Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The FGR Thursday Night Pick

I have to take a few more swings at ESPN's handling of the Ray Rice story* before moving on to arguably the most entertaining biennial sports weekend we have (Ryder Cup + NFL + College Football + MLB playoff races).** This morning, Outside the Lines "investigative" reporter Don Van Natta went on Mike & Mike to respond to the comments made by Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti at his Monday afternoon press conference. In the space of five minutes, Van Natta asserted that (1) the Ravens failed to adequately investigate the matter at the time they first became aware of it and (2) he is an "investigative reporter" so it is and has been his job to uncover the facts in cases like this. I'm paraphrasing but not about the part where he labeled himself as an "investigative reporter." At this point I will simply offer a definition of hypocrisy which is "the practice of professing standards contrary to one's actual behavior" and move on.  

At no point did Mike Greenberg take a break from blowing smoke up Van Natta's ass for what a great job he did on the Outside the Lines report to ask him why he and his ESPN colleagues failed to break this story before TMZ released the elevator video. It was actually Mike Golic who asked the most relevant question which was "what exactly are the Ravens guilty of?" Van Natta responded that you can't really call it a cover-up (because it wasn't - law enforcement had all of the evidence) and then went on to say that the Ravens were guilty of failing to acknowledge how much they really knew about the brutal nature of the incident immediately after it occurred. In taking that position, he completely ignores the fact that all of the evidence the Ravens were receiving was based on hearsay whether it was from Ray Rice, the New Jersey police or another source.

What were they supposed to do? Call a press conference and announce that Ray Rice had punched his fiancee in the face knocking her unconscious despite the fact that they could not verify that version of the story? If they're wrong, they open themselves up to a defamation suit and destroy the credibility of management in the eyes of the players. You may say that those concerns should be secondary to adequately punishing Rice for what he did and you would be right but, before you can do that, you have to know, with near certainty, what actually occurred and that did not happen until the elevator video was released. (I dealt with whether the Ravens should have seen that video here). And in the end, Rice has been punished as severely as possible by the team (he was cut) and the league (suspended indefinitely) so I'm not exactly sure what Van Natta and his brethren are pushing for at this point. I assume they want to see someone fired in which case we have a name for what they are doing. It's called a "witch hunt."

And with that, I'm done with this topic. It's time to lighten-up and get back to the FGR business of doling-out bad gambling advice and 25 year old movie recommendations. With that being said, I'm 3-0 on the Thursday night picks so I got that going for me . . .
            
Washington by 3 over N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Redskins

"Go team with the name that
purports to celebrate Native
Americans . . . or something."
A Reskins fan walked into my office yesterday beaming with pride and using the words "Super Bowl" with a straight face despite the fact that they had just lost to go 1-2 with their only win coming over arguably the worst team in the league (outside of Tampa). But that's why we love them right? Unbridled optimism in the face of glaring mediocrity and blind loyalty to their brand (cue up the South Park commercial). Lucky for them this week they're actually facing a team more mediocre than they are and the game is at home where their rabidly misguided fans will be hoping against hope at full volume. That plus some steady play from Kirk Cousins should be enough to make the difference.
 
Footnotes

* You may have noticed by now that I have a hard time letting things go. I have yet to figure-out whether it's a gift or a curse but I'm leaning towards the latter.

** By the way, the Kansas City Royals are involved and they haven't made the playoffs since 1985. To put that in perspective, here are some movies from that year: Back to the Future (the first one), Spies Like Us, Fletch (big year for Chevy Chase), Better Off Dead and Weird Science ("how about a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray"). So if you're a Red Sox fan and you're dabbling with the notion of not being an asshole for a few weeks, root for the Royals. You'll be amazed at how it makes you feel.  

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com