Edition 9.15.14

Good Morning Team SQ. We don’t often start the quips on a serious note, but it’s been quite a disturbing week in the world of professional football. In this video, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm asks the important question: What does the NFL stand for?

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Early last week, TMZ released a second video tape showing the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice physically assaulting his fiance (now wife) in a casino elevator. Public outrage soon ignited over the contents of the video and in response to the league’s initial disciplinary action towards Rice — a two game suspension. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL denied seeing the second tape and shortly after, Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league and cut from the Ravens’ roster. Later in the week, the Associated Press published a report stating that law enforcement had in fact sent the video to the NFL, with a voicemail allegedly confirming the delivery. So, what does this mean? It’s understandable that many are confused and frustrated with Goodell and the NFL, and as of right now there are no exact answers. The latest news is that the NFL has selected former FBI director Robert Mueller to investigate what happened under the supervision of John Mara (owner of the New York Giants) and Art Rooney II (president of the Pittsburgh Steelers). It’s unclear when the investigation will wrap up and Rice is expected to appeal his suspension, but the story is developing rapidly, so stay tuned.

Ray Rice isn’t the only story involving domestic violence right now in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers deactivated Greg Hardy from their roster prior to Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Hardy is appealing a conviction of assault from July but has been playing up until this weekend. The San Francisco 49ers’ Ray McDonald has not been charged, but was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence on August 31st. His court date was rescheduled from Monday and he continues to play for the team.

Additionally, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was deactivated from the roster for Sunday’s game. This came after Peterson was indicted on charges of child abuse towards his 4-year-old son. Peterson turned himself in and was later released on a $15,000 bond. This case could go to trial, but it’s unlikely to occur in the next few months. Peterson is expected to make a statement sometime this week. In the meantime, both the Vikings and the NFL have said that they are monitoring the situation.

In other off the field news, the NFL also made progress on a new drug policy agreement over the weekend. The Players Association has agreed to the terms of the new agreement and the league office is expected to finalize the deal this week. The new policy has significant changes that could alter several current player suspensions as early as this season.

Outside of these issues, the NFL continued action with numerous games during week 2 of their season. Of note on Sunday, the New England Patriots bounced back from a tough week 1 loss in a win over the Minnesota Vikings, the Cleveland Browns handed the New Orleans Saints their second straight loss of the season and Robert Griffin III left the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars early with a dislocated ankle injury, although the Washington Redskins would go on to to get a big win.

Other noteworthy games include: the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks losing to the San Diego Chargers on the road, the San Francisco 49ers lost a 17 point lead and a surprising game to the Chicago Bears at home, Cam Newton returned from injury to lead the Carolina Panthers over the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers overcame a 18 point deficit to beat the New York Jets, and the Denver Broncos narrowly defeated the Kansas City Chiefs.

Monday Night Football features the Indianapolis Colts at home against the Philadelphia Eagles to round out week 2 at 8:30 pm eastern.

College Football

It was a good 4th week for the top 5 teams in the AP College Football Poll. Florida State didn’t play this week and remained #1 while Oregon looked worthy of their #2 ranking after a dominating win over Wyoming. Alabama crushed Ole Miss on Saturday to lock up their #3 ranking and #4 Oklahoma got the victory against Tennessee. #5 Auburn rounds out the top 5, making them 1 of the 7 teams from the SEC ranked in the Top 15. Speaking of the SEC, Florida beat Kentucky in a thrilling game that went into triple overtime on Saturday.

Despite the strong performances of the top 5 teams, there were plenty of noteworthy upsets this weekend. #6 Georgia (now #10) fell to #24 South Carolina (now #14) on Saturday night while Boston College shocked #9 USC (now #17) with a win at home. Oh, and Virginia Tech (then #17) dropped out of the rankings after losing to East Carolina at home.

Any other exciting things to note? Well, Kenny Hill (aka Kenny Trill) led #6 Texas A&M over Rice in a game where he had 4 touchdowns. Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel came into the game and helped UCLA get a close win over Texas.

In other news, the NCAA has ended Penn State’s post-season ban that was connected to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Basketball

USA USA USA!  That’s right, Team USA is back on top (again)! In a dominating performance, the young American team defeated Serbia 129-92 to win the 2014 Fiba World Cup. Kyrie Irving led the squad with 26 points and 4 assists and with this victory was named MVP of the tournament. It’s back-to-back World Championships for Team USA and Coach K… Congrats to the Champs!

The WNBA Finals wrapped up this week and your 2014 champions are… the Phoenix Mercury! The Mercury defeated the Chicago Sky without star center Brittney Griner on Friday night under the great play of Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree. Let’s hear it for the Mercury!

The Atlanta Hawks’ situation continues to take hold of the NBA this week. After he admitted to sending a racist email, owner Bruce Levenson is still trying to sell his majority share of the team and GM Danny Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence. Ferry reportedly read racist remarks about Luol Deng on a conference call about free agency with some of the team’s owners. It’s not exactly clear what happened and the story is still developing, but regardless the remarks said about Deng were inappropriate. Luol Deng (now with the Miami Heat) released this public statement in response.

In college basketball news, Coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats is reportedly planning a 2 day combine event for NBA scouts to come view his current team play this upcoming season. The event will be held in October prior to the beginning of the season.

Baseball

After a scary injury against the Milwaukee Brewers, it looks like Giancarlo Stanton is going to be fine. Stanton, a Miami Marlins player, suffered facial fractures and a deep laceration after being hit in the face with a 88 mph pitch. Stanton is one of the best young players in the league and will likely be done for the rest of the MLB season.

First baseman Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles has been suspended for 25 games without pay after testing positive for amphetamines. Davis is in violation of Major League Baseball’s drug program and has accepted the suspension. The Orioles are currently the leaders of the NL East.

In all things California, both Los Angeles teams are continuing to prove that they’re two of MLB’s best squads. Despite losing to the Houston Astros on Sunday, the LA Angels defeated the Astros on Saturday night in a game where Mike Trout had 2 home runs and pitcher Jered Weaver collected his 17th win on the mound. The Angels currently lead the AL West. The LA Dodgers are not doing so badly themselves. After defeating the San Francisco Giants 17-0 (no, really — 17-0!) on Saturday night, star pitcher Clayton Kershaw led the squad to another win over the Giants on Sunday. The Dodgers are currently in the lead of the NL West. The hunt for October play continues!

Other

Oscar Pistorius, the South African Paralympic star, was found guilty of culpable homicide on Friday. Pistorius has been on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was found not guilty for more serious charges and it remains unclear if he will serve jail time going forward.

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals said that he is fully healed after suffering a knee injury at the Hockey World Championships earlier this summer. He expects to be ready to go when the NHL season begins.

Would you look at that — Manchester United is winning again. On Sunday, Man U defeated QPR 4-0 to get their first win under the leadership of Louis van Gaal. Angel di Maria had a really great goal in the big win for Man U.

With this putt, you win a trip to space? Actually, in this tournament it appears that you do. Golfer Andy Sullivan won the trip after hitting a hole in one at the KLM Open in the Netherlands. Sullivan remains undecided on whether he will accept the prize.

JUST FOR FUN

Hank the dog gets a bobblehead
The Milwaukee Brewers celebrate their mascot


STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Coping
The importance of a support system during the tough times
Even the biggest, strongest football players need a shoulder sometimes — check out how the Bengals and Devon Still are working together to cope with his daughter’s cancer

Nothing but the best
Clayton Kershaw
When you break down the stats, it’s clear that the Dodgers have a rock star on the mound

Speaking of nothing but the best…
Check out Serena Williams’ new commercial for Beats by Dre
All that amazingness is the result of hard work

Ever wonder how Coach K makes even the best players better?
For all the non-believers out there, believe us Dukies… he’s awesome
How he managed to get some of the world’s wealthiest athletes to come together and play their hearts out for Team USA

All’s fair on the hardwood court
But some courts are definitely better looking than others
Assessing the coolest (and lamest) NBA courts (because, let’s be real… we spend a lot of time looking at them!)

Head Trauma
Concussion data is looking pretty grim
The NFL reported in federal court documents that 1/3 of their players are expected to be affected by brain trauma

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