Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category
As you may have heard, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who helped his team win the Super Bowl a couple times, will be suspended the first six games of the 16-game season for “violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.” The punishment, handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, involved “a 20-year-old college student who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Georgia nightclub in March.” The district attorney declined to prosecute, fearing he could not make his case, but he spoke in rather damning terms at a press conference HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. I didn’t to the whole thing, maybe 10 of the 40 minutes, but it was enough. This is not the first time allegations about Ben’s sexual improprieties have surfaced.
What surprised me, but should not have, is this barrage of comments suggesting that he fared better or fared worse because he is white. Just Google Roethlisberger race. Some people complained that Michael Vick, dog killer, got only a two-game suspension; however, he also went to jail.
1. Is the punishment adequate, too much or too little?
2. What does race have to do with it, if anything?
3. Should Ben get traded to another team? CAN he get traded?
4. Does the NFL Commissioner have too much authority as “judge, jury and executioner”, as one pundit called it? In other sports, there is an appeals process, but the only appeal to the NFL Commissioner is to the NFL Commissioner.
My thoughts: it’s a judgment call, it got the QB’s attention, but I wish action had been taken on some of these earlier incidents; much ado about not much, but race still gets infused in EVERYTHING; another team would be crazy to take him; yes.
And speaking of halftime, don’t you find it interesting that it is The Who performing when the game is on CBS, since The Who provide the theme songs for all those CSI shows on CBS, such as CSI: Las Vegas, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, CSI: Kalamazoo, and CSI: Portland (both the Oregon AND the Maine shows).
If you don’t watch the game, do you have a ritual for that? I had friends who always went to the movies on Super Bowl Sunday.
And those of you outside the United States: can you even access the Super Bowl?
2. Do you know how to write 44 in Roman numerals?
3. Do you have a rooting interest? I’m pulling for the New Orleans Saints, who have NEVER won a Super Bowl, and I can imagine would be a psychological boost to the city post-Katrina. I wouldn’t be devastated if the Indianapolis Colts won, and they are rightly favored.
4. What do think of the Pro Bowl, the all-star game of the NFL, being played the week before the Super Bowl (i.e., today), instead of the week after? Strategically, it makes sense to have an all-star game during the season, as it takes place in most other sports. On the other hand, since the players from the Super bowl won’t be playing the game, and they were the best two teams all year, it’s a bit of a lesser product.
So who had the Cardinals vs. the Eagles in the NFC title game in their preseason picks? I’m going to need to see some proof.
In the past two weekends, I’ve seen at least parts of all eight games, which is more football than I watched the previous 18 weeks combined. Thanks to the magic of the DVR, I actually saw the Pittsburgh/San Diego game on Monday morning. The only one of the eight I saw in real time was the Eagles/Giants game on Sunday afternoon. To which I can only say, How do people actually watch commercials anymore? Not only are they annoying, they are replayed endlessly; a particular Subway commercial was effective in making me wonder if I’ll ever go to one of their restaurants ever again.
So now I have to pick my rooting interests for the rest of the way:
1. Philadelphia Eagles – making the playoffs through an improbable set of circumstances the last weekend (two potentially playoff-bound teams losing to lesser opponents while the Eagles demolished the Cowboys) with a quarterback, Donovan McNabb, who was benched for a time this season. I always like McNabb, who played in Syracuse (yay, upstate NY!) and whose pick was booed by some of the Eagles’ fans before he’d even put on his helmet for the first time.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers – yes, I’m rooting for the two PA teams. Call it geographic bias. But I like the QB, Ben Roethlisberger. I especially like receiver Hines Ward, who really embraced his Korean heritage a couple years back.
3. Arizona Cardinals – the Cinderella team, though it’s been the Team of Destiny for Couch Slouch, Norman Chad for a few seasons now. The problem is that: 1) I can never remember where the Cardinals actually play. Chicago? No, that was many years ago. St. Louis? No, not any more, though St. Louis has the Rams that used to play in Los Angeles. 2) I’m not a big Kurt Warner fan. I’m sure this has something to do with his excessive religiosity. He also was less than stellar in his brief stint as Giants QB.
4. Baltimore Ravens – I just don’t like the Ravens. And I particularly don’t like Ray Lewis.
BTW, I really enjoyed Jaquandor’s take on football. It’s not a football blog, but he has some good insights:
Odd synchronicity: this weekend saw action by all three quarterbacks who lost Super Bowls to Tom Brady (Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, Donovan McNabb) and the one who beat Tom Brady (Eli Manning).
But on one point, I think he’s wrong:
I think there should be no points but the team recording the safety should automatically take possession at the 50 yard line. The problem with that is that a team could intentionally go out of the back of the end zone and the team would have potentially better field position than it would if it had to punt from the back of the end zone. Now, talk about putting the ball on the 20-yard line of the team suffering the safety; THAT might be better than two points and receiving a free kick.
I thought Rickey Henderson’s vote to the Baseball Hall of Fame was obvious. My only surprise was that he was eligible. I thought he was still playing ball somewhere. He probably won’t, but Rickey should go in as a member of the A’s.
As for Jim Rice, I’ve favored him getting in for as long as I can remember. This is what I wrote two years ago: Jim Rice 13th year. PRO: Eight All-Star teams (1977-’80, ‘83-’86). Seven .300 seasons, four 200-plus hit seasons, three 100-plus run season (consecutively from 1977-’79),30-plus HR four times, 40-plus HR once, and 100-plus RBI eight times. Led AL in total bases four times in 1977 (382), ‘78 (406), ‘79 (369) and 1983 (344). One of 31 players with 350+ home runs and a .290+ career batting average. Only player in history with three straight seasons of 35+ home runs and 200+ hits. CON: Prickly relationship with the press, who would note that the one time his Red Sox got to the World Series (1986), they didn’t win.
That he got in during his final year of eligibility suggests that the voters spent less time on his personality and more time on his stats.
Patrick McGoohan has died. I watched The Prisoner religiously. I also saw him in other things such as Braveheat, but The Prisoner was his signature role.
Ricardo Montalban also has died. I wrote about him only three months ago.