Tom Brady court appeal denied

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will finally have to serve the 4-game suspension levied on him by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell back in May of 2015.

Brady tried to get the U.S. Court Appeals for the Second Circuit to rehear his case. They issued a one-page document earlier today denying his petition.  His only chance now is to get his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, something they will almost certainly not do.

Then again, the U.S. Supreme Court named George W. Bush the president even though Al Gore, inventor of both the Internet and global warming, received the most votes. Who knows what the top court in all the land will do at any given time. Most of its members are too old to be Walmart door greeters. We shouldn’t be overly surprised by anything they do.

The cheating cheater known as Tom Brady is a spoiled baby. He cheated in the AFC Championship Game, using under inflated, easier to catch footballs. Instead of taking his suspension like a man, or what passes as a man in Massachusetts, he tried to use the courts to get out of paying the price for his wretched dishonesty. I wish he could be suspended for more than four games. He wasted everyone’s time. He should be penalized for that.

I hate Tom Brady. Religious cult leader and conveyor of folksy wisdom Will Rogers once said he hadn’t met a man he didn’t like. I would like to point out that Will Rogers obviously never met Tom Brady.

ESPN fired Bill Simmons

ESPN, the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, fired its long-time podcaster, columnist, creator of content, and provocateur, Bill Simmons. Grandland, the website founded by Simmons, will remain under the control of ESPN. As of this morning, Simmons is still listed prominently on the Grantland website and he’s still identified as its editor-in-chief.

I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. He’s been suspended by ESPN many times for saying controversial things on Twitter and his podcast. Last year, he was suspended three weeks for saying on his The B.S. Report podcast that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was lying about the league’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.

When your employer suspends you for three weeks, you have to figure the next rung on the punishment ladder is termination.

The final straw appears to be an unsanctioned appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. ESPN employees are forbidden on appearing on the former ESPN anchor’s radio show without permission. Simmons appeared on the show on Thursday, May 7, without a signed permission slip. He was then let go by ESPN the very next day.

I used to listen to The B.S. Report fairly regularly, but recently, I’ve found it impossible to listen to. Simmons has a certain shtick about him and that shtick can go a long way. Also, he has a weird nastily-toned voice. It can be grating to the ears. He recently began another podcast for ESPN, an NBA centric show called Bill Don’t Lie. I never listened to it, but from what I understand, it was pretty awful.

I was looking forward to hearing his take on the Wells report, the special report commissioned by the NFL over allegations that Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots cheated in the AFC Championship with underinflated footballs. Bill Simmons is originally from the New England area and can always be counted on to be a unapologetic homer for any New England area sports team. Like most male sports fans from New England, Bill Simmons has a heterosexual crush on Tom Brady.

It would have been entertaining listening to him excuse Brady’s cheating.

 

If you have a problem with the Ray Rice story, blame Diane Ruberton

It seems the entire sports world has been wringing its collective hands over the Ray Rice elevator video. Some have been calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to be fired over his handling of the entire situation.

It’s hard to watch the video and understand how Goodell could suspend Rice for only two games. What I have an even harder time understanding is how Diane Ruberton, the First Assistant Prosecutor of Atlantic County, New Jersey, could look at that video and then allow Rice to avoid a trial or even admitting guilt. Unlike Goodell, Ruberton is paid a salary to make sure people like Rice pay for their crimes.

That didn’t happen in this case.

Ray Rice punched a woman, not because he was defending himself, but because he was angry. He’s not allowed to do that. This is the United States of America, not Iran or Saudi Arabia.

If Ruberton did her job, the job the people of Atlantic County paid her to do, Rice would have gone through a criminal trial. He would have had to answer in a court of law for what he did, what he can be seen doing on the security video. The fact that he did not have to do that was because of a failure of the criminal justice system, not because of the National Football League or its idiot commissioner.

Everyone has a function in our society. Roger Goodell’s function is to oversee a silly, yet very popular sports league. Diane Ruberton’s function is to make sure bad people pay for the crimes they commit in the legal jurisdiction of Atlantic County. It’s Ruberton who ultimately failed to do their job, not Goodell.

The NFL now has a strict policy on violence

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 someone commit sexual assault without it involving physical force?

So if I understand this new policy correctly, a six-week suspension is what you receive if you assault anyone, man or woman, a significant other or a 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 won’t 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.

NFL punishes Saints coaches, GM for bounty program

NFL punishes Saints coaches, GM for bounty program - Bent Corner
The NFL has doled out the punishments pertaining to the bounty program the New Orleans Saints had in place that rewarded players for injuring opposing players. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, has been suspended without pay indefinitely. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year. The suspension will cost Payton $7.5 million in lost salary. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was given an eight-game suspension, while assistant head coach Joe Vitt was given a six-game suspension.

The Saints organization was also fined $500,00 and will lose their 2012 and 2013 second-round draft picks.

It’s unclear who will be running things for the Saints while these suspensions are being served. They would be in a better situation if they just fired Loomis and Payton and hired a new general manager and head coach. I imagine they would still be on the hook for their salaries, but that’s what lawyers are for. Considering the damage these men have done to the Saints, it could be easily argued that early termination for more than justified.

By administering such severe punishments, it’s clear NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t fooling around here. Now he needs to look at a few other organizations who have had similar bounty systems in place, for instance, the Baltimore Ravens. Goodell is smoking crack if he thinks paying players to hurt opposing players is solely a New Orleans thing.

It’s not.