Tag Archives: Baltimore Ravens

The Super Bore

I won’t be watching the Super Bore (I mean the Super Bowl) this Sunday. I need to like at least one of the two teams playing in the championship game, or at the bare minimum be able to whole-heartedly root for one of them, to be enticed into viewing the 4-hour plus spectacle. That criteria definitely was not met this past football season. I’m about as thrilled to watch Super Bowl 49, as I am at the prospect of sending either Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton to the Oval Office during the next presidential election. I can’t bear the thought of another Bush or Clinton running this country, but on the bright side at least they’re not Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year, and I don’t particularly care for “repeating” in any sport unless of course it’s my team. Whether when speaking of politics or professional football I say, “give somebody else a chance.” However, if the New England Patriots win we’ll never know for certain how legitimate their season truly was leading up to the big game. More on that later. I’m sure my lovely wife will be watching this year’s Super Bowl since nowadays she seems to be a bigger fan of the National Football League than I am.

I used to crave NFL game days, but I think watching overpaid athletes constantly showboating and heaping praise upon themselves ultimately grew too tiresome for me. I’m sure you know the type of person I’m speaking of because they are a dime a dozen in the NFL. A player makes a touchdown, an interception, a fumble recovery, a sack, or even a nice tackle, and his teammates are wanting to congratulate him, but more often than not the individual pushes them aside (literally and figuratively) to find an open space on the football field to celebrate alone. I assume the player does this so there’s no mistaking, to anyone who may have blinked, who he thinks deserves to be applauded for the previous play. Hellooo…it’s your job!

Someone did ask, after hearing my intentions for not watching the Super Bowl, “but what about the commercials?” I momentarily considered taping the ballgame, so I could fast forward through the boring matchup and enjoy the annually heralded commercials at a later date. I then quickly realized how asinine even the thought of that resonated in my head. Was I actually going to purposefully expend some of my time and energy on watching an array of mostly overrated advertisements, that are force-fed apparently to an eagerly willing audience, aired during the National Football League’s biggest game of the year? No!

Besides, the viewing of Super Bowl commercials aren’t a once in a lifetime event. I’m sure eventually I’ll see all of them a time or two whether I want to or not in the coming weeks. Admittedly, I absolutely am an admirer of the majority of Hallmark commercials. The sappy ones they show during Hallmark movies, a combination of new commercials as well as the classics, are well worth turning on the television set to watch. I’ve been known to shed a few tears (okay, streams of tears) more so during those darn commercials than during the Hallmark presentation itself.

Now for the elephant in the room. I recently have heard New England Patriots’ Head Coach, Bill Belichick, referred to by some as Bill Belicheat although I’m not entirely sure he’s the only one in the organization deserving of such a demeaning nickname. However, Coach Belichick and the entire Patriots’ Organization does seem to be adding to their reputations as cheaters (ala “Spygate”) in the NFL. “Spygate,” in case you haven’t heard by now, was when the Patriots were caught illegally videotaping their opponents’ defensive coaches’ signals during a 2007 game against the New York Jets.

In addition, during the “Spygate” investigation, it was discovered that New England had been conducting similar videotaping of their opponents since Mr. Belichick took over as head coach in 2000. This quite possibly means the Patriots had an unfair advantage against their opponents in Super Bowls 36, 38, and 39, too. Coach Belichick was fined $500,000, the Patriots were fined $250,000, and the team was stripped of their first round draft pick the following season for their indiscretion. The fine incurred by Mr. Belichick remains the harshest penalty ever handed down to an NFL coach. The Patriots advanced to the championship game during the “Spygate” season, but they did lose to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42. I can’t complain.

The latest allegation against New England, cleverly deemed “Deflategate,” has encompassed the team, tarnishing their reputation even further, as they are trying to prepare for the upcoming Super Bowl. Supposedly, 11 of the 12 footballs provided by the Patriots’ offensive unit were found to be under-inflated after their latest playoff victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Something happened to the pigskins between the time the referees checked them, approximately two hours prior to game time, and the kickoff. I don’t exactly know where the buck should stop when attempting to lay blame: the Patriots’ Owner, the General Manager, Coach Belichick, or the players themselves. Maybe some astute ball boy summoned his courage and ingenuity, however ill-advised, in hopes of trying to do what he could to help the home team.

The fact is that rules were allegedly broken by the New England Patriots’ Organization…again. A reader of mine (yes, I have a few) replied to a prior blog claiming, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” in disagreeing with my particular stance on an issue. I will use that same adage in this circumstance although he surely won’t appreciate it because, if I remember correctly, he is a Patriots’ fan. If you are an Indianapolis Colts’ fan please cover your ears at this time. The Patriots undeniably obliterated the Colts on the football field, and it would not have mattered whether the footballs were slightly under-inflated, over-inflated, or as flat as a pancake. New England obviously would’ve kicked some major butt that day regardless which then makes trying to gain the slightest edge by illegally deflating balls seem all the more ridiculous.

That being said, I do not know how in good conscience the NFL can allow cheaters to participate in this year’s championship game if they desire to maintain a shred of integrity. The League is more than willing to suspend players, based on allegations alone, yet it’s painfully evident they’re enacting some sort of “the game must go on” mentality when it comes to holding an entire NFL organization accountable. The right thing to do would be to banish the Patriots from Super Bowl 49. Unfortunately, I’m certain that wasn’t even considered because trying to find another team on such short notice, and deciphering which team is most deserving to fill the vacancy, would be nearly impossible. The Colts? I don’t think so.

A case definitely could be made for the Baltimore Ravens to fill the vacant slot. They lost to New England, the previous week of the playoffs, but only by a measly 4 points. That game was also played on the Patriots’ home field, so there’s a strong possibility New England’s offense was using deflated footballs then as well. This discussion, as riveting as it may be, is pointless since surely the locker-rooms of the remaining 30 teams have already been cleared out, and many players are probably vacationing, fishing, or camping out somewhere in the wilderness by now. Some players possibly may be out of shape by this time while others may have already begun a necessary recovery process due to a very punishing, long season.

Regardless, the biggest game of the year will go on as scheduled, pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots, amidst a cloud of speculation and deceit. For me, deciding which team to root for in Super Bowl 49, is reminiscent of the selection process I’ve encountered when choosing which candidates to support in many of the most recent elections. I’m usually forced to ask myself, “Who is the lesser of two evils?” I cast my vote for the Seattle Seahawks although I still won’t be watching the Super Bore (I mean the Super Bowl) this Sunday.


The Injustice To Ray

The entire video footage, of the elevator incident involving professional football player, Ray Rice, and his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, was finally released to the public yesterday. The majority of people who were lending their support to Mr. Rice, and championing his effort to learn from the experience, apparently have now abandoned ship after viewing the TMZ footage. The Baltimore Ravens organization immediately parted ways with their talented running back, and the National Football League’s Commissioner, Roger Goodell, suspended him indefinitely. I suspect Ray’s former supporters are now surrendering to peer pressure and for what they surely perceive as being politically correct. I have never been a proponent of that. I just like to stick to the facts.

I have watched the TMZ footage over and over and over, and in my mind absolutely nothing has changed. What did everyone think happened in that casino elevator anyway? I had envisioned Mr. Rice pummeling Ms. Palmer, like a prizefighter defending his title, prior to viewing the recent video; therefore, I was not nearly as shocked by what had actually transpired, as so many people apparently were, after observing the updated footage. The video is somewhat grainy, but as far as I can tell before the couple even gets into the elevator the NFL star appears to spit on his then fiancée (some might call that an assault), and she returns the favor with a slap to his face. Ray then has Janay cornered, once inside the elevator, and I’m not quite sure what’s happening at this point.

Mr. Rice is obviously in Ms. Palmer’s face and it looks as though she raises her elbow and turns her head to one side. What, if any, punches are thrown at this time I can’t honestly tell from the video. However, The Baltimore Press has also viewed the TMZ footage and says at this juncture they strike each other. Ray then moves to the other side of the elevator, and Janay either walks or rushes towards him. This is when it’s clear that the ex-Raven punches her in the face and she hits her head on a railing while falling to the ground. Not a pretty sight. The results of the situation certainly could’ve been worse, but regardless he should not have punched her.

That being said, I adamantly disagree with the League’s decision of changing Ray Rice’s two game suspension into being suspended indefinitely. Even if retroactively adjusting someone’s punishment, for their previous behavior, was legal then the three-time Pro Bowler should be suspended for six games at most. That is the NFL’s recently enacted policy for first time offenders. Modifying the player’s punishment, for the same incident after he has already been sentenced, is equivalent to negating the sentence of someone already serving time in prison and increasing their penalty in order to comply with a new and different set standard. Should an offender, who has served his time, be sent back to prison if the punishment for his past behavior becomes harsher in the future? I think not.

The NFL Commissioner is evidently a bit flaky and grasping at straws, trying to appease public opinion, instead of doing what’s right. Let me be perfectly clear. I am not a fan of Ray Rice or the Baltimore Ravens (even less so now), but I cannot get past the fact, and probably never will, that Janay Palmer chose to marry Mr. Rice after the violent incident. It stands to reason, if the current punishment prevails, with Ray now out of a job he will likely be spending more time at home with his “victim.” He will also have a significantly lower income to support his new bride with. Is that really what society wants?