UnNews:New NFL season begins with noses out of joint
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New NFL season begins with noses out of joint
A newsstand that's brimming with issues
Friday, August 18, 2017, 14:44:UTC)(
19 September 2014
First, Ray Rice was suspended for cold-cocking his girlfriend in a New Jersey casino, where no one imagined there would be security cameras. The suspension, initially set at two games when Rice explained what he had done to Commissioner Roger Goodell, was changed to six life terms, to be served consecutively, when the key video emerged. Though the video was sent to NFL Headquarters, Goodell never saw it. Aides, he explains, spirited it away and amused themselves in the lunchroom watching, on continuous loop, Rice giving his honey her "come-uppance," knowing that Goodell instead dines in the executive cafeteria and would never see the proof that Rice did what Rice had already told Goodell he did. The battling lovers, meanwhile, have patched up — using Band-Aids® provided by the NFL itself — and are now married and receiving joint counseling at a Tae Kwon Do studio.
Later, Adrian Peterson confessed to spanking his 4-year-old son, setting off a national debate over childrearing that threatened to overshadow the NFL's new ban on hurtful words during and after bone-jarring tackles. The penalty for Peterson's transgression was one week, then zero weeks, then eternity.
- Quarterback Tom Brady was seen in August waiting for his supermodel wife to emerge from the beauty salon — with the SUV's engine idling and the air conditioning on full, ignoring his duty as a role model to lead with token moves against global warming.
- Teammate Vince Wilfork, on the eleventh or twelfth trip to the buffet at the Chinese Pagoda restaurant near here, failed to take a clean new plate.
Team owners are on pins and needles, as their squads could be decimated by scandals, and by the NFL's need to claim the high ground on each. These owners are all looking at the worst case: Michael Vick, who in 2007 was implicated not for beating up mere women or children, but actual cute puppies. This extreme case is still the NFL's model: instant lifetime ban, followed by token prison time and "therapy," a miracle character transformation, millions paid to advocacy groups, and a return to normal with everyone making tons of money. Should worse come to worst, the Boston team would have to re-sign Aaron Hernandez, on trial for ordinary murder but free of scandal — perhaps working to ensure his periodic furloughs from prison mesh with the NFL schedule.
The NFL is fielding complaints that the shifting bans have less to do with "getting the call right" than to getting the call from influential sponsors. Pundits suggest that the NFL is merely terrified of its corporate backers, who are even more terrified of customer boycotts. None of the above will keep Sen. Elizabeth Warren from continuing to claim that corporations act with impunity and should be more tightly controlled by the bureaucracy.
Commissioner Goodell, stung by the charge of being too influenced by the men who pay the bill, held a tearful press conference to admit that "I screwed this up." This means he is clear to keep his $40 million job slapping backs, provided he goes on to "enter rehab."
Law enforcement, meanwhile, is not investigating any of these crimes, because all available detectives are busy investigating whether the Washington, D.C. franchise's nickname is ethnically offensive.
- Rick Morrissey "NFL succumbs to sponsors, not Adrian Peterson’s son or Ray Rice’s wife". Chicago Sun-Times, September 17, 2014