalists prefer to work on facts, rather than rumors, innuendo and unidentified sources. However, there's always pressure to write something right now and not wait it out since nobody wants to be left behind in this dog-eat-dog media age. I wrote a story two days in a row and I could barely conceal my disdain for having fulfilled this assignment. I felt so ashamed that I did not slap on a byline.
    I thought it was all over after the July 20 press conference where Dyer and Arkansas State head coach Gus Malzahn declared the star running back would remain in Jonesboro and stay a Red Wolf, becoming the best scout team running back in all the world. That all turned out to be a lie.
    The returns on Dyer's latest indiscretions are not looking so hot at this point and surely it will turn even worse very soon, if that's indeed possible.
    Arkansas State gave Dyer the boot Sunday evening for a "violation of team rules." Hey, wait, that sounds familiar. Didn't that just happen a few months ago at Auburn?
    Seems like Dyer was originally stopped, charged and fined $175 for driving 96 mph in a 70 mph zone and slapped on the wrist with five days of community service. This stop was made March 10, only two months after Dyer left Auburn for Arkansas State.
    The Jonesboro Sun opted to dig a little deeper and it was discovered that Arkansas State Trooper Royce Denney found a handgun and marijuana in Dyer's vehicle, neither of which figured into the fine and community service. The Arkansas State Police released a 58-minute video of the stop and we can hear Denney tell Dyer, "Carrying a pistol around? Uncool . . . you've got a career ahead of you but you're being a total [bleep] right now."
    There's a lot of unanswered questions and it doesn't seem like Malzahn's providing any answers in Jonesboro. He dodged and ducked the Dyer questions Monday like a seasoned pro.
    Page 2 of 3 - Surely no football team — college or professional — would touch Dyer with a 10-foot pole right now. How much risk are teams willing to risk on 1,000-1,500-2,000 yards — if he can’t stay out of trouble long enough to actually play? Then again, talented individuals seem to have a longer shelf life than the majority of us "untalented" folks. Cases in point: Adam "Pacman" Jones and Terry "Tank" Johnson or how about Christian Peter and Lawrence Phillips.
    How much value should be placed on carrying or catching or passing or defending the football? That's a risky question for a sports editor, I know, but it's one that should be asked more often in American society, even as we approach football season. Sports (including football) should be part of a balanced diet of life experience along with politics, religion, music, movies, art, history, geography, et cetera.
    To a certain degree, I maintain a distance from sports on my "down time." I don't own a Fantasy Football team. I don't have a Twitter account. I don't regularly visit sports message boards. On Sunday, usually the one day off from work each week, I avoid sports and that means day trips like a visit to Pea Ridge National Military Park and then onward to the Wal Mart Visitor's Center in Arkansas. My girlfriend and I spend as much time with each other as possible on Sunday. It provides a nice balance.
    When the Dyer rumors first blew up a couple weeks ago, I dove right into the somewhat foreign world of Twitter and message boards and sports blogs. It was addictive, of course, and I was grateful this whole Dyer soap opera was over in 48 hours so I could return to my regularly scheduled program.
    Multiple people from work contacted me about Michael Dyer. However, nobody passed along word about Matt Bollig.
    That name might ring loud and clear.
    Bollig was a three-sport star (football, basketball and track) at Chanute High School, played in the 2010 Kansas Shrine Bowl in Pittsburg and played football two seasons at Fort Scott Community College before transferring to Ottawa University where he would have played quarterback.
    Granted, Bollig's not a razzle-dazzle big-name "superstar" like Dyer but his story ultimately proves far more life-affirming and inspirational than Dyer.
    About the same time as the Dyer transfer rumors started, Bollig was severely injured during a weight room accident, left paralyzed from the waist down. Before heading out for intensive spinal cord rehabilitation in Denver, Bollig was greeted by former Kansas City Chiefs players Bill Maas, Anthony Davis, Ken Kremer and Tony Adams in his room in Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Bollig received his own special No. 6 Kansas City Chiefs jersey and representing the Chiefs Ambassadors, Maas talked about the feelings that football players have on the field.
    Page 3 of 3 - "We go through the fear of something of this nature happening to one of us," Maas said. "I want you to know that your football brethren, from the Kansas City Chiefs to Ottawa to Chanute, are all going to be pulling for you in your rehab."
    "I'm going to make it through this," Bollig said in a story by KCChiefs.com, "I don't want to boast or anything but I'm going to make it through this."
    I believe him. Most importantly, he believes.
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