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ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson typically has good information to share, whether writing for ESPN.com or making TV appearances. The Big Lead found him on Dan Le Batard’s radio program Tuesday with a lot of useful comments and insight into the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice situation. Munson made some of the same points on TV, though we don’t think we’ve seen enough of him during this entire process.
“The most interesting thing to me is to watch how these NFL security people operate. I have encountered them in the course of my reporting. I was bumping into them in the Michael Vick story for about three weeks in Virginia. They are expert investigators, former federal agents, a lot of police chiefs, a lot of detectives — they know exactly what they’re doing. And, if they want something, believe me they can get it. My takeaway is they did not want to see the video of what happened in the elevator, and therefore they didn’t get it. They could have had it if they wanted it. If TMZ can get it, the NFL security force can get it.”
And, on whether he believes NFL execs saw the video:
“I believe that if they didn’t see the video, it’s because they did not want to see it. Somebodysaw it. The Commissioner didn’t see it. It gives him a platform now to try to explain what has happened. I think there’s some manipulation going on there, and it’s not a big surprise if you’ve seen these guys in operations before.”
Long story short: A very good legal mind who knows how NFL security operates is calling out the NFL.
Hey, NFL! See, see! You’re not the only ones who can get embroiled in a scandal involving the alleged mistreatment of women!
Per the NY Post comes news that a former Mets executive says she was fired by the team because she was about to become an unwed mother. Innocent until proven guilty, yes, but some of the details of the suit are disgusting. Per the Post:
Penn grad and former soccer player Leigh Castergine said Wilpon and the Mets dumped her from her powerful position as head of marketing and ticket sales last month because the bumbling ownership was “morally opposed” to her out of wedlock pregnancy.
“He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the Team’s all-male senior executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby without being married,’” the suit states.
“Wilpon told her that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus,” the suit states.
Wilpon told Castergine that “something had changed” in Castergine after the birth of her child – with still no ring on her finger,” the suit states. “Wilpon told her that was no longer as ‘aggressive” as she used to be.”
And when she complained about this behavior, the suit says, Castergine was fired.
On Sunday, we warned everyone not to get ahead of themselves. It was one game for the Vikings, one nice win — one dominant performance against bad quarterbacks, even if that scenario had produced career days for opponents in years past.
It wasn’t the time to go make bold extrapolations about how the rest of the season was going to play out.
Well, apparently three days later the time has come to jump to conclusions because we can’t stop looking at the Vikings’ schedule and wondering, “what if?”
What if they can beat New England in their home opener on Sunday? It’s not crazy. The Patriots looked ordinary in a Week 1 loss at Miami, and the Vikings’ looked better than most of us expected.
If that happens, of course, Minnesota is suddenly 2-0 after going into the season with a stretch of games many considered daunting. Even if they could make it out of the first six 3-3 — very reasonable if they can win Sunday — it would set them up well for the rest of the season, when their schedule (at least as we think we know it based on 2013 and early results this year) softens.
If the Vikings can beat New England, suddenly a record of 9-7 feels very realistic. Of course, you’ll recall that in Brad Childress’ first season, the Vikings were 4-2 and generating all kinds of good will heading into a showdown with the Patriots, who ended up routing Minnesota 31-7 in the Dome with a smart quick-strike pass attack.
This is eight years later. Different team, different coach. But in a league in which every game is of massive importance (relatively speaking, of course), Sunday’s game could be the benchmark by which we can measure true optimism this season.
Well, here’s another sad, head-scratching story from TMZ — this one involving former Gophers and NFL running back Marion Barber III. Barber was arrested in June — at the time, few details were known — but these details on the incident have emerged from a police report:
According to the police report, cops were first called to the scene after the former Dallas Cowboys star entered a church with a loaded 9mm handgun — and 3 magazines … containing 51 hollow-point bullets.
When cops got to the church, officers say Barber seemed disoriented — and one cop says “He heard Barber state he did not know what year it was or where he was at.”
Cops spoke with a pastor at the church who told them … Barber had been speaking erratically inside the church and “removed his jacket showing the congregants his firearm in public.”
We’re in the middle of reading Dave Eggers’ novel, “The Circle,” which is centered around an altruistic, insanely profitable Internet company that bears some suspicious resemblance to what we imagine Google is like in real life.
We’re only about 120 pages in, but one of the early ideas focuses on tiny cameras that can be placed all around the world so that no deed, good or bad, ever goes unnoticed or unrecorded. Knowing Eggers’ work, we have a pretty strong feeling things won’t turn out to be all so keen with these devices or The Circle in general, but the idea did lead to this thought: we’re not that far off from such a thing in reality, and at least in the case of some of sports’ latest scandals, that’s not a bad thing.
Without cameras, the Ray Rice incident becomes a he said, she said affair — no less horrific, but without the images seared into our brains, the visceral reaction would be muted. Based on the way Rice’s wife continues to defend him, despite the fact that video seems to show he punched her and knocked her unconscious, we have to imagine this incident would have gone away far more quietly than it deserved to, and Rice would still be playing for the Ravens — which he does not deserve.
In the case of alleged racism with the Atlanta Hawks, an electronic paper trail and recording of a conference call are at the forefront of the evidence. A generation ago, maybe everything terrible that was said to have been uttered just drifts away into the wind or winds up in a garbage can.
Donald Sterling? An audio recording.
Much of this isn’t earth-shattering technology to most of us, but it is technology that hasn’t existed for the vast majority of human existence. The bottom line now is that throughout the world, up to and certainly including the sports world, there is a trail of evidence and it will only continue to mount.
That probably will not end up being a good thing in Eggers’ “The Circle,” as we can only imagine the unintended consequences of all of society’s movements being recorded, but if it means powerful people in the sports world are being held accountable for what appear to be despicable actions, the more evidence the better.
|Boston - A. Ranaudo||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - C. Morton|
|Toronto - D. Hutchison||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - U. Jimenez|
|Washington - T. Roark||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - A. Harang|
|Miami - N. Eovaldi||6:10 PM|
|NY Mets - B. Colon|
|NY Yankees - M. Pineda||6:10 PM|
|Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi|
|Cincinnati - J. Cueto||7:05 PM|
|Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta|
|Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - L. Hendriks|
|Cleveland - C. Kluber||7:10 PM|
|Houston - N. Tropeano|
|Detroit - R. Porcello||7:10 PM|
|Minnesota - R. Nolasco|
|Milwaukee - W. Peralta||7:15 PM|
|St. Louis - L. Lynn|
|Los Angeles - D. Haren||7:40 PM|
|Colorado - T. Matzek|
|San Francisco - J. Peavy||8:40 PM|
|Arizona - J. Collmenter|
|Seattle - R. Elias||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Rasmus|
|Texas - N. Tepesch||9:05 PM|
|Oakland - S. Kazmir|
|Philadelphia - A. Burnett||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - I. Kennedy|
|Tampa Bay||9/18/14 7:25 PM|
|San Diego||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Dallas||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Washington||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Houston||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Minnesota||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|San Francisco||9/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Denver||9/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Kansas City||9/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/21/14 7:30 PM|
|(5) Auburn||9/18/14 6:30 PM|
|(20) Kansas State|
|Connecticut||9/19/14 7:00 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Troy||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Georgia Tech||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Eastern Mich||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|(11) Michigan State|
|Iowa||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Bowling Green||9/20/14 11:00 AM|
|Maryland||9/20/14 11:30 AM|
|Tulane||9/20/14 11:30 AM|
|Hawaii||9/20/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||9/20/14 1:00 PM|
|North Carolina||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Army||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Virginia||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|(6) Texas A&M||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Rutgers||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Central Mich||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Utah||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Florida||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Louisville||9/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Indiana||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Texas State||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Massachusetts||9/20/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia State||9/20/14 5:00 PM|
|Appalachian St||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Miss State||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Utah State||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Miami-Ohio||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Ball State||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|(14) So Carolina||9/20/14 6:30 PM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/20/14 6:30 PM|
|Ga Southern||9/20/14 6:30 PM|
|UNLV||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|(22) Clemson||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|Miami-Florida||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|New Mexico||9/20/14 7:00 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|California||9/20/14 9:00 PM|
|Louisiana||9/20/14 9:30 PM|
|(2) Oregon||9/20/14 9:30 PM|
|San Diego St||9/20/14 9:30 PM|
|Toronto||9/19/14 9:00 PM|
|Edmonton||9/20/14 6:00 PM|
|Calgary||9/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Ottawa||9/21/14 3:00 PM|
Poll: Which of these returning TV series are you most looking forward to this fall?