Opinion: In defense of Julius Hodge

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Steve Blake was quoted in the News and Observer's by Chip Alexander as saying this about Julius Hodge, "He's just a little punk."

Not that Julius needs it, as he throws a pretty wicked rabbit punch, but let me step up to defend the Bronx Bomber. When Blake threw two intentional and blatant elbows (one missing and one connecting) to Hodge's chest, he deserved the retaliation that Hodge delivered. There are some things in life that real men must defend, and Hodge was defending his basketball manhood after the cheap shots from the real "punk" in this event, Blake.

Now, I understand that the weak minded will say, "restrain your hormones Julius, you should not act in such manner. Don't lower yourself to Blake's standards. Turn the cheek Julius. You should walk away from Blake's challenge." All the political correct metaphors will fit here, just choose the usual one liners from the leftist crowd. But the reality and the truth is, there comes a time to set all "the correctness" aside when a man is challenged.

ACC men's basketball is just that, a man's game. To have Julius act in any other way than to stand up for himself would have been the incorrect thing to have done. Kenny Smith, color commentator for Fox's Sunday night ACC broadcast has things a bit confused when he said, "Julius Hodge is too good of a player to do things like this."

I agree Kenny, Julius Hodge is a good player. I beg to differ on the part about "to do things like this." ACC "punks" like Steve Blake are in fear of Julius Hodge's ability. So if they can intimidate Julius now, with cheap elbow shots, then they don't have to deal with him later. Hodge did the right thing when he tagged the elbow slinging Blake. It sends a statement to all the other "punks" who play in the ACC. "Don't mess with me, cause I will not be intimidated by men who play like "punks".

Sometimes in life, men have to do what men have to do. Yes, this is just a basketball game, but it is a "man's" basketball game. When aggression is played on the court in the form of competition, basic instincts will surface. "Punk" Blake's instinct was to throw two cheap shots, then talk trash to Hodge after the T. Hodge's instinct was to defend his basketball right to play without cheap shots. To suggest that Julius needs to have more class when he was faced with Blake's low class attempt of browbeating is to miss the point what it is to play a "man's game". Hodge had every right to defend his basketball manhood, and I must say he did it well. Hopefully, Julius served some notice to people like Blake who would try to intimidate instead of compete against Hodge. If so, then he will have no need to respond to such "punk like behavior" again.

Letters we've received in response to this article:

  • Blake fan takes offense to "moronic opinions"
  • Tell it like it is Jerry!
  • You are way off base on the Hodge thing
  • While everyone's entitled to their opinion ...
  • Cornwell missed the point...

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