Sheriff Goodell’s a hard man

14 09 2007

You’re done hoss…

Short follow-up on the Showdown piece… Goodell rained thunder & lightning down on Bill Belichick & the New England Patriots, fining Belichick the NFL maximum of $500,000 (NFL record) and the Patriots were ordered to pay a further $250,000. Additionally, the Commish has ordered the Pats to give up next year’s first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn’t (a 1st in the history of the NFL). This hurts, big time.

Hats off to the Sheriff, he didn’t back down.


Showdown – Goodell vs Belichick

14 09 2007

Bad Bill… BAD!Roger Goodell’s recently been a target of mine over the refusal to do anything preemptive over Michael Vick – he did end up bringing down the thunder on Vick, suspending him indefinitely, and perhaps laying the groundwork for it being a suspension we measure in years and years, rather than months. Goodell has really changed the expectation that is placed upon player behavior – stepping outside the confines of the law, and “bringing the game into disrepute” has been something that Commissioner Goodell has shown little tolerance for, and rightly so. I really doubt we’ll see continually poor judgment from a team like we witnessed with the Cincinnati Bengals last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Blank looks from Arthur

3 09 2007

Falcons Owner, Arthur Blank.  Gotta be feeling absolutely SHAT on by Vick…Talk about not having your finger on the pulse of society…

Here in Japan, it’s Monday morning. Another week begins. And I gotta say: I’m still astounded by the fact that Arthur Blank refused to cut Michael Vick from the Atlanta Falcons. “it’s not in the long-term best interests of our franchise.” Really? You figure? So, rather than make a swift, clean cut on this… it will all get dredged up once Vick a) serves his prison time… & b) does whatever time Roger Goodell applies in regards to his suspension.

So Blank hedges his bets that Vick may still be worth something once that’s all said & done. At first glance, it appears to be a smart business decision. Vick might be a valuable player even after he’s served his time – perhaps not at QB, but maybe as a receiver or back… perhaps even as a special teams guy. He certainly is one helluva an athlete.

But the decision lacks the closure that Atlanta deserves. Read the rest of this entry »

C’est la Vie Michael Vick

25 08 2007

C’est la Vie Michael VickSo the hammer comes down… finally.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has finally responded to the Michael Vick situation, banning the star quarterback indefinitely.

“Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team, the NFL, and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions.” Goodell’s statement read.

This penalty is pretty much what I expected: it will be re-assessed once whatever prison-term Vick gets is served… but I think that it will be a few years post that before we see Michael Vick in a uniform. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Sports Stories in Japan… (August 21)

21 08 2007

Hot to trot…Michael Vick news has just about beaten everything else down… kind of astounded.

But here are the top news stories over here in Japan!

  • Finals loom in Summer Baseball Tournament (Koshien Natsu)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Asashoryu is… a lil’ nuts. Well ok – is suffering from an ‘associative disorder’ (sumo)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Japan gear up for opener vs Australia (rugby)… [Mainichi Shimbun]
  • World Athletic Championships draw record crowds, and record heat… [Mainichi Shimbun]
  • Vick seeks court’s mercy… and that of Commish Goodell… [Japan Times]

On Michael Vick

20 08 2007

A follow-up on the Attention Roger Goodell: the time to act is now opinion posted on the 18th…

Vick’s in trouble…So, it’s been discussed all over the media that Michael Vick’s attorneys recommended he make a deal with the prosecution that would mean he pleads guilty to a lesser (un-named) charge, that would mean he spends 1-2 years in prison. For one reason or another, Vick did not make that deal. Michael Vick is faced with a quandary – if he pleas out, sure – he may lessen the prison term he’s facing… but a guilty plea – after proclaiming his innocence so vociferously – would probably be the death knell of his NFL career. If this goes to court, it’s not now just one guy testifying against Vick, it’s several.

On an ESPN radio show on Friday, Jack Ford of the TV show Courtroom TV explained that a plea- bargain in a Federal Indictment is not quite a guaranteed thing. The prosecution would recommend a sentence – felt in this case to be around 16 months, but if US District Judge Henry E. Hudson – who has a reputation of being very strict on sentencing – felt that he wanted to make an example of this case, then a substantially higher penalty could be applied. And once pleading out, then there’s no walking away from it. Additionally, Ford brought up the specter of possible RICO charges – which could end up in a sentence of up to twenty years. Read the rest of this entry »

Attention Roger Goodell: the time to act is now

18 08 2007

The CommishI am aghast at the time it is taking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to do something decisive on the Michael Vick situation.

Sure, I understand all the “innocent-’til-proven-guilty” postulations arguments, but that didn’t stop suspensions of Henry, Johnson and Jones. The line given on these was “bringing the game into disrepute”, and clearly that is something that Henry, Johnson and Jones did. And I am glad that a Commissioner of a professional sports league is standing up and saying that enough is enough.

For far too long pro-athletes have gotten away with – quite literally sometimes – murder. It’s quite apparent that fame-as-currency has quite a bit of pull… even in the courtrooms of the world (this is not merely confined to the boundaries of the USA). Goodell’s stance on behavior is a welcome respite to the collective blind-eye that has been turned to athletes-behaving-badly.

Scene of the heinous - Vick’s Moonlight Road residenceBut Vick… on Vick Roger seems indecisive, faltering and uncertain. The swift, heavy hammer of Goodell’s justice fell quickly on others, why not Michael Vick? Commissioner Goodell told Vick that he would bare responsibility for anything that occurred at the Moonlight Road property. And as it now stands, there can be no doubt that some pretty abominable stuff was going on there. Read the rest of this entry »