You want an NFL explanation on Ray Rice? Fine. Here’s the important part of the NFL explanation on Ray Rice, from the league’s vice president of having to explain crap decisions so his bosses don’t have to, Adolpho Birch:
Comparing it to Ben Roethlisberger’s alleged rapes from more than half a decade ago (he was suspended for six games, later reduced to four despite not being formally charged), Birch answered, “I don’t think it’s particularly appropriate to weigh each case against itself.”
This is truest thing the league will say, without actually saying it – that every case is considered different so that the punishment (if any) can fit the importance of the perpetrator. There is no precedent, there is no template, only a commissioner who decides, apparently after long consideration weighing which whim is more important to follow.
In other words, as we’ve said before, this isn’t about crime or victims, it’s about the player involved. Understand that, and you understand the NFL.
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Oh, and Jim Irsay is handing out $100 bills at Colts camp to fans. His court case for two counts of driving under the influence of narcotics is scheduled to be heard August 28, but it’s a bench trial, so this is only hinky if judge Richard Campbell likes to spend his off-hours time in Anderson watching tackling drills.
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Next up for league discipline, though? Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who is of course going to hell for saying this to MMQB.com:
“What’s the worst thing about the league? I said the draft. I mean, the hype that goes into the draft is insane. Totally insane,” Kelly said, via Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “The biggest thing for me is that everybody thinks whoever you drafted or whoever you signed is now gonna be a savior. They come in just like me and you come in as freshmen in high school or freshmen in college, or your first year on the job at Sports Illustrated – you’re not telling people what to do, you’re just trying to figure out what room to go to.
“I think a lot of times the hype turns into really, really hard times for the individual who got picked, because there’s so many expectations of everyone building them up to be Superman because they had three months to write about them and talk about them. Then when they get picked, they’re a very, very good prospect, but there’s a learning curve when you go from any job out of college into a company. If you take a job at Wells Fargo when you get out of college, your first day of the job they don’t say, ‘He’s our first-round draft pick, he’s the savior to the company!’”
Kelly will now receive the kind of suspension you think Rice should have gotten, because no violence is worse than violence against a league-endorsed cash cow.
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Mike Shanahan said he’d like to get back into coaching (“If I get back into coaching, it would have to be a situation where there was a realistic opportunity to win a Super Bowl,” Shanahan told USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell). He’d also want a team with some salary cap room, and “It would have to be with the right ownership.”
He’d also like unicorns to sing him to sleep at night, and a chicken farm where all the hen lay golden eggs with a side of bacon. I mean, he could get the first two things, but where he comes off with that “right ownership” stuff is purest Easter Bunny.
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New York Giants quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf told reporters Monday he wants quarterback Eli Manning to reach a 70 percent completion rate this year. Most reporters pointed out that his career high is 62.9, and that only four quarterbacks ever have hit 70 percent (Drew Brees twice, plus Ken Anderson, Steve Young and Joe Montana).
They are, as reporters occasionally are wont to be, whiny little toads. If you’re going to set an absurd new limit, take off your jacket and set it high. If Eli Manning doesn’t reach 93 percent completions this year, I think the Giants should release him.
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And now, a few words about brown, from the man who helped give you LeBron, Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. The topic is the dirt-roots campaign to being back the San Diego Padres’ original brown-and-gold uniforms.
“’This is a passionate topic around here,’ said Padres fan Jordan Stark, who is one of the people running Bring Back the Brown, a campaign supported by most of the team’s most strident blogs, to re¬incorporate brown into a new design – the 13th in the team’s 45-year history, after brown and yellow, brown and orange, brown and yellow and orange, blue and orange, blue and white, blue and tan, two colors of pinstripes, several shades of camouflage and a beige earth tone called sand. “We’ve had so many changes to our identity. The stadium changed. The owner keeps changing. The roster is constantly changing. Brown is our identity. People say that it’s disgusting or gross or weird. We like the weirdness of it.”
But Jordan Stark doesn’t matter that much, not compared to someone Jenkins describes as “this one rabble rouser from Poway by way of San Diego State: ‘How many teams have blue? How many have red? But none of ’em have brown. I just thought there was something neat about that. I just thought it looked beautiful. More than just beautiful, I liked the sentiment behind it of, ‘This is who we are.’
“That firebrand was Tony Gwynn, two years ago, to former Padres beat writer Tom Krasovic.”
So hell yes, brown. Next up? The Denver Broncos’ vertical socks.
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And finally, in case you still don’t know why hashtags (or internet chats) are mostly stupid, Manchester City decided to put one on with new signing Jesus Navas, with the unfortunate #ASKJESUS. Irreverent yet wholly necessary hilarity ensued (courtesy the Man City web site and Who Ate All The Pies):
#ASKJESUS @MCFC @JNavas With book sales gently declining over the past decade, is there any chance of a New New Testament?
@MCFC @Kingkeir @JNavas do you return from injury after just 3 days ?
#AskJesus How do you feel when you lose and get crucified in the papers?
@MCFC @JNavas Who do you hate more Judas or United? #ASKJESUS
#AskJesus do you think the hashtag should maybe have been #askNavas?