Domestic Voilence Raises Its Ugly Head in NFL

As NFL teams transitioned from the preseason to regular season domestic violence reared  its ugly head, as a few players made headlines for their aggressive behavior off the field.

Ray Rice at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp in 2009/Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ray Rice at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp in 2009/Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Since a graphic video surfaced of former Ravens running back Rice punching Janay Palmer in a casino elevator, Goodell has been under fire over the league’s handling of a February attack between star running back  Rice and his then-fiancée Janay Palmer. A  video showed Rice dragging a seemingly unconscious Palmer out of an elevator at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino.

The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely and the Ravens terminated his contract . After the video surfaced of the running back punching his then-fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator on Feb. 15. The NFL Players Association announced September 16 it is appealing the suspension of former Baltimore Ravens running back  Rice.

“The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that show a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL,” the union said in a statement tonight. “The NFLPA has asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator to hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the preceding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators,” the NFLPA said.

The former Baltimore Ravens player was arrested and charged with aggravated assault  in New Jersey.

There are many ways in which aggravated assault can be committed. You may be charged with this if the prosecution has probable cause to believe you:

  1. Cause or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another
  2. Purposely or knowingly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon,
  3. Recklessly caused bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon,
  4. Pointed a firearm in the direction of another showing extreme indifference to human life, or
  5. If you commit a simple assault on a protected person (law enforcement, emergency services worker, judge, operator of public transportation, or utility employee acting in their job.

Aggravated assault could be charged as a crime of the fourth degree or up to a crime of the second degree. The charge you face depends on the circumstances of your offense and the result of the action. If the alleged victim was actually injured, your charges and potential penalty will be much higher.

This means, for a charge of aggravated assault, you could face as much as 10 years in prison.

It’s a sad day in the world of sports when a professional athlete feels he can strike a female and cause bodily harm without punishment. Any man who would hit a women in my book is a sad excuse of a man and needs punishment of some kind.

In my opinion,  the legal system should treat Rice like any other citizen that would hit a woman. He needs to step up, be a man and admit he has an anger management problem. Then he should enroll in some anger management classes.

Roger Goodell, at 2010 Super Bowl. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Roger Goodell, at 2010 Super Bowl. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

It is easy for an athlete to get caught up in the dream of becoming a professional athlete in high school or college because many athletes only think about the fame and the fortune of the profession while trying to figure out what career to persue. There’s nothing better than taking something that you’re really good at and making lots of money with it. But a young athlete needs to be aware of the facts. The number of high school athletes that actually go on to play college and pro sports is extremely competitive, and that’s putting it mildly.

Ray McDonald at a 2008 preseason game. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ray McDonald at a 2008 preseason game. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Just three days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell created stronger sanctions for players involved in domestic violence, 49ers starting defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of felony domestic violence charges involving his fiancée who is pregnant . The 49ers put him on the team’s inactive list while he awaits trial.

While Adrian Peterson, 29, was indicted  on a charge he injured his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch and has an

Adrian Peterson Vikings
Adrian Peterson Vikings

arraignment scheduled for Oct. 8. He faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty, but the Vikings announced September 17 he was placed on the Exempt Commissioner  Permission List,while Peterson takes care of his legal issue.

Peterson cooperated  fully with investigators as they looked into theallegations of child abuse. The Vikings running back did go old school on his son. In this day and age a parent still has the right to discipline his child.

North  Carolina Panther Greg Hardy, was convicted of domestic violence charges over the summer but has appealed and is awaiting a jury trial.

Hardy, a former Ole Miss star, was convicted in July after his May arrest on charges of assault and communicating threats against his former girlfriend. Nicole Holder accused him of throwing her down on a couch and threatening to shoot her if she told anyone.

Hardy received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months of probation following a 10-hour bench trial, but demanded a jury trial as part of his appeal. His jury trial is expected to begin Nov. 17 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.  Currently Hardy has been placed on the Exempt Commissioner Permission List and will continue receiving a pay check while he wait’s for trail.

Currently the league has a policy of a 6 game suspension for a domestic violence charge. A second charge would bring a life time banned from the league. The league  should develop some new rules on domestic violence that is fair to all going forward.








Nick Saban Bleedin’ Tide Crimson as a Coaching Perfectionest in the SEC

University of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban/Photo Courtenay of Wikipedia
University of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban/Photo Courtenay of Wikipedia

One hundred and fifty-six wins…6 conference SEC West division championships… 4 college head coaching jobs. A five-time National Coach of the Year, Saban has achieved resounding success as a head coach and has earned a reputation as an outstanding tactician, leader, organizer and motivator. Saban  went into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame  in May of 2013.He was on the cover the cover of Forbes Magazines in 2008 as one of the most powerful college coaches in the game. Only the second coach in NCAA history to win a national championship at two different schools.

Starting  his 8th season, Alabama began the year ranked #2 in the preseason AP and Coaches Poll for the third time in 4 years. It is the fifth straight season the Crimson Tide have started the year in the top 2 and seventh consecutive year in the top 5. In the season opener Alabama improved to 4-0 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game beating West Virginia 33-23 in the first meeting between the two schools. The Tide won their home opener the next week over FAU 41-0 after the game was called in the 4th quarter due to lightning.

Saban  will  earn $400,000 completion bonus per year, bringing the total contract to $55.2 million. His eight-year contract totaling $32 million made him one of the highest paid football coaches, professional or college, in the United States at the time.

He appeared on the September 1, 2008 cover of Forbes magazine as “The Most Powerful Coach in Sports“. Saban’s career record as a college head coach is 165–57-1

Saban  graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio , where he played defensive back for the football team under coach Don  James.. Along with a roommate, he avoided being amidst the infamous Kent State shooting  when they decided to eat lunch while walking to the rally.                        

A man of vision who has a proven record of championship success, head coach Nick Saban has returned the University of Alabama to the top of the college football landscape with his commitment to building the total program. After the victory over Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, Saban joined Frank Leahy, Paul “Bear” Bryant and John McKay as the only coaches to win four national titles in the modern era.

As he begins his eighth season in Tuscaloosa, Saban’s uncompromising dedication to excellence in every phase of the program has resulted in the school’s 13th, 14th and 15th national championships and the foundation is  in place to yield long-term success for the Crimson Tide. A five-time National Coach of the Year, Saban has achieved resounding success as a head coach and has earned a reputation as an outstanding tactician, leader, organizer and motivator.

Those qualities have sparked impressive turnarounds at every stop of his career. Saban’s consistent approach and disciplined leadership are the reasons his teams are known for exhibiting grit, determination and resilience, often overcoming adversity to make victory.

He is the first coach to win back-to-back BCS national championships and has won four titles in his last eight years of coaching college football. Saban is one of three college coaches in the poll era (since 1936) to win three national championships in four years, joining Frank Leahy of Notre Dame (1946-47, 1949) and Tom Osborne of Nebraska (1994-95, 1997). He is also the fourth coach in the poll era to win four national championships (Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant, John McKay of Southern California and Leahy).

The Iron Bowl moves to  Tuscaloosa this season and Auburn’s schedule is much tougher (Georgia and South Carolina from the east). The Crimson Tide, outside of question at quarterback (which obviously is important) is  how loaded on offense and extremely talented on defense, where they are always very good. Alabama is the preseason media pick to win the SEC Championship this season and I agree, but it wasn’t the easiest pick.

Betting against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide usually comes at a cost and I don’t see them losing to Auburn two years in a row, especially at home. While whoever is starting at QB for Bama will likely have growing pains, the aid of TJ Yeldon and Amari Cooper along the always stout Tide defense will be able to overcome the loss of AJ McCarron

Alabama began the 2014 season ranked #2 in the preseason AP and Coaches Poll for the third time in 4 years. It is the fifth straight season the Crimson Tide have started the year in the top 2 and sixth overall in the top 5.




A step-by-step guide to wholesome heckling


Everyone has heard the guy at the sports game bellowing, YOU SUCK!” at the player closest to them. A heckler is a person who shouts a disparaging comment at a performance or event with intent to disturb  its performers or participants. Heckling has been around since the citizens of Rome pointed their fickle thumbs to the ground, telling their gladiators it was time for “sudden death.” The English heckled Shakespeare’s players, hurling rotten fruits and veggies when they deemed the show unworthy of their hard-earned shilling.  Today baseball fans heckle their overpaid heroes, pelting them with bawdy suggestions–sum which would make even make a truck driver blush. Perhaps it seems obnoxious; However, heckling can be one of the most fun parts of a sporting event if done right. Heckling is an art form and should be treated as such. Ideally, the goal of most hecklers is to get under the skin of the opposing team’s players and have it effect their performance and/or get the player to acknowledge and joke with them.

It seems simple enough, but there are some pretty big do’s and don’ts in the world of heckling. Before you open your mouth to truant a player at a game, think your heckle through, and try to  remember a few simple rules.

1) Be unique.   Every player has heard “you suck,” (insert last name here)” It’s  nothing new to them. Boring unoriginal and embarrassing for the entire section to have to be associated with that guy. Usually you might want to take a jab at a player but in a way that will want to make him laugh. If  he laughs then you’ve broken the player concentration and gotten the visible reaction you want.

One of the best and most unique hecklers I’ve ever heard was from a season five years ago  when Marlon Byrd was playing right field for the Texas Rangers. Mariners fan John Neuharth  leaned over the railing  and yelled “Hey Marlon, remember when you were the Phillies center fielder?” Byrd nodded his head thinking he was safe, Neuherth  added, “of the future?”Byrd who was once thought to be Philadelphia’s answer to center field for years to come but he failed to live up to those expectations, turned  around and busted out laughing. As far as heckling goes, this an example of an A+.

2) Don’t Get Personal. Talking to a player about a poor performance or if they deserve their spot on the team is one thing. However, if you know his wife’s name you should keep that out of your heckle. It’s tacky and classless. Family members, addiction problems, infidelity and other things of that nature are best left in the mind. Odds are things like that cut the player deeper than they like to show. Nobody likes the guy in the section that  is yelling out, Hey you, I slept with your wife last night!” First of all, it’s not true, and second, it’s not funny. Stay away from personal insults.

Good ones that I have heard include “Did you just get called up? That’s Minor League reaction time?” and “Where is the hustle? You were running right at it; a real man makes that catch!” The latter in particular will get the player’s attention, especially when the ball is twelve rows deep into the seats in foul territory on the other side of the field. Some players get it, and will laugh, Sometimes more fun, however is the player who thinks you’re crazy. These players will sometimes turn around and give a  quizzical look and a shrug of the shoulders, as if to say “Who do you think I am, Superman?” That sort of reaction is generally good to give the section a laugh.

3) Make fun of, and give poor on-the-field performances.  You will find classics along the lines of “Hit the ball (player’s name) or “Where did you get that wet noodle for a throwing arm?”

My greatest example of this came on June 25, 2009, it was the top of the eighth inning, with the San Diego Padres batting. Padres pitcher Edward Mujica  was throwing his warm tosses in the bullpen–when I just happen to be–and was getting ready to come into the game in the bottom half of the 8th. After the first toss, I looked at him and said “What a terrible pitch! I hope the ones you throw in the game are better than that!” Mujica made eye contact with me, glared and threw another.

“See what I mean?” Your place is totally off. You can’t get guys out pitching like that!” I said. Once again, he glared at me. This continued for about five more pitches until the top half of the inning ended. Mujica was called on to pitch the top half of the eighth with  score tied 3-3.

“Good luck Edward! It’s only a tie game no pressure. Don’t blow it for your team!” I said cheerfully waving at him.

His first two pitches were balls, the Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez crushed a solo home run to break the tie and put the Mariners up 4-3, which ended up being the final score. Mujica took the loss. A good heckler can force the opposing team’s to play at a lower level than normal.

4) Have Fun and be respectful. Heckling is meant to be done as either banter between players and fans, or to get the player to acknowledge the heckler in some way. By all means don’t be discouraged if they don’t look until what is nearly the end of the game. Most players generally “reward” good hecklers towards the middle or end of the game for having the dedication for being on their case all day. However, if the people sitting around are telling you to shut up and give it up, there are only two things that should be happening:

1) The crowd is snobby that day and doesn’t want to have fun.

2) You are bad at heckling.

Regardless which of these reasons, it would be a good idea to tone it down, using only the best heckles that come to mind. Honestly, it is annoying when your told to be quiet and may ruin your enjoyment of the game, but you must also be considerate that the one shushing you has paid their money too and that heckling may ruin their enjoyment of the game.

Using this informative guide to heckling you too can become a successful heckler. Whether it is someone in your section getting a laugh or the real player reacting and laughing with (or at) you, someone will go home with a good story. With this heckling guide, I hope to hear many more bellowing voices bring a new level of fun to sports stadiums.