Mostly NFL STuff Today

The first round of cuts by NFL teams to get the rosters down from 90 to 75 players mainly involves people like Joe Flabeetz – of whom you never heard and for whom the major role in training camp for the outset was to be cannon fodder. However, there were two recognizable names in the first round of cuts this year:

    Cards cut punter, Dave Zastudil.
    Bills cut RB, Fred Jackson.

The Bills’ cut was really surprising since Rex Ryan believes in an offense built on “ground and pound”. It takes runners to do the pounding and while Jackson may not be Jim Brown reincarnate, he seemed to have something remaining in the tank.

Scott Ostler posed a couple of interesting questions in the SF Chronicle last weekend:

“Do you buy the apology lite of USC football coach Steve Sarkisian, who was drunk and profane at a public rally and blamed it on mixing a smidge of alcohol with meds? Didn’t specify the meds. Could a player get away with the same excuse?”

The blunt answer to the question about a player offering a similar explanation/excuse is that the player would be swimming upstream in the court of public opinion from the moment his voice trailed off at the end of said explanation. That is neither right nor wrong; it just the way it is. Having said that, I believe that Professor Ostler did not comment on another aspect of Coach Sarkisian’s explanation that jumped out at me. Sarkisian said that there was liquor in the coaches’ locker room and that after this incident where he had had a pop or two and it led to embarrassment, the answer was to remove the booze from the coaches’ room. Here is my question:

    What was the alcohol doing in the coaches’ locker room in the first place? I understand the idea of celebrating big wins – with the emphasis on the word “big” – but this is not a celebration the coaches could legally share with about half of the players on the team. So, why was it there in the first place? They could not wait an hour after showering, dressing and dismissing the team to go and have a couple of shots together somewhere else?

Similarly, over the last weekend, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald seems to have put the exclamation point on the whole Cris Carter controversy at last year’s NFL Rookie Seminar:

“Cris Carter apologized for telling players at an NFL Rookie Symposium they should have a ‘fall guy’ handy to help them avoid trouble. An alternate piece of advice he might have considered: Stay out of trouble so you don’t need a ‘fall guy.’”

There is wisdom in Greg Cote’s remark here; would that more of the NFL players would be able to take that wisdom and assimilate into their daily lives…

I know that I am more cynical/skeptical than the vast majority of people walking the streets these days. Nevertheless, I wonder if the following played even a small part of Roger Goodell’s thinking as the Deflategate saga lurched forward to the point that we find it today:

    If Tom Brady has to miss the first four games of the 2015 season, he will be eligible to return to action on October 18 when the Patriots play – wait for it – the Indy Colts. Recall, it was the Colts who “blew the whistle” here and started the whole Deflategate kerfuffle.

    How big would the hype be for that game if it were Brady’s first of the year? The hype would be bigger than for any other regular season game and it might rival the Conference Championship games. Now, we know that the NFL loves to dominate the sports news firmament on a 24/1/365 basis and so I wonder if that is part of the calculus here…

Interestingly, when the Falcons were found to have pumped artificial noise into their home field, team president and GM Rich McKay was suspended and was booted from his seat on the NFL Competition Committee but reinstalled there as his suspension was lifted by the Commish. With that reinstatement, McKay basically will not miss any games – ignoring the fact that having the GM present in or absent from the stadium on game day does not amount to a pinch of coon s[p]it. Similar to the Brady situation, there was no evidence that McKay was part of the effort to pipe in the amplified noise. Dissimilar to Brady – should the Commish get his way – McKay never had to miss a real NFL game.

Former NFL RB, Lawrence Phillips, is doing time in California for a felony assault conviction. We need not go into Phillips’ troubled past here; if you really want to get all the gory details, Google is your friend. Recently, Phillips’ cellmate, Damian Soward, turned up dead in the prison and after investigating, it now seems that Phillips will prosecuted as the instigator of the death. According to reports, Soward was found in his deceased state in the cell that Soward and Phillips shared; if true, that means Phillips needs to retain Perry Mason to defend him lest his current 7-year sentence become something far lengthier.

Lest anyone draw an erroneous conclusion here, I am not decrying the death of Damian Soward here. Soward was in prison for first degree murder and was serving an 82 years-to-life sentence. I suspect the world did not lose a great human benefactor or a great philanthropist; that does not mean that he deserved to die.

Veering off the sports scene for just a moment here, in another prosecutorial decision, it seems that Caitlyn Jenner could face charges in a vehicular incident where others lost their lives. I have no knowledge of or real interest in that matter but there is an interesting aspect:

    How would you feel if you were selected to be on the jury for any trial that might descend from that incident knowing that your presence in the jury box designated you specifically as one of Caitlyn Jenner’s peers?

    During voir dire, I suspect that a comment along those lines could get you excused from empanelment.

Finally, here is Greg Cote of the Miami Herald again with an overview of Deflategate:

“Parting thought: Lawyers for the NFL and Tom Brady are due back Monday for the latest round of arguments. If this “Deflategate” morass were any more ridiculous, they’d move it from federal court to Vaudeville.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

15 thoughts on “Mostly NFL STuff Today”

  1. Jack,
    I enjoy on-field interviews about as much as you do. They unveiled the phenomenon at the US Open yesterday… the announcers couldn’t believe all the negative feedback on the social media. Really!
    Ciao, TC

    1. TC:

      I would not mind them nearly as much if even 50% of them provided some insight into the contest that was not obvious from the commentary of the “folks in the booth”. My estimate of the percentage of on-field/sideline interviews that provide such insight is in the range of 0.1%. Ergo…

  2. Roddy Jones, a former starting running back at Ga Tech, will begin his first season as a sideline reporter for the ACC football games this Fall. He has been the commentary/analyst guy for Tech radio the past couple years. It will interesting to see if his interviews are better than the normal “pretty girl” offerings we currently get.

  3. Could Cailtyn Jenner plead not guilty because at the time of the accident he/she was still “identifying” as Bruce? We’re told Bruce no longer exists. Is there legal precedent for a transgender person to avoid responsibility by “transitioning”?

    1. BC:

      That question would have to go to a professor of law – which is at least 50 steps up the legal knowledge ladder from where I sit. I do know that several lawyers read these rants periodically so I will try to get some answers from them.

    2. BC:

      I have received one response from an attorney who reads these rants periodically. I will post it – and any others that I get – here:

        Your question would never have occurred to me.

        My quick reaction is that a change in gender is no different than changing your name for legal purposes. Whether you identify as male or female at any given time does not in any way affect your legal responsibility for your acts.

    3. BC:

      Here is a second response to your query:

        Legal precedent? I seriously doubt it. And though all of this is beyond my comprehension, I also seriously doubt that a judge would entertain the argument for more than a millisecond.
    4. BC:

      Here is a third response to your question from a practicing attorney:

        The answer is no – your legal obligations follow you with a name or gender change. Otherwise, folks might seek changes all the time to avoid financial or legal troubles.
    5. BC:

      Your question was sufficiently outrageous to command yet another response:

        My initial reaction is that my Duke Law degree has let me down in that it did not school me on this issue – What an utter fail!!!!

        Seriously, I am not aware of, and highly doubt that there is, any legal precedent for such a plea as “Not Guilty by reason of it no longer is the same me”…

        People do Demur to Complaints by asserting that they are not the guy who is charged… What follows is an Identity Hearing in which the prosecution needs to prove that the guy standing in the courtroom and the guy charged in the Complaint are one-in-the-same (fairly routine when undocumented immigrants are charged…: “You charged Francisco Liera; I’m Francisco Liera-Hernandez Santobal”).

        These issues are resolved any number of ways: fingerprints, dental records, birth records, DNA, a mother’s testimony (yes, I’ve actually put a mother on the stand in a juvenile court to prove her son’s identity!), etc. I suspect that if the issue is raised, “Caitlyn” will be proven to be Bruce the exact same way. Nothing about whatever gender he/she happens to be on any given day will have any effect on the charges he is facing.

    6. BC:

      Here is another answer to your query:

        Never having done criminal defense work and, therefore, speaking merely from a general knowledge and logical perspective, my expectation is that there is no chance anyone could be able to rely on that defense. Bruce Jenner does still exist, albeit using the name of Caitlin. On a civil claim, one could not defend a case against Home Depot based upon a change in the name to Lowes. Liability would follow to the same entity, new name. There would be no successor liability unless there were certain statutory conditions met and it would have to be more than merely a name change. But the barrier to successor liability is based upon a statute specifically providing that bar. Similarly, on a criminal prosecution, one could not change a name and avoid conviction. There has to be a substantive change and a statutory basis to avoid liability.
        And, knowing the question that would generate, it wouldn’t make a difference if Bruce/Caitlin changed the plumbing from a projectile to a receptacle.

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