Robert Mueller’s much-expected-nothing-to-see-here report on the Ray Rice video is out, and true to form, he pointed out that the NFL didn’t see what it should have seen.
“We found no evidence that anyone at the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown,” the highlight of the report claimed. “We also found no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014. We concluded there was substantial information about the incident –even without the in-elevator video -– indicating the need for a more thorough investigation. The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the February 15 incident.”
[RELATED: Goodell on findings: 'We have all learned a great deal']
Result: The NFL walks again, very lightly chastened but still totally swell in the eyes of their business partners. Mueller doesn’t point out that the great likelihood was that the NFL didn’t WANT to see the tape knowing what was on it, because even implausible deniability is better than no deniability at all.
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It saddens us to report that Andrew Luck is a beard hypocrite.
Actually, that’s not true. It doesn’t really affect us one way or another. But the beard thing, that’s stone fact. Luck, who quarterbacks the Indianapolis Colts when he isn’t denying he is a face model, said during a conference call that he is aware that his beard looks, well, odd.
“I know it's a bad look,” he said. “My girlfriend tells me every day. My mom tells me. I realize it's a bad look. But I'm not going for any specific look.”
Fine, but then he said he just doesn’t like shaving during the season because of the dreaded razor burn. Meanwhile, he trims it at the cheek and mouth areas to make it look less bear-like, thus invalidating the razor burn argument unless he has an addendum to his explanation that he doesn’t mind razor burn on part of his head but does on another.
Of course, he can solve the problem Sunday by wearing a ski mask during the game in Denver, since the temperature is going to be in the low to mid-30s. But if that’s too bothersome, he can simply admit he likes the beard and is willing to take on both his mother and girlfriend in the process.
And having typed these words, I can now go into my weekend feeling horrible about myself.
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Ahh, the Lakers, the Lakers, the Lakerrrrrrrrssss. Their Lakerness having been well established, part-owner Jeanie Buss was reminded by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times of her brother Jim’s pledge made last April that he’d step down from the personnel side of the business if the Lakers weren’t contending for conference and NBA championships within three or four years. She plans, fraternally enough, to hold him to that pledge.
“But I don’t see why -- given the resources, given our legacy, given who our head coach is, who our front office is -- we'll have any problem,” she said, before adding the all-encompassing tribute, “My brother has skills that are better than me. He could always beat me in Monopoly. I respect that he knows what's going on.”
Now there’s some serious Candy Land thinking, but if this team doesn’t get squared away, she’ll put some serious Operation on him and pull out his funny bone. With lawyers.
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Yesterday we told you of Ched Evans, the Welsh striker who was convicted of rape, served half his sentence before being released and was close to finding employment with Oldham United of League One. He has always maintained his innocence, and the father of his fiancée was willing to put his money where Evans’ mouth is, offering to pay not only part of Evans’ salary but cover any sponsorship losses.
But in the end, Oldham backed away because of the public outcry, which included the prime minister, David Cameron, and the head of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband. Worse, though, a club director told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that a staff member was threatened that a named relative would be raped if the deal went ahead.
Sorry, no clever punch line here. Hell is too close to this story.
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In the Bay Area, no answer to the question “Who is the best shooting anything in the NBA” other than “Stephen Curry, you blithering idiot” is allowed, but Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland makes a compelling case for Houston’s James Harden which of course you don’t care about except for this deathless phrase:
“Harden has become the on-court apostle of the analytics generation. Viewed through a conventional box-score lens, his performance looks quite nice, but if you climb to a dorkier plateau, his greater prowess becomes evident.”
“A dorkier plateau?” Of course “a dorkier plateau,” which presumably leads to “If you like your basketball without ever giving any thought to societal burdens like dating, Harden’s your guy.”
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Speaking of which, Steve Kerr says that he doesn’t have to call as many plays now because Stephen Curry seems to know the offense in the ways that Kerr does. I’m not sure, but this almost seems like a ploy to get Curry the Coach of the Year award in case the MVP doesn’t work out.
[RELATED: Curry closes gap on LeBron in All-Star voting]
Either that, or Kerr is working surreptitiously to outsource his own job while still getting paid. Or maybe he just likes working out of his home. Coaching a team to 60 wins is something anyone can do. Doing it in your pajamas, though, is an entirely different level of 21st century job-ifying.
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Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated does what others do every time the Hall of Fame finishes electing people –- he looks toward the future. His view, however, is better detailed than most, so it should be noted as such, and he sees only nine players getting into the Hall in the next five years -– an average of two headless players per year -– and none of them are named Bonds. Sorry, but you need that local angle.
The entire Jaffetastic list: Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Mariano Rivera, Curt Schilling, Derek Jeter, Ivan Rodriguez.
This means that Tim Raines will not get in because too many voters don’t have eyes, and Schilling will get in, because too many voters don’t have ears. Or Van Gogh’ed themselves after Schilling blamed the North Koreans for keeping him out in 2016.
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And finally, we close by providing free of charge some high quality company logrolling. NBCSN, which stands for Some Of The Thousands Of People We Work For, is ramping up Curling Night In America, in which men’s and women’s teams from four different countries (U.S., Canada, China and New Zealand) battle for whatever it is they battled for in what is being called the U.S. Curling Grand Prix.
If first prize was a Kegerator, it will be the finest advance in American television since The Wire. As it is, it merely represents a quantum advancement in the entertainment sciences. Plus, there’s no brain trauma.
Yay, no brain trauma.