Thursday, May 24, 2012
If you haven’t already heard, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has filed a defamation of character lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell. This is in response to the suspension that Goodell handed down to Vilma for his participation in the Saints bounty scandal which was vetted out earlier this year. The war of words continues to go on and it looks like this is going to get ugly before any resolution to the matter comes. So which party is the right party in this case? Is Vilma correct in assuming that Goodell has defamed his character by suspending him for his involvement in the Saint’s bounty scandal? Was it right for Goodell to suspend Vilma for his actions? Was Vilma guilty of taking part in the Saint’s bounty scandal and did he deserve the year long suspension that Goodell gave him for his part in the scandal? These are all questions that should be answered when the arbitrator is done hearing the case for Vilma and he will make his decision based on the facts of the case. After reading some of the things that have taken place and trying to get a feel for the scandal as a whole, it’s hard to imagine that Vilma didn’t have some part in it. The question is how big of a part did he play and does he deserve the punishment that has been vetted out to him. Depending on who you listen to Vilma may not be guilty of what the commissioner of the NFL has laid out against him and in fact may be innocent of the charges he has been accused of. If you listen to others they will tell you that Vilma had a huge hand in the bounty gate scandal and was one of it’ biggest players. His guilt or innocence is going to be decided one way or another but it appears as if the commissioner has already decided this and that’s what Vilma doesn’t like. He doesn’t care for the fact that Goodell has suspended him and given him a bad name. And now he wants to take his revenge out on Goodell by suing him for defaming his character. Whether or not its character defamation remains to be seen. One this is for sure and that’s Vilma is trying to get his way by attempting to strong arm Goodell with a personal lawsuit. It’s highly unlikely that this is going to give Vilma the outcome that he favors but you never know with today’s legal system. Hopefully this doesn’t set a precedent for when other players get in trouble by the commissioner and want to try to find a way out of it. The commissioner was acting in good faith as the head of the NFL and it’s his assigned duty to dole out punishment to players that break the rules like Vilma supposedly did. He shouldn’t be personally held accountable for the actions that he was entitled by the league to do and the courts may see it this way. So keep an eye on this case because it may set a precedent for future lawsuits brought against the commissioner of the NFL by players when they are suspended. If Vilma wins and gets his way look for the floodgates to open whenever there is a suspension as players will question the legality of their suspensions with suits against the commissioner himself. And that will be a legal mess.
Posted by Bryan at 5/24/2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
In what might be the best news that Minnesota Vikings fans have heard in a long time, the Vikings are going to get their new stadium and stay put in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While I may not be a fan of the Vikings, I am still happy that they are staying in Minneapolis because it helps out my favorite team, the Chicago Bears. Just to think that there won’t be any long trips out to Los Angeles or some other out of the way place for the Bears to have to go on to play the Vikings and that makes me a very happy Bears fan. This will also keep the tradition of the match-ups alive and well as both of these teams, known to hate one another always play great games when they get together. So we won’t have to miss out any of these interesting match-ups. The Vikings deserve to have new stadium. They have been playing in the same building for several seasons and after the collapse of the roof a few years ago, it’s high time that the team got a new place to play in. And with a new modern stadium, the ownership and the city have a chance at attracting additional revenue through the use of the stadium. For instance, the new stadium could put the city in the running for hosting a future Super Bowl which would bring a lot of income to the city and the team. Although hosting a Super Bowl in a cold weather city may not be the most popular thing right now (see how things turned out in Dallas when they hosted the Super Bowl) the city should get a shot at hosting the big game once the stadium is built. This is a great move for the city of Minneapolis and fans of the Vikings as they now know that their favorite team will be staying put and not moving somewhere else as was thought to be the case before. The fans can be rest assured that this team isn’t going to go anywhere for a very long time and that football will always be present in the great state of Minnesota. And as a Bears fan, just knowing that the rivalry between the Bears and the Vikings will continue is good enough for me. I also appreciate the fact that the big games between the Green Bay Packers and the Vikings are still going to take place. Those are always fun and interesting to watch and are some of the best games of the season. So it’s clear that the Vikings are going to finally get what they want and be able to stay in one place. They deserve a new stadium as do the fans that support this team.
Posted by Bryan at 5/14/2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
It’s another one of those where were you at when this thing happened situations. The other day, when I heard the news about the passing of Junior Seau I was at work. I saw the news on my Facebook page and quickly learned more about what had happened to him. Nothing is ever official but he was killed due to a self inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears safety from their Super Bowl winning season in 1985 suffered a similar fate. In his case, he left a note saying that he wanted his brain to be donated for study to find out what might have caused the issues that ultimately led to his death. Perhaps that is what Seau wanted to have done as well. Seau played in the NFL for 20 seasons with three different teams and even when he did manage to retire he didn’t appear that he was ready for retirement. He was still playing at a pretty high level and was still an important part of the team that he was playing for when he retired (the New England Patriots). He had a semi successful go of it following his NFL career and then it appeared as if he dropped off the face of the earth. I hadn’t heard anything about him for a while until his recent death. While there cannot be enough praise given for what Seau was able to do in the NFL for so long there has to be some worry as to the circumstances surrounding his death. With an abnormal number of players ending their lives possibly because of the effects of all of the damage they suffered to themselves during their football careers perhaps this is yet another wake up call. Now the question that begs to be asked is did Seau end his life as a result of his football career? It’s too early to tell whether or not all of the pounding that Seau took over the course of his career led him to take his own life but it does bring up a good point. Is all of the abuse that the typical NFL player takes over the lifetime of his career worth what they might get in the end? Is all the money that they get paid worth what could happen to them when the effects of concussions take their toll? Is it worth it to end up like Duerson or perhaps even Seau? The NFL does need to do something to help better protect their players from repeated cases of head trauma. Perhaps working on the helmet design and making sure that players are getting the maximum protection from that all important piece of equipment that they can get is a good idea. Commissioner Roger Goodell has already made some strides in protecting players from vicious hits and that has helped to at least cut down on some of the serious injuries that players have suffered. But can the damage be prevented even if the NFL works on getting newer and safer helmets along with what they have done to prevent the defenseless hits in the league? Something has to be done in order to prevent head injuries from becoming problems later on in life for football players. But what can be done? It’s hard to stop the hitting in the NFL as it’s a big part of the game. Fans pay to see the big hits and players often deliver. Perhaps there is a way to make it safer to play the game but until that happens there will be more Seaus and Duersons to deal with.
Posted by Bryan at 5/07/2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
A few weeks ago I checked out the spring football game for the University of Syracuse and while it's free to get in, my son got to get a poster autographed by the players and we got to sit anywhere you want I couldn't help but wonder "Where everyone else was?" Any serious football fan within 30 miles of Syracuse should have been at that game. It's a lot of fun and it is a chance to the "little" fans to meet the players after the game. We have made it a yearly trip and plan to for a long time. The University of Syracuse puts on a nice effort with the spring game and hopefully the crowd continues to grow each year. Football anytime is a good thing.
Here are a few shots from the game and look for the SU Game page for more pictures.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Someone needs to explain to me why the “experts” bother with grading the NFL draft especially seconds after it’s over. Come on just because a team doesn’t grab the guy that specific expert thinks it needed the team gets bad press and their fans are depressed as their team is singled out as having a bad draft. Let’s be honest unless you are in the war-room, work for the team or have spent time working for a team you can’t say with 100% certainty if a player will or won’t work for a team and even those people make countless mistakes.
Those of us that have a great passion for all things football can certainly do our due diligence and give our best educated guess but to say this team gets a D but this team gets a B because they took guys the “expert” liked over other guys the “expert” might not know is simply stupid. I’d much rather see the experts come out and say for each team I like this pick because XYZ and I didn’t like this pick because of ABC. No team picked all guys that are bad so a true draftnik should be able to find the value of a good picks and simply question the other picks.
Being a Cowboys fan I don’t remember anyone giving them an A for signing Miles Austin and Tony Romo years ago and that turned out pretty well. That’s because you don’t know how a player will adjust to the NFL. For all the “franchise” QBs taken in round one like Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Patrick Ramsey, there are undrafted quarterbacks like Tony Romo, Jake Delhomme and Kurt Warner who come out of nowhere to lead there teams to the playoffs and sometimes the Super Bowl.
Grading the draft…really?