The NFL now has a strict policy on violence

The NFL now has a strict policy on violence

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has established severe new rules for off-the-field violence, not just domestic violence. It applies to all NFL employees, not just players. It was approved by all 32 team owners and will not need to be approved by the NFL Players Association.

From ESPN:

Violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence and sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to enhanced discipline. A first offense will be subject to a suspension of six weeks without pay. Mitigating circumstances will be considered, and more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the league; an offender may petition for reinstatement after one year, but there is no assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.

How does one commit sexual assault without involving physical force?

So if I understand this new policy, a six week suspension is what you receive if you assault anyone, man or woman, significant other or complete stranger. Throw in a bit of choking or use a weapon of any kind, and the suspension will be longer. If the other party is a pregnant woman, you strike them more than once, or if a child witnesses the act of violence, the suspension will also be longer.

What triggers this new policy?

Also from ESPN:

A league source told ESPN’s Andrew Brandt that discipline would be triggered by adjudication of a player’s case, such as a conviction or plea agreement.

This policy is in reaction to the incident involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. He punched his then girlfriend, now wife, in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Rice was able to avoid trial by agreeing to a diversionary program, that once completed, will allow him to clear his record. In other words, he was never convicted of a crime. He reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that didn’t involve admitting guilt. Goodell suspended Rice for only two games, even though TMZ showed surveillance video of Rice dragging his unconscious victim, the mother of his child, from the casino elevator.

Goodell was criticized by nearly everyone for the lenient punishment.

This new policy wont apply to Rice because it’s being enacted after his incident of domestic violence, but I’m guessing if it had, he never would have reached a pre-trial agreement with prosecutors.

He would have gone to trial. Anything less than an a full acquittal would have left him exposed to this new NFL policy.

If I were a player in the NFL, I’m be wondering right about now why I was paying dues to the NFL Players Association. If Roger Goodell can enact a policy like this without it being subject to collective bargaining, why even have a union?

Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner ever, and that’s including the lazy idiot who ran a fantasy basketball league I was a part of in the late 1990′s.

Josh Shaw lied to USC about saving a drowning nephew

Josh Shaw lied to USC about saving a drowning nephewUSC cornerback Josh Shaw came clean with USC athletic department officials and admitted that he made up the story of saving a nephew from a Palmdale swimming pool. He still has two badly sprained ankles, he just didn’t get them from leaping off a second-story balcony and then crawling to a nearby swimming pool. Shaw has retained the legal services of Donald Etra, one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles.

The fact that Josh Shaw felt the need to use the legal services of a big-name criminal defense lawyer may be a sign of where this story may go.

USC has suspended Josh Shaw indefinitely from all team activities. Being that he has two sprained ankles, I’m not really sure what he could do for the football team anyway. A cornerback with floppy ankles is pretty useless to a football team. I guess this means that Shaw will no longer be a team co-captain. The press release didn’t say anything about that, but it did have an ad for USC Nike sideline gear.

Never pass up an opportunity to peddle the merch, even if it’s to apologize for spreading a lie about one of your players. USC should have vetted Josh Shaw’s story before making it public. Nothing says you’re sorry like offering to sell a somebody a $30 t-shirt made in a third-word sweatshop.

The USC Trojans begin the 2014 season by hosting the Fresno State Bulldogs this Saturday night in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC is currently ranked 15 in the land, while the Bulldogs are unranked.

Looks like Palmdale is becoming ground-zero for weird, fake college football stories

Looks like Palmdale is becoming ground-zero for fake college football storiesRemember the feel-good story of USC fifth-year senior defensive back Josh Shaw leaping off a second-floor balcony onto concrete and then crawling to a nearby swimming pool so that he could save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning? Yeah, about that. It turns out that may have never really happened.

USC has received several phone calls questioning the authenticity of the story.

According to ESPN, school officials were skeptical of Shaw’s story when they were first told about it, but still ginned up a press release about it.

The incident reportedly took place at a family gathering in Palmdale, California. I grew up in the next town over from Palmdale. The high-desert city is no stranger to the world of weird made-up college football stories. Remember the whole Notre Dame, Manti Te’o dead fake girlfriend controversy? The person who originally perpetrated the hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, is from Palmdale.

So if Josh Shaw didn’t badly sprain both ankles saving a drowning nephew, how did he do it? There’s a police report about a man fitting Shaw’s description “shimmying” down the side of a building near the USC campus. Shaw’s girlfriend lives in the building. This incident happened the same night Shaw was in Palmdale saving his nephew.

College football can be really weird.

RG III looked so bad last night, I thought Mike Shanahan was still head coach

RG III looked so bad last night, I thought Mike Shanahan was still head coachThe Washington Redskins lost to the Baltimore Ravens last night 23-17 in pre-season football, America’s second favorite sport. The real story in last night’s exhibition was how bad Robert Griffin III was against the Raven’s first-team defense. He finished his part of the game with throwing 5 of 8 for 20 years with no touchdowns and one interception. RG III’s backup quarterback, Kirk Cousins, had a better game. He went 14 of 20 for 122 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Last night could have been worse for RG III. If the game were played in Landover instead of in Baltimore, he would have heard the boos coming from the Redskins fans.

Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, now working for the  Redskins Broadcast Network as a color commentator, questioned whether RG III or Cousins should be the starting quarterback.

I think if it were a matter of competition, Cousins would be the starter and RG III would be the backup.

The thing is, I don’t think it’s a matter of competition. The Redskins have too much invested in RG III for him to become a professional clipboard holder. Just to draft him, the Redskins forked over four premium draft picks to the St. Louis Rams, the overall number six draft pick in the 2012, their second round draft pick in 2012, and their top draft pick in 2013 and in 2014. All that to move up four positions in the draft. 

No matter how bad he is, I think RG III will be the starter until he’s hurt or pretends to be hurt.

San Fransisco Giants whine about rain-shortened game, win appeal

Giants whine about rain-shortened game, win appealThe Chicago Cubs beat the San Fransisco Giants Tuesday night 2-0 in a rain-shortened game. After 4 1/2 innings, the rain began to come done really hard. The Cubs ground crew had difficulty deploying the tarp over the infield because evidently it was put away wrong the last time it was used. The infield quickly became a soupy mess. After a 4-hour, 34-minute delay rain delay, the victory was awarded to the Cubs.

A regulation Major League Baseball game must go at least 4 1/2 innings. Anything less, the game must be suspended and continued at a later date.

The Giants filled an official protest with Major League Baseball, citing rule 4.12 (a)(3). The rule states:

(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:

(3) Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment);

Even through the rule doesn’t say anything about a manual tarpaulin, the kind used by the Cubs, the league sided with the Giants. The game will resume this afternoon.

When a team files a protest with Major League Baseball, it’s usually always rejected. In fact, this is the first time a protest has been approved in 28 years.

Major League Baseball got this wrong. The rule doesn’t say anything about incompetent ground crews. If they want to include not putting the tarp back correctly the last time it was used as a reason a game must be completed and not terminated, then they need to include it in their rules. This wasn’t a mechanical failure, it was a manual failure. The rules don’t say anything about that.

A similar thing happened in a game between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers. The Yankees ground crew failed to get the tarp out in time and the game ended up being called in favor of the Yankees. The Rangers filed a protest and it was rejected by Major League Baseball.

If Major League Baseball is going to ignore the rules, they ought to at least be consistent.

Chris Kluwe, Vikings agree to settle

Chris Kluwe, Vikings agree to settleFormer punter Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement that will keep them out of court over allegations that the Vikings fired Kluwe not because he was a sucky football player, but because he was a supporter of gay rights.

The agreement requires the Vikings to give an undisclosed amount of money to five gay-rights groups over the next five years. Kluwe will receive nothing.

I used to have a lot of respect for Chris Kluwe. Not only do I agree with him on the issues of marriage equality and everything related to the rights of gay people, I thought he was articulate and an enlightened dude. My respect for Kluwe ended when I read the independent review commissioned by the Vikings after Deadspin ran an article written by Kluwe, making allegations against the Vikings and their staff. From page 26 of the report:

Kluwe also made fun of the Vikings’ then Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Kanavy, an alumnus of‒and former coach at‒Penn State University, concerning the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State situation. In his interview, Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a “Penn State victim” and to “stay away” from him while his buttocks were exposed.

Here is how Kluwe responded to the allegation that he impersonated a victim of child rape:

The issue of child rape is a lot of things. One thing it’s not is funny.

When I read that, Kluwe seemed a lot less like an enlightened jock who wasn’t afraid to stand up for the rights of others, and more like a self-serving narcissist how took the issue of gay rights and used it to make a name for himself.