Welcome, Isaiah Battle! (or, Thank you, Clemson, for your antiquated view on marijuana!)

Thursday, July 9, 2015 5:48 PM

Helmet with marijuana leaf -- someday, NFL, someday...You’ve certainly heard about the St. Louis Rams selecting Isaiah Battle in this year’s supplemental draft, the first player chosen as such since subsequent All-Pro Josh Gordon in 2012.

LARams.net today would like to point out that this further step in rebuilding a pitiful offensive line was made possible thanks to certain decidedly unprogressive thinking on a certain issue in much of America.

How does a guy who started 11 games in his junior year for a top-15 college program suddenly find himself unwelcome in said program? How is a tackle who paved the way for an average 4.5 yard-per-carry on the left side made “irrelevant” before his senior year? How does an untested freshman get the greenlight to start at one of football’s most important positions?

It’s all easy enough if the academic institution in question and its athletic department maintain a 1920s-like stance on recreational marijuana, which Clemson University apparently does.

An arrest for speeding (which certainly no reader of this website has ever done) plus misdemeanor marijuana possession was not even enough for Clemson City police to arrest Battle in June, yet led the university to eject the LT from the squad immediately. For a little perspective, two other players were suspended at around the same time for offenses which could lead to jail time: one for DUI and possession of cocaine, the other for bank card fraud.

Though in theory Battle could play for the Rams in 2015, consensus among those in the know is leaning toward the former Tiger serving a year on the practice squad as a “sort of redshirt year” in advance of cracking the squad in 2016. This makes for a nice best-of-both-worlds situation for both Battle and the Rams, as ’15 can be spent in developing a future star – or at least a solid option for (not to put too fine a point on it) a seriously weak aspect of this team’s roster.

(It’s verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry tempting to write something akin to “and they owe it all to marijuana” here…)

Better news for Battle and soon-to-be born new baby is the Rams’ planned move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season; that same year, California voters will likely held to the polls in November to vote on a marijuana legalization measure which looks good to be passed – thus removing legal considerations of Battle’s recreational choice in the state.

Still remaining, of course, are the NFL’s own ridiculous barriers regarding marijuana use, a regulation which allows for 10-game suspensions for enjoying a bit of sensamilla as infrequently as once a month. As we’re all well aware, this is the same league which habitually looks the other way on life-shortening, addictive steroid use and has a history of awarding slaps on the wrist for violent domestic abuse.

No matter: By the time Battle hits the field in a Rams uniform, the incident will surely be forgotten and the NFL’s other 31 franchises may rue their lack of a chance at landing a man forced out of school for the silliest of reasons.

– written by Os Davis

Tags: News