Reclaim the Substance Trash

Two weeks ago I was in a big box store, watching an old guy in an MSU cap buy the same computer as a younger guy in a Michigan cap. The old Spartans fan sincerely offered his opinion, as if he couldn’t stand the sight of the Wolverines playing so pathetically. We don’t need another Michigan man, they agreed, we need someone to restore the integrity of the program. I think even the most ardent traditionalists have come around to that (especially with Jim Harbaugh looking like a more likely candidate to coach the Raiders than than Wolverines after he gets fired in a few weeks). Though I think Michigan is still too committed to the failed leadership of business types who’d rather sell some more luxury boxes than fix the underlying product, from football to academics. I worry we’re going to have one more failed coach before we’ll find the man who’ll return the team to glory.

Against that background, there’s as much drama surrounding whether the Wolverines or the Gators can spoil the Bowl series hopes of their rivals. Michigan has the easier job here, which is good given that they’re a far weaker team, they just need to prevent OSU from having a huge win in case something opens up ahead of the OSU. I think the Gators might surprise against the perfect FSU, which has been less than convincing. Plus, it’d be a victory Jim White might finally enjoy, being assured of Musgravekrat’s departure. Meanwhile, I expect Alabama to roll through Auburn; I’m less sure about the Georgia rivalry.

Which brings us to the matchup of the week, and possibly the season: Pats – Packers at Lambeau Lawn (it’s forecast to be freezing, but nothing really Tundra-worthy). In spite of all the hype over Numbers 12 facing off for the first time, this game will be decided on D. Will the refs let Brandon Browner manhandle Jordy Nelson? Will Jamie Collins, who adds necessary mobility to the Linebacker corps, play as poorly as he did against the Lions? Will the repurposing of Julius Peppers prove to make the difference? If so, will it be by landing Brady on his ass or by blanketing Gronk? While it might be easy to predict a Packers win just on home field, I think this will come down to a Brady turnover (but of course, I hope I’m wrong).

Meanwhile, don’t sleep on KC against Peyton at Arrowhead. The Broncos have been beatable of late, and KC played close in Denver.

I suspect the surprise game of Sunday will be Bills-Brownies. Both are just outside of contention (if you can call anyone in the AFC North out of anything). The Bills are fresh off a victorious trip to their home-away-from-home Detroit and a shellacking of the Jets. They have an impossible schedule from here on out, so will almost certainly play nothing but spoilers. The Brownies, however, could surge into something. And they just got Josh Gordon back. But I think this game will prove the wisdom of Bills’ grabbing Sammy Watkins away from the Browns.

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118 replies
    • emptywheel says:

      I really should have trashed further. But then I got intrigued by the game. The Pack’s early troubles came against Great Ds with Os to sort of match. The Pat’s early troubles came against Great Ds, period. Both proved to be beyond that in the Iggles/Kitties outing (still, the Kitties).

      I still think on paper the Packers’ D is still less-tested then then Pats O.

      But Lambeau.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      “Sports predictions are the last refuge of Dimwits.”

      I’m taking a three-martini hunch and say:

      Belechick wins the toss, and elects to receive.

      Pats start out by running.

      Stifle Gordy, and set Gronk loose.

      Pats win by a whisker.

      The Green Bay Packers are just a another line on Coach Bill’s P&L Statement

  1. Jim White says:

    .
    MusCHAMP, not that he’s any kind of champion.
    .
    Not Musgrave.
    .
    Not Muskrat.
    .
    But there are a lot of folks thinking the Gators have a real shot today. I’m hoping that Roper gets the okay to run a real uptempo offense, but don’t expect it to happen. The Gators will have to win with defense and the ground game. They’ll especially have to hold on tight if they get a lead, since Rapeis and his minions always expect to win with late game drama.

  2. scribe says:

    Has Ray Rice told the Ravens to f’k off just yet? After they threw him under the bus to appease King Roger the Forgetful Vague Clown?
    .
    Has anyone yet signed the said, now-available, Mr. Rice?
    .
    In other news, Bavarian Radio’s classical music channel is midway thru a live performance of Handel’s Messiah and it’s frickin’ awesome. Live audio and video (I’m not watching – listening at work.) Their site: http://www.br.de/radio/br-klassik/br-klassik112.html Over on the right of the page is the livestream box; your player “eigenen player” or theirs.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, Rice does have a pending grievance against the Ravens based on effectively the same argument he just beat Goodell on.

      • scribe says:

        Well, my understanding is that the grievance against the Ravens pertains to his lost wages from the time they cut him and the result of the immediate reinstatement would be that he’s a free agent. Basic principles of contract law would indicate he’d be entitled to have the Ravens pay (a) the amount of his contract prorated through yesterday less the fine originally imposed in the first disciplinary hearing, plus (b) the difference between what he contracted for with the Ravens and what any other team he’d sign with might give him.
        .
        Where and how that plays out in the cap of the respective teams, I leave to cap-ologists.
        .
        Given the way the Ravens tried to get him to be a good boy and go along with the promise to take care of him later – throwing him under the bus as noted in mine above – he has every reason to sign with another team and (effectively) have the Ravens wind up having to pay some of his salary there, too.
        .
        Stillers could use a rehabilitated pro bowl RB….

          • scribe says:

            If I were the [your favorite RB-needing team name here] I would have been in contact with his agent no later than when the grievance was filed after he was cut. (no tampering that way) I would have been saying “look, we don’t know how it will come out in the arb, but if he’s cleared to play we’re interested, assuming he keeps himself in shape during the pendency of the matter. We would have to work him out, of course. Let’s keep the lines of communication open.” And I’d be working him out today.

            • Peterr says:

              And meanwhile, what do you tell your PR director? “We’re looking at signing a guy who punched out his girlfriend and dragged her out of an elevator by her hair. You want to get a press release ready on that?”
              .
              And what do you tell your season ticket sales team, and the folks who advertise the team merchandise? “I know you’ve been trying to reach out to women to buy more tickets and more swag. Why don’t you work out a special a special ad aimed at women that would feature Rice?”
              .
              And what do you tell your wife, whose friend was beaten by her ex?
              .
              All the blather from Unnamed Sources about not signing Michael Sam because he’d be a distraction will be exposed as homophobic crab if teams get into a bidding war to sign Ray “Caveman” Rice. If you think Sam would have come with headaches, you haven’t seen anything.

              • bmaz says:

                You tell the fans that America is a land of second chances and that Ray Rice has done everything before and after this ugly incident to warrant at least one shot at a second chance. And that would be the truth, and it is exactly why he was properly given diversion, after extremely close inspection, by the Atlantic Count DA. A league that has people accused of assault (including DV) starting all over the league, rape starting for the Steelers, that has had Michael Vick starting for the Eagles and Jets, and a league that let liberal darling Donte Stalworth that returned and played after a heinous manslaughter, ought to have room for a man that had one bad night and has owned it completely and unequivocally.
                .
                That is how you do it. Look how Vick has proven the Eagles and Andy Reid correct for giving him a second chance (even if his play on the field has been sporadic). I would be proud of a team offering Rice a second chance, and would be happy to have him here in Arizona.

                • Peterr says:

                  America is great for giving second chances to the elites. Ordinary folks, OTOH, get screwed every time.
                  .
                  If Ray Rice was a third string player, there’d be no talk of second chances. He’d be gone.
                  .
                  If Ray Rice was a third string player, his fiance would likely have never become his wife.
                  .
                  If Ray Rice was a third string player, Goodell would have indefinitely canned him from day one and this (highly appropriate) revocation of the double penalty never would have happened.
                  .
                  The NFL giving Rice a second chance is not about him turning his life around. It’s about monetizing his athletic ability, regardless of what he did off the field. NFL owners are quite happy to turn a blind eye to just about anything that will make them money. See “concussions” . . .

                  • bmaz says:

                    No, I think the relationship with his wife is real and not based necessarily on his status. By all accounts, Rice was a stand up and decent guy, and she truly loves him independent of the money etc. I think the real issue to a second chance is what Marcy noted. That said, he is a multiple time Pro Bowl back that is now very rested, and he was supposedly in far better shape and looking like the old Rice in camp. He will never get the kind of contract he had before, but someone should give him the shot to succeed or fail on merits.

                    • bmaz says:

                      So he should never be given the chance to ply his trade, football, again? The exact purpose of diversion and rehabilitation should be frustrated and his wife and family further victimized, yet again, out of mostly uninformed, if not often totally ignorant, public angst on this specific case? Really?

                    • emptywheel says:

                      The purpose of rehabilitation is to ensure you keep your million dollars career, rather than to keep you out of jail?

                      Sorry. Football is about a lot of things. But one of those things is a very arbitrary life. Lots of people never ever make a mistake but still get wiped out by that arbitrariness, whether it’s freak injuries or just the wrong programs. You’re suggesting someone who was still in the league bc he was golden should keep his job when he turned out not to be golden.

                    • Peterr says:

                      You can disagree with me, and I’ve got no problem with that. You say that I am uninformed and ignorant about domestic violence as well as the push-pull dynamics of the abuser and the victim, and I’ve got a big problem with that. A Very Big Problem.
                      .
                      Roger Goodell wanted to minimize the penalty Rice would pay, and that’s what happened right up until the time the untethered violence of Rice’s elevator conduct became public. The NFL in general and the Ravens in particular loved the play and PR value of Rice, right up until the time it became impossible to ignore the reality of what he did.
                      .
                      Diversion and rehab has as its purpose to use the criminal justice system in a productive, rather than punitive, manner. “If you look honestly at what you did, and are willing to take affirmative steps to address it, we won’t throw your ass in prison. Instead, you get to remake your life outside of prison, in a way that is substantively different from how you were acting when you did what you did.” Diversion and rehab do not obligate an employer to continue the employment of the person who committed the criminal acts; they allow the employer to choose to do so if they wish. Diversion and rehab are a deal the state offers the criminal, in an effort to encourage them to choose a different path in life.
                      .
                      Had the NFL initially suspended Rice for a year, rather than a couple of weeks, my attitude toward a potential return might be different. No one has a right to play for the NFL. If that’s the only trade Rice has to ply, I pity him greatly.
                      .
                      The NFL, at its best, is about controlled violence. “We can exert force, within the rules, that makes us better than anyone else in the business.” The NFL, at its worst, is about uncontrolled violence. Concussions, cheap hits, bounty payments, all of it is OK. “Just win, baby” sums it up well. This whole episode with the NFL and Ray Rice is the epitome of the NFL at its worst.
                      .
                      My ideal scenario would have been King Roger losing his job the day the Rice video became public. Had that happened, allowing Rice to return would look a lot less like giving a pass to an elite.

                    • bmaz says:

                      No, that part of my reply was not aimed at you, who have intelligently argued, but at the great majority of the public outcry and angst that has indeed been stupid and uninformed as to what constitutes DV assault (seriously what do the THINK it looks like, how do they THINK women get bruised and bloodied??) to the significance of pre and post incident record, to the opinion of the victim and victim’s rights, to what really are the statistics and nature of pre-trial diversion programs. I think the majority of the public conversation on this has indeed been uninformed. I represent nearly as many victims of DV as I do defendants, and I assure you the discussion, including notably that of ESPN, who has so claimed such credit on this story, has been putrid and bullshit. Seriously, as somebody that actually deals with both sides of this, it makes me want to puke.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      You’re conflating the law–which may have been badly reported–with the NFL though.

                      Rice’s diversion is about the law. The NFL is about arbitrariness. So now we’re at the part where the NFL can tell him to fuck off because that’s they way they roll.

                    • bloopie2 says:

                      Most private (non-governmental) employment is arbitrary. I know my employer can fire me at a moment’s notice for no reason at all, and certainly for a Rice-like incident that becomes public. The NFL is not worse because it is arbitrary, it is normal. But since it intentionally operates in the public eye, it can, if it chooses to, set examples – both of how it punishes for bad conduct, and of how it its people to redeem themselves. Rice’s career is in jeopardy primarily because of his declining production and all the wear he has on him from so many carries. We will find out next summer.

                    • bmaz says:

                      First, that is not necessarily so where there are strong unions involved. Secondly, we will only “find out” if some teams gives the chance for all to find out.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I am not conflating the two in the least. They are separate, and I do not think I have intermixed them at all. But both have a very evident history of second chances (and in the law, DV is one of the few areas where that is actually so), but in the NFL, there are roster fuels of players that are playing and/or have played after the same, or in many cases far worse, charges and facts than Rice. Why should Rice, who of all seems to have the actual history of being an otherwise solid citizen separate from his offending act, be the guy that is banned out of ignorance, whether from public or Goodell and the NFL’s self interested bullshit? The Cowboy’s Josh Brent flat out recklessly killed a teammate, yet he will be back, and I believe already is to some extent, with the team, but Rice can never play again? Please, some perspective.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      That is precisely where you ARE conflating them.

                      He’s not, now, banned. It’s just that no one wants to employ him (as of yet). You’re asking that all that arbitrariness (AND the declining productivity) be set aside bc Rice at least has the record of–which is not always the same as being–a nice guy.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I am not saying that in the least. What I am saying is that his assault and diversion should not prevent him from having an opportunity. There is a difference between not being able to make a roster because you are not good enough anymore and not being given the chance to establish that. I understand your point completely. But there are many people taking the position that Rice is simply disqualified from, and has forfeited, any ability to ever play in the league again because of the act and its resolution. I think that is wrongheaded.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Again, you’re conflating the issues: assault “and” diversion, the act “and” its resolution.

                      Those are different things. The NFL can, within the terms of Rice’s contract and the NFLPA, do whatever the fuck it wants about the former without consideration of the latter. All the diversion is guaranteed to do with Rice, if he abides by its terms, are keep him out of jail. NOTHING requires the NFL to recognize the diversion as final punishment.

                      Thus far, the NFLPA has prevented the NFL from improperly banning Rice (rather, for punishing him twice)–good for the union! But it cannot force any team to continue to employ him.

                    • bloopie2 says:

                      “Good for the union” is smack on point. I wonder if college football players will ever get to the point where their teams are required to give them even a fair shot at a second chance (assuming their initials are not JW). The NLRB Chicago ruling on the Northwestern University players, granting them the right to an election, is a step in that direction, it seems. I’ll bet my bottom buckle that the NFL oligarch types were aghast when that decision came down -– further erosion of the rights of the powerful, you know.

                      http://nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-director-region-13-issues-decision-northwestern-university-athletes

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Look, I think Rice’s case has been, on all points, a clusterfuck. Adrian Peterson hasn’t been much better.

                      But what I think may come out of this, in part because of the strong stance of the NFLPA, is a less arbitrary system, and one that measures the violations more according to the impact on society and not the impact on the NFL’s purported image of “pure” sporting.

                    • bloopie2 says:

                      But isn’t “impact on society” what the criminal justice system is supposed to address? If so, then what is the raison d’etre for Goodell’s powers in this regard? There’s too many layers (and players) here, so we need to get to the underlying issue: What role the League should play in punishment of miscreants. In the abstract, I think all would agree that an employer should be able to punish, on top of whatever the State does (subject to any CBA). But why isn’t that the individual teams? Why have the owners ceded this power? Looking at the horrible way the Rice and Peterson issues have played out, and at the difficulty of bargaining up a new policy that’s fair and just, I wouldn’t be surprised if the teams decided to take away the Commissioner’s “personal conduct” powers in toto. The teams already have, I assume, inherent power to punish just as arbitrarily as the Commish. Leave it at that.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Partly it’s because of the monopoly they’ve been granted, partly because the union negotiates with the league (and is probably stronger as a result, to the extent that matters, plus that’s important for retired players).

                      I guess part of the question pertains to what the NFL is selling. They’re selling far more than just sporting events. In addition to pretending to sell a “clean” sport (which is why they get to police both performance enhancing and abusive drug use). But they’re also selling a branded product, which is why they get to police image beyond what cops do. Thus far, they haven’t really given a fuck about that part of their brand. With Rice and Peterson, they’ve been made to begin doing so. All of a sudden they realized that to the extent their brand has to appeal beyond men, they need to rebrand. That’s what this is about (and it’s also a big part of the reason these cases are different than prior crimes).

                    • bmaz says:

                      Now that I agree with completely. The hell of it is that the league does not really seem to have learned enough and is trying to unilaterally revamp the “personal conduct” policy, and mostly retain the screwed up arbitrary and capricious status quo, top down and claim it is a composite process by giving lip service to the NFLPA and a couple of outside groups.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Now you are conflating the issues!! First off, Rice did not “get off”. He was charged and adjudicated. You and others may, or may not, approve of the same, but that is a simple fact. The NFL “engaging in double jeopardy” has nothing whatsoever to do with the diversion resolution, and everything to do with Article 46 and Goodell’s previous decision. Should that have been different and more attuned to the act and social standards that should be in place? Abso-fucking-lutely. Did the NFL deserve to have its ass handed to it? Again absolutely.
                      .
                      I have no idea whether Ray Rice is a “nice guy”. He obviously beat his fiancé/wife, so that militates heavily that there is an issue. But, despite all of the white hot intensity of scrutiny his egregious act created, there appears to be no evidence he was anything other than the exact type of person appropriate to be diverted, rehabilitated and returned as a productive citizen, whether in the NFL or otherwise. Nothing should be, nor is, guaranteed to him, nor have I ever argued it is or should be.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Hahahah.

                      No. You’re misreading, all in an effort to keep conflating.

                      You’re arguing Rice should “get off” with the NFL. I’m not commenting on the diversion, no matter how many times you want to retreat to it, no matter how many times you want to create a category for diversion within the arbitrary world of the NFL.

                      LEAVE IT ASIDE. It is irrelevant to this discussion, no matter how many times you try to insert it.

                      The issue before the NFL is/was not whether Rice qualified for a criminal diversion or a diversion of any kind. Not in the least (which is why your tireless effort to conflate these issues is off point). It was what news about Rice’s abuse — at first the news, and then the video — would do to its claim to care about women and to provide “controlled” violence and (in the case of the Ravens) their claim to be great members of the community as represented by the figure of Rice.

                      Perhaps that’ll change, with all the attention Rice and Peterson have brought. But Mueller is very busy hiding evidence so they may well withstand this effort.

                    • bmaz says:

                      You are the one who has relentlessly made this false argument and put words in my mouth that were never there. You still are. Whatever.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Man, some asshole keeps putting words like this in your mouth.

                      someone should give him the shot to succeed or fail on merits.

                      [snip]

                      But, despite all of the white hot intensity of scrutiny his egregious act created, there appears to be no evidence he was anything other than the exact type of person appropriate to be diverted, rehabilitated and returned as a productive citizen, whether in the NFL or otherwise.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Yes, those are separate thoughts. as your snip reflects. Someone should give Rice the chance to succeed or fail on his merits as a player. He may or may not have that left in him. But he should be given the opportunity. NOT because diversion, or any other legal obligation or constrict demands that of the teams and league (as you falsely claim I argue), but because it seems fair and appropriate and keeping with what our society always claims it stands for. And there is nothing that your falsely “conflated” citations from disparate comments, at 27 and 66 above respectively, that makes your depiction an accurate portrayal of what I have said.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      I’m not claiming (nor have I ever, in spite of your repeated claims) that you said they had a legal obligation. I’m claiming you think he should get off. You just did again. It so happens many people don’t think he does deserve that.

                      That’s fine. It’s your opinion, as I noted way way way up there. It’s also your opinion that our society stands for giving superstars who knock their spouses out second chances that others don’t get. Again, your opinion, one you repeatedly tied to his legal diversion. That’s fine. Your opinion. But you can only WHINE about other people disagreeing when you’re talking that legal diversion. The rest is just your opinion about the appropriate second chance spouse beaters should get.

                    • bmaz says:

                      He did not “get off”. He was adjudicated. And I gots news for you, I get deals like that all the time for similar or worse facts for people that are not even close to sports stars. And it happens in NJ too. Painting it as a one off deal only Rice gets is baloney and Van Natta and ESPN should be excoriated for pumping the public full of the unmitigated bullshit that it is “less than in 1%” of cases or whatever reckless tripe it was they published. If it is a crime to think there is far too much knee jerk lock em up and ostracize offenders, even in first time non-capital mitigated cases, in the system, then, yeah, I am guilty. I support alternative treatment. I do not for one second support “beating” in DV situations, nor any others. I do, however, support intelligent and appropriate treatment of offenders, especially first time offenders. I also, by the way, believe in victim’s rights, and ability of victims to have some self determination in the criminal process, and its aftermath.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      Again. There are two venues, and again, you are conflating them.

                      1) Courts. He did not “get off.” I’ve said that already. I’ll say it again. But you will probably conflate these again.

                      2) NFL. His resolution, which will be decided by teams choosing to pick him up or not, is undecided. You think he should “get off” in that venue. I think his skill-set is not worth the PR disaster.

                      Your view on the legal diversion is well-known. But 100% irrelevant to the issue we’re discussing.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Oooh, maybe I have misunderstood, or you have been unclear, in what you mean by “get off”. I had no idea that was directed at the NFL side, I am only familiar with that being used in the criminal context. Losing all of a season is certainly not getting off, but I understand your point. Maybe his skill set is indeed so diminished as to make it not worth it. But I do not see why he should not be given a chance to prove or disprove that other than the fact that people want to make him alone the poster boy for all other sins the NFL has perpetuated. That plays right into the framing Goodell and his cronies want.
                      .
                      And dammit, I have not conflated any more than you have, arguably far less!!

                    • bmaz says:

                      I think that is correct with the one caveat that the Article 46 single penalty clause still controls, whether the “penalty” is imposed by the club or league.

                    • Peterr says:

                      Thanks.
                      .
                      And for what it’s worth, sometimes puking is a very healthy reaction to an ugly and/or toxic situation.

                    • CTuttle says:

                      The NFL, at its best, is about controlled violence. “We can exert force, within the rules, that makes us better than anyone else in the business.” The NFL, at its worst, is about uncontrolled violence. Concussions, cheap hits, bounty payments, all of it is OK. “Just win, baby” sums it up well. This whole episode with the NFL and Ray Rice is the epitome of the NFL at its worst.

                      Amen, Rev…! I certainly appreciate Chris Carter’s classy Stand Up PSA and push, but, it falls on largely deaf ears…! 8-(

                    • phred says:

                      “Plying his trade” in this instance bmaz is entertainment. An industry that requires the public to support you in general and in sports to cheer until its hoarse. Playing football is not like working in an office or a factory or any other sort of job where one works with a few colleagues and goes home. What you are asking for here is for the public to cheer for a guy who knocked out his wife. Or in Adrian Peterson’s case beat his child bloody.
                      .
                      I agree the NFL has too many players on the field guilty of various forms of assault. I think they should all go. A blind eye has been turned for far too long.
                      .
                      I agree these guys should be able to work again, but please don’t ask me to cheer for them.

              • bloopie2 says:

                What Bmaz said. And, Luke 15:10: “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

                • Peterr says:

                  Repentance does not mean you go back to the way it was before and pretend it never happened. Luke 15:10 means that God loves folks who turn away from past problematic behavior. It does not mean that you should go back into the same situation you were in when you did what you did. That’s the logic of the Catholic bishops who put pedophile priests back into contact with children.
                  .
                  Repentance means that despite the conduct in question, you are still a person with value. It does not mean that there should be no consequences for your actions.

        • scribe says:

          The only people who came out of this looking good are the NFLPA (showing what a good union does), Ozzie Newsome (for being honest and letting them fall where they may) and the NFLPA witness from the prior hearing whose name escapes me now (for being a good note-taker and getting it down accurately the first time).
          .
          I’d add the Rices (honesty throughout) but for the fact it was their drunken misbeavior that started this snowball down the hill.

    • bmaz says:

      Wild game.
      .
      On a sadder note, Jim’s Gators only getting three field goals seemed not nearly enough as they were getting them and them BOOM a 94, give or take, yard interception return and now another TD. Gators getting chomped.

  3. JohnT says:

    especially with Jim Harbaugh looking like a more likely candidate to coach the Raiders than than Wolverines after he gets fired in a few weeks

    Whooooaaaah Nelly! As Keith Jackson would say
    .
    JMHO, that would be about as knee jerk of a wrong coaching change as when they let Mooch (Steve Mariucci) go
    .
    He’s not perfect, but who is?
    .
    I think his problem is that he’s being too loyal to Greg Roman. And Roman’s problem is, that his offensive system has reached it’s ceiling and he can’t or won’t evolve.

  4. emptywheel says:

    Look, I think the thing abt Rice is his 3 yards per carry. He was at that stage where the league starts to let RBs go unless there’s something else. And there WAS for Rice: he was the Ravens PR vehicle to the community. But if that was the big reason he was being retained, he wasn’t useful anymore.

      • emptywheel says:

        Not in a way I’m happy about. That said, Weenies got slowed more by losing their big back than OSU did by losing their rocking QB.

        • CTuttle says:

          What would be hell for Mariotta is to get drafted by the Jets.

          Oof, I wouldn’t wish that meatgrinder on my worst enemy…! Tho, I’d rather the Jets,Jets,Jets draft him so my Donkos don’t face him twice a year for the next 10 years…! ;-)

  5. emptywheel says:

    Adding, that one laudable thing this episode does seem to have brought about is the awareness of how arbitrary Goodell is, in violation of contract. If someone privileged like Rice can bring that about for less elite athletes, that’s a win.

  6. bmaz says:

    You are creating false paradigms and talking past my point. And clearly the NFL and NFLPA cannot do “whatever the fuck it wants” because a certified arbitrator just ruled it cannot as to Rice. And I have never said the NFL or PA could, much less should, force any team to employ him. Never said that once, that is entirely your false construct over my position that a team or teams ought to give the man a second chance because they have in so many other situations as to offenders and that is supposedly the moral of this country, to the extent we really have any.

    • emptywheel says:

      Oops! You’re changing your argument, counselor.

      Either Rice’s situation WRT the NFL is independent of the diversion–which is what you’re finally arguing, and which is independent of the reporting you’ve been bitching endlessly about–or it is not–in which case your bitching is relevant.

      You now (finally) seem to agree the diversion is legally irrelevant to what the NFL chooses to do. You may believe Rice deserves a second chance. That is an opinion unrelated (in this iteration of your argument) to the diversion. Others hold the opinion he makes a good object lesson in how the NFL has overlooked partner abuse in the past (which the continued mishandling of him would seem to support).

      You certainly are entitled to your opinion. But now that you’ve stopped conflating the two issues, the diversion and the resolution at NFL, please recognize that the basis for opinion on the latter is permissibly broader than questions of what the legal system has decided.

      • bmaz says:

        I am not “finally arguing” that point, I am responding to the false mischaracterizations of what I previously said. I have never intimated that the specter of diversion legally or contractually obligated the NFL or its teams to employ Rice. What I have argued is that the incident and diversion should not be an automatic disqualifier and that he should be given a chance. The rest is what you wrongfully attributed to me in perpetuating your own, different, argument. I was never “conflating” the issues, and am not now.

        • emptywheel says:

          No.

          When you use the “diversion and” you’re arguing treating two unrelated issues as linked, trying to piggy back your reading of NJ statute (which others here might disagree with) onto the correct resolution of the NFL situation. THEY ARE ONLY TANGENTIALLY RELATED, which your last comment finally conceded. So when called on your suggestion they’re linked, you accepted they were separate, but now want them to be linked again. They are not linked. When you claim they are, you are conflating them improperly.

          Once they are separate, your opinion is just one of many, no better informed than anyone else who has dealt with domestic violence issues (as Peterr, as a minister, assuredly has).

          Again, you are entitled to your opinion. But you’re claiming more authority for your opinion because your opinion about diversion — again, unrelated to the NFL resolution, no matter how you retreat to that conjunction, “and” — is based in your practice as a lawyer. Your opinion about what resolution the NFL should adopt may call on your background representing both victims and perpetrators of DV, but should not command any more authority than the many other people who have dealt with DV in other contexts.

          • bmaz says:

            This response is almost pure bunk. You have manufactured and falsely attributed to me that which I have not argued.
            .
            As to my opinion being only one of many, I have never argued otherwise on the issue that precipitates this thread. As to diversion in the criminal system itself, it is still one of many, albeit it more informed by experience than most.
            .
            As to your last paragraph, you continue to expand and misrepresent that which I have argued. I have NEVER said, no matter how much you may falsely claim otherwise, the diversion process in the criminal court legally controls diddly squat with resect to the league and/or the NFLPA. I have, and do, however, continue to maintain that the equities involved militate in favor of giving Rice a chance to prove himself again in the league. My opinion on the criminal court process is indeed colored by my experience on both sides of the victim/defendant equation. As to the NFL, do I think they, and their teams, ought to be more honest in assessing such factors, you bet. Do I think they create any legal/contractual duty to do so and not just cravenly cover their ass, no, I have never intimated, much less said that.

            • emptywheel says:

              “Blah blah blah. I keep saying I’m not linking these unrelated issues but here I go again.”

              When you link these unlinked issues, you are making such a statement. You can defend Rice getting off all you want. I support it in terms of NFL engaging in double jeopardy. But I will continue to insist that you treat Rice’s diversion separately from what the NFL SHOULD DO when football players beat the shit out of their spouses. THe NFL has finally been forced to do so IN THIS CASE and more generally bc Rice is a star and they couldn’t hide these tapes. That’s for the good, and if it had to happen with someone you think is a nice guy, tough shit. It’s far more important that NFL change its ways than for someone who has had tremendous opportunities get to retain that opportunity.

  7. What Constitution? says:

    Donald Sterling. Money. Self-interest in the ability to reap money seen as being related to morally acceptable principles. I think the current Rice situation is less about the “criminal penalty” aspect, more about the NFL being called for violating its own rules by imposing a secondary and harsher penalty, and then having to address potential re-hiring of Rice under the evolving principles of economic self-interest driven by public reaction to morally intolerable conduct. Things have, in fact, changed in America in the fifty years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to a point where things once accepted (racism a la Sterling) or hushed up and glossed over (spousal abuse, priest pedophilia) are now things that the public won’t accept and that the public will vote with its dollars to disown. That’s the reason Don Sterling was tossed by the NBA owners — they couldn’t by any means appear to support his morally indefensible utterances, not even by deferring to his “privacy” — they could see what would happen to their league in the public marketplace. The NBA owners canned Sterling not just because they “disapproved” of his views, but because they’d be shunned economically if they didn’t. The NFL is in a similar place right now: will an owner really be willing to be the one who hires this guy? Will they pull those unctuous “no more” ads if they hire this guy and, if not, why not? Or will they say essentially what the NBA said to Sterling, which was “we as a league won’t allow your model to participate in our model at all, and at least not any longer”? Mr. Rice may well be entitled to avoid incarceration, Mr. Rice may well be entitled to a second chance in society — but the NFL has been caught red-handed with pandering to a spousal batterer, the NFL has self-righteously stepped up to proclaim its support for opposition to violence against women, and the NFL, as the sum of its own parts, now faces a test of that professed siding with morality. The team that hires Rice won’t — or, at least, probably won’t — escape unscathed, and that is the test here. Will the public allow the NFL to invoke the inadequacy of its own initial inaction, compounded by its own subsequent procedural failure, to negate the morality reflected in the public “reaction” and League “response” to the Rice incident?

      • Petrocelli says:

        Jim ! How’re things with you?

        Today is Championship Day in the Canadian Flutie League and also the first Sunday I’ve been able to watch Football. The Weather Gods have blessed Toronto with 60 degree temps, for our last Football BBQ of the year.

        I’ve got so many things on that I wish to have as many arms as a Hindu God. *g

    • scribe says:

      The wheels fell off somewhere – the 506 f’d me so I didn’t see the game – and I had to go into work anyway. After a full day of work yesterday. So, I’m just now getting a breath between the usual weekend chores – laundry, dishwashing, housecleaning, food prep for dog, dinner for Scribe (we haven’t even gotten to that), tomorrow’s lunch for Scribe (at work; also not there yet) – to pay a little attention to Biebs getting absolutely no time because his O-line is more hole than … donut.
      .
      Couldn’t say “cheese” because, well, the Cheesers are kicking Biebs’ and Cheatin’ Bill’s asses.

    • phred says:

      Why, Jim, I’m touched ; )
      .
      So even though I’m way late… HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!!!
      (You too, BSL, sorry about yesterday…)

  8. emptywheel says:

    Gotta say, tho, no one has defended that Edelman crossing route that well.

    And Brady’s gonna get a hefty fine for that “fuck.”

      • bmaz says:

        They are the Sun Devils of the local professional football scene. I guess I should just be happy that we finally, after decades, actually have professional football here. But once you get a taste, you want more and then…..pfffft!

  9. bmaz says:

    Didn’t see the game, but say what you will, Colt McCoy looks like he played well today for the Washington Professional Football Franchise.

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    Damn good game. Waiting for Belichick presser, Brady was pissed. They spend the week in
    San Diego

  11. bmaz says:

    Jeebus, the inactive list for Denver tonight is just brutal. Both top running backs, Julius Thomas and Talib. Wow, those are huge holes.

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