Ray Rice, Roger Goodell & NFL 2014 Week 2 Thursday Night Pick & Analysis – FootballThursday, September 11, 2014 12:37
Picks and analysis for the Thursday night game of Week 2 of the 2014 NFL season.
BARBARIANS AT GOODELL’S GATE
I was a teenager when Richard Nixon resigned as President. I can still recall the doubt, the palpable sadness, regret, and shame many Americans shared as a nation. There was a sense that we had failed. We, after all, elected the man twice.
Along with the collective guilt America felt over the Watergate scandal was a hidden sense of…pride is the only word that fits…The system worked. No man, not even the president was above the law…
The media conducted itself responsibly, investigated thoroughly, and put the unadulterated facts before the American people.
Our representatives examined the evidence, affirmed its veracity, listened to tapes Nixon himself wanted recorded, and representatives from his own party gave Richard Nixon an ultimatum—resign or you will be impeached and convicted.
No coup necessary, no shots fired. A painful, unprecedented transfer of power occurred without protests, riots, or gnashing of teeth.
Justice was done.
We were a nation founded on certain principles and truths. Nixon corrupted those principles and violated those truths—and he faced the consequences.
Seems so quaint doesn’t it? Words like “Justice” and “Consequences” and “Truth.”
THE NFL MICROCOSM
The NFL’s handling of Ray Rice’s brutal assault on Janay Palmer mirrors a tragic American reality—we are a nation without truth—or are unwilling to see the truth—and nobody pays consequences.
Let me amend that: The consequences paid for one’s actions varies in direct proportion to one’s wealth, status, and fame.
Michael Brown—on video stealing cigars—didn’t obey a gangster pig’s order… Consequences: Public execution.
Ray Rice—famous, rich athlete—recorded viciously assaulting his girlfriend… Consequences: Will have his record expunged after entering a pre-trial program. True, Rice lost his job and status, but still has 25 million in the bank paid to him in the last two years.
Rice also can hire an experienced PR “team” to rehab his “image.” Don’t be surprised if, six months from now, we see an OWN produced reality show called Janay & Ray: From Abuse to Trust.
We’ll cry with Ray in the therapy session where he confesses to his uncle Rufus touching him in the bad place. Poor Janay will chronicle witnessing her mother as the victim of abuse. (Scott Pioli, on Sirius satellite radio, recently hinted that Rice might have been an abuse victim.)
Truth is, Ray-Ray will survive his consequences just fine.
PISS ON THE SHIELD
What about the other characters in this American tragicomedy?
Let’s review, shall we?
Roger Goodell, with not one shred of evidence showing Ben Roethlisberger assaulted a woman, made it a public point to say that the NFL wanted to make an example of Roethlisberger. (Of course, my readers know it was part of a cynical ploy to launch a campaign to attract more women fans to the league).
Try to hold in your laughter as you read a salient part of a condescending letter this two-bit huckster, Goodell, masquerading behind a law degree and the NFL shield wrote to the Steelers’ quarterback in April of 2010:
“The Personal Conduct Policy makes clear that I may impose discipline ‘even where the conduct does not result in conviction of a crime’ as, for example, where the conduct ‘imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person’ … or conduct that ‘undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL.’”
Someone needs to explain to me how Roger Goodell, determined Ben Roethlisberger “endangered another person or undermined the integrity of the NFL” after discovering a Nevada hotel employee emailed to friends she wanted a “Little Ben,” and after the Steelers quarterback was completely exonerated of any assault on a drunk Georgia coed; yet, did not determine that Ray Rice was an “inherent danger to the safety and well being of” Janay Palmer, or Rice’s actions did not undermine “the integrity and reputation of the NFL.
Forget the knockout video; I’m talking just the video in which Rice drags the unconscious Palmer from the elevator. It looked like Rice was impatient, as if he were muttering, “Not again with this crazy bitch.”
Even if that wasn’t the case, Ray Rice certainly wasn’t acting like someone concerned for his woman’s well-being; behavior on its face that put at risk the integrity and reputation of Rice, the Baltimore Ravens, and the National Football League.
Like a Hall of Fame shyster, Goodell uses the frivolous Nevada civil suit to insist the subsequent false accusation in Georgia was worthy of a six game suspension for Ben, yet does not glean any worst case scenario from watching Rice unceremoniously drag Palmer from the elevator.
The urine stench on the NFL Shield is gag-worthy…
THE URINATOR IN CHIEF
Giving Roger Goodell every benefit of every doubt…
What the NFL has here is a systemic failure to investigate events that were in the public eye. The village idiot could have deduced something criminal happened in that elevator, and, given Rice’s actions in the initial video, he was probably responsible.
Jeffery B. Miller, former head of the Pennsylvania state police, is the NFL’s security chief. In his employ, if NFL Radio commentators are accurate, is a highly experienced team of former Secret Service and FBI agents, and police officers.
How can it be, these same “professionals”—all veterans of a law enforcement culture, where it is okay to call peaceful protesters animals; who harass people of color because of their color, and who have their brethren’s backs even if they pump forty rounds into a teenager who was reaching for his cell phone—How can it be none of these seasoned law enforcement professionals didn’t realize the elevator tape would be a loaded smoking gun?
Goodell insists he had not seen the KO tape until Monday September 8th. He insists the KO tape was not seen by anybody at NFL headquarters.
A very recent AP report details a recorded voice message from an NFL exec who received the tape from a law enforcement official, in April 2014, and agreed the tapes contents were “terrible.”
Somebody is lying or is an incompetent fool who was paid 44 million dollars by NFL owners in 2013—or both.
Remember…All of the above is damning if Roger Goodell is guilty of being just a blithering idiot.
Don’t believe it for a second.
Goodell’s a slick lawyer, folks. You don’t rise to his position sporting a single digit IQ.
He is too adept at lawyer doublespeak, obfuscation, sleight-of-language, and hypocrisy to be stupid.
Truth is, when Ol’ Roger destroyed the Spy Gate evidence or made an example of Roethlisberger, whose worse crime was partying like a college freshman, Goodell’s only purpose was and is to PROTECT. THE. SHIELD….By any means necessary …No matter what the cost…
His utter failure to do so in the Rice case should end his employment forthwith.
The NFL is one of the largest corporate entities in American life. With a simple phone call to the proper law enforcement agency Roger Goodell could have had a copy of that KO tape for a couple passes to the next Jets game.
Any American with a fair mind and common sense knows that to be true.
Therefore, Goodell, NFL Security, and the Baltimore Ravens management have conspired to obstruct justice, obscure the truth, and minimize the consequences to all.
Robert Kraft, Jerry Richardson, and any other owners who have come out in support of Roger Goodell should tell him what the Republican members of Congress told Nixon: The Barbarians are at the gate—if you don’t get out, we will let them in…
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
One of the media members I admire most, Keith Olberman, says if I and the other hundred million fans don’t boycott every NFL game until Goodell, Ozzie Newsome, and Jeffery B. Miller resign or are fired, we must bear some of the responsibility for the NFL’s and society’s laissez faire attitude towards men who abuse women.
Love you Keith, but the Steelers are playing the Ravens in Baltimore. The Rice case has nudged up the Rat Birds a little higher on my Hate List—but Roger Goodell, the owners and any co-conspirators made their bed, don’t expect me to sleep in it.
UPSET SPECIAL – WEEK TWO PREMIERE PARLAY = ATS & TOTAL
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens – 3 (44.5)
The most intense rivalry in the game resumes at M & T Bank Stadium as the Steelers seek to push the Ravens into a deeper divisional hole after the Rat Birds lost to the defending AFC North Champion Bengals while the Steelers barely avoided historical humiliation after giving up 24 second half points to the Browns.
Both of these teams have some promising young talent that could impact any game. In the last two years, Baltimore and Pittsburgh have lost HOF worthy players to declining skills or retirement. Both are still capable of paying tough defense—albeit inconsistently.
Last week, the Steelers were clicking on all cylinders until the Browns no-huddle offense nearly cracked the engine block with the Bryan Hoyer led no-huddle offense. Pittsburgh’s defense held when it counted late and Steeler Nation breathed a sigh of relief probably heard in Baltimore.
Conversely the Raven held the Striped Cats to five field goals, came back to take the lead 16 – 15, only to give up a late bomb from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green.
I’m betting over the number because the Steelers run defense is scary bad. Young linebackers and new safeties overrun their gaps on every other play. In the passing game, slow corner backs and slower old safeties are missing tackles and assignments all over the field.
And the Raven’s defense isn’t much better.
Joe Flacco threw 62 times against the Bengals—he might throw 72 times against Pittsburgh. The wild card could be the Black & Gold’s 2014 first-rounder from Ohio State, Ryan Shazier. This kid has 4.2 speed as a linebacker and is a legit game changer.
I know John Harbaugh has his locker room under control, but how can the Ray Rice fallout not be a major distraction in a short week? Rice either lied to his bosses or they helped cover his ass. How can that not trickle down to the players?
Even if the Ravens remain focused, I’m taking the Steelers and the field goal to pull off the upset. Ben Roethlisberger has embraced Todd Haley’s system and Pittsburgh has the horses to outscore anyone.
With that defense, they’ll have too.
Steelers 36, Ravens 31
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