Anthony Joshua By Tayo BalogunI have always held the view that most people around our President Muhammadu Buhari are self seekers. Out mainly to fester their nests while they perpetually ingratiate his ego . They tell him he is the best our country ever had. That our nation under him never had it better. That he has successfully wiped out corruption and has won the war on terror. That the only people hungry are the lazy ones. They create imaginary foes for him to make him see them as loyal apostles of his Change mantra. They lie to him on almost every issue and create a world distanced from reality for him.Two years ago his Agriculture Minister told him most of the rice factories in Thailand are foreclosed because of the rice we produce in our country! I got to pity our President when the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Presidential Debate on national television said that his principal does not know about most things happening in the country. ‘ He doesn’t know. He is not aware’ was how he put it. I feel a pity for our President because he does appear to be shortchanged by those around him who keep preying on his perceived weaknesses of ever wanting to be adulated and a tendency to criminally delegate authority to those who are not necessarily competent.While I was rooting for Buhari in 2015, I knew he could only function properly as a Board Chairman who would assemble the best there are to help him rule. More like a Ronald Reagan. But instead, he chose mostly incompetent cronies . That is why we now have abundant evidence of a government on AWOL! The culminating result is that now everything is at sixes and sevens. We are properly speaking in a state of anomie.The latest illustration of this is the preventable travel ban placed on our country by a nation that has been most helpful to us in all aspects of our development as a country. People around our President are not going to do their jobs but will seek to do others’ badly.Let me illustrate with the wrongly handled Anthony Joshua presentation to the President in London recently. Most readers of this column would know that Joshua fought and reclaimed the WBO,WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles from Andy Ruiz late last year after the Mexican American had unexpectedly earlier defeated him. Despite fighting as a British boxer, Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua has never shied away from identifying with our country. In a recent television commercial, he proudly claimed he has been able to draw strenght from his Nigerianness which has made it possible for him to benefit from our never say die spirit of turning adverse situations around to get victories. He has not exactly become a folk hero but he surely has a huge drawing power in our country.When he won the rematch against Ruiz, it was akin to Nigeria winning a major sporting event. Most people wanted our country to honor him and use his victory to motivate our youths. To make them believe they can possitively turn their adversity around. The expectation was that a reception would be organized for him . He would come to the country, visit a few places, get to address youths and generally have his day in our sun. Ànd in the process, give hope to millions who have little expectations for a better tomorrow.Anthony Joshua’s anticipated official visit would have helped this administration to no end. Everyone would have benefitted – the street urchins, young Nigerians who look forward unendingly to having something to celebrate, our government looking for anything to calm and placate a restive populace. But some officials perhaps wanting to find something for the President to do, since they can not justify why Buhari would spend eight days in the UK to attend a two day so-called summit, felt squeezing the ‘Joshua Dobale’ visit to the President would be a bright idea. In the process they shortchanged our country and denied Buhari another opportunity to move this country forward.Sports can do a lot for this country and our President must open his eyes to the numerous advantages inherent in it.May the LORD bless our country.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
College football is subject to sudden shifts and changes by nature. In 2010, Auburn stormed its way to an undefeated national championship season on the shoulders of a junior college transfer named Cam Newton. Two years later, the Tigers finished 3-9 and the school fired Gene Chizik, the same head coach who led them to a title just 24 months prior. While not necessarily as extreme as what happened to Auburn, each team looks different from year to year as players leave for the NFL and others fill their roles. For the Trojans, this season’s biggest change is that sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold no longer has to be the focal point of the offense. That distinction belongs to running backs, junior Ronald Jones II and freshman Stephen Carr. When Carr entered campus as a five-star recruit in August, he started making waves in fall camp almost immediately. Coaches and teammates alike praised his vision and elusiveness as he continuously broke off long touchdown runs in live scrimmages, sometimes flipping the field if his original hole was clogged. Very quickly it became clear: An already solid backfield featuring Jones, junior Aca’Cedric Ware and redshirt freshman Vavae Malepeai was about to get even more crowded. In the first game of the season, Carr needed just seven carries to show the USC faithful what all the hype was about. He raced for 69 yards, including one dazzling 52-yard scamper where he sidestepped a Western Michigan defender straight into their Week 2 matchup with Stanford. Accompanying the star-making performance for Carr, was a bigger and stronger Jones who trucked his way toward 159 yards and three touchdowns, opening the game with a Marshawn Lynch-esque 29-yard rampage where he broke tackle after tackle. Whereas Darnold often struggled to find open receivers against the Broncos, the Trojan running backs seemed to find nothing but open space. Entering Week 2 against No. 14 Stanford, many were worried about how the Trojans would fare given their struggle to put Western Michigan away. The team came out with a clear game plan from the very first drive: Run the ball, and then run it some more. Offensive coordinator Tee Martin fed Jones the ball four times in a row on the Trojans’ first possession, and his ground-pound strategy never relented from that point. Collectively, the running back group rushed 45 times for 300 yards with both Jones and Carr topping over 100 yards. Jones did most of the dirty work, grinding in between holes for 3- to 4-yard gains, while Carr once again was the sparkplug. He ripped off another impressive 52-yard run.USC has featured many talented running backs over the past decade, but this year’s two-headed monster has a chance to be the program’s best tandem since the “thunder and lightning” days of LenDale White and Reggie Bush. If the Trojans continue their string of dominance, it will not be long before they have their own collective nickname. The most important development from Jones and Carr’s success, however, is that Darnold no longer carries all of the weight of the offense on his shoulders.Last year USC’s rushing attack was solid but inconsistent. The team finished fifth in the Pac-12 for rushing yards with 200.7 per game. However, the running game often faded away in big game situations. Against ranked opponents, the Trojans’ rushing yards per game dipped to 150, which meant that the offense tended to rely solely on Darnold’s arm in key situations (such as the Rose Bowl, when he had a season-high 53 pass attempts). While watching Darnold sling around the ball against marquee opponents will never get old, the Trojans need a more balanced attack in order to run the table this year. Jones and Carr’s success does not just alleviate some of the offensive pressure on Darnold; they can also help open up the passing game. With Stanford’s defense keyed in on the run, two of his four passing touchdowns came off the play action. When the running game was established early in the game, Darnold looked more settled than he did in his shaky start against Western Michigan, rattling off his first 10 throws for completions. The emergence of USC’s explosive running game does not necessarily mean that Darnold has to take a back seat in terms of the spotlight — after all, his 316-yard, four-touchdown performance against Stanford earned him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. It does, however, mean Darnold has a larger margin for error as he develops chemistry with a burgeoning receiving corps and the pressure to win games no longer lies squarely on his shoulder. “I think we realized that in practice [what kind of player Stephen Carr is],” Darnold said after the Stanford game. “When you watch him run, he just has it,whatever it is. RoJo has it too.”Trevor Denton is a sophomore studying journalism. He is also the deputy sports editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, T-Time, runs on Wednesdays.