This Is How Tom Brady Sacked Himself

Same as Watergate, the cover-up is always far worse than the crime.

If Tom Brady were smarter than he is egotistical he would have said, “Hey, I like the football to be soft. I like any competitive advantage I can get. It’s not cheating, but I apologize. Bill me” and probably skated with no suspension, a $25,000 fine and a stern “don’t do that again.”

Do that, and we’re all over and done with Deflategate, the dullest and  least insignificant “scandal.”   The Patriots cheated?  In a game where they anally violated the Colts 45-7?   In God’s name WHY?   Brady is as close to a football god as we’re likely to see.   Swallow the icky medicine Lady Brady and go make another Super Bowl run.

But oh no, that wasn’t good enough. Tommy Boy decided not only did he want NO suspension and NO fine and NO punishment for cheating, he wanted the NFL to bend over and apologize to him. Hubris and dickish swagger, thy name is Brady, Belicheat and Kraft.

Sorry, but no player, no coach, no owner and no team is bigger than the rest of the NFL. Brady wouldn’t cooperate, came up with a bullshit story about destroying his phone and dared Roger Goodell to suspend him.

Dare accepted. See you in court.

Bradys-soft-balls

Nothing is certain in a court of law, but judges do not like overturning the decision of an arbitrator. That’s why there is arbitration in the first place; so these matters don’t end up in a judge’s courtroom. That’s where the Patriots will be placing their hopes Brady will be able to play in the season opener

Brady is risking delaying his suspension until later in the season when the Patsies might need him for a playoff push, but hey, better to feed his ego and hurt the team than own his screw-up and take his medicine like a big boy.

Hope it’s worth it to you, Tom. Pride is a nasty mutha.  Lose this match against the league and you lose big, baby.

Guess we’ll find out how a judge sees it. I’d still take Lady Brady in my fantasy football draft team, but I’d still want a good back-up for the first four games.

The Evidence of Things Now Seen.

There is no reason for this. No justification. No excuse. No forgiving.

Regarding the NFL’s suspending (or more precisely extending) Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice two-game suspension to an “indefinite” one I have two questions.

Is anyone so gullible to really believe the NFL never saw the video of Rice punching out his fiancée before TMZ released the video to the world?

If so, could I interest you in some oceanfront property in the desert?

This is a billion dollar business that suspends a player for the entire season for smoking marijuana while giving another TWO GAMES for knocking out and dragging an unconscious woman off of an elevator and dumping her on the floor like a sack of potatoes.

This is a league that misled, deceived and lied to the players of the damage concussions were doing to them and then tried to nickel-and-dime them in a lawsuit with a settlement so chintzy even a federal judge threw a penalty flag on it.

The NFL doesn’t give a damn about women. Why would they? There are active players in the league whom have killed people, who have been convicted of drunk driving, gang bangers, drug addicts and other law breakers and given them chance after chance to play in the league. If Aaron Hernandez wasn’t behind bars under suspicion of murdering at least two people, he’d probably still be catching passes from Tom Brady on Sunday afternoons.  Conduct a poll of the average fan and they’re probably less concerned about domestic abuse than what Rice’s suspension means to their fantasy football team.

Welp, I guess I got more time to work on being the new Mike Tyson…”

To be a fan of NFL football means you gotta take a lot of bad with the good and I should know. I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan.

What’s the lesson here? Beat a woman’s ass and you get a couple of weeks off. Fail a drug test and you’re done for the year. Some lesson.

Roger Goodell‘s much ballyhooed new policy cracking down on woman beating ballers only came to pass after the NFL caught hell from the public and press for the sloppy wet kiss Rice received. The league doesn’t care what the players do to their wives, girlfriends and significant others as long as it doesn’t blowback on their precious, carefully calculated image.

Goodell and the Baltimore Ravens are enablers of violence against women. Which is kind of funny when you consider how in Goodell’s NFL the big killshot hard hit has nearly been flagged, penalized, regulated and legislated out of existence.

The NFL hasn’t gotten around to Atlantic City elevators.  I knew this shoe was going to drop. If anyone can go to You Tube and watch video of Jay-Z and his sister-in-law duking it out on a lift, who’s gonna believe the most powerful and wealthiest professional sports league in America can’t get their hands on what happened to Janay Parker before Ray Rice dumped her on the floor of an Atlantic City hotel?

Commissioner Clueless.

Goodell, the Ravens and Rice all lied, all deceived,  until it all blew up in their faces.    Had this video not emerged, Rice would be two weeks away from practicing and playing against the Browns.    Now he’s got a lot of free time to kill and Janay  should be worried about what he’ll do with all that idle time on his hands.

When the shitstorm of criticism blew up in his face,  Goodell weakly admitted he “didn’t get it right” with Rice’s wrist slap.  Goodell is nothing but consistent:  He’s still not getting it right.

The NFL doesn’t advocate domestic abuse.   But it doesn’t take it seriously either.

 

Aldon Smith: Troubled Man

Smith is a young man blessed with considerable athletic ability and not a bit of good sense.

I don’t really want to talk about football in April though it was cold enough yesterday to play football. I don’t want to, but as a San Francisco 49ers fan it’s hard not to talk about football in April even though the team stopped playing in January. It’s what they’ve been doing off the field since then that has made for the worst off-season I can ever recall for the Niners.

Since the Seattle Seahawks sent the Niners in the NFC Championship for the right to slap the crap out of the hapless Denver Broncos, the 49ers have been headlines news in sports pages from California to Columbus and for all the wrong reasons.   The head coach was supposedly leaving to take over the Cleveland Browns.   Then the coach was staying to continue working with a general manager he barely spoke to.  Then the starting center was busted for drunk driving.  Then, Chris Culliver,  a cornerback who made an ass of himself during last year’s Super Bowl by making homophobic comments followed that up by getting injured and missing all of the 2013 season.   He started this year by getting involved in a hit-and-run and faces criminal charges.  Then Colin Kapernick, who was hoping for a reworked contract, was named in an investigation about a woman who says she was drugged and left naked in a hotel room and woke up to find herself in a hospital.   No charges have yet been filed against Kapernick and wide receiver Quiton Patton.

Then Aldon Smith, a dominant force on Sundays and a train wreck every other day tested the sense of humor of TSA agents at Los Angeles Airport when he claimed he had a bomb.   He didn’t, but those humorless TSA agents arrested him anyway as the 49ers Off-season from Hell continues.

Once is an Accident, Twice is a Coincidence, Three Times is a Pattern. Then there’s All-Pro linebacker’s Aldon Smith‘s crime spree where screwing up three times isn’t a pattern. It’s Friday.

The 49ers have to decide by May 3 whether to pick up the option year of Smith’s contract to avoid him walking away as a free agent in 2015. Or being driven away to prison. Smith would see his pay raised from $3 million to cashing checks worth $9.75 million if the team chooses to take the plunge. They shouldn’t. Smith is too volatile, too erratic, too undependable and too prone to trouble.

Check the record.

Four arrests including two for drunk driving. Gun possession charges including an assault weapon, bomb threats. These are not the acts of someone who is simply high-spirited.

“Man, thinkin’ is hard!”

Smith isn’t the most troubled player the 49ers have ever had. Besides Haley, there was Lawrence Phillips and of course, O.J. Simpson, though he hadn’t killed anybody when he was wearing the crimson and gold. At least nobody we know of.

The old NFL cliché about injuries is, “You can’t make plays from the locker room.” You can’t make plays from the courtroom either and that’s where Smith will be spending a lot of  time.   The legendary Bill Walsh was one of the least sentimental coaches in football history. Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, and Jerry Rice were all-stars for the 49ers and Walsh and his successor, George Seifert sent every one of them out-of-town. Walsh’s philosophy was cold, but pragmatic: “Better to get rid of ’em a year too soon than a year too late.”

Aldon Smith is an unquestionable talent and losing him would hurt the 49ers in the short run, but he is replaceable. Every player in the NFL is.

The Niners have been here before with a player who had All-Pro talent and an all-time head case. That was Charles Haley, another superfreaky talented pass rusher who was a terror on the field and just terrible off it.

He simply wore out his welcome in San Francisco with several well-publicized outbursts even though he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1991.

In one notable episode, he got so upset after a 1991 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders that the 49ers called on his former teammate, Ronnie Lott, to come out of the Raiders locker room to calm him down.

Coach George Seifert of the 49ers has said that Haley’s departure “helped team chemistry.”

Hall of Famer Bill Walsh never coached Aldon Smith, but it’s hard to think he would have for very long.

“You never knew when he was going to go off,” 49ers running back Dexter Carter said. “Other guys would kid around and tease, but Charles was different. He was meaner. I didn’t like the guy, and I told him that to his face. And believe me, I’m not alone.”

Haley later learned he was bipolar. Maybe Smith should give him a call and chat?

I’ve heard on sports radio Smith needs help, not condemnation. If Indianapolis Colts Robert Irsay has alcohol issues, it’s already known Smith does after he voluntarily checking into a rehab center with 49ers owner Jeb York standing by his side in the locker room and the approval of Goodell. Neither man will be as accommodating to the troubled linebacker from here on out.

We’ve passed the point of diminishing returns on this dude. The 49ers have become the new Raiders of the NFL with all the criminality and stupidity and Smith is Public Enemy #1. Even if he somehow holds on to his place on this team (and by now it should be by the thinnest of threads), how long is the suspension going to be coming from Roger Goodell‘s office? The commissioner was probably already ticked off by the poor box office performance of Draft Day and when he heard what spectacularly stupid thing Smith had done this time he had to thinking, “Ge’ez, not THIS guy again?”

Giving Smith four games off without pay would be a gift, but Goodell could double the punishment and it still might not get through to Smith how tenuous his future employment in the NFL is. Maybe half or all of a season without football would get through to him. But nothing has before so why should believe it will now?

I hate the idea of Aldon Smith in a Seattle Seahawk uniform terrorizing the 49ers two or more times a season, but I’m beginning to hate the idea of Aldon Smith in a 49ers uniform at all.

Aldon_Smith

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The Hypocrisy of the NFL’s N-Word Ban

“Don’t hurt me N-words.”

In yet another clumsily misguided attempt to exercise control over the players, the NFL is considering making the saying the slur, “nigger” on the field punishable by a 15-yard penalty.  Well, isn’t that sweet?   A league run by a pompous ass of a commissioner who cashed $44 million in checks last year given to him by 32 billionaires and millionaires and not a dark face among any of them are going to impose their morality upon the 70 percent Black young urban men who make up their teams.

The NFL is in full reactionary mode in the aftermath of the investigation into the sordid and ugly racial harassment suffered by Jonathan Martin by the crude Richie Incognito and other Miami Dolphins players.   Trying to impose a ban on a troublesome word won’t solve the problem of bullying in the locker room, but Roger Goodell isn’t one of the world’s most thoughtful CEO’s.   His approach is that of a hammer with nails all around him.

So if I’m a NFL player and I can’t say “nigger” but I can say “REDSKINS! REDSKINS! REDSKINS!”  that’s all good with Goodell?   Smells like a double standard to me.

“Wassup, my N-words?”

ESPN’s  Outside the Lines recently discussed the usage of “nigger” in popular sports and how the word is considered radically differently by generations with some seeing it as nothing but a vile and vicious insult while a younger generation that grew up dancing to it in rap music and hip-hop culture embrace it as a term of affection.

I didn’t get a lot out of the conversation except being disappointed in Michael Wilbon, a well-respected sports journalist,  shrugging off the slur as something he’s okay with because he uses the word when he’s kickin’ it  with the fellas.   The rationalization that it’s time to fight if a White guy asks, “Are you my nigga?”  but it’s all good when a Black guy does it is garbage.

There is no racial slur equal to being called a “nigger.” That is always the ultimate trump card a White person can throw on the table to insult a Black person. What’s the equivalent retort? White trash? Cracker? Republican?

Why someone thinks it is empowering to refer to themselves or others by a word that has always been to cast doubt on the very humanity of Blacks is a bafflement to me. I’m sure there’s an explanation of how this works, but I’ve never heard a good one.

I neither have nor want friends that feel comfortable in calling me a nigger and misspelling it as “nigga” is bullshit that doesn’t fly with me either.  Still, you can’t regulate and legislate “nigger” out of existence.   The NAACP staged a mock burial of the epithet several years ago, but that failed to kill it off.   How could it?  Only time, education and a greater sophistication of how unnecessary and stigmatizing it is to keep pumping life into what should be a dead word will drive the stake through its rancid heart.

Chris Murray, the Philadelphia-based sports journalist added his disdain for using “nigger” as a term among friends in his Facebook news feed with some in agreement and a few in vehement disagreement with one guy making a point of letting everyone know it too.

 Everybody in this thread is a nigger. I said it!!!

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I made a common mistake.  I attempted to being reasonable with an unreasonable man.  I said, “Please brother, speak FOR yourself ABOUT yourself. If you want to wear that tag, wear if for yourself, but don’t try to hang it around my neck.”

“I don’t know any niggers, don’t hang with any niggers and don’t call anyone a nigger.”

Jeff Winbush oh yea…you a nigger too. And you know quite a few.

I’m a proud nigga. Gonna be one until I die. And Jeff Winbush do your homework before you try to insult me. Nigga!!!!

No hood talk, not tryin to be tuff. Just truth. Ya know, it ain’t bad bein a nigga. I’m just not a white mans nigger! Get the.point!

Nigga nigga nigga nigga.

Trying to insult someone you don’t know with an ignorant word is really kind of ignorant. It’s a strong indicator you have to resort to dumb words because you don’t know enough smart ones.  I’m a proud Black man and nobody’s nigger or “nigga” which is just a cowardly way of trying to remix a vile and foolish word.

You can’t polish a turd. Trying to reclaim “nigger” as a term of endearment is a fool’s errand and an epic FAIL.  You’re saying “we” never had a problem with the word when you mean “I” never had a problem with the word.

I DO have a problem with the word and the word has gone away from my vocabulary. I don’t associate myself with an ignorant word that has only been used to degrade and diminish the humanity of Black people.

For the sake of accuracy, there’s no such thing as a “nigga.”  That’s a hip bastardization of a troublesome word.   Either you believe in the slur or you don’t.  All in or all out.  I’m out.

The NFL should be too.  Out of trying to be the P.C. police imposing the ethical standards of White owners on Black players.   They should trust in the ability of the players themselves to police their own language and each other.   If the NFL really finds the N-word so offensive they should stop treating the players like that’s what they are.

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Hatin’ With Mr. Cooper

Lone Eagle

Riley Cooper is a NFL wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles and he’s never heard of you either.

Riley Cooper went to a Kenny Chesney concert and tried to get backstage.  Concert security not recognizing or caring who Riley Cooper is did their jobs and refused to allow him to get backstage to see Chesney.

Riley Cooper did not like that.  So he let everyone within earshot know precisely how much he didn’t like the security guard stopping him.

“I will jump that fence and fight every nigger here, bro,”  Riley Cooper proclaims though there are no niggers in sight of the camera and presumably not that many Blacks showing up for a Kenny Chesney concert.

Deadspin received a message from a tipster about a possible reason for Cooper’s bad behavior.

Riley was going fucking nuts because he wasn’t allowed backstage. He didn’t have passes like some of the other players and was SO pissed that the stadium people wouldn’t let him back just because he was Riley Cooper. He had been drinking since 11 AM (Kenny didn’t go on until 8).

Few things are more divisive in a locker room than a racial controversy and quarterback Michael Vick, no stranger to controversy, threw Cooper a life-preserver, “What if your son or daughter made a mistake of this fashion, how would you want people to proceed? I’ve been there before. It’s a very delicate situation that we all understand. Somehow we’ve all got to find a way to get past it.”

However, there are many Blacks on the Eagles roster and even more Blacks playing cornerback, safety and linebacker in the NFL and many of them will not take kindly to Cooper’s ethnic slurs or his feeble apologies.    Cooper’s teammate, running back LeSean McCoy certainly doesn’t seem ready to get past it.

“I guess the real him came out that day,” McCoy told  Albert Breer. “The cameras are off, you don’t think nobody’s watching or listening, and then you find out who they really are. And to hear how he really came off, that shows you what he’s really all about.”

The refusal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to take any action against Cooper for his repulsive racism underscores his growing uselessness.  Goodell sends his sneaks and snitches to every game to watch for players wearing the wrong kinds of socks because it’s bad for the league’s image, but refuses to suspend Cooper for bigoted slurs.

If Goodell refuses to enforce any sort of corrective behavior for Cooper off the field,  someone on the field will do it for him.

Riley Cooper should probably keep his head on a swivel the next time he runs a slant pattern in the middle of the field.   Defensive backs love to smack the hell out of wide receivers as a matter of principle.  Imagine the sort of wood they are going to lay on Cooper when they are motivated.

Cooper has been in the NFL three seasons and has played in 40 games and started in 10. These are his stats as a wide receiver:

Receptions: 46
Yards: 679
Average: 14.8
TD’s: 5

This guy is a perennial backup and bench warmer. A special teams scrub and if starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin hadn’t torn his ACL last week knocking him out for the season, Cooper would likely be just another training camp body hoping like hell to even make the team.

There are a lot of things that are tolerated on a football team.  You can cheat on your woman,  be a drunken idiot through the week as long as you show up ready to play on Gameday, you can be a degenerate gambler or just a plain old degenerate.   You can be juicing on steroids or smoking weed around the clock, but nobody wants to play with someone when you hate their bigoted guts.

He’d better catch every pass thrown his way and just because he apologized to the Eagles doesn’t mean every team on their schedule isn’t going to look to put a kill shot on him each and every play.

I predict…PAIN.

Have a nice season, Riley.  For as long as it lasts.

The Refs say “we’re here.” The Browns say “wait ’til next year.”

Heard ya missed us. We’re back!

The NFL is the most successful sports corporation in America.   All the major sports, baseball, basketball, hockey run along similar business models, but football more than any other is run and acts like a corporate entity.  The bottom line is money and power and  with the money the NFL makes it is the unquestioned king of the hill  Every knee  bends and every head bows when the mighty NFL speaks.

This week though, the NFL heard the voice of the commoners as all hell broke loose following a spectacularly bad blown call by the scab referees the league hired to stand in for their real referees.   You don’t need me to tell you how awful the replacement refs were in the Packers/Seahawks debacle on Monday Night Football.   Everyone within earshot of a television heard all about it the next day as the worst case scenario for the NFL came to horrifying life.   The refs screwed up in a way that not even the NFL could cover up for their rank incompetence.   When the Today Show, Morning Joe, and other non-sports programs began to drop names that should only be familiar to Sportscenter viewers that’s not good.  When politicians from union busting Governor Scott Walker to President Obama agree its time to get the real referees back on the field, Commissioner Roger Goodell  had to drop his hardball negotiation position from “take it or leave it” to “what’s it gonna take to get you guys back?”

The NFL is very sensitive to what its image is with the public and these poor saps in stripes were putting the brand in jeopardy with their blown calls, extra time outs and deer-in-the-headlights reaction to large, smelly, 300 lb men screaming and spitting obscenities in their face.   The NFL was getting killed in the press with even ESPN jumping on the pile to pummel the league as greedy bastards who would rather sink the entire season than make 32 teams cough up an extra $100,000 each to cover the locked out refs pay raise.    You won’t find a gathering of more smugly arrogant men than a NFL owner’s meeting, but they aren’t deaf either.   When your bad refs are getting more publicity than  your good players, things have gone too far.   That was the breaking point where enough owners must have pulled Goodell’s coat sleeve and said, “Make the deal and get this done NOW.”

The real deal refs returned Thursday night to a standing ovation from the Baltimore Ravens crowd prior to the game against the hapless Cleveland Browns.   Their return will be scrutinized more than the game itself which was typical of everything that’s bad about the Browns since their former owner Art Modell ditched Cleveland to move the team to–wait for it–Baltimore.

It’s been a long, hard road for Browns fans.

I feel sorry for Browns fans.  They have to be going straight to heaven when they die because they’ve already been through hell.  Between bad owners, bad coaches, bad players, bad teams, it’s been a bad 13 years since the Browns returned.   Every few years it seems like there’s a new owner or another coach and a new face of the franchise, but nothing changes and the sucking never stops.   The NFL is a league where doormats can challenge for Super Bowls if they are run by smart people, get lucky, guess right and follow a plan to be competitive.

None of that seems to work for Cleveland.    There’s really no reason for the Browns to suck for 13 years since their return.  Everyone has had their share of  busted draft picks, incompetent GM’s, absentee owners, lousy coaches, free agents you wish had been free and just plain  bad luck.   The Browns have all this and they keep having it.

It’s hard to believe the Browns will suck forever, but until they don’t they have the misfortune of being bad and boring.    Their defense is short of stars while their best player, cornerback Joe Haden sits out a four game suspension, but they try hard and hit harder.  But bless their little hearts, they’re out there all day because the offense is simply offensive.   The Browns are starting rookies at wide receiver, right tackle, running back and quarterback which is a trial by fire.   One day they may be good, but now they’re simply learning to play together which means this is a work in progress instead of a finished product.

The NFL Network is the league’s in-house television network and it puts out a pretty ragged product.   I don’t think much of it’s “personalities” such as Rich Eisen or “experts” like Deion Sanders and Michael “Mush Mouth” Irvin who anchor the network’s game highlights show.   What’s worse is the package of Thursday games suck hard because the  match-ups usually are games the broadcast networks don’t find all that attractive.    Pro football dominates our collective consciousness on Sunday and Monday.     I love football too and between NBC, CBS and Fox as well as the NFL Sunday Ticket on Direct TV in addition to the NFL Network, I can see every game,  but the Thursday games run the risk of overexposure.

This made the Ravens/Browns game perfect for the NFL Network.   A divisional tilt between the up and coming Ravens and the gritty Browns is the difference between a team that knows it can win and the other that hopes they can keep the score respectable.    The defense did their part, but the Browns inept offense couldn’t finish and the Ravens beat their rival for a ninth consecutive time as the Browns finished the first month of the season with four losses.    That’s all, folks!   The leaves haven’t turned brown yet and the season is already over for the Brownies.

Welcome back refs.  Bye-bye Browns.  Better luck next year.  Again.   Your new owner spent a billion dollars to buy the team.   Next year he can start putting together his own instead of these leftovers that came with the purchase price.   The NFL realized they couldn’t get away with lousy officiating but charging an exorbitant price to watch lousy football for over a decade?   That, they have no problem with at all.