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fordfixer
08-01-2010, 12:04 AM
Starkey: NFL justice a joke
By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 1, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 92918.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_692918.html)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a strong message to players Wednesday: It's OK to get in a fight at a strip club as long as it's your first offense under the make-it-up-as-we-go-along personal-conduct policy.

Apparently, it's not that big a deal to drive drunk multiple times, either, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young had to be jumping for joy when news broke that he would not be suspended for his dust-up at Club Onyx, an "upscale urban gentleman's club" in Dallas. There was nothing gentlemanly about Vinny's behavior that mid-June night. He was caught on video assaulting a man who had used a hand gesture to insult Young's alma mater.

After executing a flawless swim move on a woman seated behind an office door, a raging Young went for the sack. He swung at his insulter. They proceeded to lock horns, you could say, before Young was held back from possibly inflicting serious damage.

Under normal circumstances, I'm not sure I would have issued a suspension, either, but the NFL hardly is operating under normal circumstances these days. Goodell has turned his league into a police state.

Part of the time, anyway.

Other times, anything goes.

Three years ago, players gave Goodell the freedom to act as judge, jury and executioner in administering the personal-conduct policy. Unfortunately, he has abused his power, dispensing punishments as erratically as Jake Delhomme delivers passes.

Consider the wild inconsistency in Goodell's dealings with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable.

Roethlisberger twice was accused of sexual assault within a year. He was not arrested, let alone charged with a crime, though a civil suit out of Nevada remains unresolved. Goodell hit Roethlisberger with a conditional six-game suspension for a "pattern of behavior" and "bad judgments," which apparently included furnishing alcohol to minors.

What about Cable? How did he avoid a suspension despite exhibiting a "pattern of behavior" at least as disturbing as Roethlisberger's?

Four people have accused Cable of inflicting violence upon them, though, like Roethlisberger, he was never prosecuted.

ESPN reported last year that Cable's ex-wife and ex-girlfriend each said he hit them. The report uncovered divorce documents in which a third woman, Cable's second-wife, said "in the past he has been physically and verbally abusive to me."

Finally, assistant coach Randy Hanson accused Cable of breaking his jaw in an unprovoked training-camp attack last summer.

Anyone detecting a pattern here?

Other assistant coaches present for the incident did not corroborate Hanson's story, thus helping their boss avoid prosecution.

Which raises a question: Should be players and coaches be treated differently under the personal-conduct policy?

According to Goodell's wicky-wacky code, the answer is yes and it is coaches who should be held to a higher standard.

Yeah, I'm confused, too, but bear with me while we read Goodell's latest punishment letter, delivered Friday after he suspended Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand a first-time offender for 30 days on account of a DUI.

Wrote Roger: "Those who occupy leadership positions are held to a higher standard of conduct that exceeds what is ordinarily expected of players or members of the general public."

I believe coaching, too, would be considered a leadership position, but let's get back to the DUI dilemma.

Drunken driving, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report, is the most common crime committed by NFL players. A player has been arrested for DUI more than once a month, on average, since 2000.

The situation prompted the league to join Mothers Against Drunk Driving in a partnership, one that is not to be confused with the NFL's $1.2 billion deal with Anheuser-Busch.

Anyway, when then-Cleveland Browns receiver Donte Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter after a crash in which he struck and killed a man, Goodell suspended him for the 2009 season (Stallworth now plays for the Baltimore Ravens).

That contrasted markedly to Goodell's handling of star defensive end Jared Allen, who was issued a four-game suspension in 2007 after a third DUI charge (anyone detecting a pattern there?). Goodell reduced the suspension to two games in July of 2007, three months after the personal-conduct policy was instituted.

Meanwhile, Goodell recently announced that San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson, coming off a second DUI conviction, will be suspended for a measly three games.

Call me crazy, but shouldn't the NFL's punishment for DUI be based on what you do before you get behind the wheel and not what happens after?

If you drink and drive, you're liable to kill somebody. Period. What happens before you turn the ignition is controllable; what happens afterward is random. The punishment for a DUI even a first one should be a one-year suspension.

Yeah, a standard policy.

Imagine.

BradshawsHairdresser
08-01-2010, 12:22 AM
Well stated.

Not that I think Ben shouldn't have received a suspension...But I agree that there needs to be uniformity and sense in dealing with ALL those in the league--a written code of conduct with penalties spelled out beforehand, that will be applied to everyone from head coach on down to practice squad rookie.

Captain Lemming
08-01-2010, 12:24 AM
Consider the wild inconsistency in Goodell's dealings with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable.

Roethlisberger twice was accused of sexual assault within a year. He was not arrested, let alone charged with a crime, though a civil suit out of Nevada remains unresolved. Goodell hit Roethlisberger with a conditional six-game suspension for a "pattern of behavior" and "bad judgments," which apparently included furnishing alcohol to minors.

What about Cable? How did he avoid a suspension despite exhibiting a "pattern of behavior" at least as disturbing as Roethlisberger's?

Four people have accused Cable of inflicting violence upon them, though, like Roethlisberger, he was never prosecuted.

The reason for the inconsistany is obvious....Ben is white. :lol:

Captain Lemming
08-01-2010, 12:25 AM
Not that I think Ben shouldn't have received a suspension...But I agree that there needs to be uniformity and sense in dealing with ALL those in the league--a written code of conduct with penalties spelled out beforehand, that will be applied to everyone from head coach on down to practice squad rookie.

This is true

stlrz d
08-01-2010, 12:31 AM
This could be the first Starkey article I've ever agreed with. Apparently he is seeing the light as well. Ben was railroaded big time and is not deserving of the suspension he received. Or any suspension for that matter.

Wow, even a hater like Starkey is seeing it now.

Crash
08-01-2010, 12:34 AM
Too little too late lynch mob Pittsburgh media. Now that the tapes and the lack of evidence points to Ben's innocence (and Starkey probably trying to gain access to Ben for his new drive time show) all of the sudden everyone wants to start preaching against Goodell after demanding Ben's head on a platter.

stlrz d
08-01-2010, 12:35 AM
Too little too late lynch mob Pittsburgh media. Now that the tapes and the lack of evidence points to Ben's innocence (and Starkey probably trying to gain access to Ben for his new drive time show) all of the sudden everyone wants to start preaching against Goodell after demanding Ben's head on a platter.

Ahhh...makes sense. Didn't know about that.

Captain Lemming
08-01-2010, 01:01 AM
Anyway, when then-Cleveland Browns receiver Donte Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter after a crash in which he struck and killed a man, Goodell suspended him for the 2009 season (Stallworth now plays for the Baltimore Ravens).

That contrasted markedly to Goodell's handling of star defensive end Jared Allen, who was issued a four-game suspension in 2007 after a third DUI charge (anyone detecting a pattern there?). Goodell reduced the suspension to two games in July of 2007.

Hmmmmmm. Crash....you out there......shall we play "race card" again?

It aint about race, Actually, this example perfectly illustrates what "appears" to be inconsistency.

Goodells whole focus relates to PR period. I have said that from day one of the Ben saga.

Noteriety, is the issue. How does the players actions make the league look?

That is the only trend that can be shown conclusively. It is OBVIOUS to me that THIS more than anything moves Goodell to action

Crash
08-01-2010, 01:04 AM
Ben's issue was made a racial one. Feel free to dig up the comments by black media and black current and former players who demanded that Goodell treat whitey Ben like he did Pac Man and Vick.

Captain Lemming
08-01-2010, 01:46 AM
Ben's issue was made a racial one. Feel free to dig up the comments by black media and black current and former players who demanded that Goodell treat whitey Ben like he did Pac Man and Vick.

So what Crash. I have never disputed this.
This doesnt mean that this is the reason Goodell acted. You cite other players getting off as some kind of "proof" of your contention. Yet when you take a broader view players black and white have gotten off for similar offenses.

You name Harrison? Look at Cable. Neither got suspended for the same offense. How does Harrisons getting off "prove" race when Cable is the same?

Ben got suspended for the following reasons:
The accusation of rape is particularly ugly, he was accused twice and public opinion turned against him in a BIG way.
Art II was FOR the suspension, encouraged it.
Ben was an easy target.

Crash we can agree on this one point:
Goodell has ZERO interest in JUSTICE.

He does not want the public to believe the NFL to be a league of thugs and criminals.

On the scale of bad press and "notoriety" Ben is the worst offender of the off-season.

Look at the pattern people. Who gets suspended? It is clear to see.

feltdizz
08-01-2010, 02:22 AM
Captain it has to be racial for Crash... if it isn't racial he will disappear like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future. :wink:

Wow... who knew Jared Allen had 3 DUI's... and he had 4 games reduced to 2. Who can I blame for this?

White media? Asian media? black media? Telemundo? GTFOH!!!

Great job Captain... I've always said the timing of Ben's incident was huge. Right before the draft and nothing at all going on in the sports world. Perfect time for the media to run it into the ground.

Captain Lemming
08-01-2010, 02:52 AM
Wow... who knew Jared Allen had 3 DUI's... and he had 4 games reduced to 2. Who can I blame for this?

White media? Asian media? black media? Telemundo? GTFOH!!!

I say blame "Al Jazeera". :lol:

Jared Allen is a pass rushing sack specialist. Goodell never actually saw the man and assumed he was black.
That is why he went easy on him. :lol:

Crash
08-01-2010, 03:27 AM
He went easy on Allen because black players didn't dare him to suspend him like they did for him to suspend Ben.

You guys wake me up when Goodell suspends a black player who's not been charged with a crime nor violated the SAP.

StarSpangledSteeler
08-01-2010, 04:28 AM
The one good thing to come out of all this is that the new CBA will likely contain a clause limiting or redefining Goodell's conduct policy powers. I don't think either the owners or players feel like he is properly executing what they intended. I believe it will be clarified and/or altered in some way the next time around.

In an unrelated side note, if I ever see Roger Goodell in person i swear to all of you right now, I will kick him in the nut sack as hard as I can. I already have it all planned out. I will reach out to shake his hand, then pull him towards me to get a little extra momentum and WHACK... one time for the Steeler Nation. Hopefully i'll be wearing boots that day but you can't always plan for that. And i know i'll probably get pounded by security guards and arrested but i'm willing to take one for the team especially if i can get the kick on video.

steelblitz
08-01-2010, 08:09 AM
The one good thing to come out of all this is that the new CBA will likely contain a clause limiting or redefining Goodell's conduct policy powers. I don't think either the owners or players feel like he is properly executing what they intended. I believe it will be clarified and/or altered in some way the next time around.

In an unrelated side note, if I ever see Roger Goodell in person i swear to all of you right now, I will kick him in the nut sack as hard as I can. I already have it all planned out. I will reach out to shake his hand, then pull him towards me to get a little extra momentum and WHACK... one time for the Steeler Nation. Hopefully i'll be wearing boots that day but you can't always plan for that. And i know i'll probably get pounded by security guards and arrested but i'm willing to take one for the team especially if i can get the kick on video.
Priceless!!

stlrz d
08-01-2010, 08:13 AM
The one good thing to come out of all this is that the new CBA will likely contain a clause limiting or redefining Goodell's conduct policy powers. I don't think either the owners or players feel like he is properly executing what they intended. I believe it will be clarified and/or altered in some way the next time around.

In an unrelated side note, if I ever see Roger Goodell in person i swear to all of you right now, I will kick him in the nut sack as hard as I can. I already have it all planned out. I will reach out to shake his hand, then pull him towards me to get a little extra momentum and WHACK... one time for the Steeler Nation. Hopefully i'll be wearing boots that day but you can't always plan for that. And i know i'll probably get pounded by security guards and arrested but i'm willing to take one for the team especially if i can get the kick on video.

Set up a paypal account because if you did something like that I would personally contribute $$$ to your bail and/or fine fund.

Jooser
08-01-2010, 09:26 AM
:lol: