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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 'The Rant' archives: 'The Rant' archives here:

Rant #1 (March 7th, 2014):

The inaugural rant will be a short one. Does Adrian Peterson honestly believe that Michael Vick gives the Minnesota Vikings a better chance at making the playoffs? ( AP story) Unfortunately, the greatest NFL RB since Barry Sanders has forgotten two major problems with his solicitations:

1. Vick will be 34 years old when the season begins, and recovering from several injuries, a common occurrence throughout his NFL career. Additionally, the beatings he's taken since returning to the league have further put his durability into question. Unless you're Barry Bonds, you don't age in reverse AND get away with it.

2. A quick search of any statistics from last season reveals a sad truth for Vick fans: Matt Cassel has basically been as serviceable.Whoops. Through the past four seasons their games (42), passing TDs (V56; C54), INTs (V33; C37), and passer ratings (V86.9; C81.6) have been nearly identical. Vick destroys Cassel running the ball, but he also destroys himself. So Peterson is basically wrong, Vick doesn't necessarily put them in any better position.

 3/8/14 UPDATE: Cassel signs 4-year $10M extension with the Vikings. (CBS Sports story)

Rant #2 (March 27, 2014):

Johnny Manziel completed his Texas A&M Pro Day today and it was a great success. I say that without sarcasm, as this Pro Day featured something special, something unique. It wasn't any antic Johnny "Football" deployed, or any astonishing feat he accomplished. It was pretty simple, actually. Johnny Football wore his pads.

Seems pretty simple for a football fan, or pretty ridiculous if you aren't, but the significance is note worthy. "You play the game [in] shoulder pads on Sundays," he said. "Why not come out and do it? ... For me it was a no-brainer." That makes sense to me. I get that. I don't get many of his other on-field decisions, but I get this one. More guys should do this. Every QB should do this. This is the one thing Johnny Football will revolutionize right off the bat. The rest remains to be seen.

Manziel threw a scripted session to six TA&M receivers, including Mike Evans, another projected first round talent that I feel is slightly more hype than skill, and landed 63 of 65 throws; that's pretty impressive no matter which way you look at it. Considering former president George W. Bush (sigh) and Texas governor Rick Perry (gag) were watching closely...for some reason...perhaps it's even more impressive; few pro prospects have former heads of state at their Pro Days.

Stay tuned for my article on the plight of the sub-six-foot QB in the NFL, coming soon. I still believe Johnny Football is more hype than top-8 draft pick (his projected wait range), he is growing on me; his decisions are clearly getting better. I do wonder about the scouts who claimed the helmet and pads were a ploy to make him seem bigger...but I digress.

Get the ESPN story if you want. 

Rant #4: The Ray Rice rant
September 9, 2014

          It's an absolute tragedy what happened at the now-closed Revel Casino in Atlantic City an off-season ago in February, especially for the victim, which should go without saying. However, the situation has worsened, if one can imagine it gets worse than a female - or anyone for that matter - being knocked unconscious by the one person charged with their safety and well-being. My intent is not to climb any soapbox, but to point out the obvious. If you even think that Janay Palmer - now Rice AFTER the knockout punch - played any role, or worse, deserved what occurred then just click the little red "X" in the circle in the top left corner and leave my site. If you think antagonizing someone warrants being knocked unconscious you need to have your head examined. Even if she was screaming, punching, and kicking Ray Rice, we're talking about a professional football player hitting his future wife so hard that he knocked her unconscious. UNACCEPTABLE. If this case teaches us anything it should be the sad state of the abuse victim, and what needs to be done to ensure these victims have the strength to face their problems and get help. I can only hope this sad situation sheds light on what these abuse victims go through.
          It gets worse, if you can believe it. What's worse than a young female getting knocked unconscious? The abuse victim blaming herself. Is there anything worse? Perhaps these points: Ray Rice apparently lied about his role, claiming she attacked him so viciously he punched in self-defense. Not true. The law - from casino security to the Atlantic City Police to the New Jersey State Police - dropped the proverbial ball in every chance they had to advance the case to its proper level, and may have even been intentionally neglectful in doing their jobs! Some of those people could rightfully lose their jobs. The NFL apparently knew about the video - not just the gruesome casino hallway clip that was extrapolated out by every person with an interest in the case, or more accurately, with any common sense. No, the NFL apparently knew, according to TMZ, the media outlet responsible for posting the latest video evidence, about THE video - the one where you see an argument between the Rice's, Ray Rice clearly spitting on Janay Rice, Janay Rice reacting (naturally, are you kidding) to getting spat on, and Ray Rice left hooking his fiancee in unconsciousness. It should also be pointed out that she then hit her head on the elevator railing as she fell, probably already unconscious. I'm not one for the melodramatic, but the woman COULD HAVE DIED. Yet there she sat during the press conference that followed the February incident, apologizing for her "role" in the incident. Any more questions about the psyche of an abuse victim? So although it seems like this tragic domestic violence case couldn't get worse after the fact, pile on potential cover ups by the NFL and even possibly the POLICE and we have one of the most disturbing cases of sports transcending real life EVER. Not convinced of a conspiracy? I bet this degree of incompetence is a much better alternative.
          The Baltimore Ravens can sort of sit back on this one. They claim to have never seen the latest footage, went solely on the original video and the testimony of Ray and Janay Rice, and followed the NFL's lead by acting coy and letting the law play itself out. I mean, if the police saw nothing wrong with an NFL player smashing his future wife in the face so hard it rendered her unconscious, and the NFL agreed, why would the Ravens have to bother doing anything different? That tune sure changed quickly yesterday after TMZ took the step the authorities weren't willing or didn't bother to. Almost as soon as the video surface - well, 12 hours later - Ray Rice was terminated by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The Ravens shoved head coach John Harbaugh onto the podium solo and forced him to look like a jackass as he - several times it seemed - stopped himself short of saying he had the upmost respect for Ray Rice in his attempts to update the public on Rice's release, and convey his disgust for what Rice did in that elevator and his hope that the couple gets through it. Imagine if this was Joe Flacco? Think the Ravens would have cut him immediately? No, this is no black and white thing - this is a production thing. Is it any coincidence that Rice, an undersized running back approaching 28 in an evolving NFL that currently values RBs far less, is coming off the worst season of his career, making this decision far easier? No? Perhaps you conveniently forget about Terrell Suggs' two domestic violence cases, both as horrific, perhaps worse, then what we saw between the Rice's. Suggs' allegedly committed his domestic violence acts if front of his young children. Suggs was also the last plug in a defense that was starting to leak badly. Cut the bullsh*t. The Ravens might not have as much dirt on their hands, but I think it's pretty clear from the Rice's to the Ravens to the NFL all the way to law enforcement, that everyone involved was trying to sweep this under the rug as quickly and quietly as possible.
          It's a pretty sad situation when a domestic violence case erupts to the point where city and NJ State Police and a corporation that makes over $11 billion a year - and doesn't pay ANY federal taxes - are publicly pointing the finger at each other in an attempt to place the blame for a horrible situation on one another, when they clearly both failed miserably. Are you reading this wondering how abuse victims can act they way they do in the face of these domestic cases? Look no further then the actions of the institutions we admire, support, and even model ourselves after, or better yet, look to protect us. Imagine you got beat down badly by a close friend and/or relative you trusted. Can you even imagine that? Now try to imagine your attacker's boss, your city police, and even the highest ranking police in your state bending over backwards to distance themselves from you or any attempt to help you? Imagine if they even went a step further and tried to get you to claim publicly that the incident - the one where you're on film knocked unconscious - is your fault. Then to compound matters they had you claim it was your fault on public national television. Maybe you're starting to understand what these victims go through, especially in Janay Rice's case. Nah, we don't have a f*cking clue.

It's getting harder and harder to cover this league.

Check back for more's 'The Rant' archives as the season goes on!

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