Well I have been putting off this blog for nearly a week now… Not sure how to approach the subject or just too full of anger and disappointment to put it down in words so that they would come out intelligently and not write when I am angry, but since I am a fan of the NFL, I really need to express my opinion on the whole issues [s] of what has gone on the last week.
First, lets state the obvious, Ray Rice is an asshole, plain and simple. He made the conscious decision to spit in the face of his then fiancé and now wife Janay in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino, then if that wasn’t enough, he punched her.. TWICE.. the second time the blow was so hard she fell and hit her head on the handrail of the elevator, knocking her out. The video of the entire altercation was released by TMZ Monday, causing a shit storm that rocked the NFL to its core. Ray was suspended earlier in August for 2 games based on what was public at the time regarding the incident, and it seemed like the NFL was done with the issue, and we were all moving forward. Then Monday after the video was released, the Ravens cut him, and the NFL indefinitely suspended him thereby guaranteeing he would not see the field for the 2014 season.
The video is horrible, and it has been played over and over again by the media, but the fallout from the video is what has blown this up into a national discussion about power, domestic violence, and the image of the NFL. The NFL denied it had seen the video, Roger Goodell the commissioner of the NFL, did an interview that day flatly denying he had seen it and to “his knowledge” no one in the front office of the NFL had seen it. The league was not granted access to it, was not provided it, and therefore did not see it. The Associated Press later came out and said they had in fact mailed a copy of the tape to the NFL offices and they have a recording of an NFL official confirming receipt of the tape and stating that what was on the tape was “horrible”. Goodell later reiterated his stance on the matter saying that he had not seen it and was not aware of anyone in the office ever receiving the tape and that it was being looked into.
Let’s remember that the NFL is the most powerful Professional league I the US. its popularity is number one, no other league comes close in this country. The NFL has powerful resources, and does extensive background checks on all its players before they are drafted. One would think that somewhere, somehow, someone I the front office at one point might have said, “we need to see the tape” to understand the extent of the situation and see exactly what happened. Apparently, by the statements made by Goodell, they felt the interview they conducted with Rice and his wife was enough to get an understanding of what happened and no further investigation was necessary. This is where my face crinkles up and I hold my nose, because something stinks, and no amount of air freshener is going to get rid of this smell. My Opinion on this matter is this… Goodell is protecting the shield, trying to push the incident under the rug, not wanting the situation to tarnish the good name of the NFL and thus, deny everything. This is an attempt at a cover up, plain and simple, and the mastermind of the cover up is Roger Goodell himself.
I have never been one to hold back my opinions on this guy ever since he took over the Commissioner’s job when Paul Tagliabue retired, so let me make this even more clear. Roger Goodell is a disgrace to the game, he has handled this whole situation, and the follow up social issues so bad, that he has lost his right to preside over the NFL in any capacity. He should resign, he should take his $44million and walk away, never to be seen again. The problem is that he HAS to resign, he MUST resign, because as we all know he wont be fired, oh no, he wont, and you want to know why? Because all 32 owners have his back. Goodell has done nothing but make these owners money since being commissioner and there is NO WAY ownership is going to fire him, as he has been their meal ticket since day one. Because of this Goodell must do the right thing by walking away from the NFL, never to be seen again, as he has lost ALL credibility, all trust from the fans, and most of all, he has put a black eye on the most popular and successful sports league in the country.
Now overnight, there is yet another player in news over what appears to be flat out child abuse, and the problem for the NFL in this matter, is it involves arguably the best RB in the entire league. News out of Texas is that Adrian Peterson, RB for the Vikings was indicted on child abuse charges, and pictures have been released showing the abuse, specifically bruises and scars on the child. what makes this so horrible is not that it is AP that is in trouble, but that the child is just 4 years old. Supposedly AP is stating that the bruises were the result of him hitting the child with a SWITCH and that stated that it was the result of normal discipline and is nothing out of the ordinary. You can decide for yourself, as the pictures of the injuries are here, and they are disturbing. I am a child of the 70’s and 80’s, my mother used t beat me with a wooden spoon, and who here has never experienced the pain of their father whooping them with a belt that grew up in that era, but one thing my parents never did was hit me to the point where there were marks or bruises on my body. This is abuse, plain and simple, and where this goes at this point is not clear, AP was booked into the Montgomery County Jail this morning and posted $15,000 bond right away.
On a final note to these issues, I sit here a sad person, because all of the negativity that has come out of the NFL this week has tarnished the game I love, not to mention the league I love, and I am unsure how to handle it. I would like to believe that most of the players in the NFL lead upstanding, normal, relatively clan lives, but with all of the news this week, plus the other off-field issues regarding Josh Gordon, Wes Welker, Orlando Scandrick, Ray McDonald, and Greg Hardy, my overall opinion and view of the NFL has changed. I know that most of the players in the league are good people, and that they do wonderful things off the field for charities, are upstanding family men, and are not the problem, but it seems like only the bad news becomes public, and along with the NBA and MLB, the NFL is going to be yet another league that is associated more with how their players behave off the field rather than on the field.
Finally, I want to address an issue that has been eating at me for months. I originally started this blog to make regular contributions to it, and in my eyes, I have failed to do so. I have been lazy and inattentive to the site, and as of right now, September 13th, 2014 (My 48th birthday btw) I am rededicating myself to making regular contributions to this blog on a weekly basis. I hope to post 2-3 times a week, and provide updated and fresh content for my ramblings, rants, and perspective on not just the NFL, but the entire sports world. So settle in, get ready, and here we go. The Sports Nerd is coming of age, and will begin to make an impact on how you view everything related to the sports world.
Get in the Game…. Or ride the Bench, the choice is yours…3
Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright