Hypocrites, Stooges and Liars

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It would be impossible to write a script for a PR disaster like this.

Impossible.

In fact, if the entire Ray Rice fiasco – from first punch to ultimate release – was pitched to a screenwriter, it would be rejected on the grounds of implausible stupidity. On all counts, by all parties.

The stupidity of Rice to believe (my theory, not documented) that an elevator does not have security cameras. The stupidity of Goodell to “invite” both Ray and Jenay to come sit with him in his office and talk it out. The stupidity of the Ravens to push so much franchise equity into the Ray Rice Rehab Project. The stupidity of Goodell’s apology for going too light, coupled with a new feel good but also stupid policy – one that is not really “new” nor a tight “policy” that will only invite further murkiness on future suspensions. And lastly the stupidity of so many “high level” NFL reporters to just bounce along, rely on sources, believe the narrative, assume the best, and play “business as usual” for the Mighty Shield.

Go sit in the corner, all of you. Just sit there and look stupid.

Now, the Ravens just look gutless and hypocritical. You said you would stand by your man. Now, stand by him. Chickenshit. Kitchen too hot for you, Ravens? You made poor Janay both take that punch to her face, AND humiliate herself on your Under Armour logo-ed podium. Now, you kick the money out from under her? rice_3

Another virtual punch to Janay’s face.

She knew the deal. She was playing the “long game” here. Nothing could take back getting cold cocked that night, so why not protect the remainder of that $40 million extension? She’s gonna someday get half of something, right? Better to get half of 40, than half of 20. We all have our price.

Now that the video has come out, so much for that. As Darth Vader might say: “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it further…”

It”s almost like some people said: ‘Oh, so THAT’S what knocking a woman out looks like. Ohhh… wow. That’s bad…”

The league’s new story, is that they never had the tape, or seen the tape. Hmmmm. Really? Let’s see: TMZ>NFL. Not sure I’m buying that one.

Who wants to bet that if/when the Ginger SpokesApe deigns to answer further questions on this, his story will have been “modified” again? Anybody?

And how about all those ace NFL reporters? Boy, they sure do “speak truth to power,” huh?

Peter King added another embarrassing episode to his resume when he had to issue an apology that said basically: “A league *source* told me the NFL had seen the video, and we both just assumed they league MUST have seen it, but geez, I suppose I should have called the NFL directly and got them on the record.”

They built an entire NFL web portal for this guy.

Adam Schefter, touted as a non-stop dynamo with cell phones in every free hand, actually wondered aloud on ESPN if the commish had been “lenient ENOUGH” with Rice.

Stooges. All of them.

So here we are. Nothing has changed. Nothing. Ray Rice admitted to both magistrate, owner, and commissioner that he knocked out his fiancé in an elevator. All three entities accepted this, and acted accordingly based on self interests. The victim accepted the outcome and consequences moving forward.

But the stark truth of moving pictures now means everything has changed? The hypocrisy, is staggering. People with a brain know that you don’t knock your fiancé out cold, just because she goes into an arm flailing rage. People with a brain know that if somehow that did happen, the man wouldn’t just stand there and try to KICK her lifeless legs out of the elevator doors.

This was, as the great episode of Deadwood was titled, “A Lie Agreed Upon.”

Al, at the end of the second episode, dictates an article to Merrick (who doesn’t want the truth of what happened; rather, he wants the decent truth) about the altercation between Bullock and himself. In counterpoint to the roiling tensions seen throughout the long day (neatly bifurcated between day and night in the two episodes) we’ve just witnessed, Al tries to reassure everyone that nothing has changed, that business continues as usual, that the Gem will offer “a new and jaunty freedom” and Bullock will continue to be sheriff and everything is just fine, even as we can see the injuries covering his body, can see the town rousing itself for a new day, the indecision on Seth’s face as he chooses to enter the house he built for his family for the first time. I’ve talked before about how the series Deadwood is full of lies agreed upon, and there are a large number of those lies in this episode, but Seth and Al are telling deeper, more personal lies here. Seth and his wife have agreed to tell the lie that they’re in love, that this life is what they want and who they are. Al lies to Merrick, to say that everything will be OK and things will proceed as normal. So far as anyone else is concerned, these lies are fine, so long as they ARE agreed upon. That almost makes them truth.

All the parties had come to terms they could live with. Until TMZ dumped an unconscious body on their doorstep.

A scrappy little digital tabloid where the founder sips a Big Gulp leaning over a cubicle, has blown a massive chunk out of the Mighty Shield’s credibility and image.

A franchise that has erected a statue to a guy who obstructed a brutal double murder, has another humiliation etched into team lore.

The overpaid NFL bootlickers and mouthpieces have had their pants pulled down in front of every consumer of league “information.”

All in all, a pretty good day.

ray-rice

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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Listened to this on B&B this morning. I wish I could say I listen everyday (kids are very distracting), but I’m glad I caught this one. Awesomely fantastic.

  2. I am with you 100% on this Czabe. When I heard of the tape and the subsequent release and suspension of Ray Rice, my first thought was how glaring can the hypocrisy be. My second thought was that I hope Czabe puts a torpedo in the side of the Good Ship NFL.

    Obviously anyone with any moral fiber is appalled by what Rice did and the images are disturbing, but what did people think happened in the elevator? Everyone knew he hit her and he even admitted as much. The punishment meted out by the NFL and the DA’s office were based on exactly that. If I were a witness that was standing in the elevator next to them and described the video to the NFL in every last detail, would that have earned him a release? I think not. This is about damage control pure and simple. It is like watching the tail wag the dog on this one with the narrative changing with every news cycle. This League!

  3. Great article! Amazing that the Ravens owner claims that he ‘pictured the women in his family’ in that elevator, so he decided to cut Rice, in kind. Well, my thoughts, “What about Suggs?” Gonna cut him, too? Rice had ONE mistake. Rice admitted it to all parties. Suggs has had more than ONE incident with his spouse. Phonies. And to hear all of these players talking about how much a ‘less than a man’ Rice is. Put the camera on adultery, and see how many of them confess their perfection. Deion Sanders had it right. Pray for them both. Torrey Smith had it right. I’m not gonna forsake him because he made a mistake. Rice, his wife, and his daughter need some help. Real man? Christ said, ‘He that is without sin….cast the first stone.’ Bring back HBO’s Playmakers! Hopefully, the gay Dallas Cowboy linebacker won’t hit is boyfriend!

  4. Czabe, big Ravens fan here and have to say, you pretty much nailed the issue on the head. If Rice and Palmer lied in their “sit down” with Roger OR with the Ravens, then he deserves to go for sure. But the juicier story is: what if he told them the truth and they swept it under the rug? The PERFECT ending to this fiasco would be that Rice SUES the league for the remainder of his contract amount, plus “pain & suffering”. Imagine Janay on the stand crying and talking about how Roger Goodell gave her “the back of his hand”… (thanks Wasserman-Schultz!) with humiliation after humiliation. THAT would be priceless.

  5. Czabe,
    To Hell with Goodell. Behind closed doors, this man is as shady and incompetent as they come allowing Rice and his wife to simply walk away from this, but once the outside world gets a whiff of what the NFL and Goodell are shoveling and questions are asked, Oh Boy, IT’S AN OUTRAGE!
    This series of events only shows that this League of Shadows, aka the NFL, not only doesn’t really care about domestic abuse but also shows it’s true colors when it comes to any cause it “supports.” Case in point, PINK OCTOBER.

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