We are officially through the looking glass for suspensions related to Ray Rice – here’s where we stand.
Ray Rice – knocks his fiancée out in an elevator, shows no remorse or compassion as she lays on the floor out cold. Punishment: Originally 2 game suspension (extended after public outrage when the video was released).
Stephen A. Smith – proffers the ridiculous, abhorrent view that women should try to avoid provoking men into knocking them out cold in elevators. Punishment: ESPN suspends him for 1 week.
Roger Goodell – completely mishandles the Ray Rice incident. Is told by the running back exactly what happened, but only suspends him for 2 games despite the NFL having access to the video. Is either completely incompetent or completely full of shit. Gives a 45 minute press conference where he gives a non-apology apology (one that made me think of this episode of This American Life…”mistakes were made”). Punishment: $35.1million. Wait, that’s not a punishment, that’s his salary. No punishment for Goodell who also claimed not to have even considered resigning.
Bill Simmons – talks on his weekly podcast with Cousin Sal about the Goodell press conference with the type of frankness that made him one of the most popular writers on ESPN for so long, leading to them letting him establish the branched-off Grantland website. Suggests Goodell was lying and refers to what he said as “fucking bullshit” (bleeped out) and dares the bosses at ESPN to call him up about his rant, saying that he gets to talk about this on his podcast. Punishment – Three week suspension.
So congratulations to both the NFL and ESPN for having no clue what justice is and, in the case of the latter, acting like a totalitarian state by punishing someone who dared to speak out of turn and against the ruling power.
One suggestion for those getting disillusioned with the NFL – check out the Premier League this weekend, two big derby matches: Liverpool vs Everton (7:45am ET NBCSN) and Arsenal vs Spurs (12:30pm ET NBC). Because every single week there seems to be so much to say, other than anything about the actual games that were played the previous Sunday and it really is just frustrating.
A couple of notes before my weekly picks:
- Only three teams have perfect records heading into Week 4: Philadelphia, Arizona and Cincinnati. There are also a trio of winless teams: Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Oakland.
- Six franchises have byes already this week and the last team to win the Super Bowl after having their week of rest this early was the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers. The teams not playing: Seattle, Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Arizona and St. Louis.
- London hosts the first of three games at Wembley Stadium this season, with the Raiders taking on the Dolphins which would be a great matchup, if it was 1984.
Week 4 Picks
Last week, 10-6; Season, 27-21
Home teams in bold
Washington -3.5 over Giants
Texans -2.5 over Bills
Bears +0.5 over Packers
Jets +1.5 over Lions
Titans +7.5 over Colts
Dolphins -4.5 over Raiders
Steelers -7.5 over Buccaneers
Panthers +3.5 over Ravens
Chargers -13.5 over Jaguars
Vikings +3.5 over Falcons
Eagles +5.5 over 49ers
Cowboys +3.5 over Saints
Chiefs +3.5 over Patriots