TOP OF THE TOWN – Hey, Michael Bennett retired. That may be a good thing all-around for coaches and for opposing teams because Bennett was a menace, a good menace, no matter if he was on the football field or off of it. Sometimes it takes somebody with the guts to say it the way it is to knock the stuffing off of the righteous and make us understand that things could be better if only we got off our butts and made it so. I have the feeling that after 11 tumultuous years on the gridiron and on the front pages of the sports section, Bennett will not just disappear. He will be seen. He will be heard.  In a story today in the Seattle Times authored by Bob Condotta, Bennett announced his retirement after 11 seasons, most of them with the Seahawks, with a post on Instagram: “Feels a little like death itself,” he wrote, “but I’m looking forward to the rebirth – the opportunity to reimagine my purpose.” The 34-year-old Bennett, who did things his way, will now do things his way in a different format. He wrote a book – Things that make White People Uncomfortable – and has plans to make that into a TV series. That should be interesting. And that is an understatement. In the midst of a pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests across the country, you can bet Bennett will be taking a knee whenever it is called upon. While others sit, Bennett will likely be on the front lines and instead of rushing the quarterback he will be rushing the status quo. I’m with him. Go for it. Stir the pot until a beautiful life can be held for all and there is equal justice not just for white privilege but for non-whites as well. We are fighting a tough battle against evil demons led by Trump, but we must prevail and I’m glad that Bennett has taken off his football uniform and will be joining in our efforts. Let’s get ‘em. … I have a crazy gut feeling that if the baseball season manages to get in its scheduled 60-game season with this pandemic breathing down our necks that the Mariners, surprise, surprise, will do well. Nobody – NOBODY – is projecting that, but I am. I covered baseball for nearly 30 seasons and it takes 60 games for the good teams to separate themselves from the pack and the weakness the Mariners have – starting pitching and bullpen plus power – may not show itself with just a 60-game season. Remember, baseball is a game of inches. You get a few lucky bounces and unexpected production and, bingo, you are right in the middle of a pennant race. Hey we had the Miracle Mets 51 years ago managed by Gil Hodges that was so unexpected so why not the Miracle Mariners? Those Mets were in their ninth season in franchise history and had never had a winning season, losing at least 100 in five of them. But they confounded all the experts and went 100-62 won the National League East by 8 games over the Cubs, beat Atlanta in the first NL Championship Series and Baltimore in five games to win the World Series. Donn Clendenon was the MVP, hitting .357 in the World Series with three home runs. So the Miracle Mariners it is. … I have said this before but I could never even think about competing in UFC. As a young kid I was a good boxer with excellent hand-eye-coordination and very quick hands (I “beat” Ken Griffey Jr. in a brief shadow boxing outing in the Mariners’ clubhouse. I had quicker hands then he did.), but those UFC fights are brutal. They get right down to the basic core survival instincts of humans – beat or be beaten. A lot of those characters when interviewed post-fight seem to enjoy being beat-up. And they are the winners!! I remember in high school one day two guys that didn’t like each other much agreed to square off at lunch time in the gym. The word spread that there would be this confrontation, and maybe 50 of us stood around watching these two idiots beat on each other. The rule was that each would get a turn to punch the other. Which I thought was the stupidest of the stupid. If you are going to fight somebody you don’t give him a chance to punch you. So they took turns hitting each other. It was sadistic. I don’t remember who won. They may have decided to just quit at some point. I do remember them getting punched and seemingly not being affected by it. I once got in a fight with a close friend (he was drunk) and I tried not to hit him. I let him swing away and as long as he missed, I was good. Finally, he tagged me on the shoulder. I must have ducked late. That ticked me off and even though I didn’t want to hit him my emotions took over and I hit him with a straight right hand that decked him. He had to be patched up later and I’m still upset that I did that, and it happened nearly 60 years ago (he died 27 years ago).  Enough of this. See you later.

Be well pal

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.