Follow by Email

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NFL: Not For Ladies

Over the past couple of days I have seen a couple of disturbing videos connected to the National Football League.  The first is what is known as the second half of the New England Patriots loss to the Miami Dolphins.  It was, for lack of a better term, pathetic.  As Patriots fan we have come to expect better from our team.  We didn't get it on Sunday.

The second video is the one that has taken the nation by storm.  It is the clip from an Atlantic City Hotel/Casino elevator involving, now former, Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice punching is wife (then fiancĂ©e) in the face an knocking her out.  It is the most disgusting displays of male behavior towards a woman I have ever seen.  How can Rice justify that behavior in any scenario? I was always taught to never lay your hands on a woman, no matter the circumstance.  As a husband and a father of two girls, this video makes me very angry.

When the incident happened Rice was suspended for two games by Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL.  TWO GAMES!  Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos was suspended double that for a DUI of alcohol.  Wes Welker, also of the Broncos was suspended four games for testing positive for amphetamines.  Josh Gordon, of the Cleveland Browns was suspended for a year for a repeat offense of marijuana, which is legal is some states.  So the message that the NFL sent was that smoking weed is worse than beating your wife.  That is a good message to send to your fan base.

That isn't even the worst part of this disturbing display of cover up.  Goodell and the Baltimore Ravens, on Monday, claimed they hadn't seen the video until that day.  I'm calling shenanigans and I think the general public tends to agree with me.  However, following that statement, the Atlantic City Police Department stated that the NFL had access to those tapes and did not ask for them, kind of in a chest thumping manner, as if to say they were much better at this than anybody.  Hardly.

These events just show the ineptness of all parties involved.  Ray Rice and his wife for protecting the paycheck rather than the truth.  The NFL, NFLPA and the Ravens for being absolutely wrong in the way they investigated this, handled it, and then defended Rice's character. Considering how quickly and vigilantly they handle suspensions in their league for off field incidences, they completely dropped the ball on this one and this could leave a constant noose around Goodell's neck.

The interesting statistic to come out of this is that Rice has spent zero time behind bars.  So, for the Atlantic City PD and the DA to make comments that they always had the tapes and they were available to the NFL to investigate, why didn't they use them?  Rice was never charged for anything shown in the footage.  They evidently didn't need his wife to press charges.  Admitting that they had the tapes and seen them all along just shows the incompetence of those parties and they opened themselves up to probably the biggest criticism of all.

I must admit that I am a huge fan of the NFL and that is mainly because they have made it entertaining week in and week out.  That is largely due to what Goodell has done.  But I am not backing him on this, not one bit.  I will continue to watch games and I will continue to buy into the NFL product but if Goodell loses his job over this I will not say one word in his defense.  I have been against him from the start on this and I will continue to be.  He has prided himself in being executioner and chief in all disciplinary matters in the league and the one that should have been an easy touchdown, and he fumbled at the goal line.  He needs to explain why.

I am a believer that public figures do not owe explanations for their misgivings, at least not to me.  But in this instance, I am owed one.  I had bought in to the new NFL and I loved the product and kept coming back.  So, why now, are you going against everything you preach?  Please explain.

If you don't take it from me, ask my wife. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Letter to Mr. Augustus.

Dear Mr. Augustus
         We have never met, but I have absolutely heard wonderful things about you.  Over the past several months by reading the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and watching City Council meetings I have come to believe that you can truly walk on water.  I'm just kidding about the water part.  But it has been extremely stated that you have been doing a wonderful job and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

The reason I am writing you is to ask for your help in a very delicate matter.  I'm actually embarrassed to ask for your assistance but there seems to be no other alternative.  I need your help in stopping the mess that is also known as the "City Manager Search".  Please just do us all a favor and reconsider keeping the job you currently hold.  I admire that you are a man of your word, but have you been watching this process?  If a tent was put on it we could sell it to Ringling Bros.

I even have a plan to get you out of your other job at the College of the Holy Cross.  As Director of Community and Government Relations you can tell Rev. Burroughs that your first priority when you get back is to figure out how the college can give back to the community by actually paying taxes to the city.  After hearing that plan you should be free to leave, you may actually get fired for that one.  Sorry about that.

You are our only hope because it is apparent that everyone else involved is either not capable or not interested in replacing you. I tend to believe it’s the latter.  However, if you don’t step up and handle this matter, it will get worse and the city will take a step backwards.  Then we will get stuck with someone who is “not up to the job.

We need you to save us from ourselves, because it took the city to replace your predecessor, who was on the job for nearly a decade, about five minutes.  I didn't realize it would take your entire tenure to find your replacement.

Do us a favor and stay on as City Manager.

Best Regards,
If you don't take it from me, ask my wife.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ice Ice Baby!

I have had a very enjoyable summer.  Lots of baseball, lots of work and much needed family time.  That is why I have not posted in almost six weeks.  My actions yesterday warranted me getting back on the blogging circuit.  Yesterday, my wife, my oldest daughter and I took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  I was challenged three times in a twenty four hour period so I felt the need to oblige.

The other day a fellow blogger, with whom I am longtime friends with her husband voiced her disapproval of this challenge.  She was almost immediately chastised for her disapproval.  I hate to say it people, she is not alone. There have been many skeptics regarding this fad, questioning the accountability of the challengers and challengees (I don’t even know if that is a word).  I truly see their point and that is why I took a different approach when we did our video. 

As the video was playing I embedded eleven facts about ALS, because it is truly about awareness.  That was part of this fad I was very skeptical about.  All the videos I had seen not one person spoke of ALS other than saying they had accepted the challenge.  Although donations have increased roughly one thousand percent from this time last year, is anyone more aware?

If people really read between the lines of the other bloggers article they would have seen that people suffering from ALS is very personal to her.  She has lived through it and all the ice dumping in the world won't change that and it won't certainly bring back her loved one.  For those of you that don't know me, I was born in Italy with three fingers on each hand.  My parents sacrificed much for me including leaving everything they knew behind to make sure I had the care I needed.  Maybe my parents could have tried something like this when they were scraping up money to see specialists.  Maybe my surgeon at the time did not have to circumvent bureaucracies to keep costs down.  So when I see that same surgeon traveling to Asia in retirement to perform cleft pallet surgeries to poor children in dire need of them I help when I can.  It's just personal.

I made the decision to do it not because I didn't want to be called a chicken or didn't want to spend $100, it is because I too knew Daniel Sloan and he was a wonderful man.  I will be donating my piece to the team that is walking for ALS in his name and I urge everyone I challenged to do the same and even the ones I didn't challenge.

RIP - Robin Williams


If you don't take it from me, ask my wife.