It’s Friday and I’ve Got Several Things on My Mind and Football is All of Them

Hill
Hill
Kenny Hill torched 9th-ranked South Carolina last night with over 500 yards passing.

So apparently my English skills are about as good as my ability to predict things if read this title. Two days ago, I gave you five fearless predictions for college football and already one of them is looking incredibly wrong. I said that Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks would win the SEC and while that could still happen, that theory took a massive hit last night.

Texas A&M came to Columbia with a redshirt freshman quarterback not named Johnny Manziel and torched the Gamecocks for over 500 yards passing in a 52-28 upset. Kenny Hill, son of former MLB pitcher Ken Hill, threw for 511 yards and three touchdowns in the rout over ninth-ranked South Carolina. The win does two things; first it makes us question just how good South Carolina is and two, how much longer before Kevin Sumlin is coaching in the NFL.

The fact that Sumlin has been able to show in just one game that he has moved this team beyond the Manziel era is enough for NFL teams and other major college programs to take notice. As for the Gamecocks, might want to work on that pass defense.

Rice
Ray Rice got one heck of a hometown discount from Roger Goodell as it turns out.

Goodell Does Something Positive for Once

Roger Goodell and the NFL announced yesterday that they have implemented a disciplinary system for domestic violence abusers. The first time will result in a six-game suspension while the second offense will result in a lifetime ban from the sport. Why it took this long for some form action in this regard is beyond me but it’s finally here and we should be happy about it as we can’t tolerate this behavior.

In the announcement, Goodell did something I never dreamed I’d hear from him. He apologized for the weak response in Ray Rice’s situation. While I appreciate the apology, I find it interesting that he didn’t extend Rice’s penalty. Perhaps it has to do with the NFLPA or maybe that Baltimore is his hometown team.

Strange that Goodell never apologized to Ben Roethlisberger after suspending him even though he was never arrested or charged with a crime. I digress however… I’m glad that the NFL is acting on domestic violence. It’s just a shame it’s taken this long and after a massive cry from the general public. Goodell has once again proven himself as the ‘reactive’ commissioner.

Because they have made themselves the epicenter of the sports’ world, ESPN is hard to avoid no matter how much they irritate and bother the hell out of us. Outside of ’30 for 30′ and the featuring of the several major sports, the rest of ESPN is essentially tabloid fodder. This notion was proved once again this week as ESPN reporter Josina Anderson decided to report on St. Louis Rams’ defensive end Michael Sam’s showering habits.

As you know, Sam is an openly gay man trying to make the roster and so far, he has an excellent shot at it. Whoever thought a story about whether Michael Sam showers with his teammates was worthy of our viewing time at ESPN needs to be fired. My question in this manner is quite simple; “who cares?”

Sam has had a really good preseason for the Rams and his two sacks of Cleveland Browns’ QB Johnny Manziel nearly forced Twitter into a shutdown. Whether he makes the roster or not is uncertain but someone will grab him because he has proven he can play in the NFL. Let’s hope that is what ESPN chooses to report on from here on out.

Sleeping Fan Lawsuit Has Little Merit

sleeping fan
sleeping fan
This gentleman is suing ESPN and MLB for commenting negatively on his 4th inning nap.

You don’t know Andrew Rector but there’s a good chance you’ve seen Andrew Rector in the last few days if you’re a sports’ fan. Rector is the man who is now suing ESPN and Major League Baseball for $10 million for defamation. What did these two monstrous entities do to the 26-year old Rector?

Rector was in attendance at the April 13th Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game in Yankee Stadium when he was spotted by ESPN cameramen sleeping during the top of the fourth inning of a 2-1 game. ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk both made comments about Rector which he claims were part of an “unending verbal crusade.”

OK, OK… Let’s break this phrase down for a second here. First of all, the term ‘unending’ means that something will never end. This came to an end in a matter of seconds and immediately went back to the game. Secondly, the term ‘verbal’ is appropriate so Rector has both ESPN and MLB there doesn’t he? Lastly, the term ‘crusade’ refers to military operations during the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries in an effort to spread Christianity.

While I realize ‘crusade’ is often used in different ways today in the 21st, gimme a freaking break.

Kruk
John Kruk isn't exactly a picture of health himself, but his comments were not unlike those of others in his situation.

Has Mr. Rector considered who it was that was poking fun at him? John Kruk isn’t exactly a picture of health people. Kruk is a long-time ESPN Baseball Analyst who often looks as though he just left a van down by the river, stopped for a couple beers and a donut, then headed off to work.

This isn’t too far from how he looked during his playing career mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies. In essence, this was the pot calling the kettle black. This is far from the first time that TV announcers have commented on fans in the stands at sporting events.

Perhaps you remember Brent Musberger basically falling in love during the 2013 National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame. The camera caught Bama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend Katherine Webb and Musberger couldn’t stop talking about her. While Miss Webb is a great deal more attractive than Mr. Rector (just my opinion), she at least took advantage of her 15 minutes of fame and was seen just about everywhere there was to be seen.

I’m of the opinion that maybe Mr.Rector should have taken advantage of his situation. For all the attention he received, he should have run with it but he has chosen the ‘American way out’ by suing. It’s his right but going after $10 million based on ‘defamation’ just isn’t going to happen. The announcers in this case were just expressing what they saw and that’s hardly defamation.

My question for Mr. Rector is this; why are you falling asleep during the fourth inning of a game you are attending? I get falling asleep at home in your easy chair or on your couch but at the game? I would be curious to know how much Mr. Rector paid for his seats. Granted, this year’s version of the Bronx Bombers isn’t exactly the 1927 Yankees but tickets to a Red Sox game are still pretty pricey.

In other words, that was one expensive nap for Mr. Rector.

In all seriousness, if Mr. Rector was truly embarrassed and felt shamed then I feel bad for him but only for a moment. When we as fans enter a stadium in any major professional sport their overall expectation of privacy goes out the window. A fan should realize this immediately when they are patted down or forced through a metal detector.

My belief is that Mr. Rector’s lawsuit will be tossed out rather quickly as it should be.